Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Minimal Wardrobe from Years Ago

For years, I would tear out articles or images from magazines and keep them if they interested me, or resonated with me on some level.  In a fit of technology-inspired tidying, I scanned them all about six years ago.  Just today, I was browsing through them - aside from the very 80's or early 90's vibe from some of the photographs, a lot of the information was rather timeless.

One that I thought of a lot was the following.  I've erased her identity, because I'm quite sure that after 20 years, she doesn't want to be seeing herself all over the internet...

As I work toward identifying "the number" for the size of my upcoming carefully curated wardrobe, I'm seeing suggestions ranging from 10 to 1,000 - giving me a lot of things to consider.


  1. Check out the Chic Simple series for another example of a 90's minimalist wardrobe. There is a checklist in the back of the book.

  2. I vividly remember seeing this woman in Marie Claire (I think) and dog-earring the page. Glad you saved it!

  3. But I have to disagree with her last two sentences. What matters at a wedding is the BRIDE'S preference, and some brides don't want black at their weddings, not even on the guests. Manners must be considered as well as comfort and good looks.

  4. I get the point, but this is a very dark collection. Probably just me, since I live in a tropical climate.

    Many of the wardrobes that you have posted have been so helpful, because they are not all just business attire. I searched for months on the internet for "casual" wardrobe capsules only to be disappointed with the genius advice of "jeans and T's." You have no idea how helpful you have been. Thanks.

  5. I saved this article too! I don't think it's from 20 years ago - about five I think :)! Thanks for posting it.

  6. I appreciate the minimalist theory, but I could never do that in practise, especially the colours...couldn't she have a red or purple something to break it up??? Ugh, I would be so depressed wearing that day, day out

  7. Number of things -- lots to consider, indeed, as I prepare for the semi purge (I do love your carefully curated language better). I can see now this wardrobe would work ... but, hard to hold it to that many pieces with temperature shifts from 100+ in the summer to well below zero in the winter. Having said that ... again ... much food for thought. Thank you!

  8. aesthetic intelligenceFebruary 8, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I'm pretty close to this, with some caveats:
    1.We have rather hot, humid summers; during June, July and August I live in linen just to survive, so I have a completely separate capsule for those months.
    2.I don't (can't) wear black; and no greys near my face.
    3.I like to add a touch of seasonal colors during spring and fall.

    I think one has to take into consideration your complexion (what is the point of a beautiful garment with wonderful fit and fabric if it makes you look washed out like a zombie?), the strength of seasons in your climate, and the lighting in your geographical location (SoBe colors just don't work for a northern winter day).

  9. I admire this woman for having a satisfying wardrobe from only a few pieces. Although I don't think there's a "right" way to dress, to be able to truly use what you have instead of constantly shopping is commendable.

  10. Ithis entire wardrobe is what I would pack for a 2 week business trip. I can't imagine living on it for more than a month.

  11. The wardrobe is fine as a basis wardrobe for someone with dark hair, bright blue eyes / dark eyes and palish skin - it could get anyone through the winter or one season. Other elements of the equation to consider: 4 seasons, 7 day laundry program. Consider colour: not very many people wear all black in the summer season in North America, but there are some who do.

    Personally I like your blog just before new years about owning 2-3 suits, which include a dress. A light neutral crazy 8, and a dark neutral crazy 8 plus 2x4 accents for each season.

    Inspiration from male co-workers:
    5-6 shirts
    1 dark neutral sweater / some have 1 light neutral, but not all
    unknown number dark trousers / dark wash jeans (probably 1-2)
    1 pair dark shoes
    1 ring
    1 watch
    maybe glasses

    This is what they wear all year, plus or minus the sweater.

  12. I wear black/grey/navy every single day, so this - for me - is heaven :)

    in reply to Rebecca's comment - that book looks great!

  13. I saved this article, too- then I lost it, and have regretted it ever since!!! Thank you so much for this, and for just about everything else you've written here!