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Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials - avoid a wardrobe meltdown with these tips on how to create a minimalist closet

Updated on September 18, 2012

We have all been there! Standing in front of our wardrobes, tearing our hair out in frustration. Piles of clothes everywhere, items tried on and discarded into an ever increasing pile. The conclusion? Still nothing to wear and another hour ahead putting them all away again.

Why can't life be simpler? In Roman days all you needed to wear was a toga. But life isn't like that today, and our wardrobes have to cope with the demands of our modern lifestyles.

Unless you are naturally eccentric and really don't care what you wear, most of us unconsciously prefer to conform to societies unwritten rules of how to dress.

So, join me on a humourous, yet practical journey into the depths of your wardrobe where together we can create a new minimalist closet made up of a few carefully chosen outfits that will have your wardrobe functioning again - whatever the occasion.

Hatched, Matched and Dispatched

It's the common pattern of a woman's life to be born, meet "the one", get married, have a family, retire and eventually leave this planet for pastures new. Being strange sociable creatures we like to celebrate or mark these milestones in our lives and that means dressing up for the occasion.

So, lets start adding the first couple of outfits to our new minimalist wardrobe - something for a summer wedding and something sombre for a funeral.

That should be enough to start with, but of course there is always the added complication of a recently deceased person who insists that everyone wears something colourful to their funeral.

If you find yourself in that situation, your best bet is to get in touch with your inner five year old and rediscover the dressing up box that is your wardrobe. Grab your most colourful clothes and wear them in the way that is the most clashing, garish and outlandish.

What works for work?

I can never understand those people who, on winning the lottery, insist on staying in their job. Most people when asked to give an honest answer, say that they would rather not go to work, instead spending time with family and friends or enjoying hobbies or travelling.

Unfortunately for most of us, we won't be lottery winners, and will spend most of our lives in the work place and to add insult to injury, we have to use our own money to buy clothes that we don't even like in order to fit in.

Well, lets not get shirty about it though - with a couple of skirts or trousers in neutral colours, and a selection of three tops to ring the changes, you have added a few more items to your essentail minimalist wardrobe and you are good to go.

Something for the week-end?

Hooray it's the week-end at last a chance to chill out and be yourself. So, what is your week-end style?

Are you a part-time eccentric, constrained by a suit in the week, but with a closet full of fripperies for the week-end?

If you are the less adventurous type, a couple of week-end outfits will suffice, based around a pair of jeans or a denim or canvas skirt, with a handful of tops depending on the season.

A small selection of T-shirts, shirts, cardigans and sweaters should see you through.

Don't get too comfortable though - I'm afraid it's back to work on Monday.

The Belle of the Ball, Cocktails and Black Ties

In order to meet your Prince Charming, you need to go to the ball.

Every woman needs a Ball Gown for those special occasions in her life - the school prom, University graduation and if you are lucky, other balls which you will go to throughout your life.

Every woman also needs a colourful little cocktail dress for less formal parties or a longer length dress for Black Tie events.

Even if you don't currently have an invitation, you can still have fun trying them on and playing dress-up.

Ladies Who Lunch

There comes a time in every womans life when she hits middle age. One of the advantages of this period in your life is you may have more time on your hands - the kids have flown the nest, you may be working less hours and by now you have probably acquired a great circle of female friends who you meet up with occasionally. Perhaps you meet for lunch and a glass of wine?

Part of the fun of meeting up with your girl friends is dressing up so a couple of outfits are needed, one for cooler months and the other for warmer. Ensure they have expanding waistbands though to accommodate your lovely lunch.

Out on the town

Everyone enjoys a night out on the town, and dressing up is all part of the fun.

So, whether it is a romantic meal with your partner in a classy restaurant, a family party or the dreaded works Christmas party, you need a couple of sparkly outfits, based around neutral skirts or trousers and a couple of evening tops. Add a shrug or cardigan for warmth.

Reveal your inner Party Animal

Whatever your age, most women enjoy being invited to a party and it is often in this area that many women despair of not having anything to wear.

If you are younger woman still enjoying going to nightclubs, you may like to build up a small capsule wardrobe of clothes suitable for clubbing.

If you are an older woman, and regularly being invited to parties, embrace life and avoid being like all the other woman in the room, all wearing safe little black dresses. Unleash your wild side and buy a more colourful evening outfit. You can still look cool and classy if you want to, but at a party it's more fun to look individual and interesting.

How is your new Minimalist Wardrobe looking?...........

Some people recommend creating a minimalist closet based on basics such as a white shirt, a pair of jeans, little black dress etc.

I recommend a more holistic approach, encouraging you to take a look at your total lifestyle and start by acquiring an outfit for each aspect of your life and the events you get invited to.

If you take this approach and build your minimalist closet up based on your lifestyle, you should hopefully avoid those "I don't have anything to wear moments".

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      Craig 22 months ago from Dushore, pa

      I'm a dude and I thought this article to be fun and entertaining - and informative.

      It seems as if there's a knack for having dress for every occasion - even the "occasional" ball - while living within one's means.

      Brilliantly simple.