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Building a Minimalist Wardrobe

Updated on April 7, 2016

The minimalist wardrobe - a tightly edited, well-curated collection of clothes hanging daintily on a clothing rack that has inspired fashion magazines, bloggers and designers around the world. But this minimalist wardrobe isn’t about having one of everything. Rather it’s about decluttering the things you don’t wear and building a core of versatile items that will give you the most out your wardrobe. Once you realise the number of outfit options possible with these closet staples, you’ll no longer have the ‘closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’ dilemma.

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Coming in all shapes and sizes, jeans are a staple to any wardrobe. A good quality pair not only gives you more wash and wear, but they also tend to fit better and keep their shape for longer. Though looks like ‘distressed denim’ or ‘acid wash’ may appear edgy and trendy, choosing a timeless shape like the skinny or straight cut in simple colours will make it easier to incorporate into a range of looks. You only really need 3 pairs: a pair of dark blue denim, a pair of black jeans and a pair of cropped or rolled up jeans in a light neutral tone such as camel or grey.

Dress Pants

A slightly more dressier alternative to jeans, dress pants are great for adding a polished look to an outfit. Choose a tapered, cigarette cut for pairing with flats or oxford shoes, and a wider cut for pairing with heels.


T- shirts tend to be the culprit of the overflowing wardrobe as they’re the closet staples that we tend to stock up the most on in fear that we will run out of them one day. Invest shirts that have a higher blend of cotton and pick from a few different neck cuts such as scoop neck or v neck to make the most of what you have. A good rule of thumb is having two white shirts, two black shirts, a grey shirt and a striped shirt. Mix them up with accessories, dress them up or tuck them in for multiple outfit options.

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Dress Shirts and Blouses

The key to finding a good dress shirt or blouse is to find one that fits perfectly for you. One that works when tucked into a skirt or worn out with a pair of pants. This may mean you need to tailor the dimensions so they fit just right, but the benefits are really worth it in the long run. You’ll look and feel less frumpy, and you’ll be less likely to be constantly on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ dress shirt to add to your collection. Whatever the fabric or style, stick to 3: one classic white as a staple, one patterned and one in your favourite colour.

Sleeveless Tops

Whether you prefer cotton tank tops, thin strap camisoles or button up sleeveless blouses, sleeveless tops are great for warm days and layering under cardigans. Choosing one in white or grey means you’re able to mix and match more easily from the rest of your wardrobe collection, though if you’re feeling like it’s a little too monochromatic, spice things up with different shades of white, interesting textures like satin or intricate detailing like soft lace or small beads.


As clothes designed to keep us warm, you really only need 3 good jackets to see you through the autumn and winter. Depending on the climate you live in, a good quality coat, a thinner wool knit cardigan and a short jacket like a biker jacket will yield plenty of fashionable outfits while keeping you warm and rugged up. When it comes to coats, it’s good to keep in mind their functionality rather than their aesthetic. That silky thin trench coat may seem like a good idea at the time, but opting for high quality fabrics that will keep you warm means that you don’t have to layer up with a million jumpers. Pea coats and trenches are great classic styles that can be dressed up or down depending on any occasion.

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Jumpers are a great for creating casual and cosy looks. Choose two thick high wool blend ones that can be layered for a collared dress shirt underneath or worn on their own, and three thin ones in soft, loose fabrics for those days you just want to be comfy in leggings and a top knot.


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