Living with less items of clothing makes me feel calmer and I actually feel liberated by having less choice. I take pride in what I wear and enjoy my organised and low maintenance wardrobe space.
Having worked so hard at clearing my closet I feel invincible to any future clothing temptation.
Advertising. You're kidding!
Ebay. Too busy meditating!
Charity shops. Moi, I only donate!
I arrived at my 40 piece minimalist wardrobe feeling smugly safe from future clothing storms on the horizon.
Colour theme: Sorted.
Ratio of tops to bottoms 2:1 Sorted.
Weather conditions: Sorted.
But like any decision to minimalise a part of your life you can occasionally doubt your actions.
Questions, doubts and FEAR began to threaten the calm oasis of my minimalist wardrobe.
The trouble started when I began to compare my selection to others. “There's not enough monochrome! “ “I don't have (or recognise) any designer labels.” “10 items! Yikes.”
It was almost enough to drive me to throw in the towel, rush to the shops and buy my way out of confusion.
But then I gave my querulous self a pep talk. "What about your unique signature style? The style you've perfected and pimped for years and which permeates your very aura. Stick with it. It'll outlive any new trend and what suits another person might not suit you."
It takes one outfit. One necklace. One pair of boots. A colour that really suits you. A fabric that makes you feel sassy. An accessory that makes you smile.
So, my signature style outfit.
The mustard dress (in the photo) came from a charity shop (via H & M). I wasn't planning to buy a new dress/tunic but my old favourite had finally bitten the dust and been sent for recycling. I spotted the mustard dress as soon as I stepped into the store (with my mum) and after trying it on I was smitten (the subtle pattern, the pockets, the fit and flare). My owl necklace is an old charity shop find (that survives every jewellery edit), the bracelets were a Mother's Day present and the boots and tights came from M &S bought with vouchers from Christmas and my birthday.
How very rock 'n' roll? No!
How very me? Yes!
OK, so I do wear lots of separates but I love a tunic or dress to wear with boots (flat or small heel). As a one piece outfit there's no need to coordinate or worry about silhouettes. The only decision to make is whether to team it with tights or leggings. This type of outfit fits my lifestyle and I can wear it for lots of different occasions. The colour almost put me off (not my usual) but sometimes it's good to break the rules. Choosing an outfit that makes you happy and you know you'll wear again again makes sense.
Your signature style might be different. So you only wear jeans and jumpers. Or purple. Or hoodies. So what?
This should be part of your capsule wardrobe. You're unique and so is your signature style. Don't copy anybody else's and don't feel intimidated by natty fashionistas either. Your style can be classy, colourful or contradictory. It doesn't matter as long as it suits you and your budget.
Because. I like your signature style. I don't care where it came from, how long you've owned it, how much it cost or if it's all you own. It's possibly not perfect. But it's you. And I'd be so sad to see it go. Don't edit it out.
Yes, we all need wardrobe staples, separates and neutral pieces. It's good to build them into your wardrobe and buy them when you can afford to. But don't ditch your signature style in the vain pursuit of perfection. Forget labels, trends, what everyone else is wearing. It's your style that counts.
Perfect it, experiment with it, hone it and you won't need anything else in your wardrobe.