starting my minimalist wardrobe

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This weekend we were blessed to have sun, sun, and more sun!  The three of us went on a few walks to the playground, got some dairy-free ice cream, and in the afternoon I cut Benoit’s hair for the first time.  My husband says he looks like Jean Reno in the movie Les Visiteurs.  I have to say I agree.

Back when I was pregnant with Benoit, I went through a major overhaul of my wardrobe.  When I could no longer fit into basically anything I had, I realized that having less to choose from was actually kind of liberating.  I would feel this way when I visited my parents in the States as well.  One suitcase, and about 1/4 of my wardrobe. Picking out what to wear was just less complicated and less stressful.  Since then, I’ve intentionally been downsizing my wardrobe.  I never counted, but if I had to estimate I’d say I went from 125 items to around 40. This didn’t all happen in one fell swoop, but rather five rounds. And at each round, I would smile as I would give away one more  thing that I just couldn’t have imagined giving away at the previous round.

Now at around 40 items, I would like to downsize even more.  My goal is to have just the basics, but still be able to look semi-fashionable.   I’m aiming at around 35-40.  This means shoes, shirts, bottoms, bags-and all seasons.  The problem with where I’m at right now is that, looking at my wardrobe, it doesn’t really “fit” together.  I don’t have many items that can go with more than a couple different things, which isn’t ideal if I’m looking to mix and match as much as possible.  I don’t have the monetary means to yet replace any of my items, so I am holding on to what I have and plan to slowly switch out items.

After sneaking a peak online at some other minimalist wardrobes, here’s what I hope to incorporate into mine*:

Skirts: 3 skirts / Currently at: 3

Dresses: 6 dresses / Currently at: 8

(Dress/”oxford”) Shirts:  2 shirts / Currently at: 0

Warm Sweaters/Knits: 6  / Currently at: 5 or 6…I say 6 to be safe.

Tops: 10 tops / Currently at: ummm, maybe 15

Jeans: 2 jeans / Currently at: 3

Pants: 3 pants / Currently at: 2

Shorts: 1 pair / Currently at: 1

Shoes: 6 pairs of shoes / Currently at: 4

Bags: 1 / Currently at: 1 (my market bag-I’m not a purse person)

*Not counting my workout clothes and one pair of tennis shoes

Plans for my future wardrobe are mainly inspired by A Small Wardrobe‘s blog-go check her out!

As I mentioned above, I am not 100% satisfied with my current choices in my wardrobe.  I can’t really pair things together that well as there are so many prints and bold colors, so in the coming year I hope to slowly switch them out with more muted, neutral-colored items that I feel great in.

I could leave it at this, but I want to end on the note of why I am choosing to adopt a minimalist wardrobe.  It’s a topic that can often be difficult to confront,  because it might involve feeling uncomfortable at the prospect of personal change.  But in my experience, whenever I feel this way, that usually means I’m opening my mind and growing into a better person-a good thing!

Having been a big shopper almost all of my life, I started to change my shopping habits when I found out how incredibly destructive the fast fashion industry is.  To the planet and to the people who make these items.  When I did some research, I realized I couldn’t support something like this.  That my style wasn’t as important as someone else’s quality of life.  As a Christian, I also believe that these practices would not be appeasing to God and they go against my morals.

From this experience I have also found that the notion of less is more is true.  Around the time I stopped buying from major chains and chose only second hand or ethical producers, I stopped buying half of what I would before.  I also stopped looking or paying attention to ads.  The ads no longer concerned me because my mind was made up that I wasn’t going to buy from these stores anyways.  When flipping through a fashion magazine (which I still sometimes read, by the way), I no longer felt disappointed that I didn’t have this or that, or felt any pressure that I needed something to fit in, or that I didn’t feel that I was good enough – all because I was making the conscious decision that I don’t want or need more things.  I felt proud that I could see through their empty promises.  With less material items and no longer focusing on what I might need from a magazine, I started to feel more complete than when I had had more.

Are you familiar with a minimalist wardrobe?  Fast fashion? Have you thought about downsizing your own?