Wednesday, February 05, 2014

my minimal closet

I've realized that I work best when my choices are limited. This is especially true when it comes to my wardrobe. It has taken me years and years to figure out what I like to wear. And the key, I've decided, is only having a few things that I really love to chose from.

Here is the thing. I am a stay-at-home mom who doesn't even leave the house some days. So this is what I need: a few outfits each season that I feel really good in.

This is what I don't need: anything else.

I live in an easy climate, wardrobe-wise. We have two seasons here in Arizona, summer, and not summer. So I've divided my wardrobe in two. The not summer stuff is out right now, and the summer stuff is tucked away in a box on the top shelf. When our days get a bit warmer (probably sooner rather than later), I'll switch things around. Having half of my clothes in storage will make them seem extra exciting and brand new once I make the switch, I think.

I want to invest in good quality clothes. I want them to last from year to year. I want to be deliberate about what I buy. I want to feel really great in everything I own.

And to get me from where I was to where I want to be, I decided to give myself a number limit. I chose 10. So . . . 10 pairs of shoes, 10 workout pieces, 10 sweaters, 10 bottoms for each of our two seasons (some of these overlap), 10 tops for the two seasons (again, some overlap, so there aren't quite 20 total) and 10 church outfits for each season (there is some overlap here as well). That's it. I kept my 10 favorites and donated the rest. I also tossed all of the socks that slip down my heel when I wear them and drive me crazy, and the tank tops that have seen better days, etc. If there was something I was unsure about or having a hard time letting go, I put it in the box with my out of season clothes. I will revisit it in a few months to see if I missed it.

One of the things I like about this idea is that if I am shopping, and I see something that I want to buy, I better love it more than something I already have in my closet, because if I bring something new in, something old has to go out.

I find that the more rules I give myself (like, I only wear certain colors, I only buy tops that don't require layering for modesty, etc.) the easier it is to stick with my limit.

How do you manage your wardrobe? I'd love to hear your ideas.


  1. 10 is our number too. But not for our clothes, it's for how many books we check out at the library. That way we always know that we need to have 10 books when we return them. :)
    As for managing my wardrobe? Ugh! I think it manages me right now. And that drives me nuts. I think after I'm done having kids and changing size during pregnancy I'll be able to narrow down my closet. Until then, I just keep trying to go through and get rid of things here and there. I'm totally with you on the whole layering thing. I try to find things that don't need layering to be modest too. Who needs layers here in July? Not me.
    Also, your closet looks lovely. :)

  2. Thank you for bringing up this topic, Stephanie, and for explaining how you're trying to make it work for you, too. It can be very hard to find truly well-made, long-wearing clothes, I think, especially that fit into a family's budget, but limiting the number of pieces one owns is a way to try to do that. I work part-time and really dislike the pressure of having to look a certain "professional" way in that setting, but then again, there's also a lot of cultural pressure to dress in a trendy way in one's downtime, too. I guess the lesson here is really to be strategic, disciplined, and thoughtful in all that we possess and consume -- which is so much more here in the States than what's really necessary.

  3. I don't manage my wardrobe. These are all great tips. Thank you!!

  4. This is weird, because I was just explaining this to Ty's aunt. I have a j.crew skirt I bought half off (only $60) 9 years ago, that still looks brand new and is one of my favorite pieces. All of my favorite pieces are quality.

    Over the years with budget restrictions I've bought more of less quality and guess what? They don't last and they don't make me happy. I'm with you, I'd rather have less and have it be quality and in love with than a cluttered closet full of unhappiness.

  5. your closet looks beautiful! I really like that you have the nice hangers...I have read that this makes you really choose well the stuff you want to keep (valuable real estate on those nice hangers!)....We are trying to move towards this, but I can't bring myself to a number just yet.....and still hanging on to a few things I never wear....why? haha!

  6. I am loving your minimalist posts! They are beautiful and inspiring!

  7. I am with heather, these posts are inspiring!

  8. Great post. I tend to buy cheap clothes that don't last long either or if I love something SO much, I will buy two of the exact same thing. Such a bad habit. I like the idea of limiting all things to 10. Love all these ideas.

  9. Great idea! Makes me think twice about what is in my closet, and encourages me to go take a serious look at it. I agree with the other reader - I love your hangers. I've always wanted nice, matching hangers, but they all seem to be expensive. Any tips on where to look to snag a deal? Thanks!

    1. IKEA, if you have one near you!

  10. I am trying to only get shirts that are modest enough to wear without a cami underneath too. With 3 little ones to keep up with, there's not time for constantly readjusting and pulling my cami down on the bottom and up on the top. :) Do you have any suggestions for modest everyday t-shirts??? Thanks!

  11. I really need to get my closet under control and the 10 rule is such a great idea! My closet is ridiculously huge. Texas sized and yes I live in Texas! I not only hoard way too many clothes and shoes that haven't seen the light of day in years, but have enough room to store Christmas trees and decorations and other holiday items. It's not even filled up with all I have in it, so I continue to buy and still feel like I have nothing to wear! Thank you for the inspiration. Now to tackle my closet situation!


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