Closet Bootcamp: A Step-by-Step Guide to Minimalist Style for Girls with Vitiligo
Interested in trying out a minimalist style, but not sure where to start? When your closet is spilling over but you still don’t have anything to wear, it’s time for a closet boot camp. Here’s a process that will help girls with vitiligo create a minimalist look in just a few hours.
Does the process work? My friend recently asked me for help with her closet so we put the process to the test. She took her closet from over 60 pieces to about 30 pieces in just two hours. Let’s see if it works for you.
Set the Bar for Success
When you’re diving into a closet overhaul, your first instinct might be to start throwing out all of the clothes you don’t like. But what happens when you get to the pieces you just aren’t sure about? That’s where this step comes in and why it’s important to start here.
The first thing I asked my friend was, “What is your all-time favorite, could-not-live-without piece of clothing?” She actually had two – they were both flowy tops that fit her well, were versatile enough to pair with a lot of her outfits and most importantly, made her feel gorgeous.
That was our “bar.” I told her to imagine how she feels when she is wearing those tops and to hold onto that feeling as we went through the rest of her closet. We hung those two tops in her room for inspiration and moved on to the next step.
Clear it Out
Now you’re ready to dig in. Go through your closet – all of it. Look at your clothes, jewelry, shoes, scarves and bags. Start by removing easy things like the following: anything you haven’t worn in the past year, that doesn’t fit you well, that is worn-looking and need to be replaced or that doesn’t mix and match well with other items. Also get rid of anything you aren’t excited to wear and your “just in case” pieces that you keep around thinking you might wear them one day.
My friend and I created a “maybe” pile so we could move through her closet quickly and then go back and spend more time on that pile. Anytime you aren’t sure about a piece of clothing, put it to the test: how does it compare against your bar? Can you put it next to your bar and feel the same about both pieces?
Some people have trouble getting rid of things – that’s okay! Grab a friend who can drill you on whether or not you should keep things and help you stick to your charge. And you don’t actually have to get rid of everything right away. My friend was nervous about removing so much of her closet inventory, so we instead we packed all of the “getting rid of” things into storage bags and put them away for now. When she realizes that she doesn’t miss those clothes, it will be easier to get rid of them.
Inventory What’s Left
Go through what’s left in your “keep” pile. What do you have left for the upcoming season? How many outfits can you make? Does it let you mix and match pieces to create more outfits? If not, think about what things you would need to make your closet more flexible and versatile.
If you only have a few things left, that’s okay. When I clear out my closet each year, I usually keep only a third of what I start out with. If you keep things just because you think you should, you won’t be happy with the result. Be honest through the process and you’ll create a style you love.
Create Your Shopping List
Grab a pen and paper – what would it take to complete your closet? Did you have something that you need or something you love that needs to be replaced? For example, my friend needed a basic black sweater, but didn’t like the one she had. So she got rid of it and put that on her shopping list.
Remember that this isn’t a Pinterest shopping spree. You want to add only the minimal amount of things that will allow your wardrobe to work for you.
Shop to Fill the Gap
With your list in hand, you’re ready to shop. Shopping for minimalistic style is a long process – you don’t want to buy things that are just “okay” because that’s what you just threw out of your closet. You need to make sure you love it. And if you don’t love it, you need to leave it at the store.
This last step is the hardest part for me – I like to get things done, so I often feel tempted to buy something just to feel successful. But remember the original goal and know that it’s okay to walk out of a store with nothing. That’s part of having a minimalist style – buying less.
Did you try the process? Tell us about it.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.