Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

My “Rules” For a Minimalist Wardrobe

ruls for a minimalist wardrobe

Guest post from Carly of Happy The Home

Like me, I’m sure many of you would love a $1,000 shopping spree to your favorite clothing store. Truth be told, some of us would be happy to spend $50 or $100! But for most of us, we can’t spend a lot of money on a whole new wardrobe at the drop of a hat.

A few months ago, I began trying to simplify things in my life and home in an effort to spend more time doing things that are important to me. I wanted more time for Bible study, so I get up earlier. I wanted less laundry, so I minimized my kid’s clothes. Now it was my closet’s turn. But OH MY! It was not going to be easy.

I looked for ideas and found good blogs and articles for help with what to keep and what to get rid of. The What I Wore blog, and How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe were very helpful. Additionally, I texted my sister for her advice, as she always looks cute and we tend to like the same things! I also made some rules of my own.

My 6 “Rules” for a Minimalist Wardrobe

1. I won’t keep something if it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t fit me well.

2. I won’t buy anything new (at least not for a while).

3. I won’t feel bad keeping some of my favorite t shirts and gym clothes, but I will sort through them.

4. I won’t consider any “dry clean only” items except coats.

5. I won’t hang on to gifted clothing simply due to nostalgia.

6. I won’t keep anything because it “might fit if I lost a few pounds”.

With those rules in mind I also looked through my clothes by pulling EVERYTHING out of my closet and dresser. I decided to keep the following:

  • 6 pants
  • 8 blouses
  • 8 sweaters/cardigans
  • 4 skirts
  • 4 dresses
  • 3 vests
  • 5 scarves
  • 4 pair of shoes
  • 2 belts
  • 2 tights

I don’t think there’s a magic number to how many items of clothing one should have… and the pictures I took are merely to show how many things you can create with a few of these items.

What you see in the pictures are: 3 pants + 5 shirts + 2 jackets + 1 dress + 1 scarf + 3 pair of shoes

minimalist wardrobe

By no means have I exhausted the possibilities, but it’s exciting to think that I can do more with less. I want to simplify to make things easier and I don’t want my life to be characterized by “excess” and “disorganization”.

You might decide to keep way less than I did. But this is a start for me. Hope you enjoy watching a fashionably-impaired person enjoy a day of dress up!

Carly is a stay-at-home mother to four boys. She blogs at Happy The Home about faith, family, homemaking and all that lies between!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • I have some of these very same rules. The hardest part of having a minimalist wardrobe for me is pregnancy and postpartum fluctuations in weight. I gain about 50 pounds every time I’m pregnant (even though I eat well and exercise) so I have a lot of clothes. I try only to keep what I love!

    • Colleen says:

      So true! What I did for each of my kiddos is put away the things I knew won’t fit until months after I had the baby. I stored them away, so they weren’t in the way. Then after we said no more babies, I got rid of all the in between clothes and maternity items:)

  • I really love that white sweater. Can you tell me where you got it. So cute!

    • carly says:

      It was actually given to me by my sister (same sister who is very fashionable) but it’s from banana republic. Not sure on the cost, though! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • I really love that white sweater. Can you tell me where you got it? So cute!

  • I follow similar rules, although I do buy some dry-clean-only clothing. I need my wool pants and sweaters for the winter! 🙂 However, I won’t buy anything that’s handwash only. I know that it’ll sit in a pile somewhere for weeks before I finally get around to washing it.

  • Hannah Beth Reid says:

    This is great advice…thanks for sharing!

  • Meagan says:

    This is great inspiration for me! I have started switching out my clothes for the change in season and am making a concerted effort to part ways with the clothes I don’t like or wear.

  • Cara says:

    I love your rules for your wardrobe, (especially the last about not keeping anything that doesn’t fit). I wrote down rules when I had to build a new wardrobe after having a baby and having to go back to work, except I had to start from the ground up with only clothes that I could afford from thrift stores. Stick with it, it is a wonderful accomplishment to downsize to a minimalist wardrobe after having a large one.

    • carly says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! It was hard to get rid of things that I’d been hanging onto since high school!? But it has been totally worth it. I would also say, I totally understand how it’s hard to know what size you may be after having kids. I’ve had 4 in 5 years and I, too, had lots of variation in sizes. I put maternity clothes in the attic but focused on the size I am now that my youngest is weaned and I feel good at my current size. I’m sure even if you kept a selection of sizes, there are still things hanging in your closet that you don’t really like or fit you comfortably and flatteringly. I do hope you all have been helped, all of your comments have greatly encouraged me!

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *