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Tips for Building Your Perfect Minimal Wardrobe

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Remember that amazing post my friend Cara did on ethical shopping last year? Well, friends, she’s back to share again—this time on a topic I know is near and dear to your heart: building your perfect minimal wardrobe. Cara is the co-founder of VETTA, a responsibly-made five piece capsule collection that can be mixed and matched to create 30 different outfits. You can check out her story on Kickstarter here.

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How many times have you stared into your closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear,” and yet you’re running out of hangers because you keep buying more clothes? I think every girl has felt this way at some point in her life (if not most days). To help get your closet under control, here are five tips to help you build the perfect minimal wardrobe:

Make a Plan

You wouldn’t plan a wedding, build a house, or write a book without a plan – so why treat your wardrobe any different? Most of us make impulse purchases rather than plotting out our wardrobes, because it’s what we’ve always done. We see something on sale at Madewell or find a new trend in a magazine, and we buy it without assessing what we really need. That can leave us with a trendy, mismatched closet that is far from minimal – and can make it difficult to get dressed in the morning.

“You wouldn’t plan a wedding, build a house, or write a book without a plan – so why treat your wardrobe any different?”

Step one is just to think about what would make up your ideal wardrobe – what pieces could you wear over and over and still love? What colors would complement each other? What pieces would go together? What are the key items that would be easy to wear and make you feel beautiful? Draw it in a sketch pad, pin it to a Pinterest board, or make a simple list. Include items that you already own, like the perfect pair of jeans that took forever to find, or the little black dress that fits just right. Also include the things you don’t have yet that would complete your wardrobe.

Stick to the List

Now put that list somewhere you can access easily, like on your phone. The next time you have a shopping impulse, pull out that list before you make any decisions. Once you take the time to figure out what you really need, it becomes easier to say no to something impulsive so that you can say yes to something on that list.

“Once you take the time to figure out what you really need, it becomes easier to say no to something impulsive so that you can say yes to something on that list.”

Wants vs. Needs

If you don’t have a plan, it is not always clear what you really want. You may see a backless red dress that’s on sale, and you’re still thinking about it later in the week so it seems like a good decision to buy it. In reality, you will probably only wear the dress a few times and it will sit in the back of your closet collecting dust. On the other hand, you could save that money and buy something you need – like the perfect pair of black strappy sandals that you can wear every day this summer and that complement every outfit. It sounds boring – to buy things that you need instead of things you want – but in the end you wanted the sandals more, you just didn’t know it. That’s how planning for your perfect minimal wardrobe will help you navigate your shopping habits, until you can look into your closet and say “I do have something to wear!”

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Jenn
    March 2, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Love all the style posts on this blog :) Such great tips, Cara! I totally related to your line about how you have nothing to wear, but are running out of clothes hangers. So my life. I think it’s been getting better, and I’ve been getting more intentional in my shopping, but I still tend to drift towards the sale rack and end up buying something I don’t really need, just because it’s on sale. These are great tips – especially keeping a list on your phone!

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