Minimalist Wardrobe for Women (Part 2) - How to create a chic and minimalist closet

This hub is Part Two in my series of articles on "How to create a minimalist wardrobe for women".

Before reading this hub, you may like to read Part One first.

There seems to be a growing interest amongst women on creating a minimalist wardrobe and I was interested in finding out what the motivation behind it was.

In Part One, I included a short questionnaire survey asking why women would like to create a minimalist wardrobe and have used the results of the survey to write this hub.

So, thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. I am going to keep it going to see if the results stay the same. To date the results are as follows:

Over 40 women so far have answered the survey, of these:

  • 33% wanted to create a chic minimalist wardrobe, such as those owned by many French women.
  • 28% were in the process of reducing all of their possessions and reducing their wardrobe was part of this goal.
  • 15% felt they had too many clothes and wanted to reduce the number.

So the reasons were split. Many women wanted to create a chic French style wardrobe, the others had a desire to declutter not just their wardrobe but other possessions in their life too.

If you are one of those ladies who would like to create a chic, french style wardrobe, you may be interested in reading the following hub that I have written, which is called "How French women create a chic and minimalist wardrobe".

I found the Chic French wardrobe approach is to base your wardrobe around a few key pieces, such as one pair of jeans, a white shirt, black skirt, LBD and trenchcoat.

However, this approach didn't work for me and I suspect wouldn't work for many other women either.

There are several reasons for this.The clothes suggested were too classic in style for me, the colour palette of black and white didn't suit me and it didn't take into account my lifestyle.

However, I learnt about the classic basics that French women wear and it provided a good start to creating my own minimalist wardrobe.  I recommend everyone takes a look at this hub and then return here to read how I created a minimalst wardrobe that works for me and how I believe my method can be used by every women to create a miimalist wardrobe unique to her and her own lifestyle.

How to create a minimalist wardrobe

My method of creating a minimalist wardrobe that meets my lifestyle, which I believe other women can use to create their own minimalist closet is based on the following:

  • I have used some of the classic French basic items in my wardrobe but not all. This is because some work for me such as a pair of dark denim jeans, and black pencil skirt, and others don't - for example the classic white shirt just is't me, so I don't have one.
  • The most important factor is that I identified my lifestyle activities and the time I spent each week in them. Mine are Home, Errands, Work, Smart- Casual Social, Formal Social, Leisure and Hoidays.
  • The second most important factor is, I make sure I have enough outfits for each of my lifestyle activities. By doing this, I am able to quickly see where there are any gaps in my wardrobe which I then shop for, and it also lets me see where I have too many clothes, which I remove. As a result, each item in my wardrobe is there for a reason. I can justify it. Any surplus is discarded, leaving my with the bare minimum that I need. That to me is the essence of a minimalist wardrobe, one where you have enough clothes to meet your chosen lifestyle activities and no more.
  • I know my personality and ethics and reflect it though my clothing. Whilst many of my clothes are simple and easy to look after, reflecting my desire for a simpler way of life, I also have a more flambouyant, eclectic side to my personality that needs to be expressed, such as can be seen in my red evening dress. I also have an interest in green issues and some of my clothes are made from organic / fair-trade cotton or are second hand.
  • I keep my wardrobe small and edit it twice a year at the begining of spring / summer and autumn / winter.
  • I also know what colours and shapes look best on me, as a few years ago I purchased a book from Colour Me Beautiful. I am a Soft Summer and my body shape is Softened Straight. If you would like to buy a Colour Me Beautiful book to find out what colours suit you, and what styles of clothes suit your body shape,click on the link below.

I am now in my early 40’s, and my wardrobe has been a work in progress, reflecting my ever changing lifestyle.

Below is a breakdown of my wardrobe by lifestyle activities and I hope at some point to include photographs of my wardrobe, but at least this is a start.


HOME & ERRANDS

Home – 4 days a week

  • 4 outfits (I have two pairs of jeans, 4 tops, and 1 pair of slippers)

Errands

  • 1 Outfit (I usually wear my Home clothes and also have 1 pair of comfortable shoes I can walk miles in).

Work – I work outside the home 3 days a week, in a clothing shop. I am lucky in that the company provides me every month, with a free outfit that I get to choose, to wear as my uniform.As you can see, many of the items are classic basics.

  • 3 complete outfits, plus 1 -2 pairs of shoes.

SMART - CASUAL OCCASIONS

Visiting Family and friends / Lunch out at a restaurant

  • 1 Outfit (e.g a nice pair of jeans and trendy top, or a dress, plus shoes )

Works Christmas Party (Informal)– once a year

  • 1 Outfit (e.g nice jeans or evening trousers and sparkly top, plus flatish evening shoes)

FORMAL SOCIAL OCCASIONS

Wedding – I usually get an invitation to a wedding every couple of years and I keep one outfit that I can wear again and again.

  • 1 Outfit - (I have a pretty floral dress, a matching pair of shoes and fascinator).

Funeral - Most people usually attend several funerals throughout their lives and even if you don't normally wear black, it is sensible to keep a few black items in your wardrobe, for when the need arises.

  • 1 Outfit - (I have one pair of black shoes, a black skirt, and one short sleeve black top for summer. I need to buy a black cardrigan for winter.

Black Tie / Party – I get about one invitation a year to a formal event.

  • 1 Outfit (I have a long red dress and high silver sandals).

LEISURE AND HOLIDAYS

It is in this area that I use many of the clothes from the other areas of my life.

· City Break – once or twice a year.

  • I usually take a few outfits made up from the clothes I wear at home and the flat shoes I wear for errands as I can walk miles in them.

· Hiking / Camping - I love the great outdoors and walk and camp several times a year.

  • Hiking and Camping outfit - Hiking Boots, waterproof jacket and trousers, and depending on the weather, either t-shirts and shorts,or jeans and fleece tops.

· Summer holiday - my summer hoidays are usually quite casual and usually revolve around the pool or beach with a few days out sight seeing.

  • Beachwear -  one swimming costume, flipflops and sunglasses. The swimming costume dries quickly so I only need one.
  • Sightseeing - a few outfits for sightseeing, usually assembled from the clothes I wear at home and my hiking wardrobe.
  • A couple of outfits for evenings out, which are usually to a nice restaurant.


So, if you want to create a minimalist closet for yourself, take the following steps

1. Find out what colours and styles suit you, and what your clothing personality is.

1. Understand your own unique lifestyle and create separate wardrobes for each of your lifestyle activities. Have enough outfits for each activity.

2. Twice a year edit and plan your wardrobe, at the beginning of spring and autumn

3. Use catalogues or the internet to research your options before visiting the shops to buy

4. Have an annual clothing budget – this forces you to prioritise your needs.


I hope you have enjoyed reading my article on Minimalist Wardrobes for women. You may be intererested to know that I also have a Blog called "Chic and Minimalist Wardrobe" which you may like to read and follow. Here is the link.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my article on Minimalist Wardrobes for women. You may be intererested to read some of my other Hubpages articles on creating a minimalist wardrobe.

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