Minimalism in a Modest Wardrobe

By: Madhiha Taseen

Minimalism is a world-wide trending phenomenon. It comes with a desire to live with fewer material possessions in order to live freer. This challenge often begins in our wardrobes.

Prior to a minimalism lifestyle comes de-cluttering. De-cluttering may be therapeutic on its own, but it is not an ideal solution to your clothing build-up as this increases landfills and wastes money that may otherwise be spent elsewhere. Therefore, a certain degree of minimalism should be maintained so that the amount of de-cluttering done the first time around does not repeat itself in the future.

To adopt minimalism effectively, the following tips should be implemented to maintain the lifestyle:

Project 333 is a popular reference when minimizing in that for 3 months, you keep only a select 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear, and shoes. This does not include sentimental jewelry you never take off (ie. wedding ring), underwear, sleep wear, in home lounge wear, and workout clothing. The remainder outside of the 33, you would box up and seal, and put it out of sight until the time comes to plan for the next 3 months. This is a more serious approach to minimalism for people who are truly seeking to live with the bare essentials for their lifestyle. However, this 33 can be raised to any number you believe would fit your life and applied as such.

When you undergo your first major decluttering phase, donate clothing that can still be potentially worn and turn into cleaning rags the ones that aren’t. Try to keep as many clothes away from the trash as possible. Some of these clothes may also be turned into your work clothes for rough use or lounge wear. Otherwise, make sure you truly love the remaining pile.

Separate your remaining pile between over-wear, tops, bottoms, shoes, and jewelry. Assess what you have and what you need to make up every dimension of your personal lifestyle. To do this, create a capsule based on each sort of activity you do frequently.

One capsule translates to 1 over-wear, 2 bottoms, and 3 tops that can be interchanged into 9 possible outfits. The key to this is to remain consistent on a colour theme that best reflects your complexion. For example, brown, tan, and olive suits some individuals more than black, silver, and navy does. This colour theme should be consistent for all capsules to allow an even greater number of combinations. The capsule should further reflect your body type, personality, and texture/prints. And last but not least, it should consider the modest factor – but not with a defeated acceptance that ‘it could be modest if paired with…’. For example, there are many strapless dresses and see-through clothing in the market, but try not to settle for these options, especially with a minimized wardrobe. All these considerations build for the perfect wardrobe for a given individual.

Another effective way for resisting the collection of clothes is to limit your visits to clothing stores. If you see something you like and in your grasp, you are more likely to purchase it. Stay in the sections of the items you are looking for and stick to your capsule wardrobe criteria.

From a young age, minimalism makes sense since we are always growing and requiring different fits. Getting into the habit of a series of small wardrobes will allow a smaller circulation of clothing throughout time and keep the excess out of the dumps.

Minimalism forces you to raise the quality of an item since you are getting more use out of an item. The goal of minimalism does not have to be saving money, although it can definitely do this. It can also allow you to afford the items you would otherwise not be able to (ie. luxury branded items).

Finally, minimalism allows you to do just what it promises; find freedom outside of your possessions. You begin to realize that short lived trends will always be just that and that its human experiences you actually want. Having a lighter loud teaches you to be flexible and free to allow room for just that.

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