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The phrase “minimalist fashion” is being thrown around a lot these days. Even though it may seem to be a bit of a trending buzz word, it’s not one to be taken lightly and for good reason. This antidote for the ‘fast fashion’ problem has come at a much needed time. A minimalist fashion approach compliments the ‘slow fashion’ movement, where more thought is given to the quality of a clothing piece, rather than the quantity of pieces in your wardrobe. It involves taking a conscience approach to your shopping, finding out how your clothing is being manufactured, through whose hands has it passed and at what cost. These are questions and thoughts many consumers have given little thought too. Minimalist fashion is about reducing the amount you are buying, and making do with a more basic, stripped back version of your wardrobe, focusing on core pieces that are versatile and practical. Conversely,‘fast fashion’ is a phrase used to capture the cultural trend of catwalk clothing being available en masse at ridiculously dirt cheap prices, without factoring in the true cost of producing said items. The quality of the clothing is sacrificed to keep manufacturing costs low, workers are underpaid, and little concern is given to the environmental costs. Profits are made based on a high turnover of these goods. Sadly, this means the pieces are less likely to last the test of wear and time as the quality is low. You’re lucky if you get to wear them a few times before you need to consider discarding what has probably turned into a rag. Then there’s the pressure of manufacturers churning out new styles at such a rapid pace. Fashion is now moving on a week to week, and even day to day, basis. The whole concept of ‘keeping up the Joneses’ couldn’t ring more truer. The fast fashion culture would like you to believe it’s no longer good enough to be simply adding a piece or two to your wardrobe once a season. You need to buying new clothing almost weekly. It makes it literally impossible to keep up! A dire consequence of this is the amount of waste produced in the fashion industry. Articles of clothing are being tossed out faster than they are being restocked. Then there’s the controversial production methods and environmental burden this industry creates before the pieces even hit the shop clothing racks. It’s hard enough as it is trying to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends without the external financial and environmental pressures we’re now facing as a whole. On a personal basis, consumers face their own problems of ‘decision overwhelm’ and ‘decision fatigue.’ How is it possible that when we open our wardrobe, we think to ourselves, “I have nothing to wear!” All the while, there’s at least a couple hundred potential outfit options staring right back at us. It’s ingrained into our mentality that we always need more with the bombardment of images and messaging we received on a daily basis through advertising and social media. To get out of the fast fashion and decision fatigue rut, you may be interested on embarking on your own minimalist fashion journey. This involves a stripping back of cultural norms and a consumerist mentality that you need to have the latest and greatest…now. Here’s a few tips to get you started. Rebuild your closet: To rebuild your closet into a minimalist capsule you need to first make a note of all the clothes you possess. Arrange your clothes into two piles. One pile will be the clothes that you intend to keep and the other one will be made up of the clothes that you intend to donate or give away. A third pile can be created for the ‘unsure’ items that you can decide on later. To decide if you should keep an item, ask yourself if you have worn it in the last six months. Unless it’s entirely seasonal dependent (like that big wooly coat), then most likely, you will never be wearing it again any time soon and you should place it in the donation pile. This process may need to be repeated every couple months as it can often be difficult parting with particular items on the first attempt for sentimental reasons. How many clothes should you keep in your closet for the season? Ideally around 30-40 clothes are recommended if you’d still like enough variety to keep things fresh. Another school of thought says that you should use the 10*10 method, which means you will rotate 10 pieces of clothing every 10 days. It is a helpful concept if you’re struggling for inspiration or motivation to style your minimalist wardrobe. This way your clothes will also last longer as you aren’t simply wearing the same ones day after day. What are the clothing essentials? Firstly, the 30-40 clothes do not include your under garments, your night wear and your gym wear or workout wear (unless these actually form the basis for your casual outfits). When choosing items to include in your minimalist wardrobe, keep to basic styles that are easier to mix and match. Remember, you can always accessorize an outfit using jewellry, scarves and shoes if you need to change it up. The essential clothing that you should always have are pieces like these Betty Basics; think striped clothes, white tees, a pair of denim jeans, block colors, black pants etc. Once you have decided on the clothing and created your minimalist capsule wardrobe, wear only the selected clothing for the next three months. Sometimes you may feel like buying a new dress, do not fall for that urge. It will be difficult initially, but over time you will get used to it. At the end of three months, you will know what to keep and what to store and what else you need to add to your minimalist capsule wardrobe.


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