When I mentioned a minimal wardrobe at an event last week, the woman I was talking to visibly paled! A horrified look spread across her face. When she’d regained her composure she explained she had 4-double wardrobes full of clothes.
She openly admitted to having a lot of unworn clothes and an insatiable appetite for shopping. I hasten to add that she always looks amazing and has an incredible unique style. But conversely the response from others in the room was ‘tell me more’.
It’s funny isn’t it how some things have a Marmite Effect? (If you live outside the UK then to explain it’s a term coined from a savoury spread available in the UK that people either love or loath!)
Now back to the Minimal Wardrobe. Let me be honest and say that it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. I love freedom and experimentation – minimal suggest restriction. It also hints at working within rules and boundaries – a total no for me!
Who Invented The MInimal Wardrobe?
The term Capsule Wardrobe (ie Minimal Wardrobe) was first attributed to Susie Faux who owned a boutique called The Wardrobe in London in 1970s. Susie‘s principle was that a woman would find it easier to dress with a small collection of timeless pieces, supplemented by seasonal garments. Donna Karan popularized this in 1985 with her 7-piece collection.
But frankly while that may have worked in 1970s/1980s fashion and style have evolved. Our wardrobes have changed. The way we shop has changed and of course the Digital Revolution has happened.
Marketing messages bombard us every day tempting us to buy. Our inbox, social media and content feeds are full of links to items we can just buy at the click of a button. Perfect for the cash rich time poor Society we’ve become.
One definition of success seems to be that ‘we need more stuff’.
How does stuff make us happy?
It doesn’t most of the time. Albeit we get a quick dopamine hit when we buy something. The effect of which wears off by the time we get home!
A Holistic Approach
The good news is that we’re seeing a change.
- A realization that happiness and success are achieved not by quantity of possessions but instead by owning only stuff we really love and has a purpose in our lives. The Mari Kondo effect has been a big influence here.
- The awakening that happiness is a much more balanced approach to our physical health, mental wellbeing and a connection to ourselves, nature and each other
- Equally so has the dawning that we’re living on a planet with finite resources and we seem hell bent on driving a bulldozer through the natural world.That what the green campaigners have been telling us for years isn’t scaremongering but fact that we need to act on.
How Does Your Wardrobe Make You Feel
Think about your wardrobe for a moment and ask yourself does it make you happy? Or does it make you feel:
- Overwhelmed – you simply have too much choice
- Guilty – you have so much stuff you’ve spent money on so feel you have to keep
- Concerned –you read headlines about how bad fashion is for the planet and realise how much is in your wardrobe!
- Unhappy – with clothes you love that no longer fit that just sit in your wardrobe
- Frustrated – at never having anything to wear for an occasion!
So turn that concept on its head how would it feel if you had a wardrobe that just contained clothes you loved and worked together?
minimal Wardrobe The New Paradigm
Imagine a wardrobe where you can see everything you own, your attitude towards shopping shifted so that you became much more conscious about buying.
Does that feel like freedom? It sounds much more like freedom than a restricted collection that doesn’t allow for experimentation.
Now I’m sure you’re keen to jump in and create a minimal wardrobe? But take a breath. There are a few steps you need to take with your existing wardrobe before you do get creative!
In my next post I’m going to be talking about some of the stories we tell ourselves that stop us from taking action. So for the moment just hold that picture in your mind of the minimal wardrobe and the freedom it will give you.
Before you go….
I’m going to make a really exciting announcement next week. If you’d like to be the first to know about it, join me in my group Awesome Women With Style on Facebook to find out more. Or if you can’t wait then just click on the link for a sneak preview…
My name is Carol Hanson. I’m a Conscious Wardrobe Stylist who has empowered hundreds of women to look and feel fabulous whenever they get dressed.
I lived with an eating disorder for over 20 years and use my experience to help anyone struggling with body confidence issues.
Determined to bust the myth we will be happier by continually adding to our wardrobes. I passionately advocate a Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style approach avoiding overwhelm associated with having too many clothes.
I’m determined to change our approach to shopping: both for our own sanity and to reduce the negative impact of fashion on the planet.