So most of you know that I have been musing and rambling on about seeking some rendition of a minimalist lifestyle, including within my wardrobe. I've decided to start a series of posts around the wardrobe piece of this puzzle which will include my thoughts, processes, experiments and results, including successes and failures. I'm hoping that by putting this in writing I can share the experience with those who are interested.

Before I even begin to physically undertake any transformation, I need to figure out why I'm desiring this and what I hope to gain from it.

I've decided first of all to change the wording - it's not minimalism I'm seeking so much as simplicity. I'm wanting to lessen stress and clutter in my home and life and come to a certain level of simplicity. So from this point forward, I will be calling this Shannon's Simplicity Search and no longer referring to it as minimalism. Minimalism (in my mind) refers to things akin to a 10 piece wardrobe and two pieces of furniture - not gonna happen!

I commented in a conversation with Amiable that I would seriously struggle with the minimalist I want to be and the variety-lover that I am by nature - hence the word simplicity instead. Much less intimidating and "rigid".

In terms of wardrobe, I am wanting:

  • to stop standing in front of the closet trying to decide what to wear which takes up time and energy
  • to have only pieces in my wardrobe that I want to wear all the time and make me feel good when I put them on
  • to give much more thought to what I purchase to ensure versatility, comfort and quality are at the forefront in my decision making
  • buy less but buy better
For example, I've been looking at the Paul Green oxfords that Angie posted about recently. They are very expensive for my budget. But in all honestly, I would spend that much in a new season on two or three lesser quality items that may not wear as well nor be as comfortable. So the issue isn't the actual dollar amount, it's the number of items. Better to have the one perfect item than two 8's, you know? I find too much stuff just overwhelms me - I become ineffective and unable to focus. Hence the standing in front of the closet deciding what to wear.

I suspect that finding the perfect item will making shopping much more difficult. I will need to learn patience (not something that comes naturally to me).

In terms of simplicity, I am not only seeking a wardrobe that is much more cohesive where the fewer number of items mix and match readily, but also simplicity within the actual garment. Less "bells and whistles", less hardware, less fuss factor, My EF drape front dress(s) is the perfect example of what I'm seeking - extremely comfortable, can dress up or down, works with a myriad of toppers to change the look, no adjusting required but is still stylish.

So where do I go from here? Summer is half over here and I don't see tackling the issue with my summer wardrobe overly useful. I have been purging unloved items throughout the season and am in a really good place with my summer wardrobe.

Where I will begin is taking stock of what I currently have for fall/winter (my dominant season by far) and removing all items that don't fit my new parameters. Then I'll make a list of what truly needs replacement and a separate list for what my wants are for the season. I will wait to make my list of wants after seeing Angie's NAS picks - not so much that I will be purchasing any of the NAS items, but to see what fall is going to look like and what will be trending. Despite a desire for a more simplistic wardrobe, I do still want to add a few trendy pieces for each season. Angie has commented that even French women who typically have very small wardrobes, update with a few pieces each season. I think this is what I'm after.

Will keep you posted...(and thanks if you actually read all of this )