Guide to a Minimalist Wardrobe
By A Maximalist
Let's be clear I am not a minimalist, style wise. I am more of an urban bohemian with eclectic taste who puts together a look more minimalistically or that's how I see it.
The other day a friend asked to see inside my closet.
She seemed a bit surprised, that my whole wardrobe takes up about four horizontal feet or that a walk-in closet is shared by my husband, toddler and I.
I think I dress reasonably well. (We should really get my friend to confirm or discredit this claim…) And I actually enjoy getting dressed every morning. It’s a happy few moments of my day.
The reason, I think, is because what I own makes it easy for me.
I don’t need more than a few minutes to put an outfit together, so I never have that frustrated clothes-all-over-the-bed feeling I remember having as a teenager.
How to Get Dressed Every Day in a New York minute or Less: Tips for a Minimalist Wardrobe
1. Own only what you really wear.
After my friend saw my closet, she texted me a few pictures from her own closet, asking what to do about this item or that. My answers were all really simple and consistent: “Do you actually wear it?”
She usually answered with some version of “no, but.”
“No, but it’s so cute! I really should!”
“No, but maybe after I lose the baby weight…”
“No, but maybe someday I’ll actually have a dressy occasion for it?”
“No, but” doesn’t cut it.
When decluttering your closet, one trick is turning the hanger around on any items you’re undecided about. If you haven’t worn it in a month, send it on its way.
2. Own only what you love.
Notice that #1 came first because you may LOVE it, but if you don’t wear it, it has to go. It feels amazing to step into a closet of pieces that make you feel good about yourself. Not the jeans you haven’t fit in a year… Not the top your mom gave you so you feel guilty parting with… Keep the items that make you feel good.
3. Only buy and keep what really, truly fits.
Fit is something I’ve come to appreciate as I’ve gotten older. I used to buy an item that fit close enough—but not quite perfectly—just because it was on sale. (Or because I’d ordered it online and was too lazy to return it by mail!) But if it fit isn’t spot on, I always find that I wear it a lot less, and when I do wear it, I don’t feel great in it. Fit is KEY.
Oh and if you’re in the pregnancy / post-pregnancy / size-changing-all-the-time years, I suggest…
1. Go as minimal as possible on the things you store. Chances are you won’t still love it—or it won’t fit like you thought—when it’s finally time to pull it out.
2. Store those few items that you do want to save out of sight, to keep your day-to-day dressing as uncomplicated as possible.
4. Rotate out the out-of-season items.
If you have to overlook the hoodies because it’s the middle of summer, you’re wasting time and brain power.
5. Design your closet so you can see it all at a glance.
I use a hanging shoe organizer to hold my socks, underwear, and leggings… My bras and a few necklaces hang from a row of hooks… Everything is incredibly easy to see and grab. (Key for a mom who needs to get dressed QUICK, right?)
6. Every time something comes in, something must go out.
Train yourself to enjoy finding things you can pass on to a sister, friend or donation center. I think of it as a little game: When I find something I haven’t been wearing, I get an absurd sense of satisfaction.
Sandhya Garg is a Project Runway designer. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few. She has her own successful resort wear, vacation dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US, Workshop at Macy's, Ftv.com, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few. She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses, casual resort attire and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays