Why I’ll never go back to a “normal” wardrobe: benefits of a minimal wardrobe

(ENG only) A few days ago I was scrolling through and replying to comments on Youtube. Someone left a comment to the video where I explain why I no longer have a wardrobe/closet and how I store my clothes without owning one.

The comment was “Geez you don’t have a lot of clothes…“.

Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving comments from people (of course not the offensive ones), because they get me to think. And this is what I thought: yes, I don’t have so many clothes and honestly I am totally fine with it.

I can’t imagine myself, again, standing countless minutes in my underwear staring at my overwhelmingly full wardrobe and keeping on thinking: “Mmmhh… I’ve got nothing to wear”, while the clock is ticking and I know already I will, inevitably, be late, again.

After moving abroad first and starting living more minimally after, I have kept on reducing my clothes up to a point where I’m comfortable with what and how much I have. I own less. It’s not about reaching a specific number of pieces in my wardrobe, it has never been like that. It’s about reaching that perfect amount, the one that fits me, the one that is made by the things I know I’ll wear no matter what because I love wearing them. And that number can change, being sometimes less and sometimes more. I remember when I shared my shoe collection on Youtube and some people gave me hard times because at that time I owned 9 pairs of shoes (apparently having 9 pairs of shoes doesn’t make me a minimalist).

Having a downsized wardrobe is not about numbers and it has never been about numbers. It’s about having just the things you like wearing, and not keeping that top that you bought on sale with the price tag still on because you feel guilty about getting rid of it.

Here’s the major benefits I’ve had by having a smaller wardrobe and why I would never go back to a “normal” (or should I say huge? Because mine was…) wardrobe:

  • define my style: having with less clothes has allowed me to define my style better instead of keep on wearing a hodgepodge of styles, fits, colors, materials, patterns. It has been a virtuous cycle in which making capsule wardrobes started playing an important role. Making capsule wardrobes made me learn more and better about my style. Is it edgy? is it hipster-ish? is it basic? is it thrifty? is it casual? well, you know what? I don’t care, I don’t want to be constricted into a label. My style is just me. It’s just “Jenny”. And I like it. 🙂
  • create better outfits: as strange as it sounds, less clothes = more, better outfits. I am usually quite basic with my outfits and if I do like an outfit, I wear it over and over again. I have surely made some terrible combinations at the beginning, but I learned better what suits me and what not, what works well and what not. And by adding a few new pieces here and there every now and then, or by simply experimenting a bit more than usual, I can combine pieces better and in a more creative way, making me feel more excited about what I own and almost like I have a big wardrobe and plenty of choice.
  • understand the importance of good quality clothes: thrift stores can be an infinite source of treasures and gems (even though, with the increasing, overwhelming success of fast fashion brands, it’s getting harder and harder to find good quality garments when shopping second hand). However, with the right amount of patience and time, shopping second hand can be tremendously rewarding, way more that popping into Zara, H&M or Primark and buying a 5€ top that probably other 100.000 people bought already. Second hand clothes have a story to tell, they look different, unique, sometimes quirky, in an era in which everything is produced in a gigantic scale and everyone looks the same (crazy to see how, in a city like Berlin with 3,5 million inhabitants, there’s more people dressed in the same way that you would think). And if second hand doesn’t offer what I’m looking for, I look into slow fashion. After watching “The true cost” (5 must watch documentaries to inspire minimalism) I decided I could not support fast fashion ever again, and didn’t even want to. Slow fashion means good quality garments, produced in smaller scale with care, attention and fair wages for the workers who made them. It means supporting smaller businesses while investing in a piece of clothing that is not going to fall apart after being washed three times only. It means good quality, often eco-friendly materials, excellent sewing work and great fit.
  • care less about what other people think: I used to think that people notice if you wear the same top two days in a row. You know what? They don’t. And even if they do, who cares? Even people who have way more clothes than I do, at a closer look, tend to keep on wearing always the same things. Unless they are fashion bloggers and make a living out of having a gigantic closet.
  • always feel good in what I wear: I remember how weird I used to feel sometimes, when I was forcing myself to wear something I wasn’t very convinced of just because I’ve already spent money on it. Maybe it was the color? That strange detail? The material? The fact that as soon as I was moving my arms and shoulders, I needed to adjust the garment and pulling it back down a million times? People might think that buy less means having nothing to wear, but when having a minimal wardrobe, having/buying less actually means having/buying better. If my favorite jeans are dirty and they’re in the laundry basket, I don’t freak out thinking “what the heck am I going to wear today?” because I am absolutely sure that I like and actually wear all of the clothes I have. Of course, I want to make sure, as the seasons change and I unpack the rest of my clothes, to check what I haven’t been seeing in a while to see if I still like it and if it still fits me well (maybe I gained/lost a bit of weight), and if it’s still something I am happy to have in my wardrobe. But it got much easier for me to immediately recognize if I want to keep a piece of clothing or if I know already that I won’t be wearing it that much again.
  • easy peasy to get ready: as cliche as it sounds, I can get dressed in no time. And I freaking love it.

How do you feel about having a small wardrobe? Let me know by leaving a comment below, I’d love to know 🙂

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xoxo

Jen

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11 Comments

  1. January 15, 2018 / 17:40

    I completely agree with this. I find that a smaller wardrobe is easier to maintain – freeing me to focus on other things. Thanks for sharing your technique for decluttering a closet.

    • January 16, 2018 / 16:39

      Hi Danielle! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this post and that we’re on the same page with wardrobes, eheheh! Life is too short to make it unnecessarily complicated 🤗

  2. theminiamlistninja
    January 17, 2018 / 17:12

    I can totally relate to that. Getting dressed in the morning with a small wardrobe is such a breeze! Way back I upgraded to a HUGE wooden ikea wardrobe. Big mistake. I filled it to the brim with clothing! Now that I’ve only the essentials it’s so much easier to move into a new space and work with what I got. Such a great post, Jenny! 🙂

    • January 18, 2018 / 07:23

      Thanks Nina! Glad you liked this post! Eheheheh, somehow upgrading wardrobes seemed a great idea back then (when I moved in my own apartment back in RSM and had a huge wardrobe at my disposal I was thrilled)… crazy to see how we change over the years and how now we get more excited to have just a handful of clothes! 🙂
      Thanks for following along Nina! :*

      • theminiamlistninja
        January 18, 2018 / 11:10

        Absolutely! I don’t see myself going back ever again. The wardrobe I ended up getting was just waaay to big and expensive in retrospect. Man, I was a student back then! 😀 I just love your blog! 😀

        • January 18, 2018 / 21:37

          We all have been, let’s just say “naif” at some point, eheheheh!! Oh Nina, thank you so much!! I’m so glad that somehow a few years ago we were able to connect in the big wide internet space! <3

          • theminiamlistninja
            January 19, 2018 / 07:21

            Haha, yesssss! Absolutely! I am so glad that we stumbled upon each others channels! 😀

  3. January 22, 2018 / 04:42

    I love this and am currently working on downsizing my wardrobe to only what I love !

    • January 22, 2018 / 06:44

      Hi Tereza! That’s awesome! You’ll be surprised and refreshed by how great does it feel to keep and wear only what you love!! ☺️

  4. March 13, 2018 / 16:53

    I agree, something about living abroad or even just traveling and having only a small wardrobe makes everything just seem right when you put it on. I always like my travel outfits so much better than my daily wear, and when I lived abroad I always felt more put together with my small amount of basics.

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