My Minimal Wardrobe - Step 2: Rebuilding and Maintaining the Wardrobe

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Okay so if you have been following along on here or on my Instagram stories you know that I have been on a mission to cut down on the unnecessary possessions that I have and more importantly, the waste of time and money that goes into buying these things. In step 1 I talked all about the wardrobe clean out. If you haven’t read that yet, I highly recommend you do so right here because I will refer to it throughout this step.

I cleaned out my closet, I had my ideal wardrobe list and then I thought, “SO WHAT DO I DO NOW?”

Questions I asked myself:

  1. How do I move forward mindfully?

  2. How much money should I be spending on my wardrobe?

  3. What companies are making items that align with my values and budget?

  4. What safeguards can I put in place to ensure I won’t go back to my old ways of frivolous spending?

Keep reading to get all of these questions answered.

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Steps for Rebuilding Your Mindful Wardrobe

  1. Decide how much you can spend YEARLY - I did lots of research on this, but the generally consensus seems to be 5% of your net income so income after taxes, health insurance, 401K etc is taken out. THIS WAS A SHOCK TO ME. This is much less money than I was spending. A tough, but important wake up call.

  2. Choose two yearly spending periods - I decided I was going to give myself two short and concrete times of the year to spend money on clothing. For me and the climate that I live in that will be the first two weeks of May and the last two weeks of October.

  3. Determine your spending budget for each period - This is some pretty basic math here, but try to stick with me. I took 5% of my net income and divided it by 2. This is the amount I am allowed to spend in May and I am allowed to spend in October. You might be shocked by how SMALL this number is - or large if you make a lot of money!

  4. Make a clothes I want spread sheet - mine has the columns of clothing category, store, description, cost, and if I used a discount code. This spreadsheet allows me to play with the numbers and not go over my limit.

  5. Double check your ideal wardrobe list from part 1 - Are there items on your clothes I want list that you already have or aren’t on your ideal wardrobe list? Then they aren’t something you need

  6. Leave the items on the list for at least 24 hours before purchasing - give yourself at least a day to mull over every purchase

  7. Put a plan in place for special occasions - I know that events will pop up outside of my two spending windows where I will need a new outfit to avoid spending unexpected money I have started a Rent the Runway unlimited subscription - this means I am spending more than my 5% on clothes, but it saves me from dropping over $100 each time I have a new wedding, party or graduation.

  8. If it breaks and its the only one you have replace it - this goes for essentials like bras, underwear, shoes, work clothes - if something is really old, ratty or ruined, try to replace it during your spending period, but if it happens unexpectedly definitely replace it.

  9. Opt for quality over quantity - I have been very careful about the clothing I have selected during my spending period this time. I got white jeans from Athleta, a few capsule pieces like this sweater from Everlane, running shoes from VivoBarefoot and heels from Able. These are all business that have ethical and sustainable selling practices and I know will last for a long time.

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I have a couple of caveats to the rules!!! If I sell an article of clothing that I am no longer using or no longer serves me, then I can use the profit from that sale to buy something else even if its above my budget or outside my spending window. If someone gives me a gift of clothing and I know I will not use it, I can return it for an item I will use.

I hope this helps you build a wardrobe that you LOVE. Since starting these practices it is 100X easier for me to avoid the temptation of shoping and love the items that I already have.