The Minimalist Approach to Clothes

This post was last updated on January 28th, 2019

​When it comes to clothes, people tend to own far more than they actually wear. Stylists say the average woman wears about 20% of the clothes she owns on a regular basis. And yet, people, especially women, often get ready in the morning feeling like they have nothing to wear. At the end of the day, most people go back to the same clothes they wear most of the time, despite going shopping on a regular basis to get good deals.
When I got into minimalism, I understood how liberating it would be to get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit me or that I don’t even wear. In order to let go of stuff, I examined my closet to get rid of clothes I didn’t absolutely love. There are so many articles on the different types of minimalist wardrobes – capsule wardrobes, 30-piece wardrobes – but what they have in common is that you own fewer clothes but actually wear them on a regular basis.

​The Eight Steps to a Minimalist Wardrobe

  1. You have to get rid of clothes that don’t fit you, don’t look good on you, clothes you don’t wear on a regular basis, and clothes you don’t love.
  2. When you go shopping don’t buy clothes just because they are in fashion or on sale. Look for items that fit and suit you well so that you will feel good when you wear them meaning that they will be worth the money you spend on them. Get higher quality clothes but by fewer of them. They will last you longer and because you will buy fewer clothes you will be able to invest in items that were ethically made.
  3. The main point when creating a minimalist wardrobe is that items must be wearable in different combinations. If a shirt can be worn alone and under a cardigan, tucked into skinny jeans, with rolled-up sleeves, and with or without a belt it’s a good piece to buy because you will be able to wear it in many ways without getting bored of it.
  4. Another key aspect is color. Many people think that a minimalist wardrobe consists only of blacks, grays, and whites, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You simply have to find out which colors suit you and buy matching clothes. Blues, reds, yellows, there’s no problem in buying all of these as long as they go well with each other.
  5. You also have to pay attention to your lifestyle. You might love high heels but if you work in a restaurant and love to go hiking in your free time you’re barely ever going to wear them so there’s no point in owning more than at most one pair.
  6. Ordering online can be very helpful. I like to shop on sites that list the measurements. We all know that a size such as “S” doesn’t really guarantee that an item is going to fit us. Try to look for clothes that fit your measurements, or, if needed, have them taken in. That way you will enjoy your clothes more.
  7. Although I don’t believe it’s necessary to set a limit such as “30 items only” it can be helpful to check back every once in a while to avoid too many new items ending up in your closet again.
  8. Only shop when you actually need something! This one is key because it will help you avoid the temptation of buying something simply because it seemed like a good bargain. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need it. Are you really going to wear orange pants because they’re 40% off?

​My Six Must-Have Pieces

  1. A nice skirt. A nice colorful skirt with a bold print can be combined with different simple tops and will always stand out.
  2. A summer dress. Dresses are the perfect clothing item because you don’t have to worry too much about what to pair them with. You may need a cardigan if it gets chilly but other than that you’re pretty much set with a pair of shoes and some nice accessories.
  3. A cardigan. If you prefer black or white clothes a colorful cardigan can change your look completely. Alternatively, if your clothes are usually bright a black or white cardigan will go well with almost any outfit. Or you can simply combine a colorful cardigan with matching colors in the rest of your outfit.
  4. A simple t-shirt. Of course, you will need many t-shirts, but you should have at least one in a color that goes with everything else you own so you can effortlessly create an outfit.
  5. A winter coat. You need a winter coat that is long enough to cover any skirts or dresses you wear during the colder seasons. Nothing is more dreadful than a dress or skirt peeking out from underneath a coat.
  6. A pair of flat shoes. It totally depends on what you prefer – sneakers or ballet flats – but you need at least one pair of flat shoes that are comfortable for when you will be on your feet all day. 
​One final thing to keep in mind is that with a minimalist wardrobe you will need to do laundry more frequently than you may be used to as you will wear each item more often. You should have at least a week’s worth of clothes so you can do your laundry on the weekend.


  1. I love all of your suggestions.. I have been trying to be more intentional with my wardrobe first by getting rid of any items I haven’t worn for awhile but also thinking about purchasing clothes as a set rather than just buying something on sale. It’s much more likely to be worn that way. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Nina | Lemons and Luggage

      Thanks for the comment, Heather! I think getting rid of clothes you don’t wear is already a big step because it also makes you realize what happens when you buy clothes you don’t wear and that they all used to be money at one point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The following GDPR rules must be read and accepted:
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.