How to Maintain a Minimalist Wardrobe

I have a few reasons for having a minimalist wardrobe and also be a minimalist in general. Two of the most important reasons is that I live in a relatively small house that has no walk-in closets. The second reason is that at one point, I had an enormous amount of debt to pay off and now I’m working hard to remain debt-free.

That said, I do love shopping. I didn’t have much to spend when I was younger, and now that I’m doing better financially, the urge to replace, upgrade and spend has been strong.

I prefer to shop online, where I can easily look for the perfect dress or pair of jeans, find free shipping and make all my wish lists all from the comfort of my home.

In order to keep that urge to shop under control, I found it helpful to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Whether you have the same reasons as I do for having a minimalist wardrobe, or any other reason, it IS possible. Minimalist living for the most part starts with your closet.

Here’s how I do it.

• I Don’t Purchase Duplicate Items
This rule really is the minimalist in me. I prefer not having multiple items that perform the same function. That’s why I don’t have a Kindle—I have a laptop and a large enough smartphone—and the same principle applies to my closet.

I don’t need two blue scarves. I don’t need more than one winter hat. If I have to own multiples of one item—like jeans—I make sure each pair has a unique feature and I still try to own as few pairs as possible.

• It Has to Serve a Purpose
If I’m thinking of buying something, it has to serve a purpose, some kind of void that my current wardrobe isn’t filling. If I want to buy a jacket for the autumn weather, it has to be because my wardrobe is lacking one. If I can get by with lighter jackets and my heavy winter coat, I won’t buy it.

• It Has to Be Versatile
I don’t buy anything that can only be worn for one specific occasion. That’s why I don’t own any party dresses or anything else that I would only wear a few times a year. If I want to buy something, I want to be able to get a lot of use out of it, otherwise, I don’t feel that it’s worth my hard-earned cash.

• It Has to Be of Good Quality
When I was in my 20’s, I always bought cheap clothing. I couldn’t help it, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend and clothing, of course, ranked a lower priority than food and bills, but I still had to maintain a level of professionalism at my job.

I remember getting pretty frustrated when I’d buy a new top, only to have the stitching become completely unraveled after only a few washes because the piece was so cheaply made. These days though, I make sure to spend a bit more money on clothing made of good quality that I won’t have to replace anytime soon.

• It Has to Be a “Need” Versus a “Want”
Before hitting the “checkout” button, I try to think to myself “Do I really need that?”

Even if whatever I’m buying meets all the other criteria, but I can’t honestly say I need it, I usually don’t buy it.

Of course, there are times that I completely ignore these rules because I see something that I would love to have or there is a huge markdown on an item. But generally speaking, these guidelines help me maintain a small and functional wardrobe that’s easy to maintain and easy on my budget.

Do you have a minimalist wardrobe? If so, what rules do you apply to help you maintain it?

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