Perhaps you thought I had forgotten... but no, we're picking up where we left off and moving forward with the next 3 steps in minimising our wardrobes with maximum style (if you haven't caught up on where I've been for the last few months, please read this post here). For now let's refocus - less mess = less stress.
To recap the process, here are the 7 steps again:
In this weeks post we are gonna slam it out and get you through steps 4-7.
4. Select feature items for maximum impact.
Unless you want a classic black, white, grey minimalist wardrobe, the thing that makes your wardrobe come alive is finding awesome feature items which bring all of the character and flavour of who you are into your wardrobe.
This is where I hunt in vintage and secondhand clothing stores, or head to my favourite up-cycled fashion shop to find the unique fashion garments that nobody else will be wearing but me.
It might be an amazing vintage dress in a bright pattern, a scarf with a bold print in your favourite colours, or stand out shoes that you feel like a rockstar in - there is no limit to what the features pieces are in your wardrobe.
When I first began the minimalist approach to my wardrobe, I based all of the colours and styles around three garments. A freaking awesome bright coloured Gorman dress which I spoilt myself with for my birthday one year. A cute red and white checked cardigan that I loved the fit of. A long sleeve black and white striped t-shirt. Although I would never wear the three of them together, the colours and patterns in these items added the quirky style I was going for to practically everything else in my wardrobe.
Then, everything I bought for the next few years had to match back with either of these items - this meant that whatever new items I had would go with all of my shoes, and other clothing items that I already owned - there would be no item I could not match back.
5. Add in the foundation garments to connect your wardrobe.
Having a wardrobe of super cool garments that you love, vintage pieces and show stoppers can mean that you have a lot of gorgeous one-off garments that can only be worn solo. The way to get around this is to build up the basis of your wardrobe with foundation basics. For me this means a classic denim shirt, standard black jeans, black leggings, one white and one black tank top, a denim skirt or shorts.
These basic garments can be layered with any of my patterned dresses, any of my jackets or cardigans and any of my bright scarves or shoes. Having a selection of foundation garments means most of your clothes can transition you through seasons, especially if you live in a climate like Australia. A summer dress or top can be layered with the denim shirt, or the black leggings, jeans and a tank top.
6. Select outer wear, foot wear and accessories.
This is where I tend to have a little fun with everything. If you want to keep your clothing really minimalist and classic sticking to black, white, grey combinations, you can add your personality in with your shoes, handbags, scarves, costume jewellery and jackets/coats.
When it comes to the big items like a coat, boots, handbags - buy good quality and buy things you absolutely love, aim to keep them for about 5 years, if taken care of maybe even 7-10 years.
With scarves, I choose one classic grey, then have brighter coloured or patterned ones to liven up dull work clothes.
With coats, have one classic trans-seasonal coat that will last for 10 years plus, and then seek vintage styles or outstanding colours and patterns for brighter options.
The key thing to remember is that anything you buy in this category, must go back with at least 50% of your wardrobe, or it won’t get the wear it should.
7. Build your ‘costumes’ for each lifestyle occasion.
The final step in building your minimalist wardrobe with maximum style is to make sure you have accounted for all of the regular situations you find yourself needing clothes for. For each situation, we make sure we have the right outfit/costume that will enable you to show up and shine.
It’s time to make a list of each of the things you need clothes for. For example, work, gym, weekend casual, special event, beach, bedtime, sport. Depending how often you actually spend doing each of these things, will determine how many garments you need in each category.
With work taking up the majority of our time, you may like to have 10 garments which mix and match to make up 8-10 different outfits you can wear over a week. Develop a standard look for this costume, and repeat. I like to wear dresses, so I have a number of dresses I love, which can be paired back with a cardigan or a denim or white shirt to change the look a little if I want to.
Weekend might be next, with 5 garments that can mix and match to make up 4-5 outfits. One pair of jeans, a denim skirt and a few foundation tops make this an easy costume to match back with different shoes and accessories.
Gym clothes get smelly, but t’s possible to have just 4-6 garments to mix and match.
Special event, 2-4 garments at the most. Same for beach, bedtime and sport.
The goal is to have knockout outfits that you look and feel sensational in, so love wearing them frequently, and this is why quality is extremely important.
Buy less, but spend more on single items. This is the secret to making a minimalist wardrobe work. It smashes our previous habits of buying more to have more choice. When you buy quality garments, they will last you more than a few wears. And when you buy with your own personal style (not the latest fashion trends) in mind, then you build a wardrobe which could last you for a lifetime.