If you read my post “New Year, New Chic on Wall St.?”, you will know that my Corporate America lifestyle is over; however, my professional persona must continue. Thank you to guest blogger Juhita Gupta, we can all adopt minimalist fashion into our lifestyle.
When Brittany and I first got in touch regarding this guest post, I was immediately drawn to her blog. As a working professional myself, fashion in the workplace is always on my mind. My personal styling may have changed over the years but the underlying theme of being presentable and chic has remained the same.
Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle
To tell you a little bit about me, in October of 2017 I turned to capsule wardrobe and subsequently minimalism in my efforts to really understand myself and make fashion work better for me. I began documenting and sharing this journey into minimalism on my blog. As I read more and more about capsule wardrobes and minimalist fashion, I began to approach fashion more holistically than before.
I recently completed three months of the no shopping promise I made to myself and, hand to God, I do not feel like I have missed shopping in the last few months. Nor do I have a list of things I need to buy because I have not shopped in a while.
Like I said earlier, I am a working professional. I have a full-time job, working five-day weeks, in an office. Greeting the same work colleagues every day from Monday to Friday is a weekly occurrence and work from home is nonexistent in any typical week. Scheduled important meetings may happen some days where I need to be especially well dressed but I also like to be smartly dressed every day.
Does that make minimalism harder for me? I don’t think so. Yes, I do need more clothes than Project 333’s recommended 33 pieces for 90 days, but once I take any set number out of the equation living with less is not a compromise for me. So here are five tips on how to adopt minimalist fashion for working professionals.
Focus on the Basics & Get Them Right
Basics can mean different things to different people. I work in a media and entertainment company, so I can wear jeans to work all week. If you have a stricter dress code or like wearing formals, your basics would probably include shirts, trousers, and skirts. Whatever they are, focus on including a few good quality basics in your wardrobe.
My basics include dresses, jeans, feminine tops, traditional Indian wear, stilettos (for office) and flat shoes (for commuting).
With the right basics, you will not find yourself scrambling for appropriate clothing every day. In fact, a casual run-through of your wardrobe will show that you wear your basics on most days. Focus on them and you are good to go without having a closet that is bursting at the seams.
Shop for the lifestyle you have, not an aspirational one
We all dream of a lifestyle that is different from ours at times. I love my job but there are days I wish I could just wake up and look pretty and go for lunch with my besties with not a care in the world. I don’t, however, do that today and my wardrobe need not pretend differently.
A good rule of thumb for living a minimalist lifestyle is to keep your everyday lifestyle and routine in mind when you shop. This includes simple things like the weather, your commute to work, the industry and profession you work in, the dress code, if any, at your workplace, how you spend your leisure time, how often you go on vacations and what type of places you like to visit (beaches vs mountains anyone?).
If you attend a lot of parties and brunch events, then do keep that in mind when you add or remove pieces from your wardrobe. If you walk a lot or are on your feet all day, then you may need flat shoes more than high heels.
Make Comfort a Priority
Prioritizing comfort may not seem like it has any impact on minimalism. What it does is rather simple though. The clothes (and shoes, jewelry, accessories) that you love wearing are usually the ones which are most comfortable. Chances are, you already find yourself wearing the same pieces over and over again. That’s because they are comfortable and make you feel good about yourself. And you also need fewer things because you already love what you have.
There is literally no reason to buy jeans that are too tight for you today or heels that make it difficult to stand. Those are the items we do not want to wear every day because they require so much effort and constrain us so much. Don’t buy them, it really that simple.
I will let you in on a secret. Well dressed and comfortable is a lethal combination. You are looking smart and making an impression while breathing normally and not waiting to get home and tear everything off.
Don’t Go Window Shopping Online or In-Store
Window shopping or online browsing seems so harmless. You don’t expect to buy anything and have fun looking through the new collections. But the fact is that it is tough to go window shopping and return empty-handed. You may buy the cheapest item or the best deal but at the end of the day, you bought something you did not need.
Moreover, I find that even putting myself in a retail environment repeatedly sends subliminal messages to my brain that I need to shop. I start dreaming up things I need to buy and making wish lists. Eventually, I have only delayed the purchase and not stalled it altogether.
Choose Good Quality Natural Fibres Whenever Possible
Natural fibers like cotton and silk offer many benefits that synthetic ones cannot. Durability is one of them. If you go the extra mile and starch your clothes, the garment’s life increases further.
Good quality pieces mean that they do not fade or lose shape as easily. They last longer and reduce your need to shop as often.
Before I adopted minimalism, I would buy clothes based on their prices. I bargain hunted all the time, especially online. Paying little attention to the materials used, I would end up with a lot of low-cost and low-quality clothes that I didn’t like to wear after a few washes. Don’t put yourself through that.
So that’s it, five simple tips that can get you started on a minimalist and intentional approach to fashion. What do you think of them? Do you see any problems implementing them in your lifestyle? Let us know in the comments section below and we will discuss.