I'd personally like to focus on paring down my wardrobe and buying fewer clothes. As this is a lifestyle and fashion blog I thought I'd share the process with you! I've seen lots of articles on creating a 'capsule wardrobe' with only 30-or-so items of clothing; but I've decided that's not for me. It would be too difficult to limit myself to such a small selection. But I would like to down-size considerably. I have a big wardrobe, a large set of drawers, a three bar clothes rail, two storage boxes full of 'off-season' clothes and two sliding drawers packed with shoes hidden under the bed. I have too much stuff. More than half of it never sees the light of day! I'm curious to see what can be done and I wonder if I could live with more of a minimalistic attitude to life. I've gathered lots of useful bits of information from doing my research and I'd like to share my favourite discoveries...
If you don't wear it, donate it.
If you don't like it, donate it.
If it doesn't fit well, donate it.
Twice a year I have a big clear out and I go through my wardrobe and make piles on the floor of all the items I'm going to donate to charity (or sell on eBay). I'll end up getting rid of a lot of unwanted stuff and feel much better for it. But there are always those few pieces I'm unsure about that find their way back on to the rail. Watching this video from Allison Anderson on YouTube really helped change the way I thought about downsizing my wardrobe. She talks about focusing on your style and only keeping the items that fit with that vision. Are your clothes flattering on your body type and reflective of a style you feel confident in, or are they just fashionable?
I'm really bad for keeping items that used to be in fashion and now feel so outdated, but I'm crossing my fingers the trend will come around again! Make the decision for yourself. Either wear the non-fashionable pieces because you love them, or be done with that trend and donate.
Start by keeping what you love rather than picking out what you don't love. Take everything out of your wardrobe at once and only put back the items you definitely, 100% want to keep.
Ask yourself, would you buy the item again? If the answer is no, it needs to go!I like to donate my clothes and shoes to charity shops. Even when clothes are damaged or really old the material can be recycled. You could let your family and friends pick what they'd like from your unwanted stuff or have a go at putting them on eBay or Depop if you think they're worth selling.
I was intrigued by the KonMari method of organising and storing clothes. This is written about in Marie Kondo's book but there are plenty of online demonstrations to watch or articles to read. I liked this video from Lavendaire on YouTube, with examples on how to fold your clothes and stay organised.
*The Reverse Hanger Trick*
Hang all your clothes on the rail backwards, with the hangers hooking towards you. Every time you wear and wash an item, it goes back on the rail, but this time the right way round! At the end of the year you can see how many items you actually wore. It's time to assess all those clothes still facing the wrong way, if you haven't worn them in a whole year, will you ever?
I love fashion, new trends and seeing things come and go. I like shopping, although not as much as I did in my teens. I get huge enjoyment from buying new things or having a new outfit to wear to a special occassion. But as I get a bit older I've changed my shopping habits. Mainly because I don't have the freedom to spend money like I did when I was a student. Long gone is the student loan, I have rent to pay these days! I still feel as though I'm finding my feet with my business and being self-employed is unsteady money.
I do most of my shopping online and I'm always hunting down a bargain. I used to walk down the high street every week when I was at University and I'd always be popping into Primark or H&M and coming out with something or other. I rarely do that anymore. I'll shop for what I need and not browse out of habit. I have my own style and I know what I like. I'm still interested in new trends but if there's something everyone loves but it isn't for me, I'll pass it by. I only really buy items that I know will fit into my current wardrobe and that can be worn with what I already have.
One in, one out! Every time you bring in something new, a similar item must go.
I'm learning to be very grateful for the possessions I have. If it's cold outside, I have a warm winter coat. If I go on a long walk, I have strong, comfortable boots. If it's sunny I have an array of sunglasses to choose from to protect my eyes and lightweight clothing to keep me cool. I have so many clothes when many thousands of people in the world have so few. I can wake up and choose which of my 10+ jumpers I'd like to wear. We sometimes don't realise how lucky we really are.
We live in a fast-paced world of consumerism. Wherever we go there are people trying to sell us things. Flick through Instagram, blogs, social media and magazines. There are adverts everywhere. I include This Fashion is Mine in that list. I feature products that I like and in doing so possibly encourage others to buy that product. I display advertising on my blog. Every time a blogger works with a brand they are pushing potential sales. It's not a terrible thing to spend money and acquire items. You just need to be really sure that you want and/or need those items in your life. I make unnecessary purchases too often.
Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn't mean having to just wearing black and white! But peek into my wardrobe and you'll see a lot of neutral shades. Especially for the colder months. That's what I like and I find it all really easy to wear. I shy away from bright colours, even pastels. I have a few bold print items for when I'm feeling adventurous. It's better to shop for what you know you will wear again and again. Don't ditch the colourful clothes if you love them, just make sure you have a lot of outfit options you can mix and match together.
If you'd like to learn more about minimalism I'd recommend The Minimalists Podcast which I've just started listening to. It's produced by two friendly guys who discuss living a meaningful life with less.
Can you see yourself living with a smaller collection of clothes? If you've managed to make a minimalist wardrobe work for you I'd love to hear how you did it and if you have any tips for me!