A minimalist closet?

3-2-25-14homestead2After reading Clutterfree with Kids, I realized that the main chapter I found myself thinking about was the one on clothing, and not kids’ clothing, but my own.  I don’t actually have that much to begin with.  Jonny and I share a small-ish closet, and it isn’t full.  I am good about giving things away that don’t fit, or that I haven’t worn in awhile.  Although sometimes in hindsight I wish that I had hung on to something that ended up in the giveaway bag.  The author mentions paring down to a 33 item wardrobe and sticking with just one color of clothing.  Do any of you do that?  I have noticed over the years that I tend to regret it when I purchase clothes that are outside of my color comfort zone, but I don’t think I would like to dress in only one color.  Instead I came up with five:  gray, navy blue, rust, black, and white.  Okay, maybe brown too.  I like the idea of sticking with colors that I am most comfortable in and apparently those colors are pretty neutral.  Anyway, after a major purge after Job’s birth, I found myself with only a couple of shirts that fit.  I got tired of wearing those same two things over and over again, and not wanting to spend much money I decided to check out thredUP.  It’s an online consignment shop that I have noticed lots of others mentioning over the past few months.  I placed my first order a couple of weeks ago and mentioned it on Facebook, describing it as online thrift shopping.  I was wrong in that description though.  Consignment is different than thrift.  The clothing I received looked brand new, and while it was far less expensive than it would have been when originally purchased, it was more expensive than clothes at my local Goodwill.  The thing is, I don’t have time to go thrifting, all that searching through rack after rack for a good find while my kids find way too much junk that they don’t need.  I do prefer buying used, but I’d rather be able to shop from home, searching for the brands and sizes that I already know work for me.  The time saved is certainly worth the extra money.  My favorite shirt from my order is cotton voile with little purple flowers on it, so I guess it breaks my color rules!  I wonder who it belonged to…anybody recognize it? Ha!

p.s.  Thanks to my friend Lori for the photos!  (Look at that baby!  He’s mini-Jonny!)


  1. I started to do this too. I have started only buying black clothes and accessories, so that I have a staple wardrobe and my old flashes of colour will hopefully stop me from looking drab, in the hope that I will look ‘classic’ instead!

  2. I like the idea of the 33 items
    My biggest wardrobe issue is when I finally find a pair of pants or jeans that I love it seems they have always been discontinued or they are a “find” somewhere that i will never find them again
    What do you do when they eventually wear out from constant wearing……..and you have to start searching all over again

  3. Ginny,
    Clutterfree for Kids sounds like a book I’d like to read. I’m on a huge de-cluttering kick in our house right now: getting rid of excess stuff, filling up bags to donate to the thrift store, and organizing.
    I know what you mean about going shopping for clothes: it’s really hard to go with little ones. I love finding treasures at the thrift store, that’s where I like to buy my clothes, but I don’t go very often since it’s time consuming to search and Bracken wants to get into everything during that time. 🙂

    I love those pictures. Especially the last one, it’s so sweet.


  4. After birthing my youngest child at the beginning of this year, I decided it was time for a bit of a wardrobe update; thredup has been my go to source for this. I am glad you were able to have a good experience with them too.

  5. What adorable baby pictures! Those eyes!

    I love the thredUp recommendation. I loathe (hate) shopping for clothes, I like this option. I recently went through my clothes and got rid of a lot that I didn’t wear. I can’t wear only one color, but I won’t buy clothes that aren’t in my palette anymore. That shirt looks great!

  6. I read the book It’s So You! by Mary Sheehan Warren, and that really helped me figure out what I should be looking for in a wardrobe. She suggests, once you figure out your colors, to pick a color that your pants/bottoms will always be, and then mix up the tops. So, if I pick black for pants (with some dark gray and some blue jeans), then choose colors for tops that match those, I’ll have lots of variety for mix-and-match. It’s worked really well for me.

    I love the pictures of Job!

  7. Years ago, I found this book at my local library.
    Simple Isn’t Easy: How to Find Your Personal Style and Look Fantastic Every Day! by Olivia Goldsmith

    Since then, I have thought about my “uniform,” throwing in just a few colors and everything that I have mixes and matches. We only wear a few shirts and a couple of pairs of pants/skirts on a regular basis anyway, so it makes sense to have just a few things that look and feel great.

    Thanks for the post. I’ve just recently found you.

  8. I’ve been embracing the minimalist wardrobe for about a year now. I’ve been weeding out old stuff/ill-fitting stuff and keeping my wardrobe to black, white, and jeans. A bit of tan and olive are in there, too. I get my color from scarves, or a sweater – jewelry during weather than is not scarf/sweater friendly. I removed brown clothing because that allowed me to get rid of brown shoes and belt. It’s delightful to be clutter-free. It’s easy to get dressed and it’s even fun, owning only the things that look best on me. My outlook on life is better, when I don’t feel like a frump. (Does that sound shallow?)

    I’ve become more discerning in stores, too. It’s rather empowering to walk away, when the offerings don’t meet my standards. I won’t buy just because it’s on sale; I won’t buy something that I don’t love.

    Thanks for the link! I’ll check out that site. There are a few items I’ll need, if spring ever comes …

  9. I open my side of the armoire (no closets….old house!) and all I see is grey….which is great. Because all colors of knit accessories go with it. It’s my ‘background’…and i’m quite comfortable in it! (I love the 333 project—-I’m never wearing more than 33 things anyway…the few other things that I have….the ‘funeral/wedding’ outfit, the yoga clothes i don’t count. ) Thanks for the online consignment link…..i’ve never tried that one!!!

  10. Only one colour would be a bit boring.
    I love different colours for different seasons. I love orange, red, purple, pink in all shades, black, blue and brown. It would be strange to walk around dressed only in orange or only in red. 😉
    But I do like buying clothes that all combine well and are practical but also nice. My closet isn’t full at all and I notice that I tend to wear only half of what’s there. I will soon go through all my things again and see which items can actually go.
    I love decluttering!! Sometimes I wonder where all this stuff comes from. It seems to multiply all by itself.

    Job does look like Jonny, doesn’t he? So cute!

  11. Oh, my goodness…I am currently reading Clutterfree with Kids as well, and I just read the part about 33 items of clothing last night. My husband and I were just discussing it. I have always been good at purging my closet of items that I don’t wear anymore, but I, like you, have regretted getting rid of an item or too, so I tend to hold on to things longer than I should. I’m excited about rethinking my closet…it’s Hubby I’m a bit worried about.

  12. Little Job sure favors his beautiful mama! My family and I have been practicing minimalists and living simply for several years now: Josh Becker, Leo babuata, Courtney Carver among others are my favorites. I used to have closets filled with clothing- no more. Now, I own less than 33 (maybe 25) items and my wardrobe mainly consists of navy blue, black and khaki tan and some girly pink and lavender sprinkled through. Life is so much simpler and chaos is easier to control with less stuff! I will be homeschooling too and am up to that clutter challenge too :-). And Leo has 6 kids too and homeschools- so he is a great example of living simple with less stuff 🙂

  13. I try to do this but it has slipped away from me of late. This is a great reminder!

    I hear you about not having time for thrifting! My oldest two find junk and my baby cries. I’m so glad to hear that you like ThredUp. I was skeptical but now I’ll give it a look.

  14. My husband has done this. He only wears black and a few years ago got rid of everything apart from a few pairs of black skinny jeans, a bunch of black tshirts and shirts and a couple of nice black jumpers. His one exception is coloured socks. I’m not sure I could do it as I love to wear colour, but I love how effortless it is for him to dress in the morning and his wardrobe looks incredible.

  15. I definitely build my wardrobe with a color scheme. My sisters always tease me when we shop because I refuse to buy anything that doesn’t fit with that scheme. Mine is burnt orange/ mustard & navy/teal, along with the basic neutrals. If it doesn’t match those, I don’t even try it on. Maybe it’s a bit restricting but simple, and minimal is my goal. Plus it makes it super easy to pack light, everything I own goes with everything else! Super easy to mix and match.

    Maybe you could find one color that makes you feel happy and include it with your neutrals though. 🙂 But I’m an artist, I love some color!

  16. Such beautiful baby pics! I like similiar colors also and try to stick with those.

  17. Gorgeous baby pictures Ginny! I have an unusually small wardrobe too, with a limited colour palette, it works for me…easier to get dressed in a hurry 🙂 You’ve reminded me that we have online charity shopping here in the UK too, thanks! x

  18. What beautiful baby pictures!

    I am on a quest to pare down my wardrobe since I tend to wear the same few outfits on a rotating basis. I also gravitate toward certain colors- black, grey, berry, purple, and maybe blue.

    I have discovered a great second hand chain in town- Clothes Mentor. Look forward to checking out the online site you posted- since I don’t get out much on my own 🙂

    Also, enjoyed reading Clutterfree With Kids after your recommendation.

  19. I have been known to dress in only one color, and it makes my husband sad, so I don’t. I do try to limit myself to cool colors in jewel tones and black. I have been nursing/pregnant/etc., for the last eight years, so I have at least three wardrobes depending on my size. There aren’t a lot of pieces of clothing in each, but since we’re still having babies (praise God), I won’t be paring down my wardrobe any time soon.

  20. Saw those pictures on Lori’s website & knew instantly that it was of Job! He is so darn cute! As for going outside your color comfort zone, I think we need to listen to those that love us. I tend to also dress in neutral colors as well, but have had several loved ones suggest other colors & have found that when I wear them I do feel rather pretty in them (pinks & reds). I think it’s hard to see ourselves in brighter colors because it draws attention to us & it’s not something we are comfortable with. JMHO

  21. I just bought some sandals on Thred Up…thank you so much for mentioning it! Love it!

  22. He looks so pretty!

  23. He IS a mini Jonny! So precious.

  24. such cute pictures!!! very lovely! I had not thought of it deeply but in general I too have colours that are in a cluster as it were, blacks, browns, shades of mainly darker reds, a few blues, a light purple… I was given a lot of my clothes… these esp I find hard to purge… God bless you!! FYI, I ordered the book, My Sister the Saints from the library after looking at it via amazon; looks like a great read!!

  25. What a great idea-I’ve been wanting to go thrifting but the idea of hauling the kids in there is exhausting. I’ll check it out-thanks for the tip!

  26. I stick with my colors…blue, purple, green family with some grey, black and white things. I bought a pink shirt from a sale a couple of years ago. Although I like the fit i think I will give it away as I always feel like I am wearing someone else’s clothes when I wear it.

    Yes! mini-Jonny!

  27. Even though I like to wear a large range of colours I find that unless they are in the neutral range I can never get the right things to put together and consequently have ‘orphan’ items of clothing awaiting a bottom or top half to go with them. Or maybe they need a shrug or shoes etc etc. I think its because I am just not into endless shopping trips and so don’t find the opportunity to find matching partners. The picture of Job are lovely – he looks very wise! xxx

  28. I was just looking at that site yesterday. After finding out I was pregnant after loosing 65 lbs, I needed new maternity clothes!

  29. I like the shirt. I, too, have bought things, often on sale and then put on and took off on numerous occasions and never wore. If we don’t love we shouldn’t buy, but we all do. I’m going to try the site. Thanks.

  30. The shirt is really nice! Out of my color comfort zone always leads to clothes that don’t get worn. Sometimes if i want to add color I just thrown on a bright yellow scarf or something, that way I can take it off if I start to feel like it’s too much.

  31. Little Job is adorable, love his expression. I like your new shirt too! I recently re-organized my closet, arranging everything by colour…75% of my shirts were white! ivory! or taupe???guess it’s time to liven things up.

I love to hear from you!