When you want to declutter your clothes, you are asking how to minimise your wardrobe. The trick is pretty simple, and that’s to get clear on your fashion style.
Something that’s a sticking point for many of us is how to feel happier with our clothes, while not having so many.
One of the best ways to minimise your wardrobe while still having lots to wear, is to hone in on your personal style.
This actually stops you from adding items to your wardrobe ‘just in case’ – and helps you to create more of a capsule style wardrobe that you can mix and match things more easily.
So – we need to understand our personal style and ensure your wardrobe truly reflects it. After all, if a lot of what you have doesn’t reflect you, how likely are you to wear it at all, and how happy will you feel even if you do wear it?
There’s a lot to be said for a wardrobe that you open the doors of and feel happy about everything you see, while also having something to wear for whatever you are doing that day.
Does your wardrobe reflect your style?
I first started to understand how reflecting your style can increase how happy you were with your environment (and how much less you tended to add to it) when I started looking at my home.
As a designer I’ve experimented over the years with different styles in my own home, but over the past decade I’ve really worked out what works for us in terms of style – so that we all feel comfortable in our surroundings, and feel that it reflects us really well.
My home is truly my sanctuary, and it makes me feel calm to be in it.
Every room, although different, is based on a specific style so that the whole house works together well.
I’ve minimised over the years the amount of bits and bobs in the house, and everything now truly reflects our style and what makes us feel happy when looking at it.
As a result of this clarity that I’ve found with homes, I thought that it made just as much sense to also use this theory in my clothes as well, so I set about working out my own style to see how well this worked in practice…
I’m sure you’ve been there, shopping for clothes and grabbing whatever takes your fancy in the shop to try on, often making the choice on what to buy based more on what fits and looks OK, and the price, rather than whether it will complement the rest of the clothes in your wardrobe at home.
Trouble with this is that you very soon end up with a wardrobe (or 2…) stuffed with lovely things – but nothing that actually goes together, and little that necessarily works for your life (I have been known to have lots of evening dresses and I barely go to occasions that need them…).
After all that shopping you STILL end up with nothing to wear – so you go to the shops again and the cycle repeats itself.
It’s no good buying a top on sale if you need to also buy a skirt, shoes and accessories before you can wear it – it will simply take up room in your wardrobe and create a negative energy when you see it – as you can’t wear it as yet and have to spend more money and time to find items to go with it – argh!
You’re simply getting overwhelmed by the process, and adding clothes clutter to your home….
How understanding your style help Minimise Your Wardrobe
Understanding your style can help in so many ways:-
- Only make purchases that go with other items you have – your wardrobe becomes more mix and match as you have a definite style in your head
- Less buying mistakes are made as you will more easily see what you need, what works for you etc… so you can scan the shop rails much more decisively – and say no more easily to things even if they are on sale
- Less choice – you will automatically cut down your options in shops as you know what your style is – so you will become a quicker shopper, and start to know which shops to gravitate towards for certain things
- Your style will become your unique uniform – so you can more easily work out what to wear everyday
- You can create much more of a capsule wardrobe as you will be able to mix things together as they all work well
How to find your style
I struggled with this for a long time, until I worked out that the only way to work out your style is to look and try on lots of stuff!
My first port of call was Pinterest, and I created a private board for my favourite clothes and styles that I found when on there one evening.
I thoroughly recommend you do the same as it’s a real eye opener as to what you are drawn to.
(If you don’t have access to Pinterest or want to go more old-school – you could create a mood board by cutting pictures from magazines or even clothes catalogues – this would work just as well…)
Once you’ve collated quite a few pictures it’s really interesting as you can usually see a very clear style starting to emerge.
From my board it’s clear that I love jackets with trousers and jeans – accessories especially dress jewellery, bags and boots, and in neutral colours.
What I found really fascinating was how I felt when I looked at the board – calm, stylish and put-together, although the items themselves were quite simple, they were being grouped really well, and could be mixed and matched really easily to create great outfits.
What was even more intriguing was how I felt when I opened my own wardrobe…
I would say that only 40% of my clothes reflected the style I liked, and the other 60% made me feel cluttered and mismatched.
Quite negative feelings I’m sure you’ll agree.
No wonder my wardrobe was getting fuller and fuller and I still felt I had nothing to wear.
After all – if I don’t want to look a certain way, when will I ever wear things that make me look like that!? It was really eye opening. I really do think this is the reason most of us only wear a small percentage of what’s in our wardrobes.
Upon this revelation, I set about the mission to start trying on more in the shops when I went – more of the outfits I had liked on Pinterest, as this would help me to understand what suited my body shape and colouring.
Another thing that has really helped me when shopping for clothes now is to try and visualise a person that reflects the style I love – whether that be a real person or made up – the point is that if you can say yes to the question “would x wear this” then you know you are more on the right track – it really works!
So I now have a wardrobe that’s starting to reflect my style a lot better, and I actually have less clothes as a result.
The irony is that I feel I have more outfits now, as I can always find something to wear.
It’s a great feeling, and I recommend it, as it’s one way to declutter your wardrobe in a really fun way where you get to learn about yourself in the process as well.
Understanding your style really can help you minimise your wardrobe with outfits that will fit your day to day life.
Find your style using Pinterest or creating a collage from magazines, and just by getting out there to try things on so you are more aware of what suits your specific shape and colouring.
Having that clear picture in your mind of what your style is when shopping can focus you and bring you more clarity.
Your future shopping trips will be a lot more fun and you’ll start buying things that really work for your existing wardrobe.
Over time you’ll naturally end up with less, but feel you have more choice than ever – a streamlined wardrobe that works! – perfect!
So – what’s your style? Do your clothes reflect it?
If not, maybe it’s time to minimise your wardrobe…