The Simplified Series | Closet

Oh, hey there pretty lady! The rest of this post is going on the assumption that, you are in fact, a lady. If you’re a gent, this probably isn’t relevant…since your closet is likely already super small. Unless you’re my father, in which case you have literally a hundred t-shirts, most of which you got for free for doing various bike rides and volunteer events.

He could literally clothe a third-world country with the amount of t-shirts he has.


Your closet should work for you – no matter your size, shape, budget, or place in life. You should be able to throw open the doors of your wardrobe and immediately put something fabulous together…an outfit that makes you feel confident and pretty. You know what I’m talking about. Those pants that are eternally forgiving yet chic. The sweater that is one part cozy, one part classy. The dress that makes you feel like you could take on the world. It should be effortlessly easy for you to produce outfits that give you confidence.

Unfortunately, those items are often drowned in a sea of clothes that:
a. we rarely wear
b. look terrible on us
c. make us feel terrible
d. don’t go with anything else we own
e. all of the above

Which, if you ask me, makes absolutely no sense.

Also, those items could also be being used by someone else who actually needs them.

So, how do you simplify your closet?

1. Define your style. Pick out a handful of items from your closet that are your go-to favorites. What do they have in common? Look at your style Pinterest board (or create one!). What are common themes? What does your lifestyle require (ex: business clothes, work-out clothes, classy-mum clothes, etc.)? Keep your style in mind as you move towards a simple, hardworking wardrobe.

2. THE GREAT PURGE. Wage war on your closet, woman! Take no prisoners. Recycle/Donate/Sell any clothes that:
a. don’t fit with your style
b. are stained/torn beyond repair
c. you haven’t worn in the last year
d. are poorly made/stretch out after it’s been worn for seven minutes
e. you don’t feel confident in
f. are in a fabric or cut that you hate
g. don’t fit well or flatter your shape
*a caveat: if you’re in the process of losing weight, do keep clothes that will motivate you towards your goal. To a point. Be honest with yourself.

Bonus points: if you have one, ask your husband what he likes and what he doesn’t. Right after we got married, I modeled everything in my wardrobe for Hans. He was honest, and I got rid of clothes as a result. Being attractive to my spouse is a blessing to him!

3. Investing in pieces vs. consuming clothes. Once you have defined your style and slimmed down your closet, then you get to do the fun part – buying! YAY! Identify what essentials you need and what “gaps” in your closet you need to fill, make a list, and then invest in those pieces. Now, unless you’re rolling in dough…this will have to be done gradually. But that’s ok – it’s far better to spend $60 on a fabulously well-made dress that you saved up for and that will last forever vs. a $20 clearance dress from Target that will wear out by next year. It can be tempting to buy things when they’re cheap or on sale, but resist the urge. Stick to your plan and only spend money on clothes that fit you, your style, and that will last for a long time.

>>>> Shop Like A French Girl.
“If she can’t afford it, she won’t buy it. If it doesn’t fit (or make her feel good, or flaunt what she’s got), she won’t wear it. If she can’t find it, she won’t compromise. If she loves it, she won’t toss it. She reuses it, rethinks it, lets it age.
When a French girl shops, it isn’t a solitary act of buying something new. It’s part of a lifelong process of editing her environment, making small but meaningful additions to her home, her closet, her life.
When you shop like a French girl, you buy only one of anything – and make sure it’s the best quality you can afford.”
from Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

4. Do you have essentials? A couple of great tees and tops, some well-fitting jeans/pants/skirts, a couple of dresses (particularly a LBD!), a few dressier tops and a versatile selection of jackets/cardigans? There are essentials that every wardrobe needs. Here’s a fantastic article from the Tiny Twig on just this subject, and here’s a video to give you some ideas…

When you’re on your way to building a wardrobe that works for you, essentials are the best place to start, and the best place to invest money.

5. Once you’ve built your simple and hardworking wardrobe, experiment.  Here’s another fun part! Spend an hour or two in front of the mirror and experiment with your clothes. Try layering, putting different pieces together, scouring the internet for inspiration, etc. This will help you in the future when you’re putting together outfits – you’ll already know what works and what doesn’t!

PSST! If you haven’t already, read this guest post piece of magnificence by Caitlin from Greater Than Rubies.

What’s your style? What are your favorite go-to outfits?

Other Articles in The Simplified Series
Closet | Relationships | How to Create a Simple, Hardworking Wardrobe | Stuff | Stress | Home | The Peaceful Home | Food | Schedule | Resources | Welcome!

Under Grace,

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I used this from Miss Minimalist to jumpstart this article.

If you’re looking for an in-depth exercise to build a fantastic and simple wardrobe, follow the 31 Days to a No-Brainer Wardrobe Series from The Tiny Twig. It’s a bit old (like, when you still needed an invitation to get on Pinterest) but the advice is ridiculously practical. Plus, Hayley is just an effervescently lovely woman.

While I haven’t used StitchFix yet (I want to! SOOO BAD!), I’ve heard marvelous things about it. Check out Jessi’s explanation here.

9 thoughts on “The Simplified Series | Closet

  1. I love these Simplified posts. Simplifying and becoming more minimalistic is such a strong desire of mine because I definitely have felt the depression that consumerism and comparison can cause. I have about 40 pounds to lose then I’ll definitely be diving headfirst into building a capsule wardrobe.

    Another blog I love about simplicity/minimalism is

    • Hey, Kate!! I’m super excited that you’ve been following along, and that you’ve enjoyed the series so much! Minimalism is such a strong desire of mine as well. I completely agree with you – consumerism and comparison does nothing good for us. Like you, I have a little bit of weight to kick to the curb…and then it’s time to build a smashing wardrobe!

      Becoming Minimalist is one of my favorite blogs! I love how practical he is.

  2. So, I came to check out your blog after you commented on mine last week and then proceeded to read all of your posts in your simplified series in one sitting…haha! I love them, and was so inspired! I’m getting ready to move in July, so I did a big closet purge, and now I need to get rid of some other stuff around the house. I’m just now beginning to understand quality over quantity, and relationships over stuff. Awesome writing! 🙂

    • Hey Leah!! I’m thrilled that you stopped by! I feel honored that you enjoyed the Simplified Series so much…thank you for your kind words 🙂 A closet purge is one of the most refreshing things in the world, don’t you think?! Coming to the “quality over quantity” realization definitely took me a while to come to…but it makes life so much simpler!

      Happy Wednesday, friend!!

  3. Pingback: Three Things We Learned Creating a Capsule Wardrobe | Abiding Marriage

  4. Thankfully I read this BEFORE attacking my close this morning… It really gave me the freedom to clear out some clothes I’ve held onto for a long – particularly clothes with a style I don’t like, feel confident in, or made of material I dislike! I’ve held onto them previously because “they’re perfectly good clothes,” but I seldom wear them.. and don’t feel good in them when I do! Looking forward to opening my closet tomorrow and having good options to wear, and that I can actually find 🙂

    • Oh good!! I’m so glad, Biz! Way to go for conquering your closet and making it more manageable!

      The “perfectly good clothes” argument is DEFINITELY one that I’ve had with myself as well. The fact is, though, they might be terrible clothes for us, but perfectly good for someone else!

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