Minimalist style guide: how to build a capsule wardrobe and create a daily uniform
Are you eager to save time, money and energy with a well-curated closet made up of intentional purchases of essential items that compliment your shape, aesthetic, and lifestyle?
In this robust minimalist style guide we teach you everything you need to know about the popular capsule wardrobe and daily uniform concepts.
Get ready to thoughtfully redesign your wardrobe with the perfect fit, fabrics, and colors for you. Plus an extra special minimalist style bonus resource at the end.
Start streamlining your style today
Free Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
Only great minds can afford a simple style — Stendhal
You’ve likely heard anecdotes from or about smart and successful people (such as presidents, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and more) who opt to simplify their style.
Why? Because it eases decision-making, allowing them to more efficiently allocate their precious resources (time, energy, money) to more important matters.
Unfortunately, many smart people struggle with what to wear on a daily basis because they don't know the secrets to perfecting their wardrobe.
However, when you learn the benefits of the capsule wardrobe and daily uniform methods you can dramatically improve your sense of style and build a closet you'll love.
The desire for a more pleasing (and practical) closet typically comes after a major life change or arises from the goals you set, challenges you experience or responsibilities you take on.
You periodically go through situations where something shifts in your lifestyle — for instance, you move to a different city, take a new job, have a baby or adopt a new belief system — which leads to a reassessment of your values and forces you to rethink the way you do things.
What you wear and how you dress may be one of the first areas to be re-evaluated in the midst of change because personal style is so intricately connected to self-expression and self-esteem.
If you are frustrated getting ready each day and self-conscious about the way you look, then it’s likely because the items you own are no longer the best reflection of you.
To feel fully confident in your personal appearance you must sync your style with your lifestyle.
When you have a lot of things in your space – including your closet – that seem completely off, it is likely due to the fact that you are purchasing without first considering who you are and how that manifests in your daily routine.
However, there is no reason why you can’t change this and be in love with every item you own — this is not reserved for a privileged few.
We created this comprehensive step-by-step guide to help on your journey to crafting the perfect closet.
In the steps that follow, you will learn how to adopt a minimalist style, particularly through the creation of a capsule wardrobe and daily uniform.
Table of Contents
What is a capsule wardrobe?
What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?
How do you create a capsule wardrobe?
How not to create a capsule wardrobe?
How to choose the best capsule wardrobe brands?
What is a daily uniform and how do you build one?
Why should you wear a daily uniform?
What’s a summary of these minimalist style rules?
What is the best resource to help build/maintain a minimalist style? (Bonus)
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A Capsule Wardrobe is a thoughtfully assembled collection of timeless pieces that work seamlessly together.
It allows you to easily create outfits you absolutely love from a limited number of pieces.
You will save more time, spend more wisely, and increase your confidence with a streamlined signature style.
Most of all, you'll never worry about what to wear again.
Sounds exciting? Before you start creating your capsule wardrobe, you need to be thoughtful about the things that should go in it.
It's impossible to do that without the following three lifestyle considerations.
Minimalism is an ubiquitous term and having a "minimalist style" means nothing when you have no context by which this concept can be applied to your personal situation.
In order to effectively apply principles of minimalism you have to go through a self reflection exercise which should encompass:
Who are you and who do you want to be?
What do you (and do not) care about?
How can you prioritize and efficiently allocate resources?
Practicing this trifecta of awareness, clarity, and focus helps you to make good decisions in life and good decision-making is an important attribute to have when editing your style.
Personal branding is not just about marketing yourself for career purposes.
It's the practice of crafting a manifesto for your life and an image for yourself then clearly expressing that to everyone around you.
There are four questions to ask yourself:
What do you stand for and how does that drive the specific goals you want to achieve in the future?
What special traits make you unique, important, and relevant to others?
How does your manner of communication engage, inspire, motivate, influence, and build trust in others
What is your aesthetic and what visual elements do you tend to gravitate to?
You don't have to be a business to be strategic about the way you convey yourself. These insights are invaluable to self-expression (including expression through style).
Wondering how your routine has anything to do with your closet? Well, a lot.
What you do and where you go during the day are two of the most important determinants in dressing well.
Does it make sense to have a closet full of heels and dresses if you work from home or out of coffee shops all day?
Do you really need 15 pairs of jeans when you are a corporate lawyer who has to be in a suit each day?
The biggest mistake made with wardrobing is introducing impractical items into your closet.
A way to avoid this is understanding your daily routine by assessing where you time goes.
So clarifying your perception of self and manifesting that in your day-to-day is a prerequisite for perfecting and simplifying your style?
Think about it for a moment. If you don't understand the image you want to express then how can you make clear and confident decisions about what to wear?
If you don't evaluate your daily schedule, how can you dress comfortably and assertively to meet its demands?
So yes, the fundamentals of a capsule wardrobe are using insights and cues from your lifestyle to inform and develop a clearer sense of your personal style.
What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?
You ever notice a person who, at first glance, seems understated and unassuming but something about their appearance keeps your gaze fixated?
Upon closer inspection you realize that they seem effortlessly pulled together: maybe it's the quality of the fabrics, the intention in the fit, or the carefully selected silhouette that fits their shape so well.
Or perhaps, most of all, it's the confidence they exude.
This person doesn't need to wear the "it" bag, showcase a range of luxury logos, or be a walking billboard for the latest trends.
They've thoughtfully crafted their own style and that understated elegance is so much more effective than running after seasonal fashion trends.
If this is a style you are eager to embrace you’ll be able to accomplish it with a capsule wardrobe.
In fact there are seven main benefits from adopting the capsule wardrobe method.
You will know what works best for you
The key trait of being subtly stylish is self-awareness which makes getting ready each day a complete breeze.
Once you've put the effort into understanding what styles are best suited for your body type, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences you will know what's best for you.
You will know where to find what you need
During the capsule wardrobe process you will spend time identifying the brands that are best-suited for you.
Although you may be open-minded about exploring new designers you will only make exceptions for the truly exceptional.
You’ll develop a keen eye for quality
As a subtly stylish individual, you’ll come to see that it’s not necessarily about luxury labels or even expensive price points but the ability to discern when an item is well-made.
You will have no problem shopping high or low as you’ll be able to evaluate whether the fit, fabrication, and overall silhouette of the item in question is worth adding into your closet.
You’ll take better care of your clothing
If you get an unexpected visitor to your home, they won’t find your items strewn about here or there or tossed on the floor.
You’ll come to take pride in your wardrobe and put effort into proper upkeep. In fact, you’ll be able to keep a five year old blazer looking brand new.
If you opt to wear a daily uniform, like many subtly stylish folks, then proper care will be even more critical.
You will be surprised at how long you can extend the life of an item by being more mindful of its upkeep.
You won’t get caught up in trends
Instead of following fads you’ll gravitate to items that will have longevity – in your closet.
This is an important distinction as not all subtly stylish people necessarily adopt a classic look. It doesn’t matter if your aesthetic is boho chic or tomboyish, you’ll be guided by your personal sense of style.
Of course, you’ll check out new trends and occasionally incorporate them into your look.
However, you’ll know better than to only follow what the fashion blogs and magazines tell you is hot.
As a result, you’ll avoid spending a lot of money each season on items that aren't a best reflection of you and that end up going out of style within a matter of months.
As a subtly stylish person you’ll understand these traps and opt to establish your own perspective on style so you aren't easily lured into the seasonal doctrine that so-called fashion experts preach.
You’ll become more minimalistic
Again, this doesn't mean you will only wear black and white or sleek silhouettes. It means you will be tightly edited.
You will become more thoughtful about what you introduce into your wardrobe and adopt a less is more mentality.
You’ll also figure out how you can practice principles of minimalism within your wardrobe without adopting a stereotypically minimalist look.
You won't need external validation
You will dress to impress – yourself. You’ll be ok shopping alone and won’t need to ask others for input.
Sure, you may follow a handful of style influencers or publications for the occasional dose of inspiration, but you will remain the ultimate decision maker.
With a capsule wardrobe you will get to the point where you glance in the mirror in the morning and break out in a smile because you feel so confident in your outfit.
It won't matter if your colleagues or your friends compliment your look or not, because you already started the day validated by your own strong sense of self.
How do you create a capsule wardrobe?
Now that you know what a capsule wardrobe is and the benefits, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of building one.
Evaluate your lifestyle
This was already outlined above, but take a moment to summarize the following:
what you want to convey or express about yourself through your style
what important elements of your routine and schedule heavily impact your style
Understand your unique aesthetic
There are many ways you can do this, however one of the best exercises is to create a digital inspiration board.
Go to different websites, blogs or social media channels — particularly those focused on style — and start saving outfit ideas.
You can use a secret Pinterest board, a note-taking tool like Evernote or a Google Drive or Dropbox folder as a repository of images.
This assortment of outfit inspiration will serve as a visual roadmap to follow as you move through the rest of the process.
Evaluate your closet
Evaluating your closet is an important step because you want to assess what you already have vs. what’s missing in relation to (a) your aesthetic and (b) your lifestyle needs.
There are many methods of doing this, the most popular being the Marie Kondo method of only keeping items that spark joy.
Want to start building your capsule wardrobe?
Take the Streamline Your Style course and learn how to curate a closet you will love.
Create your checklist
Use your inspiration board and closet evaluation to create a list of the essential items you want in your capsule wardrobe then take inventory of what you have vs. what you need to purchase.
A checklist will be useful in keeping you on track so you won't succumb to the thrill of shopping and end up with things you have no real use for.
It's not realistic to think you can go from zero to a full-fledged capsule overnight so take your time and put more emphasis on classic pieces that can be worn over and over again.
Determine your budget
After you make your checklist, it's important to have a set budget in mind before you go on a shopping excursion so you don't break the bank. That would defeat the whole purpose of simplifying.
Aligning your taste with your financial resources forces you to only consider items that are high-quality and a good fit for you.
Decide on your go-to brands
This is discussed in-depth later in the guide as with your overall aesthetic, outfits, and budget in hand, you can craft a short list of brands that are feasible for you to shop from.
The benefit of this shortlist is that in the future, whenever you need to replace an item, it will save you time and effort because you already know where to turn.
Shop without impulse
With your checklist in hand and a clear breakdown of your budget you're ready to go shopping.
However there's a little trick to use just to make sure you don't get ahead of myself: shop anchor pieces first.
Anchor pieces are the most important items on your list. They are typically the basics like a pair of black jeans or white button down shirt that you will get the most wear out of.
Buy these pieces first so everything else is coordinated around them.
Plus, if you underestimated your costs at least you are able to get the most useful items that can hold you over until you have the means to tackle the rest of the list.
Increase longevity with proper care
If you wear a daily uniform or capsule wardrobe then you should be especially mindful of the upkeep of your items if you want to extend their longevity.
Choose good fabrics and do a bit of research to understand their care and maintenance needs.
Maintain your commitment
After all this work you wouldn't want you to revert back to a closet full of stuff you don't adore, so it's important to revisit the process above to maintain your Capsule Wardrobe (every month or quarter will do).
How not to create a capsule wardrobe?
The single most important thing you should not do when creating a capsule wardrobe is allow yourself to be tricked by "needy objects."
Ever been in a situation where you embarked on a brief shopping expedition to purchase one item but ended up spending 5X more money and time than you planned, and bringing home a bag full of stuff you didn’t realize you needed?
You were tricked by what a needy object. Needy objects are things that you initially think you can buy in isolation but actually require several more add-ons to make it work in context.
The potential of falling into this death trap is one you need to be mindful of when making purchases for your capsule wardrobe.
Inadvertently buying needy objects is a direct result of not having a thoughtful process for making purchases.
Now that you are wise to this devious trick, here is a short set of rules to avoid it.
Depend on your list
The biggest issue with needy objects is that they tend to be driven by impulse.
For instance, you scroll through Instagram, see something cute, navigate to the website, and end up being sucked into the trap.
Always add an item to your shopping list and let it sit on the list for a while before you decide to purchase it.
This will not only give you time to consider whether you really need it (and if so think about any add-on items that may be required) but it will also allow you to compare its importance to other items on you list.
Even better is to learn to become content with essential items that you've thought about and know work best for your style and life.
Then the only time you need to shop is when you have to replace a staple that's on this list.
Schedule your shopping trips
With the exception of groceries, general household items, and the occasional unexpected or special situation that calls for a sporadic new purchase, consider limiting major shopping excursions to monthly or quarterly.
At that time, refer to your list and then go through the process of eliminating things you don't really want or need, determining new things you want or need, and prioritizing based on you budget.
Then buy solely what ends up left on the list.
When you schedule your shopping excursions they become important events that you can thoughtfully prepare for vs. a bunch of random one-off impulse buys.
Remember your style
In the capsule wardrobe process above, you addressed the importance of understanding your aesthetic and having go-to brands that work well with your style.
This is because needy objects tend to be items that fall outside of your normal purchasing habits leading to major blind spots.
You don't have to be close-minded: experimentation and exploration are very important parts of self-expression and establishing and evolving your personal sense of style.
The key here is that you should have some fundamental knowledge of your aesthetic so you can easily recognize when an item is too far off.
The overall takeaway is to have a set of checks and balances in place that alleviate impulse purchases and the downward spiral of unnecessary add-ons (that are only supplementing an item you didn't really need in the first place).
How to choose the best capsule wardrobe brands?
A major perk of adopting the capsule wardrobe — i.e. a minimalist approach to curating your closet — is relying on certain tactics that save you time and effort.
One of those tactics is having a go-to list of brands for your capsule wardrobe that you know without a doubt work for your style, your body type, and your budget.
You also probably want to know that the brands you support align with any important ideals (such as environmental friendliness or giving back to the community) that you care deeply about.
Elements to consider
Focusing on the issues that have a tendency to cause the most problems in the wardrobe,
there are five main considerations for creating your go-to brand list.
When choosing a brand, especially for a capsule wardrobe or daily uniform, the first element to investigate is quality.
Read the brand’s website and seek quality assurance cues such as an overview of their fabrication and manufacturing techniques, a discussion on where their items are made, and whether they have a rich heritage or longstanding tradition in their category.
A brand that cares about quality will want to showcase it via beautiful lifestyle and product images, behind the scenes snapshots of their showroom and factories, interesting vignettes about how their fabric is sourced, their branding and packaging, etc.
Also, read any reviews you can find to get feedback from fellow customers.
Not all brands conform to the same sizing standards so know your body measurements (in inches or centimeters) before you go brand hunting.
You can DIY (hundreds of articles come up if you google “how to take body measurements”) or go to your neighborhood tailor.
If you are shopping in-store then try on everything before buying if you aren’t familiar with how a brand fits you.
When shopping online, navigate to the size guide (usually on the product pages or in the FAQs) to see how your measurements translate.
Many brands are also starting to enhance the buying experience with richer fit descriptions, better product images and video (so you can see how the item falls on the body), and tech solutions which uses data to help customers find the perfect size.
“You get what you pay for” is an obvious rule of thumb when comparing opposite ends of the spectrum (like H&M vs. Acne Studios) however, price does not always translate to quality.
Here is a simple tiering system of the average price per piece so you can get a sense of where your budget falls on the spectrum:
Couture – Chanel ($1000)
Luxury – Burberry ($500)
Affordable Luxury – Theory ($200)
Premium – Everlane ($85)
Fast Fashion – Zara ($50)
Budget – Forever 21 ($10)
There may be different interpretations of this, and many brands have offerings in multiple price tiers, but this should do for a rough assessment.
Don’t be fooled by the allure of Luxury and Couture brands. Not everything they produce is on par with the image they portray.
Yes, some of their items are incredibly crafted, but they also make goods in some of the same factories as lower-end brands.
Premium and Affordable Luxury brands like Everlane tend to offer the best cost-to-value and, at times, the quality differentiation between the two is hard to detect.
So if you are forced to opt for a lower priced item it won't necessarily mean a major decrease in quality.
With good care, some items at Fast Fashion brands such as Zara may hold up longer than expected. The only catch is you may have to limit yourself to the special edition collections that are better crafted.
The shopping experience and quality of goods at budget brands can be quite poor but sometime financial restraints require you to shop at these stores.
If so, always choose basics over trendy pieces and put more effort into caring for the items so they don't fall apart.
Once you establish your price range and the categories you fall into it'll take a bit of trial and error with fit and quality to nail your go-to list.
Because there is so much competition in the retail industry and a plethora of options, you should have a zero tolerance personal policy for bad service.
There is no reason to patron a brand that doesn’t exhibit A+ customer service.
The most important things to look for as it pertains to service are usually found in the FAQs.
In this section, search for things like:
a free and easy return policy
fast affordable shipping
responsibility for defective or incorrect goods (if purchasing online)
an effortless way to contact the brand (email, phone, or live chat with fast response times)
Connecting with a brand on a higher level can help you narrow your list.
Take some time to learn about their corporate policies, company culture, and reputation in the press, and see if they resonate with any of your personal ideals.
For example, we admire Everlan'e’s focus on transparency in their manufacturing process.
How to research
Now that you have a set of requirements for choosing brands, here are suggestions for how to conduct research.
Start with what you already own.
A five-minute approach to doing this is to go to your closet, pull out 3-5 pieces that you absolutely love wearing, and jot down the brand names.
Add these brands to your consideration list and use them as a reference for the type of aesthetic that you are drawn to and the price point that you fall within.
Pinterest is an excellent way to conduct brand research because of its strong visuals and popularity with lifestyle categories (fashion, travel, etc.).
Perform 3-4 word, highly descriptive searches (such as “minimal chic style”) and use the automatic suggestion boxes at the top of the feed to dive deeper.
Then just scroll through looking for beautiful images and following the links to any outfits that resonate.
Friends, bloggers, and even celebrities, can be a great source of ideas. The key is that their recommendations need to be properly vetted against the five elements outlined above.
Think about any individuals you know (or know of) whose style is a close reflection of what you are trying to accomplish with your own wardrobe.
Either reach out to them (if they are someone you can directly contact) or visit their social media channels and see if they promote any brands in particular.
Gather the names and add them to your consideration list.
Using only the steps above, you should be able to generate a list of between 15-20 brands that work great.
On a quarterly or annual basis periodically refresh the list as some brands change their design direction and may not remain a good fit.
Moreover, you may learn about new brands and want to give them a try.
What is a daily uniform and how do you create one?
If you're up for the challenge, you can go a step further than the capsule wardrobe by pulling together a short signature set of daily uniforms.
Daily uniforms are a limited set of outfits that align with each of your major lifestyle activities and make getting ready totally effortless. Here’s a process to create one or more daily uniforms.
Build from your capsule wardrobe
In order to own your daily uniform you'll have to be secure with yourself and your sense of style, so carefully consider the types of items that boost your confidence.
For some it may be a power suit while for others it may be a pair of sneakers. Start with your most favorite items and build your daily uniform from there.
Be sure that you’ve created your capsule wardrobe first and from that wardrobe construct a few go-to daily uniforms that you can rely on and feel good wearing a few days in a row.
You can craft your set of daily uniforms by identifying a handful of favorite items that you love wearing and feel yourself in.
This also means moving away from fashion fads and style trends and focusing almost exclusively on the pieces that are the best fit for you.
Whatever outfit combinations you decide on, let them be the ones that make you feel like your best self.
Opt for comfort as the top priority
Many people make fashion choices based on fads but don't give proper thought to fit and fabrication.
However, comfort will be key if you are going to wear the same thing everyday.
You won't feel confident if you don't feel comfortable so consider the texture and structure of the items that make you feel most at ease.
You might prefer sturdy materials such as cotton that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.
Or perhaps you can tolerate silk being a bit higher maintenance because you like the feel of it against your skin.
While 100% wool feels cozy to many, you may cross it out because it scratches your skin or causes you to feel overheated.
Also consider how you feel after wearing an item for a full day.
For instance, women may trade heels for flats in their daily uniforms because they can't make it a few hours without sore feet, back strain and poor posture.
Please take the time to identify the types of items you feel your best and worst in.
You'll want to build your daily uniform around the best of the best so strongly consider eliminating items that are uncomfortable.
Don’t forget your aesthetic
Once again, keeping a minimalist mindset will be important in crafting your daily uniform but it doesn't mean you can't let your natural style shine through.
It doesn't matter if you prefer a casual or professional look, you can create a daily uniform work by building a base from simple basics.
These basics may include neutral colors, structured shirts and streamlined blazers for example.
Then you can use shoes and accessories to customize your outfits to your taste.
Many people are turned off by the concept of creating a capsule wardrobe or daily uniform because they automatically assume it requires you to have a minimalist aesthetic.
This is absolutely false. You can be bohemian and still only own 50 beloved items in your closet that look amazing on you.
So even if you do have more vibrant or eccentric tastes this is a concept that can work for you as well.
You must map the outfits to your lifestyle
If you work in a corporate law firm you'll have to conform to a different set of outfit guidelines than if you work in an advertising agency.
If you work from home or out of cafes as a freelancer you have more flexibility than someone whose office adheres to a strict dress code.
One source of frustration is having a lot of things in your closet that don't work for your day-to-day.
It’s important to alleviate this by choosing items that fit in well with your current lifestyle — be it casual or formal.
You likely also have a distinct work and a weekend life, so it may also be necessary to create two different daily uniforms.
Whatever the case, don't breeze over this step when creating your daily uniform because you want your look to be practical and fit the reality of your lifestyle.
Review your budget once more
Having a daily uniform doesn't necessarily mean wearing the exact same items everyday (though to each his own).
You'll have to consider your budget and think about which items you'll need quite a few of because it would be too much to keep them clean (e.g. white tees), and which items you only need a few of because you can easily wear them frequently (e.g. black jeans).
The great thing about the daily uniform concept is that it is inherently budget-friendly.
Wearing the same thing allows you to significantly cut down on shopping and will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars each season.
Choose the best brand from your list
You already constructed a list of go-to brands that have the basics you need for your capsule wardrobe.
But for you daily uniforms you may want to be even more selective and go with your favorite brand on the list.
Brands or retailers such as Everlane have stylish minimalist apparel that can help you build a classic yet unique everyday look.
And, again, even if you don't have a minimalist aesthetic you should still identify that one awesome brand that best fits your personal style.
Don’t have too many restrictions
Creating a daily uniform can be a fun project and a great way to simplify life. For some, it may be easy to set a look and stick with it indefinitely.
For others — who prefer to experiment or change up their style — you can alternate your daily uniform weekly, monthly or seasonally.
There are no rules or restrictions other than understanding what works for you.
Why should you wear a daily uniform?
You may be shocked at what does and doesn't happen when you wear the same thing every day, and will likely find some surprising benefits.
After researching psychological biases associated with self image, we are placing bets on the following outcomes.
At first, no one will probably notice
Humans overestimate the extent to which people are observing them.
This is called the "spotlight effect" and is the tendency for people to think they are being noticed more than they are.
This unwarranted feeling can lead to unjustified embarrassment and self-consciousness, especially when you do something out of the ordinary (such as wearing the same shirt for three days).
The ego can't always be trusted and ignoring it from time to time will ease a lot of social pressure.
You will stop caring what people think
There's an interesting psychological concept called the looking-glass self that explains how your entire identity and self-image is largely determined by how you believe society perceives you.
Some sociologists believe this affect wears off with age.
However, the process of self-realization can be accelerated by occasionally experimenting with off-the-beaten path ways of thinking and living.
So by the time someone notices that you are doing outfit repeats, you may already be totally indifferent to their opinion.
Decision-making will become easier
Decision fatigue is the phenomenon by which your ability to make sound decisions grossly deteriorates with the more decisions you make.
In the Paradox of Choice, author Barry Schwartz discusses research that shows how too many options can leave you overwhelmed and prone to irrational choice.
But, imagine how much sharper your mind would be if you didn't start the day with hundreds of frivolous decisions (like figuring out what to wear)?
Take a cue from historical greats like Albert Einstein and President Barack Obama – streamline your wardrobe so you can focus on what matters most.
You will want to keep this going
Once you start tallying up all the benefits of your daily uniform it'll be hard to go back to the "standard" way of dressing.
There's also a behavioral condition for this phenomenon: positive reinforcement.
The favorable consequences of simplifying your style will become addictive, so it's worth taking this little experiment to the next level.
In the Streamline Your Style book, we go deeper into the process of curating a closet from only essential items that can be combined to construct a few of your favorite go-to uniforms.
You'll learn how to improve your wardrobe and develop a signature style that will save you time and money, minimize decision-making, and increase your confidence.
It’s an efficient way to tame the ego and become more resistant to some of the psychological tendencies discussed above.
What is a summary of these minimalist style rules?
Building a minimalist style takes time but to simplify the process, here’s a summary of the rules we’ve covered.
Respect your lifestyle
Sometimes you may want to be something you’re not. It’s a natural human tendency.
But if you succumb to this impulse, unrealistic desires could lead to poor decisions.
Either change the life you live or accept it, but don’t psych yourself out.
Reading Vogue editorials or following a bunch of fashion bloggers is great for inspiration but the (rather theatrical) images they tend to portray may not always fit with the reality of your day-to-day.
When it comes to building your wardrobe how you truly see yourself and how you spend most of your time should be the leading influencer.
Otherwise you’ll have a lot of stuff that looks good on hangers but not on you.
Dress for yourself
At times it seems as if women, in particular, make style choices so they can be attractive to men or the envy of other women.
And with the rise of metro-sexualism and gentlemen’s fashion, males appear to be following suit.
But dressing for another person is a major contributor to the stress associated with wardrobing.
It’s natural to care what others think of you, but when purchasing items or getting ready each day their opinion shouldn’t overshadow your own.
Create daily uniforms
A handful of daily uniforms would make it easy to pull together a look in about 5 minutes flat, and your capsule wardrobe should be comprised of a series of these uniforms.
This is an excellent style strategy because whenever you’re making a decision about what to wear (be it packing for travel, a special occasion, or just a normal day) all you need to do is select one of the uniforms that applies to a particular event.
Rely on the basics
No matter your aesthetic (be it classic, boho, or edgy) you can benefit from having a selection of staples that represent the bulk of your wardrobe.
These staples (or basics) are the foundational elements worth spending your money on because they are items that can be worn more frequently.
Take the time to determine the best staples for you, where to buy them, and how to maintain them so they last.
Spending effort on this just once or twice a year will almost completely eliminate the time you waste getting ready throughout the rest of the year.
Once you have your staples established, if you choose, you can embellish them with a small number of accessories or other more elaborate apparel pieces that help you create a signature look.
Prioritize your comfort
Have a limit as to how far you are willing to go in the name of fashion.
Think over some of your most intolerable or disastrous style moments and make a firm commitment to never go there again.
When you aren’t comfortable you aren’t confident. And when you aren’t confident it shows no matter how expensive, on trend, or chic your outfit may be.
Be subtly stylish
Subtly stylish people have an allure because they aren’t actually trying to stand out but the quality of their look makes it impossible to ignore them.
That quality is most apparent because of the clear attention they’ve devoted to fit and fabrication — not necessarily because they were worried about brand names or trends.
Being a walking billboard may turn a few heads but it may not be because you look good — you aren’t automatically a connoisseur of style because you rushed out to by the latest “it” bag.
Paying attention to how certain silhouettes complement your body type and learning how to select well-made garments crafted from high-quality materials is more likely to get you admiration.
All of the rules above really come down to this: be discerning about what you buy, what you keep in your closet, and what you decide to wear.
Consider the quote by Christine Koh: “Think of yourself as a curator, rather than a consumer” which gets at the heart of it.
Another way to look at it is that your personal style is just another area in life that gives you the opportunity to act with intention.
Your capsule wardrobe should be thoughtfully assembled from a collection of timeless pieces that work seamlessly together, allowing you to easily create outfits you love from a small number of items.
We want to stress the importance of staying true to your personal style.
Your personal style may not be minimalist but it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a simplified approach to perfecting your closet.
Understand and conform to your own aesthetic, as you can abide by these rules no matter the type of look you’re going for.
What is the best resource to help build and maintain a minimalist style?
Our sister brand, Capsule Wardrobe, creates and curates some of the best resources to help you elevate your personal style and support sustainable fashion with a capsule wardrobe or daily uniform.
They maintain an incredible directory of articles, books, brands and other tools to help your build and maintain a minimalist style.
This easy-to-explore destination is a one-stop-shop for all your minimalist style needs.
Images by Benjamin Holtrop for Minimalism. We may earn a small compensation for outbound links in this article at no cost to you.