As someone that loves pretty things, I know how trying to minimise your wardrobe (but also your house decoration, you beauty counter and so on) can be difficult. Like a lot of things though, you just need to try it out to realise it’s actually quite easy. As a control freak and a bullet-points lover, the first step when I decided to minimise my stuff (and maximise my happiness) was, of course, a plan of action. Here are the three (minimalist) steps that keep me on track.
Know yourself and what you need. Don’t be greedy.
I have always liked clothes – shoes mostly – and through the years I have collected more than I could count. How many of them was I wearing though? Probably 10%. We keep things over the years, even when they don’t fit anymore or even when we don’t like them. We hold on to them just in case. Just in case I lose weight. Just in case it becomes fashionable again. Just in case I change my mind.
The reality is – most of the time – none of these things happen. We are left with wardrobes full of stuff collecting dust that we will never even look at.
The big shake up for me was moving from Paris to London. Bringing all my belongings with me was a huge mistake. We ended up in our new apartment with more than 30 boxes and our suitcases. It drove me insane. I thought I got rid of a lot of useless stuff before moving but I clearly only scraped the surface.
After months, I am still dealing with a lot of stuff, because minimising your wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a continuous process made easier by knowing yourself and your style.
Define your style, don’t follow trends.
Forget the word fashionable and concentrate on the word stylish. Once you own your style, you’ll be free from fast-fashion and the culture of owning as much as you can, as fast as you can.
Why do you want to own a dress only because it’s everywhere on Instagram? Once fashion was all about individualism, now we all look the same. We’re just sheep caged in the same pasture.
Find what you feel good in, what is comfortable and what makes you feel confident. This will be your own unique and recognisable style. It will make you feel better, make your life easier and save you tons of money.
You don’t believe me? Think about all the fashion icons that we admire and that shape our own perception of fashion. Coco loved her tailleurs, Karl has a real uniform that hasn’t changed in decades and Emmanuelle Alt – queen of Vogue Paris – is a shirt, trousers, no makeup kind of girl. Does it make more sense now?
Quality over quantity: buy less and better.
Think about all the Zara shoes you own. All the ones that you can’t wear because they are too uncomfortable (or you just don’t like them anymore). Now, think about all the money those shoes represent, once you add them up. Hundreds of pounds just sitting there, on your bedroom floor or in a cupboard you never open.
You probably bought most of them on sale, when the euphoria has the best of us and makes us buy all the things that we would never buy at full price.
The best thing that you can do with them is put them up on ebay, get some money back and buy yourself a good pair of shoes that you actually like, that won’t make you bleed and will last for a long time.
The change it’s quite easy. Once you know yourself, reconsider your priorities and you are really committed to changing your ways, you are going to start wondering why it took you so long.
Picture: Priscilla Du Preez / Tu Tu