The Minimalist’s New Clothes

This weekend I spent a couple hours scouring some of Portland’s very best thrift stores for additions to my minimalist wardrobe. I prefer buying clothes second-hand and Portland is a great place to do it. As I tried things on I asked myself these simple questions:

  • the minimalist's new clothes

    the minimalist's new clothes

    Does it look great on me? (Does it fit me properly? Is the color right for me? Does the style suit me?)

  • Is it comfy? (Does it move with me? I’m well past the point where I’d wear something uncomfortable just because it’s cute. If I’m not comfortable I won’t carry myself well and that’s the most important part of looking presentable!)
  • What’s the fabric content? (I’m a big fan of natural fibers that breathe well – like silk, wool, and modal – so I’m purging the cotton from my winter wardrobe.)
  • Is it versatile? (Can it be combined with at least two other items in my wardrobe? I don’t like having “outfits” as much as I like having a mix-and-match options.)

Of course, sometimes it’s easier to say yes than to say no. So if I really get stuck on whether or not I should buy something I ask myself instead: What’s wrong with this? If I can pinpoint anything at all I probably shouldn’t buy the item. Usually I don’t. But my heart still gets veto power. I suppose I could also ask one of my little sisters their opinion since they’re very fashionable. I’m sure they think I’m a hopeless case. But over the years I’ve developed my own style that blends practical, classy pieces with earthy, elfin accents. I think it suits me for now. And my beautiful and beautiful sisters are free to be as stylish as they darn well please. I’ll continue to admire them along with all their other adoring fans!

I ended up buying six items. I spent about $60. That’s not bad considering that I snagged two cozy wool sweaters, two stylish blouses, and a cute skirt, which are all suitable for work, school, or weekends. I also acquired a smashing little black dress. (How could I resist?! Now I just need a great excuse to wear it… C’mon Portland, give me an event that’s not casual Friday!)

These six items have joined the other 31 items in my wardrobe, so I now have 37 clothing items and 8 pairs of shoes. It seems my clothes are approximately a quarter of my possessions these days. And I’m okay with that. I could get away with less, I’m sure. Sometimes, I consider paring my wardrobe down to just a 10-Item Capsule Wardrobe like my hero Francine Jay. I certainly do when I’m traveling and Packing Lightly vs. Packing Densely. But I like the variety when I’m home. For now my wardrobe is minimalist enough.

Want to know what’s on my list? Check out My 203 Things List. (More about My Things Challenge.)

So I’m now at 203 things. And I’ve been racking my brains about how am I going to get back down to 200! I’m still Strategizing Digitizing and Getting All My Docs In a Row. That will help me drop two items since I currently have two tubs of paperwork. Eventually I’d like to digitize my old journals. That would help me drop another item.

I’ll keep thinking about what I can purge as I go about My 200 Things Challenge. But at the moment, I’m feeling okay with the number 203. After all, the point is to raise my own awareness about my possessions and the role they’re playing in my life.

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5 Responses to The Minimalist’s New Clothes

  1. Parker Free says:

    I too am going with sets or boxes of like items when appropriate when doing my count. I’m still waaay over 200 things. Obviously, I need a workshop for tools and whatnot, as right now I have to count (and STORE) them inside. Yikes!

    parker

    • Little Life says:

      Hi Parker,

      Thanks for chiming in on the count! I agree having a separate place for tools a big help. Are there tool libraries (http://www.septl.org/) where you live? We have a couple here in Portland and they’re great!

      How’s your build coming along?!

      Lina

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