Steve Jobs led a revolution by building Apple products that were innovatively simple, and he famously brought that minimalist perspective to his wardrobe, too. You might not be ready to adopt a black turtleneck and jeans every day, but streamlining your work clothes to a few key pieces has numerous benefits. From more time in the morning to less “decision fatigue” throughout the day, building a minimal wardrobe for your professional life is a choice that works.
Why minimalism matters
The buzzwords in self-optimization (the process of bettering yourself and your life in the process) lately have been “decision fatigue.” As The New York Times explains, decision fatigue is, “…why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the super market…No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price.”
To understand decision fatigue well, consider making choices as a form of exercise. The first few choices of your day will be your strongest, but as your workout continues, decisions will become more and more difficult as you become more tired. Why waste those precious few early decisions on what you’ll wear? Building a minimal wardrobe guarantees you can easily select your outfit and sets you on a course for stronger decision making throughout the rest of the day.
What minimalism could mean for you
A minimalist wardrobe doesn’t need to be boring. Most of us have a few colors, patterns, and forms we prefer. Minimalism is about embracing those few options you truly love and discarding the rest. For example, a woman who loves fit and flare dresses might choose a few in neutral colors and then add a section of cardigans to her closet for a pop of color every day. Each morning, she would select a dress and a cardigan and have a stylish, effortless outfit that makes her feel her best.
How to start crafting your minimalist wardrobe
The best way to start crafting your own minimalist wardrobe is to make a list of the pieces you already own and feel your best in. What patterns do you see in the clothing you love? Do you trend towards button downs and slacks? Note that down. If skirts are the bottoms for you, embrace them. Then, as overwhelming as it might sound, create a spreadsheet that lists the pieces you love by category (for example, tops, bottoms, dresses, accessories).
Scan your spreadsheet for gaps in your wardrobe—spaces you’ll need to fill with new pieces create full outfits effortlessly. Try to limit yourself to a number of new pieces that feels reasonable to you; you might consider six new pieces total or two new pieces from each category at most.
When you have a working inventory of clothing you love that mixes together for effortless outfits, you’ve created a minimalist wardrobe. Congratulations! Now it’s time to sell or donate the rest. Your mental health, your decision-making skills, and your closet will thank you later.
House all of your curated items beautifully with a custom closet from Closet & Storage Concepts of Boston. We work with all of our clients individually to create a closet they love based on their collections.
Photo © Kwanchai_Khammuean.