Minimal Wardrobe: Inspiration and Reality

After finally putting my ideal minimal wardrobe together, I was curious to find out how it aligned with my actual wardrobe.

casual

The first obvious difference is size. While I wanted my ideal minimal wardrobe to be realistic and allow me to create enough outfits for a regular 5-day work week, my actual work wardrobe is not as small as the inspiration. I mean, I do have more than two pairs of trousers!

However, I have been impressed to see how many outfits a well thought small wardrobe can create. Being able to visualize this has made me more willing to downsize even further.

Outerwear, for instance, is an area I’m now thinking about reducing. Even though the last time I bought a coat was three years ago, these items tend to last longer and so, at the moment, only one coat could do with replacing. I haven’t figured it out entirely yet but I’m thinking of consolidating this section into a couple of items.

When it comes to colour, I have found that there were a couple of differences. First, my actual wardrobe has one additional main colour (green, mostly military green but also emerald), and one more accent colour (red).

Colour Palette

Other than that, my real wardrobe is quite similar to my ideal minimal wardrobe. In fact, I find that the inspiration board is not complete without some green and some red. In terms of ideals, reality beats inspiration in this case.

One thing I’ve noticed though is that my wardrobe used to have no black at all. Instead, brown was the additional main colour. I have slowly replaced brown with black in the last year but wasn’t even aware this was happening until now!

Ahh, the little things that remind me that being mindful is a work in progress…

Finally, style and silhouette in my real wardrobe are pretty similar to the inspiration. Which makes sense as I wanted my ideal minimal wardrobe to capture my style preferences and favourite outfits.

work wardrobe


In the whole, it isn’t strange that my ideal minimal wardrobe is not that different from reality – after all, the inspiration board is not just an ideal but also a reflection of what I am already happy with.

The best thing about doing this exercise

To consider my wardrobe in a slow-paced, holistic manner. I had never before put time aside to think thoroughly about aspects such as colour, the concept of an uniform, and how these things can work together to create more mindful – functional – minimal wardrobe. Maybe not minimal in size, but definitely less full of items that I never wear.

Added benefit

Seeing my clothing preferences as a whole and creating some pretty cool visual tools that I can use to guide future choices. I no longer have to mentally match a potential blouse with all my trousers to try to imagine if it works with what I have – I can simply refer to my colour palette and pick a colour from there.


Up Next

A side effect of this exercise has been to press pause on everything – from buying to getting rid of things. I next want to tell you about my thoughts on culling and how my year of minimal shopping is going so far.


Have you ever thought of your wardrobe as a whole or did you too find that task a bit overwhelming?And if you ever edited your wardrobe, what kind of tools did you use to guide that process? 


 Previously on this…

17afc6ad95b75d38364bfbf6e2e3df2f

A Minimal Wardrobe

inspiration colour palette

A Minimal Wardrobe 101


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2 thoughts on “Minimal Wardrobe: Inspiration and Reality

  1. SO interesting (and strangely relieving) to find out you have more color in your wardrobe. I’ve always found that hard to cut things down to just one accent color. It is so interesting to me to see how the reality of a minimal wardrobe stacks up. I’m sort of curious about the outerwear. Do you have a lot? How to you think you’re wanting to pare it down (or, at least that’s what I thought you said?) Personally, I only have one coat per type of weather (peacoat for most occasions, a trench for rain, and a ski coat for the horrid below zero days) and find winter long and that it can get boring, but am always surprised by people with a zillion coats….

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on culling (though, honestly, I’ve done the culling. Its the purposefully building the wardrobe after that I lack follow-through with)

    • Ah, I don’t think I could go too minimal in colour – that was mostly what put me off minimal wardrobes until I read the article on colour in into mind. On coats, I now only reach for my trench, my warm parka in cold days and early dog walks, and a mid-season military-style coat. I do have a few more from back in the day when I didn’t think things through – and with coats, I never got rid of them either so they just accumulated… It’s time to downside to only two of three tops! Thanks Kristian,I enjoy our blog conversations 🙂

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