Minimal Wardrobe | Top 5 Tips For Getting Your Minimal Wardrobe Started

You may remember way back in January my idea of a '5 Piece Wardrobe'...ha! It's fair to say I got a wee bit waylaid this year, I didn't realise the level of commitment it takes. But this September I was ready to simplify my wardrobe again and I have no regrets! I've had a huge clear out (I still have some stuff left on eBay) and I've taken my wardrobe back to basics, like a clean slate. I've never been the snazziest dresser so I love that I can just pull out random things in my closet without thinking and be ready to go. I've a feeling I'll be sticking to this simplified wardrobe, I plan to allow myself one key item a month if I really want it unless there's like an emergency (my favourite denim dies, jumpers get holes in etc...if they need replacing they won't count as my one item. Read the rules!) I do think it's a good concept but before you begin you need to sort out what you already have!

  I won't lie, it was a little heartbreaking letting go of certain items but it's totally worth putting aside an afternoon and doing. Plus you gotta love the money you make on eBay (after the dreaded fees that is...) Besides, you need get used to it too, as you'll be doing it at the start of every season! This is how I edited my wardrobe:

1 | Create a moodboard. Whether you do this on Pinterest or the old skool way with a stack of mags and a scrapbook, this is a fab way of collecting looks and colour palettes that you like and getting an idea of what your preferences are when defining your personal style. It's a good idea to split them into seasons, I know that I personally make most of my mistake purchases in the summer so I need something to keep me on track! Take inspiration from your style icons but bear in mind a few factors...for example, I love Alexa Chung's style but if I put on a little peter pan collared dress I just feel silly and not like 'me'. Be inspired by others but don't copy, stay true to yourself and wear what you feel comfortable in. And are those amazing heels in your favourite blogger's recent post actually going to fit in with your lifestyle? Planning your wardrobe is of course loads of fun but remember to be practical too.

2 | Empty your closet. The whole darn thing, including shoes. Try on everything and be brutally honest with yourself. Is it too small/too big? Is it looking a bit worse for wear? Does it actually look a bit crap on you? (which is totally the item's fault and nothing to do with your gorgeous self!) Does it fit in with the rest of your wardrobe? Are you ever gonna actually wear those beautiful heels that you can't walk in? There's no point in keeping anything you don't feel comfortable wearing because it'll show and instead of looking happy, relaxed and confident you'll just end up looking miserable and unapproachable. And if you still haven't worn that top a year after you bought it you're unlikely to ever give it an outing (although I give things a shorter period of 6 months to be worn before they're gone!) Organise them into Keep/eBay/recycle/donate piles, you won't ever need to bin anything as there's always alternative options.

3 |  Organise. So now you have your precious pieces that survived the cull don't just chuck them back in the wardrobe in any old manner! Order them so that they're easy to find, for me personally for example I like putting all my denim together in style (e.g. skinnies, boyf) then colour order. Make sure they're clean and preferably ironed, that way they'll look more appealing when it comes to 'shopping your closet', a must do when attempting a minimal wardrobe. Another great trick is to put the hangers backwards when you first put them back in the closet, this way in six months times you can work out what hangers have been untouched so they haven't been worn and need to go (although if you live in the UK this obviously bars summer clothes! Our winters are looooong.)

4 | Make a checklist. Do you have core basics that are missing/needs replacing? It's important to not adhere to those typical 'French Wardrobe' essentials lists when doing this if those pieces aren't your thing, as creating a minimal wardrobe is all about sticking to a style that's you. Although I will always champion the Breton if you've never worn or felt the need to own one don't go out and buy specifically because someone else says it's a 'must have'. Stay true to your own preferences, for example you may be a total dress person and maybe you're missing that perfect denim pinafore dress to layer in all seasons. Neutral colours will always be classics but maybe you're more into brights so work out colours that mix and match well together. Referring back to your moodboard is always useful for your checklist and again, split them into seasons. (See my 'Summer Wardrobe Essentials')

5 | Prioritise. Get those essentials sorted first before you buy the fun pieces (although a good navy sweater will always give me more pleasure than any party dress could!) I don't think it's really possible to start a 5 Piece Wardrobe unless you have your core basics nailed but don't rush out and get the first ones you see. They're important pieces that are the basis of your wardrobe so it's important to get them right...although they don't count as part of your 'clothing allowance' they still need as much, if not more, consideration as the fun, seasonal pieces. I don't suggest going to Primark to buy your basic tees but neither am I saying spend £50 on one either...almost my entire closet is from the high street, you can get some great quality pieces that will last you years. I may do a post on my favourite places if anyone's interested? Once you've got these nailed, then your minimal wardrobe journey can begin!

I hope that helps anyone else attempting this kind of thing! I know I'm probably coming across as a right know it all but those are just the things that have helped me get started. I'm certainly no expert because my wardrobe is far from minimal. I still own a lot of clothes, I mean how many grey t-shirts does one really need? I keep them because they're 'essentials' but 5 is maybe a tad excessive. I think I'll do a post on my existing wardrobe to help me narrow things down. Do let me know if you have any tips to share and if you like this kind of post! I know it's a bit of a long 'un...

Josie x

Recent Reads | A Sebastian Faulks Trio

When I was younger I used to be a real bookworm until I discovered the internet and then books kind of took a backseat. However this year I've really gotten back into it so I thought I'd share what I've been reading because I love reading posts like this as I'm rubbish discovering different authors, I tend to stick to what I know...which you can probably tell seeing as this post is all based on the same author! I found this trio by Sebastian Faulks in a charity shop (where I buy the majority of my books) and snapped them up right away because I adored Birdsong, even though it depressed me (I was in hospital at the time so had too much spare time to think, it was just too deep haha!) 

So I started off with Engleby, I hated the unreliable narrator from the off, he was such an asshole and I kind of guessed the answer to the 'mystery' very early on but saying that I really enjoyed it...I love a book where you can really get into a character's head, even if you don't necessarily like what's going on in there!

Next up was A Possible Life, the most recommended of the three. It has five separate stories spanning different locations, years and characters yet is described as a novel which I don't think is misleading seeing as each tale is linked, sometimes obviously like the same buildings being featured and others are themes that I think are really down to the reader to individually decide. That's what I love about books, film and art, unlike science or maths there is no 'answer' to what you should take from them which makes them a more personal experience. However my experience of the book wasn't all that good, some stories I loved and others I found incredibly boring. I appreciate the concept of linking the stories together but I kind of felt the author was being a bit too clever. But if you like thought provoking texts give it a go and if not there you can still read them as separate short stories because there are a couple that are worth the read by themselves.

Finally, A Week In December. It took me a while to get into it and I found myself having to go back to chapters to remind myself who certain people were because there are just so many characters (who are all somehow linked, kind of like a six degrees of separation thing.) It took me a while to get into it but in the end I found it an enjoyable satire despite the dark themes. 

I can see how Faulks stuff isn't everyone's cup of tea as they're not exactly light hearted reads but they can be worth the extra effort. None of these quite matched up to Birdsong I think that's just one of those special books that he's not going to top! 

Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations? Hope this post hasn't come across as me trying to be clever or anything haha I'm no expert but just thought I'd share what I thought!
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