Over the past few decades, there has been an upsurge in the use of minimal elements or the disruption of minimal things - in other words, minimalism. The term was first used in the 50s to describe an artistic movement. Today, it is also used in the world of clothing, both to describe the decluttering of the wardrobe and to describe the simple, geometric shapes of a garment.
The minimalist wardrobe
Minimalist wardrobes are particularly concerned with the number of items of clothing they contain. A few relevant initiatives have emerged to guide us towards a procedure to adopt. Let's take a look at Project 333 and a new initiative by a laundry detergent brand with similar aims.
Project 333 is an initiative of Courtney Carver through her blog Be more with less and has been running since 2010. In the spirit of voluntary simplicity, she offers people the chance to keep 33 items of clothing at their disposal for 3 months.
She suggests a fairly simple methodology to achieve this: First, empty all your clothes on your bed and ask yourself the following 4 questions to select them:
- Does this garment look good on me right now?
- Do I like it?
- Is it in good condition?
- Does it fit my lifestyle of "more for less"?
If you answer yes to all 4 questions, you have the option of keeping the garment for the next 90 days. If not, you can give it to the next person, dispose of it properly if it's too damaged (sorting center) or store it somewhere completely different from the 33 garments selected: a suitcase, another wardrobe...
Items that don't count in the 33 clothes include wedding rings or any other sentimental items you never take off, nightwear, underwear, comfortable clothes you wear at home and sportswear you only need to put on to play a sport.
Project 333 is not about keeping only 33 garments. It rotates every 90 days, allowing you to adapt to the seasons, among other things. It's sure to help simplify your mornings by taking the headache out of getting dressed. It'll also make you more aware of the clothes you need to get rid of, especially if you haven't chosen them in a while!
La Parisienne recently launched an interesting challenge. We're not sure about the marketing aspect, but it's still relevant from an ecological point of view. It's called the 21-Day Challenge, and invites participants to limit their wardrobe to 10 pieces of clothing. The aim is to show that by adopting a minimalist or simplified approach to clothing, it is possible to consume better and save time and money.
In both cases, our selection must take into account the fact that we're creating a wardrobe that we'll be living, working and playing in for some time to come. It's not a question of being a minimalist or a fan of voluntary simplicity to succeed in either suggestion. The fact that we have to think about and select our clothes pushes us to be more creative and versatile. Fashion enthusiasts are sure to love it. What's more, it's a challenge that combines responsible consumption and sustainable development. We love it!
It's all about knowing how to identify your basic, timeless clothes and how to mix and match them.
Let's take a step back and look at the clothes we have. It's easy to see that we have too much. We can also see that we often wear the same clothes over and over again. And it's from this observation that we're going to adopt our minimalist look: What colors do we wear? What shapes of clothing do we prefer? And finally, what textiles do we feel comfortable in?
To adopt a minimalist style, we choose a base color between black and navy blue. Then, it's easy to match it with a neutral color such as gray, white or beige. And finally, we choose one or two brighter colors of our choice that match our preferences and the colors we're used to repeating in our clothes.
These 3 simple steps will give us a wardrobe that's easy to organize. Then it's a matter of mixing different garments to create our outfits: that's the beauty and strength of the minimalist!
The minimalist look is both clean and simple. Clothes are chosen accordingly. It's important to choose classic, timeless cuts rather than fashionable, fleeting ones. In this way, we ensure the longevity of our desire to wear our clothes and also facilitate possible combinations.
We've identified the textiles we're most comfortable in. It's a start to moving forward in choosing the textiles for our future clothes. Obviously, the minimalist look and wardrobe have an inescapable ecological aspect. The materials of our future garments will have great advantages in respecting this component. To do so, we can choose clothes that feel and look the same on the skin, by favoring eco-responsible garments. They can be made from a range of eco-friendly textiles: organic cotton instead of traditional cotton, merino wool, Tencel (lyocell), bamboo, which will delight you with its softness... Garments made from these textiles are increasingly available, and many of the designers who work with them offer classic, timeless cuts to optimize their end lifetime.
Clothing minimalism contradicts the belief that the less you have, the more complicated it is. In fact, it's precisely the opposite philosophy: a minimum of clothes will lighten the burden of getting dressed. It therefore promotes an eco-responsible approach to shopping, and lends itself well to more environmentally sustainable purchases. Buying less can enable us to buy better and considerably reduce our impact on the environment.