Minimalism: What I learned from a fashion blog

As someone who values minimalism, I never expected to find my next minimalist tip from a fashion blog. In all honesty, I assumed fashion blogging was all about buying the newest, hottest thing. Spending your hard earned dollars on a jacket or accessory that may be popular "this season" but will likely be dumped the next. I definitely cannot say I keep up with fashion trends and my mentality for buying clothing is quite different than this. Most things that end up in my closet these days I hope to have not for a season but years to come. I am willing to spend more for high quality, eco conscious brands, and tend to purchase basic items that withstand the ebb and flow of the fashion world. I steer away from cheap stores that sell products that fall apart after the first wash because I am well aware of the resources (water, petroleum, farmland, human labor) that were used to make them. Because I see each purchase as an impact to the environment, as well as a sacrifice of funds that could otherwise go towards travel and adventure, I'm careful about what I buy. That said, I do find myself wanting new things and don't always love the clothes in my closet. While fashion may not seem like an obvious link to Wayfare Collective, in my perusing of fashion blogs I learned a new method for organizing my closet that has helped me in my quest to:

Simplify life

Spend less money on clothes and prioritize experiences

Reduce my environmental impact

Have less decisions to make in the morning before work

Love the clothes I have

Decrease my desire for new things

If these areas of your life that you would like to improve upon, you may find this method helpful as well. To all you gentlemen and ladies out there with five shirts hanging in your closet, why don't you skip this post and set some adventure goals instead?

While many fashion bloggers are all about trends and are constantly trying to sell you on a new pair of leggings or a jacket, some fashion bloggers out there have actually found a way to reduce their consumption of clothing and time spent figuring out what to wear. Since I am all about minimalism for both my own sanity and the health of the planet, I am now a big fan of the "capsule wardrobe". A capsule wardrobe is essentially a minimalist approach that not only encourages you get rid of unwanted items (by giving them to friends, selling to a used clothing store, or donating to a charity) but also helps curb the desire to buy new things. I wish I would have stumbled across this before my year of no purchases! Every season, you sort through your clothes and pick out a limited number of items to wear each season. The first blog I read said 37 was the magic number, others say a few more or less. (This number doesn't include workout clothes or comfy stuff you wear around the house.) I settled on not worrying too much about this number, and instead reveled in the amount of things items I was able to give away or put in storage for the next few months. In the end, the important part is creating a new mindset for how you create your wardrobe. In case you want more information on how you can create your own capsule wardrobe, the blog I took most of my tips from was Unfancy.

What can you get out of this exercise? 

  1. Rid yourself of a lot of unnecessary stuff. I sent over 80 items of clothing to Goodwill (and close to the equivalent number of hangers) and my friend Lauren got rid of 300 things! 300!!!!!! 
  2. Make it easier to get dressed in the morning and love what you wear. Because you have less clothing to look at in the morning, you have limited options. Since you already vetted your favorite clothes and only kept the good stuff, all of your options are well coordinated and include things you like. Picking an outfit has never been easier.
  3. Find style you never knew you had. For many of us who prefer to live life in a fleece and running shoes, this can be kind of exciting. When you get all of your favorite things lined up, your style really jumps out at you. You quickly realize that all of your clothes that didn't quite fit right or were not your favorite color were just unflattering filler.
  4. Have more room in the closet. For someone with limited space like me, this gave me a place for outdoor gear, towels, bedding, etc., leading to less clutter elsewhere in my home. This is huge win. If only I could fit my bikes in there... 
  5. Curb the desire to shop because you have everything you need. I have a wish list of specific items (jeans don't last forever...) and am doing my best to not stray from it. This list is short because my travel bucket list is long. Priorities. 
  6. Save money. By selling items you don't need and not buying unnecessary things, you have more money for experiences. When I looked at my pile of things to get rid of I realized that it mostly included impulse or sale purchases. I no longer buy things just because they are a good deal. 
  7. Save the planet. Seriously! Every item you own represents oil, water, and land used to produce it. This footprint it a lot bigger than you may think. 

What is the main win? To rethink your "needs," reduce your impact, and put your time and energy into something more interesting than "what am I going to wear today?" With all that saved time and money, it may be time to reward yourself with an adventure.