Buying New Clothes as a Minimalist

When I first decided to embrace minimalism and embark on this journey, there was one thing that was in the back of my mind. What did other minimalists do when they needed to buy new clothes? Did they just continue to wear what they had in their closest and didn’t need to worry about it? Or did they have some sort of a system?

At the time, my system for buying new clothes was essentially nonexistent. If I liked the item and I was able to afford it, in the closet it went. But after a while, I noticed just how full my closet had become, and with clothing that I didn’t wear all that often. Why was I wasting my money like this?

The next few times I went shopping for clothes, I tried to be more mindful about what I was buying. I had noticed that after picking up the things I would usually be drawn to, I would put them back and move on. I would end up choosing more simple, classic pieces that I could mix and match with clothes I already had.

After a while, I realized I was subconsciously following these four rules:

  1. Choose items that can go with multiple pieces you already own
  2. Check to see if the item is flattering and makes you feel good
  3. Make sure you don’t have something similar to it already
  4. Once you get home, remove at least one item from your closet to donate

Gone were the days of colorful patterns that only went with one pair of pants and one pair of shoes. Gone were the days of buying clothes even though they just looked ‘alright’ on me. Gone were the days of having the same shirt in three different colors. Gone were the days of buying new clothes and adding them to an already stuffed closet.

And for the last few months, this system has continued to work for me. My closet isn’t down to a capsule wardrobe like some people have, and it might not ever be, but I’m getting there. I’ve started to tailor my wardrobe into pieces that I love and pieces that I know will all work together.

As I continue this journey, I have to remind myself that there is no rulebook to minimalism. If you don’t do one thing that other minimalists do, it doesn’t make you a bad minimalist, you’re just tailoring the principal to your own lifestyle and situation. If you purge all of your knick knacks, cut down on your consuming, but still have a walk in closet full of clothes, that’s okay. Minimalism means something different to everyone.

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