The Secret to Keeping Up With Your Minimalist Wardrobe

You need to find your why. Here's mine.

So, you’ve started your minimalist wardrobe.

It’s been a couple of weeks and you just aren’t feeling it anymore. You aren’t inspired. You want something new. You might feel like you’re missing out or losing something.

It feels more like a battlefield than a peaceful protest.

If you find yourself forcing yourself to push through, if you’re stuck in an outfit rut, if you have urges that need to be satisfied by buying MORE, then this is for you.

Here’s the solution to your problem. Well, actually it’s more like a two-part solution:

1) Tell yourself the truth: Commitments are hard.
2) Realize to stay in a commitment, you need a “why”.

Here’s the inspiration for why I gave up my closet.

I Used to Be a Shopping Addict

I was like you. Or maybe 10 times worse.

I shopped to make myself feel better, I shopped because I needed to feel like I fit in. I shopped to hide insecurities about myself. I shopped because I told myself I deserved it, every single piece.

In college, I discovered my “little” addiction was costing a small fortune. I realized it had to stop. I tried to go on shopping bans… and I failed.

Towards the end of college, I got better. However, I went through my ups and downs. Even moments of just sitting in my failures (literally sitting in new jeans I had just purchased).

My Trip to the Philippines Compelled Me to Help

Fast-forward to when I traveled to the Philippines, to research anti-human trafficking — I received a grant to teach students on the topic.

In the Philippines, there is a pattern of human trafficking. People are forced into a life of servitude that includes manufacturing clothes.

I was privileged to meet, talk, and connect with survivors.

They shared the stories of their struggles and experiences. We exchanged tears, hugs, and silent stares that carried more than a novel.

When we parted ways, I told myself, I could help them — no, that I had a responsibility to help them. If the situations were reversed, I would want it for me.

Your “Why” Will Keep You On the Right Track

After my 25th birthday, I openly shared my conversion to a smaller closet and my “why”.

I’m now 4 months in, and I can honestly admit, it is not easy. I still have those same urges I mentioned in the beginning, but now, I have my “why” to defend me from those urges.

My “why” takes the form of many reasons, like self-care and more time for my family. However my biggest “why” is there are people, who are underpaid or forced to work, and they are the people who made my garments.

So my fashion is lined with guilt, sweat, tears, broken dreams. This is not the way I want to be connected to others.

So there it is. It’s as simple, focused and minimalist as possible. The secret to your minimalist wardrobe… Find your “why” and be passionate about it.

People share and donate their time to something meaningful to them. Make your minimalist wardrobe create meaning for you (and bonus points if you create meaning for others around you).

Applying This to Your Personal Life

I hope my story and my “why” helps propel you into minimalism.

Hera are some actionable tips to apply this to your situation:

Spend some time in self-reflection and ask yourself, “why?”

Why do you want to be a minimalist? Why do you want to downsize?

It does not have to be like my “why”, just something that YOU are passionate about.

Write it down. This is a good way visualize or to stay committed.

Place it somewhere you look/pass often to remind yourself on those hard days, you will persevere and continue this path.

Share it with family or friends. They will be good at keeping you accountable or helping you organize your thoughts. The sharing might even trigger them to begin their own minimalist wardrobe journey.

Subscribe to our Weekly Digest

It's a collection of everything interesting that happened that week, so that you can get back to it when you have the time.

Discover Ethical Fashion

  • Everlane Japanese Oxford Shirt
    SIZES: 00-14
    SHIPS TO: International
  • Kotn Mock Neck Tank
    SHIPS FROM: Canada
    SHIPS TO: Worldwide
  • ABLE Perez 70mm Booties
    SIZES: 6-10
    SHIPS TO: Worldwide
  • Everlane Easy Chino
    SIZES: 00-16
    SHIPS TO: International
  • Pact Leggings
    + MORE

See our complete curated collection of minimalist wardrobe essentials here.

More to Read