Experiments with a minimalist wardrobe.

I wrote a blog post a few months back about having too many clothes (you can find it here) and had always planned on down sizing my existing wardrobe but I wanted to talk to you all about the accidental experiment in a minimalist wardrobe that I ended up carrying out during the great house moving drama of 2017.

A little bit of background to set the scene, after 5 months of faffing about we were finally due to move house the last week in January, the day before we were due to move we were told that the house we were due to move in to wasn’t available yet (this is a short summery of a much longer and more complicated but incredibly dull story) however our sale needed to go ahead so we ended up moving back in to the house we had lived in over the summer with no real idea as to when we would be able to move in to our new house.

In the run up to the original moving date I had been very organised and packed up the vast majority of my clothes, a couple of days before the move the suitcases had made their way in to the removal van leaving me with 3 outfits to last me for the first few days in the new house. When we got the call to say the move wasn’t happening on the planned date we thought it would be delayed by a couple of days at most, sadly this was not the case those 3 outfits ended up being my entire wardrobe for a whole month!

My three outfits consisted of;

  • 2 oversized shop bought sweatshirts
  • 1 pair of jogging bottoms
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 1 vest
  • 1 maxi skirt
  • 1 hand knit colour work sweater

I did of course have something to sleep in and a few pairs of pants and socks but only 1 bra which did lead to a couple of days where I couldn’t leave the house as it needed washing and wasn’t dry in time to wear. Overall though my wardrobe was considerably limited (I am aware this is very much a first world problem and that there are many people out there who don’t have anywhere near this many clothes) and this forced me to realise a number of things.

  1. I am not happy living with a wardrobe that is as limited as this. So much so that I ended up making myself an additional 2 items of clothing during the month (a cardigan and a tunic).
  2. Over sized sweatshirts and jogging bottoms might be comfortable but they are not something that make me feel good about myself, as such they shouldn’t really have a place in my wardrobe (I am however wearing some as I type this!).
  3. The days I was happiest were the days I wore my hand knit sweater/ cardigan or tunic.
  4. I don’t need to wash my clothes after wearing them for just one day, on a day to day basis I don’t get that dirty so I can get at least 2 days out of a jumper/ pair of trousers before it actually needs washing.
  5. Wearing the same clothes 2 days running made me feel uncomfortable initially in case I saw the same people and they noticed I was wearing the same outfit and judged me for doing so. I learnt that for the most part nobody really noticed and cared even less which helped me not to be so sensitive, now I can wear the same outfit on regular rotation without worrying/ caring about what other people think.

The conclusions I drew from my experiment were that I need to find a balance between 3 outfits and the suitcase full of knickers extreme at the other end, hand made items make me happy and I need more of these in my wardrobe and less comfy but shapeless shop bought clothes, if I make clothes with a reduced colour pallet I can swap and change the individual items and get a wider range of outfit choices from a smaller number of clothes. Finally, if I ended up having to pick only 3 outfits to wear for a whole month in future I would make better choices.

If you had to pick just 3 outfits for a month what would you pick?


About themanyknitsofnadine

Interested in all things crafty, I knit, spin, sew, crochet, quilt, grow my own and bake (although the baking these days is all allergy friendly) and I try and blog about all these things. I also host a bi-weekly podcast on incorporating slow living into all my crafty adventures
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3 Responses to Experiments with a minimalist wardrobe.

  1. Bonnie says:

    I’ve read a couple of blogs about downsizing/minimal wardrobes. It’s something I’m thinking about trying I can’t imagine only three outfits. I struggle with clothes at the best of times during “transition” seasons so reducing options even more seems a bit counter intuitive. 🙂 Glad you have your clothes back.

  2. Jami Fowler says:

    Capsule wardrobes are so wonderful. I don’t have one yet, but I’m working towards having spring/summer and fall/winter capsule wardrobes. Thanks for this post!

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