How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe: 5 Capsule Closet TipsImage by undefined undefined#minimalistwardrobe #howtobuildaminimalistwardrobe #minimalistwardrobechecklist #minimalistcloset #capsulewardrobe #minimalistclothing #sustainablejungle
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How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe: 5 Capsule Closet Tips

Minimalism: the trendy word that is, ironically, anti-trend in that is encourages people to realize they don’t actually need to follow trends—like fast fashion—to live happy, stylish lives.

We can all agree the fashion industry needs a pretty big overhaul. Luckily, change can start in your very own closet by overhaulding the clothes you already own.

By curating a capsule closet, you can say goodbye to the ills of overconsumption and fast fashion and hello to a simpler style experience. And we’re here to help with a step-by-step guide to minimalist wardrobe ideas.

What Is A minimalist Wardrobe?

Minimalism as an aesthetic, emerged in the early 1960s believing in the adage less is more.Over the next four decades, it began to find itself in art, music, home decor, architectural design, and fashion. 

But minimalism’s true boom didn’t occur until the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-2008, when many people began to shift their viewpoints about what’s really important in life. 

Fast forward several more years (and economic crises) and add an increased awareness that our planet is suffering from overconsumption. More people are beginning to realize the value of purchasing less. 

Minimalism in fashion is commonly associated with a capsule wardrobe—coined in the 1970s by London boutique owner Susie Faux—but it’s not the only answer for creating a minimalist wardrobe. After all, having just 33-37 items isn’t practical for everyone so there’s no set formula to follow for achieving a minimal closet.

Why Be A Minimalist With Clothes?

In the US, 85% of textiles are thrown away. Just think if we had more fashion foresight into not buying clothes that would head straight to a landfill or incinerator—not to mention all the waste we could save at the manufacturing stage. 

It’s simple supply and demand economics. If there’s no demand, there will be less supply—which means fewer agricultural chemicals used to grow things like cotton, fewer petroleum products mined to create synthetics, less energy used to manufacture, and fewer emissions from shipping.

For the individual, a more simple wardrobe also means less clutter, less money spent on clothing, less time spent deciding what to wear, and less negative aspects associated with materialism like loneliness, depression, and stress.

But think about the time you won’t have to spend digging through your drawers to find that one pair of ethical leggings that matches your yoga top perfectly.

How To Build A Minimalist Wardrobe

1. Consider What You Have

How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe: 5 Capsule Closet Tips Image by Sustainable Jungle #minimalistwardrobe #howtobuildaminimalistwardrobe #minimalistwardrobechecklist #minimalistcloset #capsulewardrobe #minimalistclothing #sustainablejungle
Image by Sustainable Jungle

Clear your schedule, put on your favorite pump-up music, and dive into that soon to be minimalist capsule wardrobe of yours. You won’t know what to keep or get rid of if you don’t know what’s there in the first place. Maybe an old treasure could replace that new purchase you’ve had your eye on. You won’t know until you look.

Start with easy questions: Is there a dress you haven’t worn in a year? Does it even fit or is it one of those “one day it’ll fit/I’ll have something to wear it for” situations? 

Take advantage of items like these because they’re easier to say goodbye to.

For the remaining things, run yourself through a typical week. How many different outfits do you wear? Do you need six activewear sets if you’re only going to the gym once a week? Do you have four very similar black turtlenecks, but definitely a favorite you wear most often?

This is the most difficult stage, and you’re sure to second guess your best intentions. When it comes down to it, the secret is simple: be honest. 

Be honest about just how often you’ll wear that sequined cardigan. Be honest about the fact that you might be working a day and a half for one pair of boots that you’ll only get to wear on certain occasions. Most importantly, be honest about what items you truly LOVE to wear—and what items you only want to love.

2. Consider What you Need

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Unfortunately, joy and comfort aren’t the only thing that should guide your minimalist closet list. Necessity plays a, well, necessary role, too.

Think about what things you actually can’t purge, like work clothes. What are your essentials for the office, and what things are excessive? Or, if you’re working from home, what pairs of leggings can you absolutely not live without? 

We realize that “need” is often subjective, but try to give yourself some tough love here. 

Do you really need eight pairs of jeans? Do you really need that sweater you wore on your first date with your ex-boyfriend three years ago? Do you need enough t-shirts to avoid doign laundry for two and a half months? 

Start with this basic minimalist wardrobe checklist:

  • Essentials like organic underwear, organic bras, and sustainable socks
  • A few basic layers that can either go under items or stand alone, like t-shirts and tank tops
  • One or two pairs of sustainable jeans (different color washes makes for versatility)
  • Activewear (ideally that which can also double as loungewear)
  • A good pair of ethical sneakers
  • Sustainable pajamas (again, ideal if they also double as loungewear, like sweatpants)
  • A few mid/outer layers (like sweaters, cardigans, and sweatshirts)
  • A light jacket that repells wind and water (so you can be prepared for all kinds of weather)
  • A small handful of dressier items (including one pair of dress shoes to match them all) for special occasions.

The men’s minimalist wardrobe is more or less the same, though men’s clothing is usually less varied and thus more suitable for versatile wear by design.

3. Consider Seasonal Essentials

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Don’t forget to think seasonally, because seasons play a role in how often you wear something—or if you need to at all. If you live in Florida, there’s not much sense in keeping old winter coats laying around.

But if you live somewhere with four seasons, things get more complicated as you still need to keep clothes on hand to prepared for all of them. Just because winter feels like it lasts so much longer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hold on to summer stuff. You’ll regret only keeping one pair of shorts when the temps hit triple digits!

Summer Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

In addition to the year-round staples on our minimalist wardrobe checklist above, consider these items for hot weather:

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Essentials

Use the same rationale for your minimalist winter wardrobe. Keep in mind these bulky items take up a lot more space, so the key is to pare down to truly the essentials:

4. Out With the Excess

How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe: 5 Capsule Closet Tips Image by Sustainable Jungle #minimalistwardrobe #howtobuildaminimalistwardrobe #minimalistwardrobechecklist #minimalistcloset #capsulewardrobe #minimalistclothing #sustainablejungle
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Now comes the challenging part: saying “goodbye” once and for all to those clothes that didn’t make the cut. But take solace in the fact that, when done responsibly, your clothes will have a new lease on life by passing them on to someone else.

If you have quality garments that have been gently worn, consider making some extra money by using an online platform to sell your used clothes

If you want to keep things closer to home, host a clothes swapping party. Invite a few friends over, have them bring a bag of their discarded clothes, and then do a bulk donation of the leftovers. 

Or, just because you’ve cleared your closet doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get them out of your life completely. Consider upcycling clothes into something completely new but no less useful. Cut worn out clothes into rags to use for cleaning or save them for craft projects. This is also perfect for sentimental items you might not want to just toss—like old event or club t-shirts, which can be cobbled together into a memory quilt.

If all else fails, donate them to a local charity or, as a last resort, a thrift store (and we only say as a last resort because there’s a good chance they won’t get their second chance there).

5. Minimalist Closet Organization & Maintenance

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We’d recommend repeating this closet cleanout process once every season, so you can really see what your minimalist style is and what new items you actually need (if any). One thing we like to do is turn our hangers to face the opposite way once we wear something. Anything still facing its original direction after six months is something you likely no longer need.

Regularly ask yourself these questions: 

  • “Do I love this piece?” 
  • “Will I wear this outfit again?” 
  • “Do I absolutely need to buy something new? Can it be repaired?”
  • “If I buy a new garment, what is it replacing?”

But most importantly, don’t use your closet clear-out as an excuse to fill it up again quickly. Maintaining a minimalist wardrobe is nearly as difficult as it is to establish one in the first place. It will take discipline. It will mean saying “no” to shopping sprees and random, thoughtless purchases.

When you do need to buy something new, opt for second hand stores first. When that simply won’t do, consider focusing on quality, versatility, and supporting sustainable clothing brands that align with your values. 

At first, it might feel hard, but trust the process (and us) because in the long run, you’ll feel even better feel about your clutter-free closet and bygone worries about what to wear. 

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2 thoughts on “How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe: 5 Capsule Closet Tips”

  1. Hi, idk if you will get this comment, but having minimal amount of clothing is great, if only the material would last past 6 washings… the problem with todays cheap ass material is after one wash they look like they have been washed a dozen times.


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