How to Construct a Minimal Wardrobe

minimal wardrobe, budget wardrobe, frugal wardrobe, saving money on clothesA minimal wardrobe is basically a capsule wardrobe with few extras. A minimal wardrobe does not seek constant expansion beyond its capsule items.

What is a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing, typically about 24 items, that can be dressed up or dressed down for any occasion. A capsule wardrobe does not go beyond the basic necessities. A minimal wardrobe is similar. But with a minimal wardrobe, there’s no reason to expand beyond the approximately 24 items.

Items that constitute a minimal wardrobe

I’m making this list as gender neutral as possible. Men and women share many of the capsule items:

  • Sunglasses
  • Dark jeans
  • Light jeans
  • Flip flops
  • Tough hiking shoes
  • Athletic shoes
  • Professional suit
  • Tan dress pants
  • Black or navy dress pants
  • White button down shirt
  • Black dress shoes
  • Brown dress shoes (can double for business casual)
  • Business casual khakis
  • Dress coat
  • ‘Everyday’ coat
  • Light dress jacket
  • Light ‘everyday’ jacket
  • Sport coat/blazer
  • Plain white t’s
  • Plain black t’s
  • Business casual button-down shirt
  • Watch
  • Raincoat
  • Yoga pants/athletic pants/gym shorts
  • Dress gloves
  • ‘Everyday’ gloves
  • Different colored t shirts to match each season

How to shop for a minimal wardrobe

You want to first define your style. Choose a style that is near timeless so you’re not required to keep updating your outfits as the fashions change.

You can work up to the perfect minimal wardrobe slowly. If the idea of getting rid of your extra clothing is alarming, consider getting rid of one item for every new item you purchase.

Make sure to buy quality! There’s a saying, ‘Buy once, cry once.’ Having a minimal closet only makes sense if your items last a long time. If they don’t wear well, you’re spending too much money for replacements.

Ways to find deals on minimal wardrobe pieces

Timeless items are always in fashion. This means that good designer capsule items rarely see the clearance rack. Although getting good deals on these items isn’t difficult. Designers offer have capsule items at low prices as a way of drawing you into their more expensive product lines. Remember to have the self control to stop purchasing once you have your capsule items.

Consider shopping outlet malls for deals. Give them a try if you don’t already take advantage of this discount shopping experience. According to Consumer Reports, 67% of their readers are either completely or very satisfied with their outlet mall experiences. There are potential drawbacks. Often, items are out of season. Or they may have just a few sizes left of each item. The items may have not passed quality control with very high marks. However, none of these are reasons to avoid outlet malls altogether. My advice is to take it slow. Spend ample time looking over the item before buying.

Try online second-hand stores for designer clothing. These shops specialize in high-end pieces at low-end prices. Try ThredUP, Clothes Agency, Snob Swap, and Vestiaire Collection.

Try flash sale sites for high-end fashion

Remember, a minimal closet should not need constant updates – in regard to styling or replacing worn items. Make sure you buy items that last. Buying designer items makes sense because they are quality pieces. But don’t let the initial sticker shock of designer items scare you off.  Consider shopping Retail Fetish, Gilt, Ruelala, and My Habit.

All the utility with none of the drawbacks

As you can see, a minimal wardrobe offers the same practical benefits of a massive wardrobe with none of the expensive, unnecessary drawbacks. After reading this article, you can now put together a minimal wardrobe at an affordable price. Just remember to sell, donate, or gift the clothing you currently own.