10 In style

How to Curate a Minimalist Wardrobe

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Minimalism is my word of the year and I’ve been diving in head first. Though last month I largely applied it to my social commitments, I also started to tackle my wardrobe and promised to share more details.

Well, friends, the day has come to dive in more and I figured a mini-series would be a fun way to do it. Today I’m sharing 3 tips for curating a minimalist wardrobe, and soon will share details on the key items I depend on—specifically in terms of clothes, accessories, and active and loungewear.

Let’s get started…

1. Find style muses.

Get the ball rolling by deciding what will inspire your wardrobe. It can be helpful to create a Pinterest board for this, as well as find brands (or even style bloggers!) that have clothes that are aligned with your personal style. For me, recently I find myself turning to Madewell and Lou & Grey for inspiration, as well as Could I Have That? and Un-Fancy.

2. Choose a color palette.

Personally, I’m all about neutrals. Blacks, whites, greys, tans and metallics are the name of the game for me, and also make it easy for me to mix and match with little thought. That being said, color definitely still works when being a minimalist—just make sure your colors go together. When I’m in the mood for more color, I usually add some in with my accessories to keep things bright and fresh each season. Choosing a color palette is especially helpful when it comes to incorporating pattern into your wardrobe—mixing prints works best when the patterns are in the same color family.

3. Pick clothes for your real life, not your imaginary one.

While there are so many chic looks I end up pinning to my style boards on Pinterest, not all of them are conducive to my lifestyle these days. The items in your wardrobe absolutely need to fit with your real life, not the life you wish you had. I walk twice a day with Jack (and often end up meeting up with people or running errands while doing so), so investing in non-embarrassing athletic wear is absolutely worth it to me. Two other key items? Comfortable shoes and high-waisted pants with a good amount of stretch. Ankle boots and flats are the most practical for me right now because I can wear them while also wearing Jack, and pants with a higher rise (and stretch!) are just a lot more conducive to bending over to pick up a child (as well as more forgiving for the postpartum body…am I right, mamas?). I also am choosing easy-to-wash fabrics over anything hand wash or dry clean only.

There you have it—three tips for beginning to curate your minimalist wardrobe! Stay tuned for the next posts in this mini-series featuring specifics on the items I rely on in my own wardrobe.

Photo via Sezane

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha
    February 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Great tips, Natalie! I’m all about the neutral wardrobe too — I think it just makes outfits and getting dressed so much easier when you’ve built around a color palette that goes with everything. Although I definitely wouldn’t call my wardrobe minimalist (let’s be real, I don’t need to own that many v-necks or pairs of black flats), your ideas seem like a good place to start! :)

  • Reply
    Becca // viola + roy
    February 3, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I have so enjoyed my “minimalist” wardrobe this winter. It is freeing knowing I can go to my closet and pick out just about anything and like it. Also makes me feel better about investing in pieces that I know will see plenty of wear! Thanks for the additional tips. :)

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      February 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Agreed! Investing in quality pieces is much easier to do when you just buy less stuff overall.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    February 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I love this. I keep wanting to have a minimalist wardrobe, but whenever I purge I end up haphazardly repurchasing a bunch of stuff. I can’t wait to see the rest of your suggestions.

    I’m also curious… what are your favorite higher rise pants? I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and will need some ideas for once this sweet baby is out :)

  • Reply
    AshleyL
    February 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Great list! I used to wear color but as I’ve gotten older I’m leaning towards black white grey and navy. And as a new mom cotton is my new best friend but I’ve been sneaking in loose fitting blouses under cardigans now that she’s a little older and I’m not nursing or babywearing as much. But comfy is key!
    I also wanted to recommend the wild bird ring sling. I bought one after my little girl outgrew her solly baby wrap much easier to get in and out of and I can put her on my hip. It is a nice neutral and inexpensive. So many wraps are too hippy looking for me. http://www.wildbird.co

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      February 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      So awesome!! I’ve been so nervous for when Jack outgrows the Solly (which will be soon—he’s HUGE), and that sling looks like an amazing transition piece so I can still wear him in a soft wrap a bit longer :) Thanks!

  • Reply
    ali grace | cookies and grace
    February 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I love all of your minimalist posts and I’m slowly trying to work towards a more minimalist wardrobe too. I just love the idea of having a simple closet full of clothes that I really love. I always end up having too much in my closet that I don’t wear… and I hate it. Thanks for the tips – and I’m so with you on the easy to wash thing. Dry cleaning is the worst!

    • Reply
      Natalie Borton
      February 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Yes! I find the less I have in my closet, the more fun I end up having with style because I really only have clothes that I love and fit me perfectly.

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