My Minimalist Wardrobe

Jan 12, 2011
Minimalist wardrobe

Thanks to Project 333, I managed to figure out a minimalist wardrobe that works well for me. Through three months of wearing 33 items or less, I realized I truly do have a uniform of sorts I wear on a daily basis – a dress, tights, and boots during the day, sweatpants and a tee in the evening/for sleeping, and jeans/a Husker tee on game day.

Now that it’s January, I’ve taken some time to really clean out the rest of my clothes, donate the bulk of what I owned, and only allow myself to keep those items I know I’ll wear. While I was donating, I kept in mind that I live where there are a full four seasons – meaning, I didn’t get rid of my bathing suit OR my winter coat.

This then is my list of basics. Notice that it’s not a list of every individual item of clothing I own - I may have more than one of each line item, and while I’ve noted this, I’m still only listing each type of item once. This is because I wear these every day, and so need multiple pairs of things like tights and tank tops – as much as I’m an aspiring minimalist, I also don’t want to do laundry more than once a week if I can avoid it!

The staples:
  1. Tank tops. I layer them under EVERYTHING for approximately 9 months out of the year, as they’re long enough to cover any extra skin that may peek out!

  2. Black footless tights/leggings. Footless so I can wear short or long socks, or go sock-less if I need to. I hate sweaty feet, so this way I can change my socks as often as I need!

  3. Cardigan. I’ve got one I picked up at big box stores this season. They’re the perfect thing to layer over my dresses when it’s a bit chilly, so I plan to knit myself one or two more out of washable wool in the coming months.

  4. Four sweaters. Three are turtleneck sweaters picked up last year, and one is green and a v-neck. While I’m not the biggest fan of the turtleneck ones, they keep me warm so I keep wearing them, with my skirts or my jeans.

  5. Black knee-high boots. I have one pair that’s suede {purchased from Target}, which you would think would look like crap due to the snow and the rain, but they’re holding up surprisingly well. When these finally kick it, I’ll probably pick up a good pair of leather motorcycle boots.

  6. Black skirt. Jersey fabric, elastic waist band. American Apparel. I love this so much I wish I owned three!

  7. Skinny Jeans. They've become the only pair of jeans I'll wear, are my go-to casual day wear, and I even rocked them with a long sweater to a NYE party!  

  8. Husker shirt. I currently have one long one that I’ll wear. I’ve tended to buy ones that are made sort of crappily, so I’m hoping this one is more well-made and can last a few more seasons.

  9. The Dresses. I have under a dozen dresses, and most are short-sleeve so they can do double duty – I can wear them as-is when it’s warm out, or I can layer my cardigan over top during cold months. Almost all have some sort of empire waistline to them – the style is best for my shape, and they hid the “occasional” food baby I rock after eating too much pizza!

  10. Sweatpants and grubby tees. I have a few of each, which I wear to bed, for lounging around the house, and when I don't feel good.

What I Don’t Count:

There are a few things I don’t count. Either they are seasonal items or they are every-day sorts of items like my two pair of earrings, my wedding ring, or my glasses.
  • bathing suit

  • Winter coat

  • Hats

  • Scarf

  • Hair bands to pull hair back

  • Bobby pins for bangs

  • Wedding ring

  • Glasses

  • Three pair earrings.

This list may change slightly over the course of the year, but it’s a pretty comprehensive look at what I will be wearing for the next 365. I hope to not need more than 5-10 new things this year, and plan to not purchase anything until at least April!

For those of you that participated, or are participating in Project 333, how have you noticed your wardrobe choices change for the long haul? Do you find your shopping habits changing immediately, or are you more slowly moving towards wanting and needing less options for your clothes?

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