Wardrobe Basics. Minimal Style, Best Style!

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Since I like to keep my reading diverse and keep an eye out for everything and anything happening around, I found this really interesting piece about not just a closet, but a wardrobe! A Minimal Wardrobe!

I hope you’ll watch the video as it’s really short and very interesting and I also hope you’ll share your thoughts and feelings about the concept. Béa Johnson came to me by means of “zero – waste” living style than through her art. Though she’s an accomplished and acclaimed artist, I want to highlight another side of Béa. At least today: her zero – waste lifestyle. And more specifically, her zero – waste closet. What does that mean exactly? It means a basic wardrobe. Minimal style at its core.

Now that you’ve just watched (hopefully) the video, what’s your first impression? Does Bea’s closet presentation inspire you in any way? Is this the kind of style minimalism you thought “basic wardrobe” implies? I have so many questions about this and I feel so enthusiastic about the idea, I just couldn’t let it go without giving it my two cents, and, why not, discuss it with you (I know I’d love to hear you out on the matter!)

As we’re drawing closer to the Holidays season and it’s well known that shopping reaches its peak during this special time of the year, my normally shopping oriented self received a shock when Bea said she only shops (for clothing) twice a year, at the beginning of the big seasons: 15 April and 15 October. That alone takes a lot of education and self imposed shopping limits. And also saves a loooot of time and energy! (yes, I’m aware that there’s an entire retail therapy concept going against what I just said, but come to think about it – wouldn’t Bea’s shopping scheme be more rewarding, more calming and.. overall, better?)

As the video rolls and we’re inside Bea’s closet, I said to myself “there’s gotta be more hidden around that corner! There’s no way this is her and her husband’s entire closet! It’s smaller than any of our kids’ closets! And they’re KIDS!?”. I felt ashamed of my thoughts when I finally realized that that was all there was to Bea’s closet. Shared closed! Hearing her recount the actual contents of her wardrobe (I supposed pretty much the same thing applies to her husband’s wardrobe too) instantly prompted an image of our own (also shared) wardrobe. My eyes were getting wider, my thoughts were slowly falling in (the right) place: wow! This is how I want MY closet to look like! This is what I want in MY wardrobe too!

minimal wardrobe

But would I ever settle, like Bea, for “7 shirts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 3 sweaters, 6 dresses, 6 pairs of shoes (including slippers), 1 bracelet, 1 ring, 1 pair of earrings and 1 necklace”? What about my favorite dress? And my favorite maxi dresses? And my favorite pairs of jeans? My favorite sandals? My favorite boots? Then it hit me: all my “favorites” actually come down to the same count! Three pairs of jeans (can you believe it?) Three pairs of shoes (yeah, I have some catching up to do, but between the daily school runs and one night out / month with my Adored Husband, I didn’t really felt the need for more). And I could go on! I have just two handbags I use (I just realized Bea didn’t say anything about bags!) and about two scarves. And my wardrobe is filled with clothing I wear under five times / year! Unbelievable, isn’t it? Can you do a mental count of your favorite clothing items, those you wear the most and see what it comes down to?

From the moment I started this frizz – adventure I came to know many interesting projects which would encourage this zero – waste attitude Bea is actually living. Remember the uniform project? I’m sure there were many more like it, I just didn’t stumble upon those. What about that old saying “less is more”? How far are we willing to take “less” in order to obtain “more”? More time, more savings, more energy, more creativity? (it may sound odd to throw creativity in the game, but personally, I never felt more inspired and driven to create than when I had little resources to pull a project off with. It’s one of the reasons I love anything – DIY.)

Darlings, this may be a touchy topic, but what if we took the plunge and talked about it? How do we stand tall, how do we keep our integrity when everything and everyone around us is only pushing us to buy more, more often?


#1 Ellington on 11.29.11 at 10:56 am

I think that it is a good idea, but I also think that it depends on what is your life and what is going on?
Yes Bea is very practical but I cannot say that I admire her style or look, at least from what I saw in the video.
Yes there are the fashion house and magazines telling us what is in and what we NEED, but if you have a good sense of self one does not have to jump on the trend bandwagon or want the latest IT thing.
I go through my wardrobe yearly by seasons. If I have not worn it or looked at it in a year then it goes.
: )

Nice thought provoking post though Kpriss. : )

#2 kpriss on 11.29.11 at 12:51 pm

Sure, you’re absolutely right! It’s all about what one does during the day – Bea’s schedule must be very permitting since she’s an artist. Since I keep a somewhat similar day plan (minus the artist part ;) ) I think I felt there were many similarities and shared views.

Anyway, some things still apply for the vast majority. Like: did you ever draw a map of your wardrobe? In terms of thess pants go with this top and this shirt too, I have these shoes which go with most of my outfits and daily occasions? Crossing items like you were mapping highways? Connecting, building outfits in your head to maximize the efficiency? Or do you go with the shopping flow sometimes and throw yourself on a blouse you just have to have but doesn’t go with anything that’s already in your closet?

#3 Ellington on 11.29.11 at 4:06 pm

I do not really do doubles on things unless it is things like white tshirts and black turtlenecks and simple white shirts.
And I do not map my wardrobe out because sometimes I love to mix things up.
Sometimes I see something that is really quirky and I will get it but I make it work, because I would not have bought it unless I felt that I could. : )

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