Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials & Guide for 2024

Mark Twain said it best, “the clothes make the woman”.  Dressing well is important. 

It sets the standards for how others perceive you and that’s why we’ve developed this minimalist wardrobe essentials & guide for you.

You see in a world of fast fashion – slow fashion is good for the planet and minimalism is good for you

Dressing in a sustainable way is awesome but you have to look right or it’s all a waste of time. 

But, you don’t want to break the bank or waste what you have. 

So, here’s how you start a minimalist wardrobe and maintain one that delivers what you need it to. 

Minimalist Wardrobe

How To Get Started With A Minimalist Wardrobe

How do you transition to a minimalist wardrobe?

You don’t start by buying things. 

You start your minimalist wardrobe by attending to what you already have.

Here’s our step-by-step process for this:

  1. Get everything out of the closet (and anywhere else you keep clothes and shoes – which ought to be from our best vegan shoe brands). Yes, everything. Stack it on the bed or pile it on the floor. You need to know what you have.
  2. Invest in matching hangers. Seriously, it works and if you donate your old hangers, it means you’re only going to buy one hanger for every piece of clothing you allow back in the closet. 
  3. Get rid of the easy stuff. Anything you haven’t worn in months that isn’t a coat or wellington boots designed for the middle of winter? It can be cleared out now. You don’t love it. It takes up too much space, already. Sell it at an online thrift store or donate it.
  4. Get rid of the sentimental pieces. You will never wear your prom dress or that bridesmaid’s dress again. Say goodbye to them, you just don’t need them.
  5. Get rid of the “just in case” pieces. No, you don’t need that coat you bought just in case you ever end up at a Hollywood Premier. If you don’t wear it, you don’t need it.
  6. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. A wardrobe full of clothes that you’d like to fit into one day isn’t going to help. If you really must, keep one or two pieces for this ambition but everything else should go.
  7. Put it all away again. That was easy, right? 
  8. Do it again three months later. You need to be ruthless. And you’ll see things accumulate all the time. You can’t be a minimalist until you learn to let go of what you don’t need. 

The 20 Absolute Essentials Of A Minimalist Wardrobe

So, how many pieces are in a minimalist wardrobe? Just how big is a minimalist wardrobe, anyway? 

Well, that’s down to you but we’ve outlined the very basics of a woman’s minimalist wardrobe and that’s 20 essential items (and more than one of some of those). 

Now, you can extend this, a little, if you want to tailor it to your needs but, and this is important, you can’t add too much or it’s not going to be minimalist. 

  1. A set of short-sleeved shirts. We started with 5 but have 3 now.
  2. 3-4 tank tops. You can use these to layer with or just for wear on their own.
  3. 2-3 pairs of jeans. Pick the ones that are the most comfortable and look great.
  4. 2 x swimsuits. That is assuming that you swim, of course.
  5. 1 x pajamas. Or similar lounge around wear – a onesie would be fine, instead. 
  6. 1 x bathrobe. We don’t have this anymore, you can wrap a towel around easily enough.
  7. 3 x bras. Good ones, no rubbish. Give yourself some support.
  8. 7 x underwear. Again, aim for quality and comfort. But don’t hesitate to keep a pair of uncomfortable but beguiling underwear available too. 
  9. 3 x scarves. Easy to accessorize with. 
  10. 1 x running shoes. 
  11. 1 x pair of work heels (you need to be able to walk in them).
  12. 2 x pair of work flats
  13. 2 x sandals
  14. 2 x running shorts
  15. 2 x exercise capris or workout pants
  16. 2 x business outfits 
  17. 1 x little black dress
  18. 3 x casual dresses (or skirts)
  19. 3 x sweaters (ideally ones you can pair with those tank tops)
  20. 4 x long-sleeved shirts

And that’s it!

The trick is to try and fill these slots with what you already have, that’s what should be in a minimalist wardrobe when you begin.

Then, over time, as things get replaced, you replace them with high-quality and well-made carefully chosen pieces that are meant to last. 

You need to focus much more on your personal style when you build a minimalist wardrobe as you’re going to find that you don’t change your look as rapidly as you once did. Check out the best clothing brands for minimalists for some inspiration here.

We’d recommend going for timeless and classic but you should be you.

You can unleash your inner hippy or your hip-hop chic as long as it works in the long-term. 

Every 3-6 months you want to revisit the first exercise that we did, take everything out of your closets and dressers and then be ruthless, what are you really using? 

If you’re buying good quality clothing, you should look to sell it online rather than throwing it out and you could even consider buying some of your own clothing secondhand too.

That’s good for the planet but it’s also good for your wallet and that means you’ll have more money to spend on other parts of your life. 

Final Thoughts On A Minimalist Wardrobe

It might seem like an overwhelming prospect, if you’ve accumulated years of clothing, to start on our minimalist wardrobe essentials & guide process but it’s easier than you’d think.

In fact, once you simplify your wardrobe, you’ll find you’re happier and more productive than ever before. 

A life with less to worry about is a life that is less stressful and more enjoyable.