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A Brief Guide to Minimalist Fashion -min|jeans shoes and sunglasses|organized minimalist closet|folded clothes on table


Exploring Minimalist Fashion

If you're curious about embracing the idea of being a minimalist but worry that doing so might not be compatible with your love of fashion and style, many people have already trodden that road and found that minimalist fashion is an option. Read on to learn how you can incorporate the minimalist ideology into your fashion sense. 1 , 2

jeans shoes and sunglasses

Minimalist Fashion Versus Minimalist Wardrobe

Minimalist fashion is pure, simple fashion. Think clean lines and simple colors instead of busy patterns. The 80s blue jeans and a white t-shirt look was an example of minimalist fashion, and the little black dress which has been around seemingly forever is another good example.

The good thing about minimalist fashion is that because it is simple, it will last forever. Stripes, flowers, and gaudy patterns go in and out of style, and if you wear them when they're "out" you'll find that they date you quite badly. Simple will always look good, and if you want to jazz up a simple outfit it's easy and cheap to do so with accessories.

organized minimalist closet

Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe

There isn’t a fixed number for how many garments you should have in a minimalist wardrobe. You can take minimalism to as far an extreme as you like or just cut down on buying "fast fashion" from cheaper, lower-quality stores and instead focus on buying a much smaller number of higher-quality items—the choice is yours.

A good minimalist wardrobe should include:

  • Three or four long sleeved shirts

  • Three or four short sleeved shirts

  • A little black dress (or suit)

  • Three or four skirts/pairs of dress pants to complement the shirts

  • Two pairs of jeans

  • Two pairs of casual slacks

  • Four sweaters

  • Four tank tops or tees

  • Two sets of workout clothes

  • Two pairs of business casual shoes

  • A pair of formal shoes

  • A pair of running shoes

  • Enough undergarments to allow you to keep up with laundry

  • A set of loungewear

  • A coat for each season

Don't keep swimwear or other similar clothing items unless you actually use them. If you're going on vacation, you can buy some then.

You will also need accessories. Try to stick to no more than four belts and scarves and limit your jewelry to what will fit in a jewelry box. Have two or three bags—some inexpensive ones for day-to-day use, and some slightly more pricey ones that you will use for special occasions. There's no need to have a huge collection of bags or shoes that end up lying around unloved.

folded clothes on table

Final Thoughts

One way to really embrace minimalistic fashion is to pick a few things that define “you.” For example, it could be that a particular cinnamon shade of lipstick looks stunning on you. So, build your wardrobe around that. Pick belts or shoes that match it. No matter what you wear, you will always look put together if your accent pieces all match.

It's so much easier to feel and look confident when you don't have to spend endless hours thinking about what you’re going to wear or searching through clothes that don't fit or don't flatter you. Paring down your wardrobe at first isn’t easy, but it can be done. If something tears or doesn’t fit you well, and it was a cheaper item to begin with, throw it out or give it away. If something doesn't fit, and it's unlikely to fit in the next few months, donate it.

As for those free t-shirts you never wear, donate them to charity or if they're too tattered, cut them up and use them as rags or upcycle them if you're into crafts. The important thing is to gradually thin out your wardrobe.

It takes a while to get used to minimalism, but if you are consistent with your efforts, it can really improve your life and boost the amount of money in your bank account.

Photo credits: AnnaKlepatckaya/, NewAfrica/, NYS/,

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