How to Pare Down Your Wardrobe ~ Getting Started

Chapter, Fashionably Light

Mar 12 2013

Gold Tape

How to Pare Down Your Wardrobe ~ Getting Started

Today’s post comes in two parts!

First, a video of my face.

I talk about why and how I started my minimalist wardrobe:

Second, a step-by-step guide.

Here are some simple steps to help you pare down your wardrobe!

1. Find a motive. Mine was to travel lightly and to challenge myself fashion. Make it fun!

2. Have a temporary experiment. I began my “minimalist” lifestyle as a three-month project abroad, intending to cycle in new pieces of clothing that I had left back in America. When I got home I found myself wearing the same ones I took to England anyway!

3. Choose what to keep, not what to get rid of. Think of it as packing for a fabulous holiday – only bring your best. It’s much harder to decide to part with something, even if you’re not even that sentimental. Why bother with the negativity?

4. Try stuff on. See if it fits! If it doesn’t fit, isn’t comfortable, or makes you feel less than awesome, it isn’t good enough for you.

5. Consider each piece on its own, not as part of the big picture. If a shirt is only tolerable when paired when tucked into a certain skirt it’s not good enough for you! If you don’t love that plain white tee but feel like you should have one because it’s a “staple”, put it aside. You don’t have to follow by these “rules” – make up your own wardrobe staples! Your Little Black Dress could just be turquoise.

6. Separate definite no’s and maybe no’s. A lot of people will suggest getting rid of clothing straight away or you’ll be tempted to bring it back into your wardrobe or something. I agree that you should get rid of stuff that simply won’t work (donate or recycle those stained, way-too-small, or simply hideous pieces), but if there’s some question, why not wait it out? There is actually no rush to get rid of the stuff you have deemed unworthy of your finest. It is important, however, to separate that stuff. If you have the space, put it in another room, a box, or a separate part of your closet. Promise to leave it alone. Look back on it after time has gone by and you might find it easier to part with certain pieces.

6. Let the minimalist experiment begin! Commit to the time you’ve set yourself. Be it a week, month, or more, stick to the clothes you’ve chosen. Remind yourself of the reasons you started. After the time is up, see if you miss any of your other pieces. In my experience, it’s been out-of-sight-out-of-mind!

Remember that having less stuff is not about punishing or limiting yourself. It’s about wearing your favourite clothing every day. Why save it for a so-called special occasion that may never present itself? Make every day special!

Are you starting a minimalist experiment? I would love to hear how it goes!

Let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or send me an email at

xandra ★

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