Building a Minimalist Wardrobe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 04, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:04 AM, March 04, 2021

Building a Minimalist Wardrobe

At first thought, you may think a minimalist wardrobe does not define you. The word "minimalist" itself has a scanty, pained connotation. However, that's far from what it is. As Joshua Fields Milburn, a well-known minimalist, put it "Minimalism has never been about deprivation. Rather, minimalism is about getting rid of life's excess in favour of the essential."

Minimalism has been at the heart of sustainable fashion and is often misunderstood. The essence of minimalism is to focus on what's really important and to free yourself from the clutches of consumer culture, all the while allowing yourself to reclaim your life. It's been said that 80 percent of the time, you wear only 20 percent of your clothes. Go on, think it over. It's safe to say getting rid of and limiting your closet would bless your pockets and the planet.

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The first step to building a minimalist wardrobe, is discovering your own style; depending on the kind of person you are, this may be the toughest yet. Often, we have all types of clothing mixed up in our closets, and therefore we do not realize what kind of clothing resonates with us. What are some of the colours you can't get enough of? What fits perfectly for your body type? What kind of cuts and fabric do you love wearing? Who's your fashion icon? There are plenty of bloggers online who've dedicated themselves to help you out on this.

Moving forward to the existing bane of a wardrobe. There is no fixed figure to stick to; 15 to 50 clothing items is a common range to follow. Begin with some decluttering. Remove items that would not suit your newfound sense of style. Keep pieces that you absolutely need and love. However, it's not as easy as it sounds. Decluttering is a process that takes time. Leaving out all items at once may not serve you the best.

How does shopping look for a minimalist? Well, for starters, not fun. But I am not trying to talk you out of it. You will need to invest initially. Analyse your wardrobe before a haul. Keep a running list of items you need. Go for clothing items that you can pair up to make several OOTDs. Lastly, shop intentionally, not impulsively. Do the 30-wears test. Ask yourself if you will wear what you're holding at the mall for at least 30 times.

A great way to get started is to hop on a challenge -- Project 333. Pick 33 items (including jewellery and footwear) from your closet. Now, stylise these items for the next 3 months. Experimenting this way will help you gain a sense of what's coming and how to deal with it. There are other variations; 10x10 (10 items for 10 days), 7x7 and so forth. Or, try creating a capsule cupboard for a season. A capsule cupboard is a small collection of useful clothing that you love.

Minimalism does not correlate with asceticism. There is no hard and fast rule to it as long as its essence thrives and the satisfaction prevails. But, it does demand a lot of self-discipline. Minimalism looks different for everyone because we all have specific needs and are at different points in our lives. At the end of the day, it only aims to create more fulfilment from what we own.

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