Problem: You just have way too many clothes that you don’t wear. So, you want to figure out how to put together a versatile wardrobe. One you can wear for a number of situations during a normal week. A minimalist capsule wardrobe is exactly what you need.
24- Piece Capsule Wardrobe
The Reality of your closet:
In order to fix your closet, you have to own up to what’s wrong.
If your closet was anything like mine it’s full of clothes. With shirts, pants, and outerwear all mixed up. You might have some shelves with a bunch of sweaters, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Also, all mixed up and hard to get to.
Every day you stand in front of this mess you think, “I have absolutely nothing to wear.”
Every day you try and figure out what you can throw on that’ll look halfway decent. But every outfit looks terrible. Or doesn’t fit or is no longer in style.
You keep this up until you just give up and throw anything on out of frustration.
The weekend comes around so you go shopping. You just want something to wear you like. You grab a couple of things and head out.
But guess what? Monday next week, you’re back in front of the same closet. And the same mess, thinking, ” I have nothing to wear.”
Stop The Madness.
It’s simple. You’re experiencing decision overload. Just by cutting down on the number of choices you have to make, you’ll drastically increase your ability to make quick decisions.
Why is a minimalist wardrobe essential?
High-profile figures, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama, know a person can only make so many decisions in a day. To lighten their decision-making load, they’ve adopted extremely basic wardrobes (minimal capsule wardrobe). These wardrobes consist of multiple copies of the exact same, or quite similar, articles of clothing. They’ve eliminated the choice of what to wear each day by simply wearing the same thing every day.
If the rich and famous can do it. You can too.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Doesn’t it get boring wearing the same thing over and over and never expressing your personal style? Maybe so, but I am sure that the CEO of Facebook and the former United States president have more important things to worry about than their fashion choices. Fortunately, a similar minimalist wardrobe can be had with a bit more style.
24-Piece Minimalist Wardrobe is All You Need
My 24-piece men’s minimalist wardrobe is a year-round minimal capsule wardrobe made of essential classic pieces. These pieces consist of neutral colors that can be easily swapped in and out or layered. With my minimalist wardrobe, you still get to pick what to wear each day. And choose pieces that represent your style. However, all of the items in your wardrobe can be paired together. This allows you to choose any pair of pants, a shirt, and even shoes. And you don’t have to worry about whether they look good together.
The minimalist wardrobe consists of:
- 5 Coats and Jackets
- 8 Tops
- 7 Pairs of pants
- 4 Pairs of shoes
Every article of clothing will match perfectly with the rest, simplifying your entire morning routine. And creating the perfecting casual men’s wardrobe. You can select more formal pieces for a special event or opt for casual selections for relaxed weekend outings. There is also no need to swap your wardrobe for the changing seasons. Items for every type of weather will easily fit in your closet because it won’t be filled with seldom-used pieces. And layering will allow you to continue wearing warmer weather clothing during the cooler months. This is a basic wardrobe with great potential.
This wardrobe will not only lighten up your morning routine but will also leave you looking stylish every single day.
7 Steps to a Minimalist Wardrobe
First, I want to go over 7 essential tips to get you started cleaning out your closet and building your new minimalist wardrobe.
Tip 1: Think Like a Minimalist
The first step in minimalizing your wardrobe is changing your mindset and understanding how you view the clothing in your life. I myself had things like a tattered hat from college. Or those great jeans, I was hoping to fit again someday. I needed to get through these emotional barriers before I had a chance at creating a 33-piece minimalist capsule wardrobe.
Does it serve a purpose? Before you start shopping for your new wardrobe pieces, you need to adopt the minimalist mindset. According to minimalism, every article of clothing that you own needs to serve a purpose. You’re probably accustomed to purchasing clothing simply because you like it or it is on sale for a good price. However, the minimalist knows that if that particular item does not fill a current gap in their wardrobe, then they do not need it.
Your things do not define you. Often, we view our clothing as an extension of ourselves. We buy pieces based on how we think other people will perceive us when we wear them. One important thing to realize and remember is that your things do not define you as a person. Owning certain items does not make you a better person. And not having the latest version of everything will not make you any lesser than anyone else.
Less stuff equals less stress and more freedom. In fact, having less stuff can actually help you become a healthier, more confident person. A minimalist wardrobe will eliminate part of the stress of your mornings. And by owning fewer things and decluttering your space you’ll have less stress overall. Having fewer material possessions also gives you more freedom.
You can take advantage of that incredible job opportunity. And you don’t have to worry about the logistics of transporting all of your many belongings to another continent. There are so many benefits that come from adopting a minimalist lifestyle. And the only real sacrifice is that you will have fewer unnecessary things cluttering up your house and your life. Which, when you think about it, is not really much of a sacrifice at all.
Don’t fall in love with your stuff. The key to this minimalist mindset is giving up any emotional attachments that you have to your things. Save your emotional ties for the people in your life, not the shirts in your closet. When you eliminate irrational attachments to items, you will be surprised by how easy it is to give up possessions that you once thought were vital to your life. That is not to say that you cannot have things that you enjoy and appreciate. But be honest with yourself when you consider a new purchase.
Empty is beautiful. Ask yourself if it will truly serve a purpose in your life. Or if you are buying it just to be able to say that you have it. By doing this, you will be able to monitor what comes into your home, keeping it clutter-free and surrounding yourself only by things that genuinely have a purpose. Remember that not all spaces need to be filled with something. Oftentimes, sparseness and emptiness are beautiful and enjoyable in their own right.
More Things do not make us happier. Often, we keep buying things that we don’t need in an attempt to fill a void in our lives. Instead of doing this, take some time to figure out what your basic needs are and how to fulfill them. This will help you to stop mindlessly buying items in an attempt to momentarily increase your happiness. When you stop using items to fill holes in your life, you are free to get to the root of the issue and find lasting, fulfilling satisfaction.
Minimalism helps the environment. Living a minimalist lifestyle also allows you to help the environment and boost your local economy. When you are buying less, you can afford to buy local. Often, you will end up with much better-quality products, and you have the satisfaction of supporting small business owners and artisans in your area while helping to cut back on the environmental impact of mass manufacturing and global shipping. Consider making things that you need instead of buying them as well. Not only will you appreciate the final product much more when you create it yourself, but you will also save money that can no doubt be put to better uses.
Tip 2: Minimize Your Current Wardrobe
Unless you already have a minimalist wardrobe, in which case you probably don’t need this guide, you likely have a full closet cluttered up by items that you never wear. So, the first step is to take every single article of clothing that you own out of your closet and dresser. Sort your clothing by category, making piles for pants, Oxford’s, casual shirts, dress shoes, etc. After you have everything categorized, look through each pile and honestly consider every piece of clothing, while asking yourself these questions.
Does it fit me? If you are not sure, try it on right then and there to confirm. If it does not fit perfectly and look good on you, throw it out. Also, if it fits but is uncomfortable, you do not need it anymore.
Do I ever wear it? You only want to have clothing that you wear on a regular basis, so if you have not worn it since your sister’s wedding four years ago, get rid of it. That novelty t-shirt that you are too embarrassed to actually wear in public? It can go too.
The Hanger Trick
Does it look old or worn out? If it has holes, stains, or looks like it has been through the wash too many times, it is time for it to go. You want clothes that are comfortable because they fit and are well-made, not clothes that are comfortable because they are so broken in that they are falling apart.
Is it appropriate for my lifestyle? Be honest with yourself. If you have not gone hiking in years, you probably do not need that pair of hiking boots anymore, even if they were expensive. Likewise, if you now work in a more casual environment than you used to, you really have no need for multiple Oxford’s and 15 neckties. Keep what you need for the life you have now, not the one you might have one day in the future.
Do I have multiples pieces just like this one? Zuckerberg might wear the exact same grey t-shirt every single day, but we are going for different pieces that can all be paired together. If you have two or more items that are quite similar, keep the newest one, nicest one, or one that you like the best and get rid of the others.
Set limits on the number of items you can keep from each category so that you can better pare down your current wardrobe. Remember, we are building a 33-item minimalist wardrobe, so if the clothing under consideration fails any part of the test mentioned above, get rid of it.
Once you have determined what to keep, sort out your discards according to which pieces you can donate, give away, or sell, and which ones need to be thrown out. Take care of unwanted clothing as soon as possible. Discarded pieces of clothing stuffed into an unused closet or left in bags by the door tend to make their way right back into your wardrobe.
Tip 3: Buy Your Size
When shopping for clothing for your new wardrobe, it is important to know your exact measurements, not just your size. Sizes can vary between brands and knowing your measurements can help you better determine what size you need. Even if you tend to stick with the same stores or clothing brands, it is still vital that you try on every piece before you purchase it.
The Take Three System
Take three different sizes of each item with you into the dressing room, the size you think you wear, one size larger, and one size smaller. Compare the fit of all three sizes and choose the one that looks and feels best. If one size seems slightly loose, and the other just a bit tight, opt for the smaller size. Clothing tends to stretch out as you wear it, and it will stretch out permanently over time. The smaller size will likely fit perfectly after wearing it for a few hours.
A Good Fit Is Important
Remember too, that a good fit hides flaws better than an oversized fit. Many people try to hide extra weight by wearing larger sizes than they need. Wearing clothes that are too big will make you look even larger than you actually are. Whereas good fitting pieces will streamline your figure and hide a bit of a pudge. If you aren’t quite as toned as you would like, properly fitting clothing can also help accentuate the muscles that you do have. If you are not sure whether or not something looks good on you or fits well, ask someone else for their opinion. Take a friend shopping with you if needed and have them critique your new pieces before purchasing them.
Tip 4: Choose Neutral Colors
Your goal is to create a completely matching wardrobe. To do this, every color needs to look good with every other color. Even if you are not sure which colors go well together, this is easily accomplished by just sticking with neutral colors, such as white, black, beige, and blue.
You should be able to select nearly any shirt and pants combination from your wardrobe and have them pair well together color-wise. In the beginning stay away from patterns, prints, and colorful graphics, as these are harder to match.
When you develop a better understanding of how your new wardrobe works and become more comfortable choosing new pieces, you can try adding in some basic patterns and see how they pair with your current items. For now, though, stick with solid, neutral-colored pieces.
Tip 5: Stick with Classic Styles
You want a wardrobe that will serve you for years to come, not a closet full of trendy items that will be out of style in just a few years. The classics have become so for a reason because they offer a polished look that will never go out of style. So, they need to make up the majority of your wardrobe.
The goal is to keep your wardrobe the pretty much the same over time, replacing only worn out items and switching them out with new pieces of the same style. Not only will buying only classic styles allow you to wear the same pieces for years to come, but classic cuts also look great on a wide variety of body types and sizes. Your clothes will fit better, look better, and last longer if you go for classic styles and cuts that have stood the test of time. There’s a reason why after many decades we’re still wearing jeans, chinos, oxfords, and white sneakers.
Tip 6: Quality Over Quantity
In our consumer-driven society, we are encouraged and praised for buying more for less. Minimalism says the opposite: buy less and spend more. The reason is that with clothing, as with most things really, you usually get what you pay for.
Cheap, low-quality clothing will not last long or retain its shape, and it often fits poorly as compared to higher-quality items made with superior fabrics and better manufacturing methods. You want your new wardrobe to last you for years, fit well, and look good. This can only be accomplished by purchasing just a few carefully selected, high-quality pieces, rather than a stockpile of cheaper, inferior items. Since you will be buying less clothing overall, it makes more sense and is not as costly as you might think to spend more on each piece.
One thing to remember, however, is that a high price does not always equal high quality. Make sure that you are paying for genuine quality, not just a name and a logo.
Tip 7: Get Fit
Most people don’t want to talk about weight and fitness. But the undeniable truth is that when you look better, your clothes look better on you. It also becomes much easier to find items that fit when your body is more streamlined. The confidence boost that comes with getting in shape and losing weight will do wonders for your appearance as well.
24-Piece Minimalist Wardrobe
And That’s It. That’s all you need to start creating your own minimalist wardrobe. If you want a hand getting started head over to my 24-Piece Capsule Wardrobe for Men buying guide. In that guide, I’ll show you a shopping list for creating a great wardrobe.