As I was getting started writing this post, I looked to find a definition of minimalism. Naturally, I turned to the true minimalism OG’s, The Minimalists.
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”
– The Minimalists
This was gold and just what I was looking for. I already felt like there is such a range of what minimalism means to everyone and this just reaffirmed it.
To some people it means simply having less, to some people it means being more conscious, and to me it means just simplifying across all aspects of life.
I promise this is going somewhere.
I Felt Guilty About Owning More Than One of A Certain Item
So then I started thinking about how that applies to my closet in different ways.
Sure, I switched to slow fashion but I still struggled with finding things that I loved and telling myself I could only have one of them, because having two or more was excessive or not being a true minimalist.
Then I gave it some real thought. If I love a shirt and wear it every day, what’s wrong with having another one, or what’s wrong with having it in multiple colors?
Simplifying my closet has meant only adding things I love so why when it came to this concept did I feel like I had to stop myself.
I can remember having conversations with friends throughout my life, and talking about how much I loved a certain piece of clothing, but always thinking I could only have one like it and having multiple colors in the same thing was taboo.
So many times I would say to people, “Don’t judge me, but I have this in black AND white”.
Owning More Than One of Something Has It’s Benefits
It Saves Time, Water and Energy
Some of my most loved pieces can often get worn 3-4 days out of the week.
During the summer this becomes much harder because of the heat and hello, perspiration. It’s hard to wear a shirt two days in a row when you’ve spent 90% of the first day sweating in it.
So for me, having a second top (whether it’s in the same color or a different color) it saves time, water, and energy. If I’m reaching to wear that shirt a second day in a row but it’s not smelling it’s best, I don’t want to waste water by having to do laundry when there might not be a full load of clothes to wash.
I know that this could then lead some people to saying “Well then why wouldn’t you just wear something else?”.
And I guess that kind of takes me back to my first point in that, minimalism means something different for everyone and for me it means simplifying and still being able to wear what I want while being environmentally conscious.
You Get to Wear More of the Things You Love
If you love something, there’s a reason.
For me, aside from ensuring the ethical production of something it really all becomes about how something makes me feel when I put it on. If something makes me feel incredible and like I’m ready to take on the world, I’m probably gonna need to wear that as much as possible.
The way we feel about ourselves really does radiate and impact our outside world. For example, two years ago I bought my Isla slide sandal in black from Nisolo. They immediately became my go-to shoe and I think I wore them just about every day.
Fast forward a year, and I was at the Nisolo sample sale where the same beautiful shoe was on sale but in beige. I wrestled with my thoughts for a solid 15 minutes about whether it was okay to have the same sandal in another color.
I already knew how much wear my black sandals had gotten and knew that the beige would get the same attention. So I did it, I bought the same sandal in a different color and this past summer I actually wore those sandals every single day.
I think those pieces of clothing or that pair of shoes exist in everyones closet, so don’t be afraid to embrace how those things makes you feel and get more than one!
… But Don’t Go Overboard
Now, this is my caveat for not going too far with multiples of things. I usually subscribe to the “one in, one out” rule.
This serves me in helping to manage the amount of items I have in my closet and not overbuying. I feel that if I’m adding something into my closet, it’s because there’s something in there right now that isn’t really serving a purpose.
That doesn’t always necessarily mean an even swap either. It doesn’t always mean I’m swapping a top for a top- sometimes I might be adding in a second of a particular top and getting rid of a pair of jeans that haven’t been worn in 7 months.
Maybe those jeans were the “perfect pair” at one time, but just don’t work anymore, that’s okay. It just means it’s time to replace them with something else that works better.
It’s about evaluating and being honest with myself about the value that certain pieces are bringing to me.
It’s 100% Okay to Make Your Own Rules
I think as we’ve entered this much needed movement of self-evaluation and minimalism, this has also opened up new discussions and feeling of needing to “do this right”. The reality is, I don’t think there is a right way to be a minimalist, the same way I don’t think there’s ONE definition, or ONE set of rules to follow.
We all define this as something different, and are still able to have the same end goal- living a more mindful life.
So for me, it doesn’t mean having a capsule wardrobe, but it does mean having a closet full of multiples of things.
I fully support and encourage everyone to define your minimalism and know that right now it may mean one thing and in six months it might mean something totally different, and that’s okay.
There is no minimalism rule book and I think that’s the true beauty in all of it- we can define it in our own way and still all want the same thing in the end.