Minimalist Wardrobe: How Many Pieces?

by Inês Morais
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While most minimalist wardrobes have between 15 and 50 clothing pieces, there’s no strict number of items to have in your closet. The key aspect is to have only clothes you need and love and discard the ones you don’t use nor need.

How Many Pieces in a Minimalist Wardrobe?
“Dear John…” by Steve Bode

A minimalist wardrobe is having only the clothes you need and love. Your minimalist wardrobe should have clothing pieces that fit you properly at the moment, make you feel good, keep you warm/safe/dry/cool for clime, work together in a wide variety of situations, and are built upon a color palette and style that allows you most-to-most combinations.

But is there a specific number of clothing pieces you’re allowed to have in your closet for it qualify as a minimalist closet?

How many clothing pieces should there be in a minimalist wardrobe? 

Sometimes, we get caught up in a specific number of clothing pieces but while that might be useful as a starting point for some people, minimalist closets are flexible. There is no set number of items. A minimalist wardrobe could have 20 pieces or 200. What matters is you wear all of them and they all bring you joy.

If you have 150 items in your wardrobe because you love variety and you wear every piece that’s perfectly fine. It’s important to discard clothes you don’t need nor use. Everyone is different and every aspect of Minimalism is adaptable. Some people thrive on neutral-colored everything; some people want to live without furniture. It’s up to each of us to choose what makes us feel best.

How to have a minimalist wardrobe 

There are many ways to go about a minimalist closet. One example of a minimalist wardrobe is Project 333, in which your closet has nothing but 33 clothing pieces for 3 months. These 33 items are to be combined into several different outfits every day. 

However, there a few – let’s say – guidelines that are common to each “minimizing” method:

Go through your closet and get rid of any clothing piece that raises doubt

Keep only what you love. You will know you achieved the perfect closet when every piece is your favorite piece.

Get rid of your clothes consciously. Don’t throw perfectly good clothes away – donate or sell them mainly. If they’re ruined, recycle or discard them mindfully. 

Avoid impulsive shopping

Shopping is one of our biggest enemies. To avoid falling in this trap, try avoiding malls, sticking to a list, and avoiding online shopping apps. Don’t buy a clothing piece just because it’s pretty: think about how you’re going to wear it.

Wear fewer colors

If you choose a single color palette when buying clothes, it’s so much easier to then combine them and be creative with your outfits. Having trouble choosing the right colors? Check our post about minimalist color matching!

Manage trends

Buy mainly clothes that never go out of style so you don’t feel the need to change your whole closet. If you’re a fashion lover and like to keep up with trends, try the “capsule closet” strategy (1) and set a short number (3-5) of trendy clothing pieces to be changed every season. 

Quality over quantity

When buying, always focus on quality rather than quantity. If you do not know where to get good quality clothes with minimalist designs, you can read more about what we think are the best brands for this here.

These tips will not only help you start your minimalist wardrobe but also maintain it.

Essential items in a minimalist closet

There aren’t strict lists to let you know what clothing pieces you should have in your minimalist wardrobe. You build your wardrobe according to the clothes you like, but there are a few items you should have in your closet because they will make the task of creating outfits easier.

Here is Dan Silvestre’s excellent list of essential items both for men and women:

Men

  • 5 Dress shirts
  • 3 Slacks
  • 7 Casual shirts
  • 3 Casual pants
  • 5 Shorts
  • 2 Pairs of dress shoes
  • 2 Athletic sneakers
  • 1 Pair of casual shoes
  • 3 Sweaters
  • 1 Light jacket
  • 1 Winter coat
  • 2 Swim trunks

Total: 35 items

Women

  • 5 Blouses
  • 3 Skirts or Slacks
  • 5 Professional dresses
  • 5 Casual dresses
  • 7 Casual Tops
  • 3 Casual pants
  • 4 Shorts
  • 2 Heels
  • 3 Flats
  • 2 Athletic sneakers
  • 3 Cardigans
  • 1 Light jacket
  • 1 Winter coat
  • 3 Swimsuits or bikinis

Total: 47 items

Will you get tired of your minimalist wardrobe?

how many items in a minimalist wardrobe
“Hangers” by Diehl Mackey-Pyfer

“Minimalist wardrobes” aren’t boring, inflexible nor inappropriate for certain social occasions or weather conditions. It’s possible to maintain a thrilling closet: you just have to choose your clothes wisely. 

If you choose a color palette that you love and a style in which you feel confident, you’ll have the possibility to juggle your clothes and make unique, fashionable, and distinct outfits. A closet with only 5 shirts, 3 pants, and 2 shoes can make 30 different outfits. You have the variation of a regular closet but without the unsettling amount of clothing pieces.

By purchasing clothes you love within your chosen style and palette, you won’t feel the need nor the will to change clothes frequently. 

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