3 Benefits of a Minimalist Wardrobe
We choose what we wear everyday -- clothing is a way to express ourselves and a reflection of how we engage in an ever changing world.
Clothing is my favourite category to help people organize. I love helping to identify clothing someone actually loves and minimizing their wardrobe so they feel amazing every time they walk out the door.
Helping people minimize and organize their clothing is not just about the items in their closet. It’s also involves helping them with their clutter-creating and consumer habits so they can make conscious purchases that support others and the environment.
There are many benefits that arise when minimizing and organizing your clothing -- here are my three favourite!
1. You Define Your Style
Letting go and being more minimal with your clothing helps you define your style and allows you to be more intentional with your purchases.
The first step (even before you open your closet!) is to sit down and reflect on what your ideal wardrobe would look like. What are your favourite fabrics? Silhouettes? Styles? Colours? What type of clothing do you need for your lifestyle?
When you then go through all of your clothing, you can be honest about what items suit your style and goals, and remove the items that don’t.
A great approach to help you get started is learning more about Capsule Wardrobes - minimal, multifunctional wardrobes where you actually wear all the pieces you own. When you explore the option of having a more minimal wardrobe, you begin to think about purchasing pieces with more intention and better quality and durability.
Warning: capsule wardrobes are not for everyone! It’s normal to feel turned off by rigid rules and systems that involve only having a set number of items but a capsule wardrobe is not just about the numbers. It’s about making sure you have pieces that you love, fit well, make you feel amazing and are a reflection of you.
In the end what and how you decide to create will depend on your lifestyle, where you live, your budget and goals.
2. It will makes day to day life (and travel!) easier
Less choices! When you’ve created a smaller wardrobe, the clothes become more multi-functional, and it’s much easier to choose what to wear everyday.
Another big advantage to having a capsule wardrobe is doing less laundry, which I can attest to. This is because you end up wearing items more than once in a week instead of something different everyday. When I lived in Milan many years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see colleagues wear the same outfit all week. This involves a mindset change but you’d be surprised at how rewarding it can be!
Other benefits to having a minimal wardrobe that you custom create means:
You have less clutter so it’s easier to stay organized
Have classic items that last a long time
Support local designers and/or second hand stores
Positive impact on the environment and your carbon footprint
When traveling you can pack less because most of your wardrobe can mixed and matched
3. You’re not participating in fast fashion
Does this sound familiar?
You go shopping and feel a rush of energy after finding a great deal on a number of items you weren’t planning on buying. Maybe you find that perfect outfit for a wedding next week.
You bring them home, wear a few of them and the rest go to the back of your closet. The perfect outfit gets worn once and then gets packed away. When the following season rolls around again, you end up getting rid of those items because of their poor quality and/or they are out of style.
You decide to donate them to a thrift store because you genuinely want to help. Then it’s back to the store again to replace what you just let go of.
Situations like this are happening more and more with fast fashion becoming the norm in the design and textile industry.
Aside from the amount of energy that went into the making the clothing and the toxic waste the process produces, there are many other hidden environmental and ethical problems with purchasing in this way.
Many people genuinely feel they are helping others when donating, however, 85% of donated textiles end up in landfills. Many places like H&M, Value Village and Salvation Army end up selling these items to third parties who then sell them to countries in Africa. Once purchased by vendors, it’s not uncommon that the clothing is dumped in landfills and/or burned because of its poor quality. If you want to learn more about this process, please watch the documentary on Market Place.
On a large scale, fast fashion has a huge impact on environment and people. On an individual scale it affects how much money you spend and your time. People may feel they are saving money by purchasing inexpensive items, but if you actually add it all up it’s more expensive to participate in fast fashion than buying high-quality, timeless pieces that eliminate the need to constantly replace.
When you have a more satisfying, intentional and minimal wardrobe, you also waste less time mindlessly shopping and you are able to shift this time and attention to other aspirations that have been on hold!
Want to make a change and don’t know where to start?
Check out next month’s newsletter for a 6 step guide on how you can minimize and organize your wardrobe sustainably. This change will be three fold because it will make a positive impact on your life, others and the environment!