Minimalist Lifestyle Blog
  • Building a Minimalist Wardrobe
  • Tracy Freese
Building a Minimalist Wardrobe

Want to simplify your wardrobe, but not sure how to start? It’s easy: get rid of the clothing you don’t love, and replace it with quality pieces.

Building a minimalist wardrobe is very simple. Basically, you just have to narrow your clothing and accessories down to the things that fit well, look great, and that you really enjoy. Focus on classic pieces instead of trendy ones, and most importantly, prioritize quality over quantity.

One of the best things about a minimalist wardrobe is that you will never have a closet overflowing with things you don’t wear. You won’t have to constantly replace cheap clothing. You will save time because you won’t be digging through a huge pile of clothing looking for that “one thing” and tossing aside the rest. You’ll free up space and you’ll save yourself time!

As you read this, remember: Minimalism will be different for everyone! It all comes down to your individual preferences, your style, and your budget. This advice is just a starting point!

Ready to start shopping? Let’s start from top to bottom:


Think about the accessories that you really love, and how often you wear them. For some people, jewelry is really important, so they’ll still have quite a few options in their minimalist wardrobe. Accessory lovers should cut down their collection to just a few pairs of high-quality earrings, a few bracelets and necklaces, and one or two good watches.

Other people rarely wear any jewelry, so for these people, minimalism might mean getting rid of virtually all their jewelry.

When purchasing new jewelry, invest in well-made pieces that will last a long time. We especially like Charming Charlie and BaubleBar, two companies that offer high-quality accessories to fit any style.


Search high and low for a purse that you fall in love with at first sight! Don’t “settle.” Find that perfect combination of quality material and great style. You will probably want to invest a little more than you normally do, just to ensure that your purse will last a long time, but you don’t have to go overboard—high-quality handbags come at many different price points. Start by looking in department stores and shopping online for the styles you like. Macy's sells any style of purse you might be looking for, so start there! We know lots of people who are purse hoarders, but since we’re shooting for a minimalist wardrobe here, try to keep it down to 1-3 purses that you really love.

Shirts and Blouses

Think about what you have now in your closet. Which shirts and blouses do you gravitate toward the most? This will help you choose styles that you’ll wear for a long time to come. Find quality pieces in all of the essentials: black and white v-necks, work-appropriate blouses, and formal blouses. Stick with simple, well-made clothing that is high-quality, yet fits in your budget. For shirts and blouses, you don’t have to spend a fortune. We like to buy shirts at Banana Republic and Gap. You will probably need more shirts than anything else, but keep it down to a manageable number.


Jackets, like handbags, are something you will really want to invest in. If you get a great, classic, high-quality jacket, it can last literally a lifetime. Although the prices may scare you, remember how much longer these pieces will last you than a faux leather jacket from Rue 21. Check out the options at Bloomingdale’s and other department stores.


Most people will want a few different pairs of jeans and work pants. It all depends on what you like to wear and your own personal preferences! Steer clear of super-trendy patterns and stick to the basics, and your pants will be sure to remain in style for as long as they last (which will hopefully be quite awhile, since you’re investing in a quality pair, right?!) A great place for any kind of pants at great quality is Express.


Figure out what cut, style, and material you like most and feel the most comfortable in. Whether that’s black, blue, white, or khaki, you be the judge of what you would wear the most. For shorts, we suggest checking out Gap or Banana Republic.

Skirt and Dresses

If you are a working business professional, you should think about having 3-5 of each, and in the interest of keeping your minimalist wardrobe, well, minimalist— make sure the skirts go with the blouses you already have, and buy any new blouses to match at least one or two of your skirts. We love the skirts and dresses at Express and Nordstrom.

Dresses will depend on whether you only wear them to work and special events, or if they make up a part of your regular wardrobe as well. Have a couple for special events so that you don’t have to wear the same one to every wedding, but for a minimalist wardrobe, you need to remember that you shouldn’t have things taking up space if you never wear them. So keep that in mind. Casual everyday dresses are a minimalist’s dream because they are just one piece and you don’t have to worry about matching a top and bottom, but not everyone enjoys wearing them, so do whatever works best for you!


Shoes, like purses, are an item that you need to search high and low for “the one.” Firstly, find styles that are complementary to your lifestyle. Secondly, again, find amazing quality. This is a category you really don’t want to cut corners with. Shoes really take a beating, so they can get worn out very quickly if you go cheap. Find a versatile pair of sneakers, sandals, formal flats, heels, and winter boots. Stick with black and brown, and you will be ready for anything! Dillard’s offers an extensive variety of high crafted shoes for any style.

Cutting down what you keep in your closet shouldn’t leave you without options if you do it right. 

It involves investing a little more at first, but remember: buying clothing you love will save you money. Plus, your higher quality clothing will last longer. Limit the clutter in your closet, and you limit the stress of finding an outfit each morning. Good luck with your minimalist wardrobe journey!
  • Tracy Freese