Coming from fast fashion and a habit of shopping for clothes frequently, a minimalist wardrobe might sound boring. Many times it can feel so too, when you’re no longer getting the dopamine spikes from shopping and from constantly wearing something new.
Fortunately wardrobe boredom can be fought with both practical strategies and by reframing your mind.
Before diving in, note that most people who’ve had a minimalist wardrobe for years are not bored with it—at least from what we’ve seen. It’s likely that they’ve already mastered what’s covered in this article.
Clothes that Combine Well Result in A Lot of Outfits
Time for some simple math. Imagine that you have three shirts, three pairs of pants, and three pairs of shoes. Let’s say that shirt A only goes together with pants A and shoes A. Same goes for B and C. You’ve got yourself a total of three outfits.
Now let’s say that everything goes with everything. You can put a blindfold on, pick one shirt, one pair of pants, and one pair of shoes, and the end result will always be a nice outfit. Suddenly you’ve gone from three outfits to 27. That’s almost a different outfit for every day of the month, with a total of nine pieces. Who’s getting bored with that?
Not everything will work together, but when you make a habit of thinking about how a piece works with the rest of your wardrobe before you buy it, every new addition will unlock a lot of new outfits. When your wardrobe is built for mixing and matching, you don’t need a lot of clothes to have a huge variety of outfits.
As a bonus tip, adding accessories is kind of a cheat code to help with the mixing and matching strategy. Belts, scarves, jewelry, bags, and hats result in tons of new outfits, with minor additions.
Slow Down Your Life to Make it More Exciting
Feeling bored about one’s wardrobe is partly a psychological issue, that needs to dealt with mentally. On a deeper level, excessive boredom is a side effect of our modern and convenient world with everything instantly available. It’s a consequence of the constant stimuli we get from devices. A hyper stimulated brain is always seeking borderline impossible excitement from every part of your life—including your wardrobe.
It’s up to each and everyone to slow down. To resist the instant gratification that’s everywhere, and to actively appreciate the important things in our lives. If we don’t, life becomes an unwinnable chase of excitement, leaving us in a constant state of feeling unfulfilled that no wardrobe in the world can fix.
Fortunately, and perhaps a little counterintuitively, slowing down makes your life feel more exciting. Buying a pair of jeans you’ve been carefully planning for a long time is so much more rewarding than buying something cool on sale on your third shopping spree that week. Scheduling time to read an interesting article with no distractions allows you to actually process the content, form your own opinion, and learn from it—something that can’t be said about reading 100 captions and skimming through 10 different blog posts when standing in line at the grocery store.
Sure, you might feel bored every now and then, especially if you’ve been hooked on instant gratification for a long time (as many of us have), but that’s normal. We need boredom breaks. Those are for resting, reflecting, and planning ahead.
Slowing down turns each thing you do into a real memory. You remember the books you read and how they made you feel. You can recall where you bought every pair of your shoes and even the thought process behind buying them. You feel like you’re growing. It’s a pleasure to look back on the last few weeks, months, or even years, and to remember more clearly what you’ve been doing.
And when you do slow down, your wardrobe starts feeling more fun too. Finding new outfit combos—or just wearing something you haven’t worn in a while—becomes exciting again. You start appreciating your clothes more, especially those that you’ve carefully planned for and finally bought. You’ll notice newfound gratitude toward pieces that have served you for years.
Slowing down might make you realize that you already live a pretty rich and fulfilling life.
If you have a healthy relationship with boredom, then the practical tip of designing your wardrobe for mixing and matching will take you far. Again, you don’t need a lot of clothes to make a lot of outfits.
If, on the other hand, you think that you might get bored with everything a little too easy, then you need to work on it mentally. Cut down on social media, take a break from Netflix, and definitely stop mindless shopping. Learn to embrace occasional boredom and put more thought into the things you’re doing. It might not be easy—in fact, it’s kind of a rehab—but it’s worth it.
Lastly, think of it this way: it’s probably not your wardrobe’s job to keep you excited. A good wardrobe simply lets you live your life to the fullest. Just make sure that it does that and move on to more important things.