I swear I want to be a minimalist in some things… not all things. You wouldn’t guess this by looking at my closet, but I swear I want to cut the fat. It’s just a struggle knowing where to begin – what to keep, what to get rid of, and yes, what new clothes to buy.
For anything fashion, I turn to my dear friend Julie Kraus. Julie is a style therapist and creator of the CHIC Method where she helps women curate their closets and master their unique style.
With her help, I’m breaking down how to create a minimalist capsule wardrobe that you will be comfortable wearing in three easy steps.
But first, a capsule wardrobe is a selection of clothing pieces that complement each other. The idea is to have fewer options of essential pieces and classic pieces that can be mixed and matched over time.
How to Create a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe in 3 Steps
The first step she suggests is a closet clean-out. Click here to read how she does it step by step.
Also, if you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I suggest that too. Click here to buy it on Amazon for just $9. It is perfect for any cleaning mission in your life.
Okay, back to the closet.
1. Clean Out Your Closet.
Luckily, Julie has this closet basics checklist to make your decision fatigue easier, because they can be hard. Uh.
In addition to the checklist of 20 CHIC Closet Basics for Every Season, Julie suggests asking yourself these five questions as you decide what stays and what goes. Think of it as her version of, “Does this spark joy?”
If you were shopping now, would you buy it?
If the answer is no, then your style has probably changed since you bought that item. And that’s okay! You bought it at once, it served, its purpose, now tell it goodbye and move on to the next. Or, just keep it!
Have you worn it in the last 6 months?
Okay, Julie. This one is tough for me because I enjoy spending my days working from home in my comfy clothes. And I’m always one of those people who say, “Well, I may wear this someday.” But let’s be honest, do I ever really? Nope.
Is it right for your body type and coloring?
If you follow Julie on Instagram at @JulieKrausXO you know how strongly she feels about wearing clothes that fit and flatter your body! (If you don’t know where to start, she can help! Her free class is a great place to start.)
If a piece is unflattering or the color doesn’t suit you, you’ll know it. You should also feel amazing in what you wear. (But Julie, I’ve literally gained 15 pounds in the last two months, so, uh… help?!)
Do you love it?
A follow-up question to this could be: Is this something that if you were to lose you’d be upset? If not, Julie says to kiss it goodbye. You should only fill your closet up with different outfits you’re excited to wear.
For me, that’s my 7 for all Mankind jeans and t-shirts with words on them.
Is it in good condition?
If it looks worn and outdated (and not on purpose) then do your very best to part with it. If it’s sentimental, then put it into a quilt… but is it really that special?!
Don’t forget about your accessories when you do this – shoes, belts, jewelry, etc. And yes, open up your drawers and get into those t-shirts, jammies, socks, and underwear too.
Okay, you’ve cleaned out our closet. Hopefully, you’ve donated to local organizations. Maybe you’ve even sold some high-quality pieces. (Go girl!)
We’re out with the old, but it’s not time for the new yet. Now, we need to organize. Oh, I love organization!
2. Organize Your Closet.
I like to organize my closet by doing two important things thanks to guidance from one of my favorite shows on Netflix, The Home Edit.
First, I organize the clothes in my closet by the type it is. For example, all of my shirts go together, then my pants are hung side by side, and there is a section for my dresses, and so on.
Second, I line up all of my articles of clothing by color. Besides looking atheistically pleasing, it makes it so easy to find things.
Finally, I use the same hangers for all clothes. People love these velvet hangers in neutral colors, but the feeling of them gives me goosebumps, so I use these white plastic ones.
What doesn’t hang is folded nicely is a way that saves space the way Marie Kondo taught me, The KonMari Method.
You can obviously take things to the next level by using dividers to create zones, installing drawers or shelving, or putting a dresser below your hanging items.
3. Create a Minimalist Wardrobe.
Now, the part we’ve been waiting for. When it comes to creating a minimalist wardrobe, Julie says it’s all about having closet building blocks. These are the essential pieces that are going to create a closet of endless outfit options because they can be mixed and matched in a number of ways.
This does NOT mean neutral colors. I thought it did, but purple loving and wearing Julie said that is a common misconception and bright colors can be included. So what are these key pieces we can create a minimalist wardrobe out of?
Well, it depends on you and your style. Like I said, Julie’s has lots of purples. This is where your own personal style will shine. If you like neutrals like our amazing queen Kim Kardashian does, then cool. If it’s prints and patterns, that’ll work too. The main thing is to keep your pieces to a minimum and ensure they can work together.
So, here are the clothing items I picked out as my minimal capsule wardrobe staples. I will link to some of my favorites as well.
While I share a lot of neutral colors, I really like clothes of all colors but don’t gravitate towards yellows or oranges for some reason. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.
You cannot go wrong with a Hanes t-shirt. Not only is this just $8 on Amazon, but it also comes in tons of other colors too. Whenever I love a single piece, I always order more in a different color scheme, print, or pattern.
I love this white shirt because it’s very traditional. Plus, it comes in six colors, but I’m partial to white.
So here’s the deal with tank tops. I have boobs and I hate strapless bras, so this tank top is perfect for me because I can wear my Spanx racerback bra with this tank top. Of course, all the color options get me excited too!
And because I mentioned strapless bras, this one is by far the best that will stay up and is the most comfortable I’ve worn. For every other bra, I will not wear anything other than this bra-lellujah bra by Spanx. Obsessed! (Note: I still need to try Spanx Up For Anything strapless bra. Okay, just ordered!)
Sara Blakely is a freaking genius and my goal in life is to have capsule pieces that are nothing but Spanx. And while we’re talking about black pants from Spanx, these faux leather leggings are a MUST!
I mean, what can I say? Spanx makes butts look good. It’s literally their entire mission! I also just ordered these leather-like skinny pants from Spanx because my sister is raving about them!
I’m not extra about brands, but I’m committed to 7 for all Mankind jeans.
Pair of Jeans
Once you buy 7 for all Mankind jeans, it’s hard to wear another brand.
Little Black Dress
What a classic piece! This could go so many ways – casual or dressy. This pick could serve both purposes. If you like short dresses, try this one that’s very similar and also has great reviews on Amazon.
I bought this dress for a Christmas photo shoot and am obsessed. It comes in lots of other colors too. I have this one in Apricot in a size 4-6.
I don’t get to bundle up much here in South Florida, but if I did, this would be my go-to. For easy on and off action, this cardigan is also a hit on Amazon. For 20 outfits ideas with cardigans, click here.
Faux Leather Jacket
It’s the hanging buckles and multiple colors for me. A red jacket is one helluva statement piece!
If I owed a jacket, it would be this one. 100%. If you don’t live in South Florida like me and want a shortcut to a winter capsule wardrobe, Julie has you covered here.
Just like I’m a 7 for all Mankind snob, I’m also a LuluLemon snob. I love high-rise leggings like this one (because it flattens my stomach). This is my favorite bra. I like my workout shirts to be sleeveless and a little loose like this one so I can tie them in a knot in the front.
Your Own Style… Minimalist Style
So, the next time you go shopping, only buy versatile pieces you know will go with your current wardrobe, it’s something you love, and something you will get a lot of wear out of. This is an ongoing process, so have fun with it.
Why would you even want to do this? Well, you save money, spend less time wondering what you’re going to wear, get more space back, and have so many more options.
So, what are your favorite capsule pieces… or what will your next capsule look like after reading this? Maybe you need to invest in higher quality items or you need to get used to buying fewer clothes in your daily life because you’re obsessed with the fashion industry, like my sister. Find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know!
Okay, now I want to go shopping and double commit to this minimal wardrobe thing. It’s fun, right?