I have a problem with minimalism.

And my problem is this - I'm just no bloody good at it. I would so, so love to be the capsule wardrobe girl. I'd love to make the whole 33 piece closet work for me. But here's the reality: I'm a 5'3 and a half (half is important), size 14 working woman, who has a very exaggerated pear-shaped body with big hips and thighs, and a big bum. Long story short: buying clothes that make me feel good isn't a simple jaunt through 'New In' on ASOS and my relationship with fashion is a tumultuous one. I've also moved to a more senior position at work, where my appearance is more scrutinised more often, in higher level meetings and presentations. A lot of how I feel about 'me' is tied up in how I express myself through what I wear.

Having said all that, I don't have the space, money, or abandon to keep up with fast fashion. I think we've all reached a point, and perhaps this is why minimalism is really enjoying a *moment* right now, where we can no longer ignore the implications of what we're spending, and what we're saying with our money when we buy into the cycle of 'value' fashion.

So, I've been trying out navigating my own take on things, that I'm calling 'minimalish'. I don't have any hard and fast 'rules', but these are the steps I've been taking to pare down on my consumption.

HAVE A GOOD OLD FASHIONED CLEAR OUT: I've already written a post on how I go about spring cleaning my wardrobe, and I usually do this twice a year, once before each season change. Please remember to clear out responsibly and if your clothes are suitable for recycling, reselling or donating, take this option and don't add to landfill!

DEFINE YOUR STYLE: The Curated Closet has been a huge help to me - whilst some of the principles in this book don't exactly fit my needs, I found it such a resource for defining my style, looking objectively at what pieces in my closet really work for me and which don't, and also prioritising what I wanted my clothes to do or say for me that they weren't currently. It also revealed a lot about my shopping habits and the common tricks that the retail industry can play on you to weaken your resolve - ever felt like you have to dive into a sale online and scour through every piece for a bargain? Yeah, me too. It's a great feeling when you find something you've had your eye on on sale, but if you weren't looking for it at full price, why are you letting it play on your mind because it's 30% off?

STOCK TAKE: I'll allow myself, in a one in, one out kind of way, around 5 to 10 new pieces if there is a genuine gap in my wardrobe (usually work wear) and I've spotted something that is timeless and going to last me for years to come. Broadly speaking I'm not interested in picking up things from Primark as the new seasonal stuff comes in anymore - every once in a while, if I want to try a particular trend I'm not sure about, maybe. But most of the time, I'll look for pieces of quality to invest in that I've identified as gaps for the seasons ahead. My current list looks like this:

  • A chunky knit cardigan
  • A smart work pencil or midi skirt
  • A shirt dress
  • A dogtooth blazer
So, I'll be looking for those four things going into autumn/winter this year. Only one of them in particular is a 'trend' piece, and the rest are fairly timeless, so I might look to spend a bit more money on those so that they last me for longer. Speaking of...

INVEST TIME AND (WHERE YOU CAN) MONEY: My body type isn't the easiest to dress off the rack. I find that a lot of bottoms will cling in unflattering ways that make me very self conscious of my shape, so over the years I've come to learn that I need to a) dedicate time to trying on a lot of styles to find what suits (I'm awful at this) and b) invest in good tailoring, which makes all the difference, or it does to me. I would say set yourself a budget that's within your means, and don't rush to spend it all at the beginning of the season. You might see something you much prefer as stores start filling out their lines. Be diligent, do your research, and don't go over the figure you've decided on.

TRY MULTITASKERS: One mistake I was very guilty of was separating my 'work wardrobe' from my 'casual wardrobe' without really thinking about pieces that could do double duty. For example, a lot of my summer dresses were fine for work with a smart heel and a blazer thrown over top. A great pair of tailored slacks make a lovely relaxed weekend look with some converse or loafers and a tee. I've learnt, and am still learning, a lot about styling through following blogs like Shot From The Street and EJ Style that I'm able to implement in my own day-to-day to make my wardrobe much more versatile. Another 'influencer' I absolutely LOVE for fashion - Trinny Woodall! Her Insta is absolutely babein'. Styling is just one of those individual things - it helps to be curious. So do your research, get lots of inspiration, and then try things out!

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