Minimalism: Making Clothing Last
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
When striving towards a minimal and long-lasting wardrobe, it’s really important to consider a bunch of factors before bringing an item of clothing in. I’m going to go over a few categories that I consider before purchasing a garment in order to ensure that they will last for a long time and never go out of style.
Think of your future self
You want your future self to be happy with your current wardrobe, so you need to think about where you’ll be in 1, 3, or even 5 years from now. I try to think about where I want to be career-wise, how my body might change as I get older and how I’ll feel about dressing my body (ie. I might not want to be wearing super short skirts since I'm already moving towards longer length skirts and dresses at this point in my life).
For me, I want to be in a job where I’ll have to dress pretty professional, so when I look for clothing, I try to find things that would look great with a blazer paired on top, or trousers that I can dress down now with a t-shirt but in the future I can add a button-down blouse.
I figure that my body will probably fluctuate in size so I gravitate towards wrap style dresses that look great and can adjust to whatever size I might be.
In terms of clothing cuts and styles, I dress more on the modest side (I don’t really wear low cut tops or really short items of clothing) so I imagine that not much will change in that realm. Although maybe I won’t be so keen to wear crop tops (that being said, I only have 2 - so it’s not a big deal if I grow out of those).
Think about style
There are certain cuts and styles that are classics no matter what era of fashion you’re looking at. I would try to choose styles of clothing that have been staples for several years. Things like denim jackets, pencil skirts, blazers, wool coat, crew neck sweaters.
In my opinion, the colour and pattern of garments are generally the factors that date an item of clothing. You know a windbreaker is from the 80s if its got a certain colour palette... if you know what I mean. That’s why I tend to gravitate towards solid colours and minimal patterns so that you can’t tell which “season” of fashion I got it from.
Be careful not to fall in the trap of only buying the colour palette of the current “fashion season” what I mean by that, is that right now Pantone said bright coral would be the colour of the year, so a lot of garments in that hue will come out and be marketed soon. Shops will make it seem like a versatile staple colour in your closet but remember that it is a trend colour. Maybe add one item of that colour to your wardrobe so you can enjoy the trend, but try not to base your style and colour palette on a particular fashion trend.
Think about quality
I wrote a whole blog post about buying quality at the thrift store, but honestly, purchasing quality items and taking proper care of those items are both really important if you want your clothes to last for years to come in your closet. The main things to look at are the material content, the hardware and the quality of sewing of each piece (are there loose threads, tight seams, etc.). Purchasing quality can sometimes be pricier, but you can always find quality garments at the thrift store if you're willing to search for them.