This is part of my Swift Decluttering For Clothes.
One reader asked:
Stewie— what’s in your wardrobe? How minimalist are you with clothes?
Over the years, I’ve cut my wardrobe way down. It used to contain all sorts of stuff that didn’t fit and that I’d never wear again. But these days, it’s much smaller. It has a bunch of essentials and a small set of random things I don’t wear.
My list of essentials:
- For everyday wear: 10 pairs of white socks, 10 pairs of underwear, 10 undershirts, 7 button-down short sleeve shirts, 4 pairs of jeans, 1 black belt, 1 pair of sneakers, and 1 flat cap
- For spring/fall: 7 button-down long sleeve shirts, 1 jacket, and 1 hoodie
- For winter: 3 long-sleeve shirts, 1 winter coat, 1 warm jacket, 1 scarf, 1 knit hat, 1 pair of gloves, thermal underwear, and 1 pair of snow pants
- For summer: 1 broad-brimmed hat
- For dressing up: 1 dress shirt, 2 ties, 1 navy blazer, 1 pair of slacks, 1 black belt, 2 pairs of black socks, and 1 pair of black dress shoes
Miscellaneous items I don’t wear:
- 5 T-shirts with sentimental value
- 4 ball caps
- 3 button-down shirts that don’t quite fit (Someday they will!!)
- 3 knit hats (How did I get so many?)
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 2 hoodies
- 1 jacket
- 1 pair of cargo pants
- 1 pair of old sneakers
Now, my career as a software developer doesn’t have any clothing requirements beyond “No naked Zoom calls.” I never need to dress up for work and rarely vary what I wear. In addition, I don’t participate in many outdoorsy hobbies requiring specialized clothing.
But that’s just me. Your needs may be wildly different. For example, my father-in-law wore a suit to work every day for 40 years. (He even wore stained dress shirts while gardening!) And my snowboarding friends own way more winterwear than I do.
As you declutter your closet, figure out what works best for you. Start with your list of essentials and build your way up from there. Then, look into capsule wardrobes. They will greatly simplify your closet and your life.
More Decluttering Questions:
I need a plan
- Which clothes I should get rid of? Where do I start? (Here's a plan.)
- I have way too many jeans and T-shirts. How many do I actually need? (2 week’s worth.)
- None of my clothing sparks joy—so what do I get rid of? (Focus on what to keep.)
- How do I create a capsule wardrobe? (Here are 5 perspectives.)
- What's in Stewie's Wardobe? (Here's a list.)
Dealing with guilt
- How do you deal with the guilt of getting rid of perfectly good clothes? (Here are 2 suggestions.)
- Is it OK to declutter nice clothes that still fit me? (Yes, absolutely!)
Which clothes to keep
- Should you keep clothes that don’t fit? (It depends.)
- Is it OK to keep maternity wear? (Of course!)
- Should you keep clothes that still have tags on them? (Maybe.)
- Is it worth selling clothes online? (No way.)
- Should you sell clothes at consignment stores? (Maybe.)
- Are garage sales worth it? (Probably not.)
- How do I know which clothes are worth selling? (The $15/hr rule.)