My Minimalist Wardrobe: All the Clothes I Own as a Minimalist

Sophie | Malama Life
by Sophie | Malama Life

The key to building a perfect minimalist wardrobe is knowing there is no such thing. When I first started downsizing my closet, I decluttered way too much, and as a result, I felt like I had nothing to wear and was always on the hunt to fill in the gaps. This is how I've evolved and what I have in my minimalist wardrobe now.

Basic tops

Let's start with the basic tops. These are the building blocks of my outfits, so I have a variety of textures, styles, and lengths.

Clothes in neutral earthy tones

Most of my pieces are neutral earthy tones with some accent colors and patterns. 


It's really easy to combine and create many different outfits. Since I wear primarily high-waisted pants, I have a lot of crop tops because I think they pair nicely. 

Organized tank tops

I also have many tank tops because I wear them all year round, and I notice that they get worn out quickly. 


I have three long sleeves, one black, one brown mock neck, and a taupe color bodysuit. I wear all three of them on their own or wear them as my base layer. This is the category where I feel like I can experiment with the colors and patterns and be a little bit bold. 

Transitional shirts

I love every single one of these pieces, and I know that I will love them even more over time. 


I have two button-up shirts, one in white and the other in an oatmeal color, which is slightly thicker. They are so practical for transitioning from day to night, and I also wear them at the beach as a cover-up when it's cold outside.


My go-to outfit is jeans with a chunky sweater or a cardigan, and they come in handy when I visit my family in the Midwest during the cold winters. They're all different in silhouettes and thickness, and having that variety for different seasons is nice.  

Jackets for different purposes

Jackets

I have three different jackets, one for daytime, one for going out at night, and one quilted for colder weather. My husband and I also share two coats, but they live on his side of the closet.  

How to choose jeans

Bottoms

Moving on to my bottoms, specifically my jeans. I wear three in rotation and one stored away because my weight fluctuates. All three of them are from Levi's and have different fits. My most worn is probably my high-waisted, straight-ankle one. I have it in both stonewash blue and white. 


To mirror my jeans, I have three pairs of shorts, one in white, one in light denim, and another a little darker.  


Most of the time, I live in my linen pants and shorts. I love how easy and light it feels, which is very important to me as someone who prioritizes comfort over fashion. 

Long bohemian skirt

Other bottoms I have are my leopard print satin skirt and my all-time favorite long bohemian skirt that I've had for years.  

Dresses in a minimalist wardrobe

Dresses

Dresses are probably my favorite category. I love them because they're so easy to put on, and when I do, I instantly feel a little more dressed up. I have two short linen dresses, four maxi and midi, one rib tank dress, and one long-sleeve dress.

Minimalist wardrobe essentials

Activewear

I try to keep my activewear simple: three leggings, four tops, three sports bras not shown, two shorts, my favorite Pink Floyd shirt, and a matching pants set, which I love to lounge around in.


For sleepwear, I have my green PJ set for colder nights and my pink silk one for summer nights.  

Accessories and bags

Accessories 

Last but not least are my accessories, shoes, and other miscellaneous things. In my closet, I have three everyday bags, one for going out, one for every day, and the black crossbody to walk the dogs or to travel. Recently I added a sturdier wicker bag, and I love this for going to the farmers market or carrying around my heavy camera gear. 

Shoes in a minimalist wardrobe

For shoes, I have six different pairs: three sandals, one pair of Chelsea boots, running shoes, and everyday walking shoes. 


I go through my shoes very quickly. I'm heavy-footed, and now walking on these cobblestones definitely wears them out a lot quicker because I don't have many closed-toed shoes. I only have three socks. 


I realize this is not a typical minimalist closet, but it's one that's been carefully planned out to work for me and my lifestyle. With these pieces, I feel like I can create many different outfits for all various occasions. 

Minimalist wardrobe tips

Minimalist wardrobe tips


1. Choose a color palette that suits you.

This will allow you to easily pick your base color, accent, color, and patterns, making every piece in your wardrobe interchangeable. Use this as a simple guide and plan it before you declutter. 


2. Hold on to maybe items

If you have the space, hold on to your maybe items, pile a little bit longer, and you can shop from there periodically. Avoid decluttering too much all at once so you don't feel like you have big gaps in your closet. 


3. Look at your calendar

What does your day-to-day look like? Use this as a guide to curate your wardrobe realistically. 


4. Redefine sustainability

The most sustainable closet is not one that's full of sustainable brands, but it's being able to wear your clothes for years to come, loving them, repairing them, and carefully collecting pieces over time. 


5. Consider time & money

Determine how much time and money you want to dedicate to clothes. I decided that this is the area of my life where I don't want to pay that much attention at all. I didn't want it to get in the way of experiencing all the other beautiful aspects of life. 


My minimalist wardrobe

I hope I've given you some good ideas to start building your own minimalist wardrobe. What minimalist wardrobe advice do you have? Share your tips in the comments below.

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  • Hla65652921 Hla65652921 on Apr 24, 2023

    Love the way you think! For YEARS, I had very little!!! When I got remarried, I actually got into thrifting. I had breast cancer in 2012. I had complications so the next 2-3 years were spent working on correcting the problems caused by treatments. Sooo, I ended up going to thrift stores a lot. It was a “self-medicating” kind of thing. I would go and I could think about what I was looking at, finding “treasures”, of which I found many during those years. Having all these gently used, some brand new!!

    My favorite two pair of jeans are the brand new (ones I found at a Goodwill) of American Eagle Jeans!! I’ve also found I like Eddie Bauer’s, American Rag. and Lucky Jeans. Can’t beat the The Buckles BKE jeans, (half price of the others there and just as adorable), and Miss Me’s.

    Of COURSE I love my Levi’s! Everyone around my age viewed Levi’s as the “standard” in great jeans. Favorite high school outfit was: flip flops, Nike or Rebox, and an OP tshirt. But that was then, and this is now. The clutter, my clothes, my life, my house, etc. etc. just starting to feel already closed in with all the “stuff”. I’m going to have either a garage sale, or I’m going to eat gonna start putting some stuff online for sale! I need to take the best of what I have collected. And I just don’t know where to begin! I probably have 20 to 30 pairs of jeans. I probably have 29-30 long sleeve/quarter length button downs ( cotton, poly/cotton blend, flannels, 1 denim, a few floaty chiffon types for dressy cotton ones to wear with jeans for a dressier outfit. I LOVE SHOES! Something I didn’t have much of the beginning, part of my adult life (til I was 45). I was raised in a time period where “the kids came first!”. Yes, I might really like that red dress, however, if it meant the choice between my wants. Or my kids my needs? I did without. They are all grown now, and on their own. MT LOVE? Boots!! I love them! All kinds! Lol. Dresses? Um. Guessing 50? Wouldn’t been be too far off, and skirts as well!

  • Linda Linda on May 11, 2023

    I have so much and need to declutter but I have no idea where to start. I could really use some help. I have shoes bags dresses pants my closet s are bulging. I need to purge but have no idea where to start

    • Car77418745 Car77418745 on May 12, 2023

      I started a category at a time. Long sleeve tops, then t shirt tops, then jeans ect. One day a week so I didn't feel so overwhelmed.

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