Minimal Wardrobe: Define Your Style

Monday, September 9, 2013

In my closet, you'll find about 15-20 of my favorite pieces of clothing, and a LOT of empty hangers.   I seriously wear the same 10-12 outfits in rotation. I am not even bored with them, thanks to my new minimalist wardrobe.

No matter how many pieces of clothing in my wardrobe, I felt like I had nothing to wear.  My wardrobe had no cohesive style.  I had preppy shift dresses, bohemian blouses, nautical blazers and casual flannels all crammed together.  I also had clothes in every color under the sun, even in washed out pastels, which I've come to realize look awful on me.

So, the first step to ending this cycle of endless buying was to define my style.  Who am I?  What image do I want to portray through my wardrobe?  I came up with this:  
"Subtly feminine, comfy casual with a vacation vibe."  

Let's break it down.
-Subtly feminine:  I am girly, but not overly frou frou.  I feel silly in too many ruffles, bows and bling, maybe because I'm so short.  I also gravitate toward bolder colors, like jewel tones and bright corals, rather than girly pastels.  But I still like to look like a woman.  I prefer dresses to pants, and I hardly ever wear "sporty" clothes.

-Comfy casual:    Casual clothes just fit my lifestyle best- it's pretty much the norm here in OC. Soft, natural fabrics like cotton, jersey, linen and bamboo are my favorites. Anything that must be drycleaned is probably too fancy for me.  I usually go easy on the accessories, opting for a tiny pendant necklace and maybe a pair of earrings.

-Vacation vibe:  Think casual sundresses, pretty sandals, maxi skirts with tissue thin T-shirts, boyfriend jeans with light blouses,  and rompers.  Anything you might want to wear while vacationing in the Greek Isles or someplace tropical.     Don't confuse this with teeny bopper Roxy stuff, because I'm 30 years old now, and trying to move on from this juvenile style (but I confess I'm wearing a billabong dress from Tilly's right now!) I'm aiming for confident world traveler, not skater girl.  Of course, this beachy look can be a little out of place in the Winter time, and I need to adjust to darker colors and layers.  But thankfully, "Winter" in Southern California pretty much means throwing a cardigan and boots on over your summer clothes, so I don't need two separate wardrobes for "warm weather" and "cold weather" clothes.

Here is an example of looks that I think I would wear over and over again, and feel completely like myself in.

Derek Lam Dress.
Calvin Klein Maxi Dress.
Maxi Skirt and Camisole.
Boyfriend Jeans outfit.
BCBGeneration Romper.

Once I defined my style, I purged my closet of ANYTHING that didn't quite fit.  Even if the item was beautiful, expensive, or got lots of compliments when I wore it, I was totally brutal and donated it if it didn't suit my beachy, casual lifestyle.  I did keep a few dressier pieces for weddings and parties, but just a few.

So, if you had to define your style in one sentence, what would it be? I've gotten really good at defining other peoples' styles.  My childhood best friend Julie's look is "textural bohemian with an edge."  My bff Angel's look is "quirky, colorful and layered, purposefully mis-matched."   Everyone has a style, whether or not their wardrobe actually reflects it.  I guarantee you'll love your wardrobe a lot more if it does.  I'll be writing more about my minimalist wardrobe in upcoming posts!


Kim September 9, 2013 at 9:17 PM  

I like the idea. I realized that the clothes I wear often don't reflect personal style (or any style for that matter) but rather what I've gotten used to wearing. It's probably time to purge the clothes that I never wear and think more about building a wardrobe I actually like.

Angel @ September 12, 2013 at 1:17 AM  

I miss you so so soooo much!!! Loved this post and you totally zeroed in on your personal style. You look gorg in everything. ;-) I am inspired to do a similar post now!! xo

petal and plume September 13, 2013 at 7:13 AM  

wonderful! i am loving your blog!

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