How to Create a Cohesive, Minimalist Wardrobe

I found out that I needed to move to Texas about a week before my one-way plane ride was to depart.

Panic ensued.

How am I supposed to pack for a move like this?!

I didn’t have to worry about moving furniture or kitchen supplies, which was helpful, but it was still hard to wrap my head around packing enough clothes and whatnot.

To make it easier for myself, I purged my closet by asking myself if the article of clothing was worthy enough to accompany me on my new adventure. If it wasn’t, into the ‘donate’ pile it went.

Getting rid of old clothes was liberating, but I realized that I now had a few problems.

Problem 1: My newfound wardrobe wasn't cohesive at all.

Problem 2: I had no sense of style. Seriously.

 My favorite combination for an every day outfit: sweater, pants, booties, and clutch. 

My favorite combination for an every day outfit: sweater, pants, booties, and clutch. 

How was I supposed to take a new job in a new part of the country with no "big girl" wardrobe? At this point in my career, I typically wore college tee shirts (jk they were Paul Frank) and jeans to work, so I knew that I needed to step up my game. I tended to dress for comfort over style (and I still do) so, I got on Pinterest and learned how to make a minimalist wardrobe that was cohesive.

I stocked up on well-made, comfortable pieces that were easy to mix and match with what I had––which is why the majority of my wardrobe is black, white, gray, and navy.

Success! I finally had some work outfits that didn't make me look like I was 12.

If I were to put into words my process of creating a minimalist, cohesive wardrobe, it would read something like this:

  1. Completly empty your closet, dresser, etc. and dump all of your clothing, shoes, and accessories onto the floor.

  2. Start pulling out items that don’t fit well. Put them in a ‘donate’ or ‘sell’ pile.

  3. Find duplicates of items. Pick the one or two items in the group you like the most and donate or sell the rest.

  4. Donate or sell items you haven’t worn in six months. (Seriously, you don’t “need it just in case.”)

  5. Look at what’s left. Do you see items that you just don’t like? Get rid of them.

  6. Look at your pile again. Do you see a pattern in the kinds of colors you have left? Are the colors ones that you like or that compliment your skin tone? If so, stick to what you have. If not, get on Pinterest and look around for color inspiration. 

  7. Make a list of the holes you have in your wardrobe or of the pieces that you’d like to upgrade. (Maybe you decided that you didn’t like any of your jeans; it could be time for a new winter coat, etc.)

  8. Figure out what you can live without. For example, in doing my purge, I realized that I was over skirts. Now, I don’t own any. Seriously. None. I decided that I was most comfortable in pants or dresses and haven’t changed my mind.

  9. Decide how many of one kind of item you’re willing to have and stick to it. (Jeans, sweaters, long-sleeved tops, tee shirts, etc.) Think about how often you wear them. If you wear dress pants and a blouse once a month, maybe you only need one pair of dress pants and a few dress tops to choose from.

  10. Start mixing and matching what’s left and enjoy your new, simplified wardrobe.

I plan on sharing more about my closet and how I accumulated the pieces that I did in future blog posts. Stay tuned.