I have many reasons for having a minimalist wardrobe. I move around a lot, I haven’t lived in the same place for more than eight months in awhile, so not having a lot of clothes to pack up and unpack is beneficial.
I also live in a 400 sq. ft. house, which, needless to say, has no walk in closets. Finally, I’m trying to pay off $20,000 in debt, so buying fewer clothes means more money (read further about how to make extra income) to send towards my debt.
That said, I love to shop. I really didn’t spend too much cash on my wardrobe in University (what with have no money and all) and now that I’m out and earning a steady paycheque, the urge to upgrade, replace, and spend spend spend has been strong. My preferred poison is online shopping, where I can agonize over the perfect pair of jeans, hunt for free shipping, and make wish lists galore, all from the comfort of my couch.
In order to keep that shopping urge under control, I try and keep my wardrobe minimalist. Here’s how I do it:
This rule really is the minimalist in me. I hate have multiple items that perform the same function. That’s why I don’t have an eReader (I already have a laptop and a big smart phone) and the same principle applies to my wardrobe. I don’t need two red scarves, I don’t need more than one winter hat. If I must own multiples of one item (like jeans) I make sure each pair has a unique feature, and I still strive to own as few as possible.
If I’m thinking about buying something online, it must serve a purpose. It has to fill some kind of void that my current wardrobe just can’t fill. If I want to buy a fall jacket, it has to be because my wardrobe is sincerely lacking a fall jacket. If I can get by with lighter jackets and my heavy winter coat, I don’t buy it.
I never buy anything that can only be worn for one specific occasion. That’s why I don’t own a party dress, or anything else that I would only wear only a few times a year. If I want to buy something, I must be able to get a lot of use out of it, otherwise, it’s not worth my hard earned cash.
When I was in university, I bought cheap clothes. I couldn’t help it, I had no money and clothing ranked lower on the list than “feed myself” but I still had to maintain some level of professionalism in my business school presentations. I remember getting really sad when I’d finally plunk down the cash to buy a new top, only to have the stitching completely unravel after the first wash because the piece was so cheaply made. These days I make sure to spend a bit more money on quality clothing that I won’t have to replace anytime soon.
Before hitting “checkout” during my online shopping endeavours, I try to think to myself “Seriously Jordann? Do you need that?” Even if whatever I’m buying meets all of the other criteria, but I can’t honestly say that I need it, I generally don’t buy it.
Of course, all of these rules are guidelines that I occasionally completely ignore because something is flashy or is on serious markdown, like the top I ordered yesterday that I’m completely excited to get because it was 60% off and had free shipping. But generally speaking, these guidelines help me maintain a small, functional, minimalist wardrobe that’s easy to move, easy to maintain, and easy on my credit card.