How to Put Together a Minimalist Wardrobe


Minimalism is the rage of boutique hotels and architects, of interior designers and Swedish furniture, but you don’t hear much when it comes to minimalist wardrobe. But you should. Less is more and that’s a hard concept for us to digest sometimes when we’re inundated with ads that tell us to buy because we deserve it (hey we do, don’t we?) or with clothing prices so low in some boutiques that it’s considered quasi disposable (can’t afford not to buy it!).

A minimalist’s wardrobe is the kind of wisdom your chic grandmother would give you. Or the beautiful old woman in some modern day fable, who always wore red lipstick and Chanel suits. “It is better my dear,” she would say, perhaps a long cigarette in hand, “to own just one Chanel suit, than a closet full of sad excuses for textiles.”

A minimalist wardrobe is great for the following reasons:

  • Saves on space
  • Saves on time (less minutes wasted shuffling through your jammed closet and struggling to make a decision)
  • Saves money

So with no further ado, here are the basic builders you’ll need to harvest your minimalist wardrobe.

The TBF Guide in Putting Together a Minimalist Wardrobe on a Budget

1. Blazers

Don’t be tempted with cuts or patterns that risk becoming outdated, go nothing but classic here as you’ll change the blazer’s look with the rest of your ensemble. The blazer will be a core piece however that will ground you to a mature, “take-me-seriously” business-ready look.

This blazer from Mango for $89.99 could be worn nearly five days a week and cause no one to question you. To complete your wardrobe, choose three staple blazers (a black, a grey or beige, and one bold color).


2. Fashion forward but simple sweaters.

Here’s where it pays to spend more because cheaply-made sweaters made with questionable fabrics will begin to pill, fade, and quickly fall to the back of your pile/closet. Do yourself a favor and save up for a cashmere sweater and a couple of more fashion forward yet simple versions like this Leather Panel V-Neck Sweater from J Crew.


3. Art Deco Necklaces

Though these rise and fall with their popularity (we happen to be in a height right now thanks to Great Gatsby) the style will never go out for good. The Jazz Age brought so much to raise a glass to, especially with fashion. A statement necklace from this era can change your look (fave shirt + blazer) and your mood to boot, in a flash. Try this Andara Onyx Deco Starburst Pendant from Max & Chloe. Other jewelry staples include silver or gold hoops and a realistic (or real) pair of mid sized pearls.


4. Fave Shirts

You always need ’em, they go with everything. Dress them up with sparkly necklaces and one of your blazes, or down with your best jeans. Gap‘s got you covered.


5. 2 Great pairs of Heels, 2 Great Flats, 2 Great Boots & 1 Stylish mid-heel

Yes, that’s right, even if you’re not a math major (I used my fingers) you can count that this is just 7 pairs of shoes. Lucky seven! (seen below is the Audrey Brooke Hylda Pump for $59.99 at DSW)

  • Heels: Standard black pumps & color of your choice (nude works well during warmer weather, brown may be necessary depending on your wardrobe)
  • Flats: go with one more fashionable version and one more comfortable (think: walking around the city all day and you’re okay).
  • Boots: One fashion forward pair and one for bad, bad weather
  • 1 Grab-bag – your choice of fashion, mid-heel is suggested

6. Wrap Dresses

Diane von Furstenberg is a genius, we all know it. She gave women the most essential dress we could ever own. Three of ’em will get you very fair (pairing with different blazers, necklaces, and shoes). This NY Collection Dress at Macy’s is on sale for $35.99.


7. A Great Trench

Will this ever go out of style? No. Get a classic and well made trench it you’re good for life. Seen here is the London Fog Quilted Flap Double Breasted Trench for $112 (sale price).


Check Out These Tips on Building a Simple Wardrobe

How to Create a Work Wardrobe on a Budget
What to Wear Work

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