Raise your hand if you ‘sparked joy’ all over your home after watching episode 1 of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix. 10 minutes into the first episode and I started twitching just looking at the different areas of my living room, surrounding the TV, that needed a bit of doing. To be fair, coming into the new year meant I was going to do a bit of tidying regardless. Little did I know that I was going to have the urge to go through every little drawer and cabinet and trying to see what actually ‘sparked joy’ for me.
After three international moves and a few cross country, I have learnt to hone down on anything I need versus want. It wasn’t until I moved into my second flat in London did I teach myself the importance of simplifying your wardrobe. I used a guide to minimalism to understand the standard checklist of what goes into living a minimalist lifestyle and adapted it to my lifestyle.
When reviewing and noting every guide to minimalism on the internet, especially when it came to my closet, meant I was going to have to stick with one uniform and mix and match with that. I’m not your average woman though. I’m someone who wears multiple hats having to adapt to my surroundings in vey different situations. I’m Indian and thus have a full Indian wardrobe. I’m in a creative industry that celebrates color and thus need to cater to that to fulfill my brand. There is lots to my day. That’s not to say that I tried to live a minimalist lifestyle, but it just wasn’t one for me. The principals I did learn was to keep the things that truly fit well, were of the highest quality I could afford and made me feel happy. Those three principals is what I took to adapt and curate a maximalist’s guide to minimalism!
Find Your Style
This is the most important and the most difficult task for my maximalist’s guide to minimalism. For the longest time my style was changing and though it continues to change today, I do feel that I’ve tempered it down a bit and figured out what I’m into and what works for me. I like to say that my style is defined as “classic with a twist.” My usual uniforms are very much on par with those who live by the rules outlined in a guide to minimalism, but I add a bit of personality with a pop of color or changing up textures. I have a standard uniform when it comes to wearing trousers and the same goes for when it comes to wearing skirts or dresses. As a maximalist, I would also choose a uniform. For me, I like to go for a statement dress in a statement color or pattern and usually paired with classic accessories. I keep it simple, but it still packs a punch.
Color Schemes versus Statement Colors
Once you’ve gotten your standard uniform(s) down, you can easily come up with the rest fairly easily. I have a general palette that I go by for my day-to-day outfits and suggest sticking with a palette where the colors compliment each other easily. For me, I tend to stick to navy and blues, pinks and blushes, and whites and beige. A lot of my pieces mix and match with one another easily making it effortless to piece together outfits for any situation from meetings, weekend, office or errands.
Another thing I did was figure out the colors that make me feel comfortable and confident. These are not your everyday colors, but colors that make you feel powerful. Those colors for me are reds, greens and yellows. I love gem tones and alway found them really uplifting to wear. Even though I don’t wear those colorful pieces everyday, they still help energize me. Reds, greens and yellows are what I stick with and sometimes they even tend to compliment each other.
A/W wardrobe and S/S wardrobe
One tip I loved in a guide to minimalism that I read was to encourage layering to mix outfits up and to stay warm of course. That is something I tend to do by wearing a denim jacket on top of a blouse under an oversized jacket. Both warm and interesting, right? Since most of my wardrobe can be worn throughout the year, 10% of my closet probably is specific to autumn-winter or spring-summer. I tend to change my closet every other season and stick to “warm weather” and “cool weather” closets
A good example is a white linen long sleeve button-down shirt can be worn in the summer with a pair of shorts and sandals, in the spring with cropped trousers at flats, midi skirt and leather jacket in the autumn, or jeans-boots combo and maybe a gilet-teddy jacket in the winter. At the end of the warm season, I would put away the sandals and shorts. The cropped trousers can be worn with chelsea boots and the flats with tights. At the end of the cool season, I would put away the gilet and teddy jacket. The midi skirt can be worn with a light blouse, the leather jacket with a jersey dress, the jeans with a tee, and boots with a mini dress!
There is one thing my dad has always taught me and that is the buy the best quality you can afford. This rule goes for food, services and anything else you will be buying. Since my basics make up my uniform and are oftentimes worn throughout the year (like my white linen long sleeve button-down shirt), those are the things I invest in. I will aim to try and replace it every 2-3 years, if not longer! I currently have a very similar Boden Breton top that is 3 years old and still going on strong! I bought it on the sale and currently wear it at least once every two weeks. You have seen me wear the same Joules jeans on my blog over the last two years as well!
The second set of pieces I invest in are accessories I can pass down. These are either handbags, silk scarves or jewelry. I’m not limited to just accessories though and I don’t only purchase expensive accessories. When I do want to purchase an expensive accessory though, I always ensure that it fits my standard color scheme. If I’m often wearing navy, beige and blush—then I’m going to purchase a silk scarf or a handbag that would compliment that palette. This will ensure that I get wears out of it and will continue to use it.
- purchase the best quality
- basics should be seasonless
- follows a color scheme
- can be mix & matched
- 2-3 years lifespan
- should match my color scheme
- don’t invest in trendy jewelry
- invest in timeless pieces
- trendy pieces can match statement wardrobe
- 5-10+ years lifespan
- pieces that are still timeless
- something to collect overtime
- example: unique pattern & colored DVF wrap dress
- worn for different occassions
- able to style it in different ways
- on trend pieces
- bought on the high street
- give yourself a maximum spend on each item
- example: oversized belt, chunky trainers
- 6 months to 1 year lifespan