My wardrobe principles.
As much as I get roasted for how little furniture, clothing, whatever that I have in my apartment, I'm pretty content - perhaps a mechanism of upbringing, or history, or the way I choose to live my life.
It started a few years ago, when I was moving out to start a new job. I wanted to take everything from my bedroom with me - clothes, books, you name it - and for the most part, I did. But soon enough, I became obsessed with minimalism, and authenticity in who I was and what I owned and wanted. A few folks asked about the rules I have for my wardrobe, or how I maintain such a small closet for work-wear and leisure.
Note: the items seen above in the photo are items I most frequently wear to work and out in the city. Seasonal items, t-shirts, formal dresses, etc are stored separately in another closet.
2018 — Wardrobe Principles
I will only invest in clothing that, treated correctly, will last years.
Clothing should be purchased thoughtfully and strategically. Before fast fashion existed, clothing was fairly expensive - people invested in the way that they looked, and the fabrics that we would consider to be of higher quality (tweed, silk, wool, denim, etc) were often the only choices available. These days, it's far too easy to fall into the mass-haul philosophy at shopping at fast-fashion brands. Buying less at a higher price point infrequently versus buying more at a lower price frequently will make more sense over time: you have less clothing to upkeep, and you’ve saved on repurchasing items of lower quality.
If it doesn't fit when I try it on, I'm not buying it.
We like to think that with a couple adjustments here and there, a clothing item will be perfect. This is totally valid - sometimes, at a certain price or level of quality, it's worth investing. But if we're talking a polyester blouse in the sale rack that doesn't fit quite right and would need some buttons sewed back - save your money.
For every item I add to my closet, one item must be donated.
There has to be some form of mechanism to keep my shopping habits and budgets in check, and this is one.
Anything purchased should fit the overall style schema in my closet.
This means neutrals, whites, blacks, and stripes. Very rarely will I step outside this palette, but when I do, it will be for one or two statement pieces. When I look back on photos of my life, I want my style to feel timeless. Everything I have on the rack is something I love and truly enjoy wearing.
Buying gently-used clothing will be a priority, followed by ethical brands, followed by everything else.
The foundations of fast fashion are the people who create and sew and struggle in working conditions that are so far below that of which we should accept. Aside from that, only a small percentage of clothing is actually recycled, creating an environmental impact with items in landfills that will never biodegrade. Seeking a more sustainable lifestyle by investing in clothing that can be washed and re-worn, and then in clothing created by brands that are dedicated to the lives and wages of the workers behind them, is everything I want to encompass in my wardrobe going forward.
And that's truly all it is. I like to think that it isn't complicated or completely out of scope for anyone to try, and it's definitely something to think about in the long-term. If you have principles of your own you'd like to share, let me know!