I like to describe myself as someone who actively practices minimalist fashion. Well, if I'm being really honest, I'm an "almost minimalist" and it works well for me! Over the last few years, I've been seriously compelled to own less. A lot less.
I've pared down my closet (and home) in a major way by getting rid of a ton of stuff KonMari style. I've kept only what I truly love. As a result, I can find my things easily and I have a better appreciation of what I own.
In this post, we'll talk about the journey to minimalism fashion and get clear on your fashion goals. But first, let's discuss what minimalism in fashion is.
What is minimalist fashion?
So, what is minimalist fashion anyway? Minimalist fashion is all about keeping things simple and without excess. It's all about a slow fashion approach. However, it absolutely doesn't mean boring. Simplicity comes in the number of things you own and the way you put those things together.
It's an approach that focuses on essentials while also adding in accessories and thoughtful pieces that work well for your wardrobe without overdoing it. You may choose mostly neutrals for your wardrobe, but you don't have to. Less is more in fashion minimalism, so focus on the basics and build out your wardrobe from there.
So, what is minimalist fashion? Mainly it's no longer feeling like you have nothing to wear by converting your closet to a minimalist wardrobe that feels cohesive and totally right for you.
Why I chose minimalist fashion
So, what made me decide to become a fashion minimalist? Well, one spring several years ago I decided to get started with minimizing what I owned. I was tired of having a closet full of everything with absolutely nothing to wear. So I started with a closet cleanse.
I went through my closet and got rid of things that didn't fit or were too old, and things I didn't use. But then gradually, I found myself replacing what I'd taken out. By the end of that summer, I was back to having a closet full of more things than I needed in my life!
I did a second pass at stuff that didn't fit, stuff that was too old or just plain unrealistic like my former designer handbag collection.
Finally, I was able to scale my closet down to a place that was comfortable for me. Since then, I've actually been able to stick to owning a much smaller, leaner closet. I even upcycle my clothes and I'm super proud of it! (Here are key tips to start your own closet purge!)
8 Reasons to practice minimalist fashion
Why you should consider minimalism in fashion instead of buying whatever trend is currently popular. Check out these 8 reasons.
1. It helps you hone in on your true style
As a result of minimalist fashion, you'll be able to explore your existing closet instead of always buying something new that you'll only wear once or not at all. It may also lead you to create seasonal capsule wardrobes which are a lot of fun - especially when it comes to matching clothes and picking out new outfits.
No longer will you look at a closet full of stuff but struggle to find what you want to wear. For more fashion inspiration, check out this blog on fashion minimalism and capsule wardrobes by writer Anuschka Rees.
2. You'll be a more deliberate shopper
Owning less means you're able to practice mindful buying. Because the goal is to own less, you get to focus on what really works for your personal style and your real life. Ask yourself questions like, "Will I use this? Does this work well with my current wardrobe? Can I walk in these shoes?" etc.
You may even become more observant when it comes to fabric and fit and become very mindful of fast fashion. And as a result, you'll be able to keep your cost per wear low. Becoming a fashion minimalist will be good for your closet, wallet, and the environment!
3. You'll no longer shop for your fantasy life
When you practice minimalist fashion you no longer shop for your fantasy life. You may have one idea of your style in your head but then it doesn't match the real-life you're living.
For instance, I was always buying cocktail dresses when I rarely ever went to any cocktail parties. Or overdosing on sequins when they are not realistic for my day-to-day life (but I do love sequins!).
Once you're clear on what works for you, you won't find yourself shopping for things that don't make sense for your lifestyle. That also means you'll be able to save a ton of money!
4. Less is more
Who says owning more is better anyway? Being a fashion minimalist is all about quality first and there's nothing wrong with using and reusing your items. Personally, I'm a big fan of well-made products and luxury goods.
I love a great quality handbag, pair of shoes, or piece of jewelry. It's important to know when accessories or clothing are investment pieces that will last a long time.
Whenever you buy something of poor quality, you might regret it because it doesn't last and ends up being a waste of money. It's usually better to save up to buy one thing you know you'll wear well rather than buy a bunch of cheap stuff that will wear out and end up in the trash later. You can still own higher-quality items with minimalist fashion.
However, sometimes quality can cost a lot of money even on sale. Especially when you compare it to the deals on cheaper quality items. (Be sure to check reviews and compare prices as poor-quality items can go for exorbitant prices too).
That being said, if you are dishing out your hard-earned cash for an item, it only makes sense to wear it and wear it well. Less is more in fashion - especially when you are getting your money's worth!
5. You can save a ton of money
It's amazing how much money I've saved over the last few years by being a fashion minimalist and not buying random and subpar things. This has been a key benefit of minimalist fashion. And minimalism as a whole can have a direct impact on improving your finances.
Your purchases can be planned and well thought out for the most part. Instead of shopping for anything and everything, you can shop based on what you need and your personal style. Also, consider making a wish list of things you really want that you know will work with your existing wardrobe.
Save up for these items over time and use that time to give yourself a chance to really reflect on if you really want the item.
And all that money you save on not overspending you can put towards investing and your future financial goals!
6. Increased creativity
When you practice minimalism in fashion, it's anything but boring. While it may seem like having less in your closet would limit your options, you may be surprised by all the new looks you can put together by wearing things differently.
A shirt can be different depending on if you tie it at the waist or tuck it in. Scarves and jewelry change everything, and you will have limitless options when you're conscious of your footwear and the accessories you add when practicing minimalist fashion. Check out our guide on how to wear a Hermes scarf!
7. You'll appreciate your wardrobe more
You may discover that less is more in fashion. With fewer items, you'll take the time to care for and maintain your wardrobe in a way that keeps everything looking good and saves you money for many years.
8. Buy high-quality items more often
Having a minimal style may afford you the opportunity to buy high-quality items more often. Since you aren't constantly buying whatever is popular for the moment, you may spend less money, giving you the chance to purchase more expensive things that will last.
Wardrobe staples for minimalism in fashion
So, you'd like to begin a minimalist style for your wardrobe, but you don't know where to start? Here are some garments and shoe choices you can use to build a minimalist closet. These items will help you remember that less is more in fashion.
- Jacket in a neutral color. (Neutrals are colors like white, beige, grey, black, and sometimes navy.)
- Black skinny jeans.
- Denim boyfriend jeans or straight-leg pair of jeans.
- The LBD - little black dress.
- Tank tops and t-shirt options in a neutral color palette.
- White linen shirt.
- Cashmere sweater.
- Black heels.
- Chelsea boots.
- Loafers or mules.
- A pair of trousers.
- A midi skirt or other flattering style.
- A few blouses, button-ups if you like.
- A blazer.
There are also some really great minimalist clothing brands I like.
Embracing minimalist fashion might be a good choice for you!
You've found answers to the question of what is minimalist fashion, and while it's not for everyone, it's worth a try for anyone who wants to save money and still look great.
At the very least, I hope this post inspires you to be more deliberate about your shopping and helps you determine how you are spending your money when it comes to your wardrobe.
Doing this will contribute to helping you assess how you could be saving more money for the important goals in your life. The result? You'll have an amazing, well-thought-out wardrobe, a better sense of style, and a happy bank account! Remember just because you practice minimalism in fashion doesn't mean you can't still be stylish!
If you want to learn more about minimalism, check out our top books on minimalism to get started or our podcast, Clever Girls Know.