I'm currently going through my twice annual "purge".
This year wasn't too bad, only two shopping bags of stuff to sell/give away.

Photo Credit

You should have seen it when I was leaving for college, which I consider the real turning point for me, fashion and life style-wise.
It's when I decided that I wanted to be fashionable. Not just eccentric, but also stylish.
A year or so later, after having to move through three apartments in one year (not fun) I decided I wanted to try to be a minimalist as well.
As always, these are more about the process rather than the end result. I'm not sure if there really is an end for either of them.

But my goal has always been to simplify. I love stuff, but I want it to work for me, not the other way around.

So how to start? The Everyday Minimalist has a great checklist for what to toss. A good clean-out makes everyone feel lighter.

After you've gotten rid of everything that is obviously not working out, how do you simplify your closet?
Try putting a few restrictions on what you own and buy.
Too many options is not a luxury, it's just overwhelming.


Keep a simple palette.
Find some flattering neutrals, and pick two or three colors you know and love. My color palette is limited to black, grey, navy, white (sort of. I'm such a grubby-bear) and a very, very light tan/camel.
My two colors are blue and blush pink.
It keeps shopping simple, I merely skim the racks for my colors.
Also getting dressed in the morning is a breeze. Everything matches, so I can basically close my eyes, grab a top and a bottom and I'm good to go.


Know what suits you.
I can't do wrap dresses or deep v-necks. I simply don't have the cleavage for it. Big billowy clothes swallow my frame and hang off my broader shoulders (I have a slightly unusual upside-down triangle shape. I'm vaguely shaped like a teenage boy).
However, full pleated skirts, pencil skirts, a-line dresses, and shift dresses loooovveee my shape. Men's button down shirts, turtlenecks, and bateau necklines are positively saucy on me.
Anything high-waisted and either ridiculously wide-legged or ridiculously skinny makes me feel like a complete diva.
So why mess with what works? Know the shapes that love your body and love them back.
Because trends come and go, but no matter how hard I pray, a low slung mini-skirt is not doing my derriere any favors.


I'm a student. And I walk every-where. I work in retail where I'm on my feet for seven hours straight. But I enjoy going out to the museums, theatres, night-clubs and going to see an opera every once in a while.
So do I really need six pairs of stilettos? (um.... I'd love to own them, but no.) Two will do just fine.
Mid-height or kitten heels, however, are a much better option.
Again, simplifying. Know what you need, not what you want.
Flats are necessity in my life, another pair of drop-dead sexy heels on sale for 80% off? Not so much.


Do you really need five black cardigans? Will two do just fine?
I find myself falling into this trap because there are certain basics that I stock up on: cardigans. black dresses. ballet flats and kitten heels.
But those better have a distinct difference between them. I own a business-ready sheath dress and a jersey t-shirt dress, both black. Different.
I also own three grey cardigans.... two of those are going to be sold on Ebay this week.
If my one grey cardigan busts a hole, I figure I will just have to run out and buy a new one. No sense in keeping back-ups.

Make a List

This is my favorite thing to do. I use Evernote (if anyone's interested) to keep track of what I'm looking forward to adding to my wardrobe, as well as keep inspiring photos or want/lust/need items.
That way, I can make decisions before I'm knee-deep in pretty things and my card is burning a hole in my pocket.
This helps focus my shopping, though if you ask my girlfriends they'll tell you I'm just as a susceptible to a want-attack as anyone else. However, it's easier if I can say "It's not on the list, I don't need it".

Those are just a few of the things that I use to keep things simple and tone down the wants, especially as we go into the holiday season and the after Christmas sales (boo yeah!)

Of course, after I step down off my soap box for today and finish with finals next week, I'll be sure to post my Christmas wish list for this year ; )


Marina said...

This is a great guide. It might just be something that my wardrobe needs. As much as I wish I could pull off wearing high heels and more androgynous looks, my tall frame wouldn't really support it.

Great article!

Erin said...

androgynous is personal choice, but heels?
please girl, I'm 5' 10" and the only reason why I don't wear my stripper heels on a daily basis is because my poor feet would kill me.
If I had a desk job though I'd be all over it.
If your tall, you might as well be REALLY tall right?