How to Architect your Minimalist Wardrobe

January 18, 2017

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Last week, I walked you through step two of our Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook which is the dreaded (but so fulfilling, no?) closet audit. How did that go?

I'm fully expecting that most people get stuck at this point. Auditing your closet takes an immense amount of mental (and physical) energy. If you haven't done this step yet, put a date in your calendar right now on which you'll dig in.

If you're caught up on the workbook,  you've also created your dream 'uniforms' through that process too.
Through that process, you may have realized that you are missing a few key items that will round out the wardrobe of your dreams. 

The last section of the workbook is creating a list of the 10 items you need. The final step in architecting your minimalist wardrobe.

For the true minimalists, this is 10 items you need in 2017.

 

How to Architect your Minimalist Wardrobe

 

In this week's post, I'm going to show you my process of creating that 10 items list, and also some of our favourite resources (stores, blogs, books) for crafting a minimalist wardrobe.

It's not enough to just have a minimalist closet. It's important to take it one step further and fill that closet with only high quality, high-vibe clothing. Buying a $6 t-shirt that you'll have to toss at the end of the season totally defeats the purpose of having a curated closet. It's not curated if it's constantly a revolving door of fast fashion crap.

The first step of this is to make sure you've done step two - finished your closet audit and created your dream uniforms.

Now, it's time to fill the gaps (if there are any) in your dream minimalist wardrobe.

 

Create your 10 Things I Need List

 

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Take a look at your dream outfits and the closet audit results and ask yourself these questions:

Are there any items that are overly worn and need to be replaced?
These are things that are classic items but may be worn, pilling, stretched, or stained. Think about that classic white tee. If you wear it a lot, but it looks awful, you'll want to upgrade that item. Add it to the list.

Are there any items that I'm missing that would add or amplify my wardrobe utility?
Looking at your dream uniforms, and overall closet, are there any items missing that would allow you to create MORE outfits out of your existing pieces? I'm not talking about that floral pair of jeans, but classic, everlasting and timeless items.
For example, you've got a couple of winter jackets, but none of them are dressy. Or, perhaps you have 5 pairs of blue jeans, but no pair of black jeans. Or you have all pants, and no skirts. Think of key items that when interchanged into existing outfits they can change the look, style, or appropriateness of the style.

Are there any items that don't fit?
Up until I was 35, I was the same weight that I was in college. Then, all of a sudden my whole wardrobe was tight. It's totally normal to go through seasons with your shape and body. There's no sense in keeping items in your wardrobe that don't fit (unless they are heirlooms or egregiously expensive - see our previous post for more on that). 
If you have a pair of black skinny jeans, but they're too small and you never wear them, hence your outfits combinations are reduced, then you need to replace them with ones that fit you right now.

Are there any items that could up your style or make you feel more like you? 
This last question is the most dangerous as it leaves much open for interpretation. Shopping is a very emotional experience for many of us. Some of us (myself included at one point), used to use it as a way to relieve stress. 
If you're in a different season of your life, or perhaps you feel like you're due for a style reinvention of sorts, then this category is for you. Maybe you want to try wearing a moto jacket, or trade in your heels for flats. Whatever it is, this is a good question to ask if you're feeling restless or like you're in need for a personal style pivot.

Based on your responses above, work to create your 10 things you need list.
If you're committing to making it ONLY 10 things you buy in 2017, great.
If not, no pressure, but try to think when you are purchasing new things for your wardrobe in the mindset that everything you buy is additive, and in my opinion, it's one in, one out (after your 10 items!).

 

Resources for Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe  

 

I think our minimalist wardrobe workbook is pretty awesome but I've compiled a few of our fav blogs, books and brands for shopping ethical, sustainable and for capsule wardrobe essentials. 

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

Brands
DSTLD - ethically-made, sustainable denim for women and men without department store markups.
Spirit of Vera- up-cycled, and sustainably sourced gorgeous minimalist silver jewelry
Cuyana - fewer, better things. Ethically and sustainably sourced luxury items. 
Encircled - us, what's better than a shameless plug for our ethical basics and versatile travel essentials.
Naja - Fair-trade, ethically-made lingerie made for all women.
Eileen Fisher- ethically-made responsibly sourced work and leisurewear
Vaute - made in NYC, vegan winter coats
Elizabeth Suzann - made in Nashville, natural-fibre womenswear
Brook there - ethically-made in USA lingerie and loungewear
Teeki - recycled pop bottle leggings and activewear, made in the USA
Michi - fancy activewear for fitness gurus, made in Canada
Copious Fashions - party dresses, made in Toronto, Canada
NAU - Jackets made from synthetic insulation and recycled down
Poppy Barley - Shoes ethically made in Mexico

 

Blogs
Into-mind - loads of advice, worksheets and frameworks for your wardrobe
The art of Simple - Tsh's blog/podcast about the simple life, with a family
Sustainably chic - Natalie's style blog is a go-to for discovering new ethical brands
The Style Bee - Style blogger focused on ethical and sustainable life
Light by coco- Ultra-light and stylish world traveler and capsule wardrobe maven
Un-Fancy - Caroline essentially started the capsule wardrobe movement. 'Nuff said.
Simply Liv + Co - Blogger Olivia has created a mindful community focused on capsule wardrobes, and ethical fashion.

 

Books
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo
Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg Mckeown
The joy of less: A minimalist guide to declutter, organize and simplify by Francine Guy
Slow fashion: Aesthetics meets ethics by Safia Minney
The more of less: finding the life you want under everything you own by Joshua Becker
The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

 

If you haven't already grabbed your copy, get it now when you sign up.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Questions? Comments? I'd love to connect.Leave them in the comments below. I'd love to see how you're progressing with step three of the minimalist wardrobe workbook.

I also welcome you to post your fav links to ethical brands, blogs and books below so we can all share and grow together.

With gratitude,

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Kristi
Founder + CEO, Encircled
 

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