Simplifying Your Wardrobe – Part 2

Welcome back for part 2 with further tips on Simplifying your Wardrobe! For part 1, visit here. In part 1, we discussed how to build a simple wardrobe through evaluating how much clothing you really need and how to build a selected color scheme. Now on to other ideas…above all, remember that the reason we should ultimately seek to simplify is that we might reserve more resources, time and energy for the Lord’s use…in order that we might have more to give (read more about this purpose here)!

Select clothing that is timeless

Rather than following all the fashion trends that change with each season, I like to keep my wardrobe simple by choosing more timeless attire. I may choice one or two more fashionable items (because it is fun!) on an annual basis but they still remain in my color scheme. I love denim skirts and pants, and assortment of black and brown which never grow old!

Select clothing that is versatile

Choosing clothing that works for more than one occasion/event is also very helpful. I like to wear a variety of casual skirts that work well for both around the house, dinner or evening out, and at church. I have one or two fancier dresses for weddings and such, but the main collection of my wardrobe is appropriate for both casual and semi-formal events.

Set a clothing budget

We find it helpful to set a monthly clothing budget, which remains the same throughout the year. We may not use this at all and accumulate it for our typical twice a year shopping spree trip (normally around the birthdays or Christmas). Sticking to a limited amount of shopping is very helpful for preventing over accumulation of clothing. And with each new item, an older item is donated elsewhere. Currently, Karis is mainly requiring the use of this clothing budget as she grows.

Avoid the malls

Nordstrom Rack and Ross are great places to find new clothing at a very reasonable price without subjugating yourself to the mall, where you will be surrounded by the tempting call of recent fashion and higher prices! You can also find good used clothing at Goodwill or other used clothing stores, if you have the patience to dig through a lot of ugly clothing to find those treasures!

Limit the shoes & purses

The collection of shoes and purses is a pitfall for most ladies. My recommendation is to stick with two primary purses, one for winter and one for spring. Choice a dark purse (best options are black or brown) for winter so they go with everything, and a lighter purse for spring/summer (such as a tan, white, or basic color – also so it goes everything).

A smaller purse is easiest to deal with in preventing excess clutter and junk from accumulating in it. Keep the basics – your wallet, cell phone, money pouch, receipts, etc. I try to keep all my receipts stashed away in a small envelope in my purse, otherwise they seem to flood the whole purse between monthly balancing of the books.

If you have chosen a few color themes of which to build your wardrobe around (as discussed in part 1), you can also build your shoe and purse collection with those colors in mind. My sister from her study in the fashion industry recommends you match your purse and shoes and choose these based on your primary color or accent colors. You don’t want to buy a yellow purse if you have nothing yellow in your wardrobe nor do you want to buy new accessories for every item! Choice a few that go with everything!

My shoe wardrobe is pretty simple. I have a selection of 3-4 pairs for winter and 3-4 pairs for summer. They are all black, white, or brown, so they go with everything in my wardrobe. If I wanted to get adventurous, I could add a pair of red or turquoise accessories which go with my chosen accent colors.

It works for me!

That brings me to the end of my simplifying ideas on this topic…but I would love to hear some of yours for simplifying the wardrobe!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

12 Responses to Simplifying Your Wardrobe – Part 2

  1. White Shorts And Jean Shorts December 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    alright lol well my dorm….you can have my bed & ill sleep on the sleepin bag i got. just bring some extra blankets & such

  2. gail September 30, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    my husband and i just moved from a reasonably sized two bedroom midwest house (where we each had two closets) to a two bedroom chicago apartment. downsizing became practical for us. the rule for clothes was “if you don’t love it, wear it all the time or need it get rid of it.” 9 bags of clothes later my husband and i had greatly reduced wardrobes. when we moved into our apartment i got rid of two bags of accessories.

    necessity is indeed the mother of de-cluttering.

    my sweet mom made a t-shirt quilt of all of my husbands t-shirts that he couldn’t bring himself to give away…he loves it!

  3. Sarah January 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    This is great! I looked at the colors link in part 1 and have a pile of things to give away or consign (for the nicer items). Also know now why I always get compliments in a few certain things and can get more in the “right” colors as I phase in new items. Our clothes dryer died and I dont want to spend money on another one or drag my baby to the laundromat so it is a great time to simplify!

  4. Kathleen November 14, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    I realize this is an old post and my comment may not be noticed, but I was wondering if you can suggest sources for (or give!) good wardrobe advice. I don’t have much for clothes, and it’s fairly classy already, but I would like to streamline, simplify, and add some some youthful, fashionable pieces (for fun, as you say!). I am a 21yo autumn. Any advice or good resources?

    • Lindsay November 15, 2009 at 9:56 am #

      I would check out my sister, Christa’s blog: Empowered Traditionalist and Christa Taylor fashion blog (check out my blogroll for links). You can also email her and I am sure she would love to give you input.

  5. katie September 22, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    I dragged my very fashionable (think J. Crew) and brutally honest sister to the mall and had her help me choose a new purse. I had high expectations… leather, well-made, big enough for a few diapers and wipes, small enough so it didn’t look too empty when I left said diapers and wipes at home, and not black! She was doubtful, but we found it! I paid $150 for it (which is far more than usual for me), but it’s my perfect all-purpose, all-season purse. I got rid of the 5 others and am thrilled with just the one. Sometimes simplifying means making the initial investment to save yourself from a lot of bad choices (and a drawerful of cheap, useless purses) later. And if you can con my sister into going to the mall with you, do it.

  6. Kate July 21, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    I’d suggest a larger purse when you have little children. That way you don’t end up HAVING to drag around this “oh-so-cute” character, unfashionable, diaper bags plus a purse.

    I couldn’t nurse, but was still able to carry some bottles (in a baggie, or those bottle coolers), changing mat, change of clothes (an absolute must, if you ask me), and diapers in my normal big purse.

  7. Rhonda November 6, 2008 at 4:35 am #

    I loved this article. I have always loved clothes. My husband is now in seminary and I am in the process of selling and giving away. Simple is better.

  8. Becca October 20, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I love going shopping and do most of it at Target and other thrift shops in the area. I tend to get too many clothing items and many of which I do not wear. I will be going through my clothing items, shoes, and purses soon! Thank you!

  9. Natalie October 1, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Thanks for posting this! I tend to accumulate clothing and accessories, and this post really put my wardrobe in perspective. Do I really need all that? Nope. We’ve been spending this week purging our closets and paring down accessories, and I’m hoping to be able to donate quite a bit of clothing to Dress For Success. Thanks again!

  10. Lisa September 26, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    Thanks so much for you series on this. I am in dire need to do this. I almost wish you could come to my closet and do it for me. I have a hard time letting go…. So I am going to start my simplifying tomorrow! Now do one about the whole house..LOL I bet you would really help a lot of women!

  11. lizzykristine @ Uplifted Eyes September 24, 2008 at 6:03 am #

    I am very dull about shoes and purses. They’re just not my thing. But that works out conveniently for simple shopping and dressing. :) All my clothes and accessories are on either a black or a brown color scheme.

    So for winter I have a pair of black shoes and a pair of brown shoes. For summer I have a pair of black sandals (these are also my formal shoes, so I hardly ever wear them) and a pair of brown sandals. Of course I also have some dirty-work shoes and some gym shoes.

    I have two purses, a small black one and a bigger brown-tones one. I don’t like switching stuff between purses, so everything is in the black purse. When I need to use the brown purse, I just drop the smaller black one inside it!

    It is the most effortless way I’ve figured out to have matching accessories. :) Not exciting, but simple and hassle-free.