Katherine, ele Wellness & Personal Development writer, shares her journey of conscious consumerism by reducing personal possessions and creating a minimalist wardrobe.
A few years ago, in my first professional role in a large corporate organisation, I found myself with a bunch of cash in my pockets and a self-imposed pressure to look good amongst new colleagues.
I was a young, impressionable adult who loved fashion as much as the next person and I would buy new clothes near weekly. I liked to look good and loved being complimented on my getup.
Just before I moved overseas though, I jumped on the minimalist bandwagon and decided to ditch my shopaholic days for the minimalistic way.
I got rid of almost everything in my closet except for a few key pieces that I wore often and could mix and match. I kept it pretty close to 40 items total! I vowed never to buy anything brand new ever again (except new shoes and only replacing if they were falling apart) and I stuck to it for the next two years.
Three articles inspired this drastic change. They were read within days of each other and cumulatively, they created a shift in me. (They’re posted at the bottom of this article if you want to read them.)
These were people who went out of their way to change their buying behaviours to save the environment, untangle from the consumerism grip and to get more out of life.
Since moving back to Australia, I’ve loosened the rule a bit and I do buy new items but only if I love them and will absolutely wear it on the regular. Still, I have managed to keep my buying to a minimum.
These are the items I’ve bought in the entire last two years:
1. Metalicus Stripe Dress
I love this dress. It is so comfy and can be worn to so many different occasions! This is exactly my style and has been worn to death. It’s one of three casual dresses that I own.
2. Sass and Bide Long Sleeve Top
I bought this at the Sass & Bide outlet store in Melbourne. If I could describe my style it’s all about asymmetrical layers, so this was screaming my name. Unfortunately I think it shrunk a little and lost its original shape in the wash so I don’t love how this sits on me anymore and it rarely gets worn. Even with my rule of never buy something unless you love it, I still don’t get my purchases right and can buy things that don’t get worn.
3. Gorman Linen Pants
I friggin love these and wear them almost once a week! Super comfy and a bit of a statement item. Plus the pockets! Who doesn’t love skirts and pants with big pockets!
2. White Shirt Dress
I got sucked in at a sale and was killing time one day when I came across this. I think I got lured in by the sale more so than applying the buying things I love rule, but it’s gotten enough wear that it’s been justified.
When I first downsized my wardrobe, I was super nervous about getting judged about wearing the same thing again and again. I literally had five work outfits for five days of the week on repeat! But you know what? I’ve learnt that that stress is all in my head and I don’t have to give into it and listen to it.
I stopped caring about what people think about my outfit. I don’t go in and out of my wardrobe trying on different outfits just to find the perfect outfit for the day. I only have so many combinations to choose from nowadays and I know exactly how they mix and match so it’s usually just a “pick up and throw on” affair.
It truly takes so much energy to decide what to wear and decide whether people will like it.
It’s the reason Steve Jobs wore the same turtleneck and jeans combo every day of his life. The amount of decision making you can make in a day is finite and Steve Jobs didn’t want to waste it on deciding what to wear.
I love that I don’t spend time and energy figuring out what to wear, have so much extra cash, I’m doing my part for the environment and that I no longer care about what others think about my outfit, while still enjoying what I wear.
Who’s with me on this? Anyone else on the minimalist wardrobe bandwagon?
The articles that inspired my minimalist lifestyle:
Want more conscious living? Click here for our 7 Clean Swaps To Detox Your Bathroom And Remove Harmful Chemicals.