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11-06-2006
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whiteshells's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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The minimalist's wardrobe
I can't find a thread like this anywhere, so sorry if it's been done.

I'm positively fascinated with minimalism. It seems so calculated and hard to achieve. But it's what I want.

I'm 17, and find myself bored with all of my clothes. I threw out a ton of things because I hate the quality and whatnot. I'm trying to rebuild my wardrobe. I don't just fancy minimalism because I like it, but also because I don't have a lot of money.

So what do you think are the most essential items to base your wardrobe on? I'm starting with a handbag or two. One being cream and the other black.

At the same time I'm looking for a great pair of black shoes. What kind do you think are the most versatile? I'm thinking of flats with a short heel. But I don't exactly know right now.

I guess the most important thing is to take good care of your clothes and be able to spot good quality. I'm kind of clueless when it comes to this. Any advice?

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12-06-2006
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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There is a world of advice out there! But I wholeheartedly recommend you the Lucky Shopping Manual by Andrea Linnet and Kim France (see amazon.com). This is the best fashion investment you will make in your life. Good luck!

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12-06-2006
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Little Star's Avatar
 
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I'm 17 also and have been greatly attracted to minimalism, however its not something I can stick to entirely. I like mixing it up a little. However I've taken it on board by buying some basics in neutral tones and adding an item of interest, such as funky jewellery, an interesting top or jacket, coloured jeans - but only one at a time.

I'd suggest getting a pair of blue wash denim jeans (I prefer skinny leg), a pair of black denim jeans, a black cardigan, lots of monochrome singlet tops for layering under other tops, simple ballet flats, dark brown boots, a classic coat, a brown leather-type bag, a black bag...these are necessities in my wardrobe.

Hope this helps!

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12-06-2006
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whiteshells's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow
There is a world of advice out there! But I wholeheartedly recommend you the Lucky Shopping Manual by Andrea Linnet and Kim France (see amazon.com). This is the best fashion investment you will make in your life. Good luck!
I ordered that book once. I learned some things from it, but ended up returning it. I did learn a few things about what to check when trying something on though. I didn't like how they suggested I have 14 bags or something for every occasion. I just didn't entirely get how I could apply a lot of their advice to my own life.

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13-06-2006
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The truth is that at your age, 17, most people are experimenting right and left. It is too early to choose a favourite style and stick to it, and minimalist is rather restrictive (at the same time very liberating, you automatically skip 90 % of fads). You seem to have an eye for quality too, very unusual.

In order to know what your taste is, cut out any photo of clothes/accessories you TRULY LOVE and store them. When you have collected a few, make a collage. Very revealing!

Whatever you buy must fit you perfectly.

100% lambswool is the most versatile. Hand wash it if your machine does not have a specific wool program.

Keep off synthetics, but cotton with a touch of lycra is perfect for shirts and t-shirts.

Buy your basic clothes in solid colors. Avoid patterns or brights, these are perfect for accessories.

Your white t-shirts and shirts should be washed apart always at max 30degrees, or they will go grey.

Shoes with 2 inch heels are the most versatile.

Air your clothes daily outside, on a hanger, do not leave them on a chair. Forget dry cleaning or dryers, they will ruin your clothes eventually.

Silk items can be washed by hand with a little shampoo. I do this even with my Hermés scarves, no problem.

When you take off your shoes at home, put them in shoe-trees when they are still warm from your feet. This re-shapes them. Use shoe-trees in the two-three pairs of shoes you use the most.

As Little Star says, go funky with accessories and sober with your clothes.

Last but not least, investigate fashion makes, there is bound to be one shop where you are quite at home with the style and prices.

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13-06-2006
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^ Great advice! Particularly your tips on taking care of your clothes properly, I never considered this seriously, but I should!

Thanks shadow!

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13-06-2006
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Oh I just wanted to add that you can even do collages on your computer of outfits, pieces of clothing, pictures etc that appeal to you also. It really works and has been helping me get my act together this winter!

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13-06-2006
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Dont' get confused between minimalism and basics though. There is a difference between having a strong, well crafted collection of basics and enjoying the aesthetics and principles of minimalism. I suggest you look for posts by a member named Astrid (it might even be Astrid21) who was an old member of here and a staunch minimalist. Beautiful

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13-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Star
^ Great advice! Particularly your tips on taking care of your clothes properly, I never considered this seriously, but I should!

Thanks shadow!
Glad to be of help!

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13-06-2006
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Quote:
Dont' get confused between minimalism and basics though.
I know. I sometimes fear that if something is too interesting, it's too dated. This is really something I need to be diligent about. But although I don't want to wear nothing but basics, I do prefer simpler styles. So it shouldn't be too hard.

Quote:
In order to know what your taste is, cut out any photo of clothes/accessories you TRULY LOVE and store them. When you have collected a few, make a collage. Very revealing!
I've never made a collage, but what I've been doing for years is just online shopping, without the intention of buying anything. When I look over the things that I have chosen, over time most of it loses it's appeal. After doing that over and over, my instinct becomes so much sharper. I'm definitely tired out when it comes to fads and fickle things. I'm just jaded in general. Clothes don't really give me a rush like they used to, so I'm able to think more about it.

Quote:
Whatever you buy must fit you perfectly.
This is why I haven't actually bought any clothes in a long time. Sometimes I wonder if a fault or two will be okay to live with, but I'll hold out.


Thanks for all the other advice too!

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13-06-2006
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I´ve learned with years that´s better to have great clothes and wear them over and over, than having variety on lesser quality.
I used to be a variety freak. Now I´ve found the fun and the calm in a certain "boringness". It calms me. It gives me safety. I don´t feel like a trendoid. I know what I like and when I find it I wear it to death.


Last edited by newprincesita; 13-06-2006 at 09:21 AM.
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13-06-2006
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I know what you mean. When I was like 13 I looked down upon older relatives in my family for having only two purses. I was rather proud of my closet full of crap. Frankly now that gives me nausea. I can't have too much stuff, because I know I'll never clean it up.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just being silly while throwing out a pair of shoes I don't really wear. But I realize now I'm too infatuated with minimalism to care if it makes sense or not. The way I behave with my wardrobe reflects in other areas of my life too. I guess it's a philosophy.

Having one or two things that you really love is so much more meaningful. I bought a navy blue coat last winter, and though it's worn now and not all that chic, I've had dreams of being in that coat ever since. It's so comfortable and warm, in more than a physical sense.

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14-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow
Forget dry cleaning or dryers, they will ruin your clothes eventually.
Just wanted to comment, a really good dry cleaner will ruin your clothes infrequently, and will reimburse you when they do. But there's always a risk associated with cleaning, whoever does it. Was it Mark Twain who said that 5 spring cleanings do the damage of a house fire? It's very bad not to clean when necessary, but equally bad to clean when unnecessary.

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14-06-2006
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welcome whiteshells......
i like the way you are thinking about your wardrobe...

...
excellent thought process...

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14-06-2006
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I think its good at 17 .. the same age as me that you are thinking about a wider range of styles minimalism being one you deside to focus on .. i think its great youve found your style. I like minimalism but unfortiantly its a word that just doesnt exsist in my vocabulary lol.

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