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 Post subject: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:12 am 
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I work in an office environment that is slightly dressier than business casual (suits aren't needed every day). I'm keen on developing a minimalist work wardrobe. Has anyone done this? What are your key pieces? What are your thoughts overall?

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:45 am 
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you know what might help is trying to find the blogs about dressing minimalist. I've looked at them previously and the idea is that you have pieces that all work together, I think a capsule is the right word?

This might give you some ideas
https://www.pinterest.com/outfitposts/o ... -wardrobe/

or this, the third one on this page really shows how it works well
https://www.pinterest.com/explore/capsu ... robe-work/

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:44 am 
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How few pieces does your wardrobe need to have to be considered minimalist? I do mix and match like Linanil suggests. Bottoms are a couple of pleated skirts (grey) or slacks (charcoal), tops are button down shirts (white or striped blue) + cardigans (black) or jackets (charcoal, white or blue). Everything goes with everything else so there is no thinking required in the morning. I also have a couple of colorful shirts, colorful dresses, and patterned tights if I want to make the outfit more casual.


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:03 pm 
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I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I would like to develop more of a "uniform" for work, so I don't have to waste time and energy picking out my clothes for the day. I was inspired by this article:
http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/fe ... k-everday/

I was particularly swayed by the idea that most men pretty much have a uniform -- suits, or button-down dress shirts and dress pants or khakis for a more casual workplace.

I don't think I could literally wear the same outfit every day both for personal and social reasons (I'd rather avoid the suggestion that I'm wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday, although people would eventually get over it), but probably no one would notice if I wore only black or gray pants and tops in the same cut but a few different colors/patterns. It's really not that different than what I usually wear, but a little more intentional than my current cycling of the same 2 pairs of pants that actually fit well, and whatever shirt I can find that is reasonably dressy, comfortable and clean.

I think the key for this to actually work for me is to find dress pants in a quality fabric with pockets that fit well. If I find these, I want to buy at least 5 pairs so I can go at least 1 week without doing the laundry. I think black would be the most versatile, but a heather gray shows dog hair less.

As far as tops, I am thinking a collared blouse that is not too fitted in a drapey fabric, sleeveless for summer or 3/4 sleeves for the rest of the year. A blazer or cardigan would be necessary, since my office tends to be cold year-round.


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 pm 
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I had a boss, years ago, who did just that- black t shirt, black jeans, black blazer, he had dozens of each, but had decided he was done with thinking about clothes.
Now that I have much fewer chances to buy clothes, I find myself buying the same few things, floopy long cardigans, black t shirts, dark jeans. I let myself wear the same thing over and over, I like it, so why not. I have a lot of scarves to mix things up.

There are so many capsule wardrobe blogs, project 333 is the one i think i liked the most, but they are really good for ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:24 pm 
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aelle wrote:
How few pieces does your wardrobe need to have to be considered minimalist?


I wouldn't advise a set number, it really depends on your needs. I have about 32 pieces (includes coats and shoes but excludes underwear and socks) right now, I think 39 is a popular number thrown around but now that I don't have a work uniform I find it too small. 32 includes warm weather and cold weather clothes, so per season I don't actually have that many pieces to work with. I do laundry pretty frequently which means clothes get pilly faster, need more frequent repairs, etc. My old work uniform was black slacks and a white collared shirt, so I bought a lot of colourful dresses to wear on the weekends, now I'm pretty sick of wearing nothing but colourful dresses, and they're getting faded much more quickly now. I still like to have a minimalist wardrobe, but it needs a bit of an overhaul and more pieces to work and last longer.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:30 pm 
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i have two pairs of trousers gray and blue and two skirts black and gray and 6 shirts. 3 button downed and 3 blouses and two blazers.

i augment this with wacky dresses when i all my laundry is soiled


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:46 am 
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I wear the same thing every day ... I work in an office at the University hospital ... a mid-calf black skirt (I have 3 all the same, all machine washable), sleeve tank tops (mostly black but do have some colourful ones) over which I wear one of about 8 knitted jackets of different weight and colour ...

black shoes & stockings in the winter, colourful sandals in the summer ... I look tidy, comfortable & relatively timeless ...

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:59 am 
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The key is finding good COMFORTABLE pieces and then buying a few of them. Because you will inevitably loose or misplace them some hectic pre-tea/coffee morning.

ETA:And obviously posting pictures of what you get!

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:27 am 
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I'm hoping to do this, too! Actually I just want a minimalist wardrobe for everything. It looks like I may be moving in August, and I am tempted to just donate everything and start over. I won't be going that extreme, but I will be donating much of it. Why I think I'll ever venture out of my comfort zone sartorially is beyond me.

Thanks for posting the Pinterest links, linanil!

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:15 pm 
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I love all of these suggestions, and can't wait to go through the links. I didn't even think of Pinterest. Gah! Thanks! I've been thinking on it, and I'm leaning toward a limited color palate, probably mostly blacks, greys, and blues. I like the idea of a few basic dark skirts, slacks, and tops, but changing up the look with scarves or blazers/sweaters/cardigans. I think finding a hairstyle is going to be key for me. I feel like I look frumpy in whatever I put together, and it usually comes down to the hair. I have very fine, frizzy, curly hair that tends to settle into a triangular shape, despite lots of product. I'm thinking of going short.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:08 am 
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For me, I've cut out blues. If you go for greys/blacks for slacks/skirts, then you can have black shoes and that is it. Although blue tops go with grey pants, I don't like how they look with black but that is personal preference. So my pants for work are only grey or black, then I focus on tops that go well with both colors. I also have black, grey and colorful cardigans/sweaters.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:51 pm 
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Smart thinking, linanil --I hadn't even considered shoes!

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:31 pm 
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Great idea for a thread! I will be starting a new job at thd end of the summer that has the potential to be long-term, so I am thinking about investing in a capsule work wardrobe. I know what I like but hate clothes shopping, so I am hoping that if I can get some good pieces I won't have to shop for a while. I was thinking of couple of pairs of trousers, a couple of skirts, a few tops and cardigans and a nice pair of shoes.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:47 pm 
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I have done this when transitioning through sizes. Generally I will get two pairs of black dress pants (maybe one will have a pinstripe to fancy it up), a pair of shoes that look good enough for work but I can walk in, and then I go to one store and buy two or three designs of tops (blouses/button-down or knits that are easy care) in 2-4 patterns/colors each. The tops shouldn't be so distinctive that someone will notice you're always wearing a variation on the same design (made that mistake with a boatneck horizontal striped knit top). I don't like layering so I will just get tops that work for the season and then rotate to a new batch when the weather changes. I wear the same jewellery every day and never take it off; jewellery seems like a crazy thing to spend time and energy on. I occasionally have to wear a suit so I have tried to own one grey suit in each size along the way and a neutral shell or two. Charcoal grey covers the gamut of happy/sad/formal/less formal occasions pretty well. One really important lesson I have realized along the way is that you should be ruthless about getting rid of stuff if you actually want your dressing to be stress-free. I always wind up keeping tops that have a stain on them I won't really be able to get out and then get disappointed pulling them out of the drawer every time - just get rid of it! It's done!

I have been pregnant or size transitioning for the past four years and just went through all of my pre-pregnancy clothes - I went from having at least 30-40 work appropriate garments in my closet (so I am not even counting knits) to 5 or 6 things hanging in my closet and I barely miss the old wardrobe. I was able to cull at least half of those old things so if I am ever that original size again I will have a very sharp, paired down wardrobe.

I own 30 scarves at least and still haven't managed to figure out how to wear them with anything (I guess that's the layering thing), but if you already own scarves and know how to use them, a white or other neutral colored blouse + pants/skirt + a colorful scarf will take you far I think.

Matilda Kahl is really wise, but I don't think I'm awesome enough to follow her example in the purest way. I like color too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:50 pm 
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PS I used to wear a lot of skirts to work and they always necessitated either tights/hose (I seriously just got rid of 10 pairs of fancy tights I haven't worn in four years) or shaving my legs, both of which I got bored of. And then I bought some new work skirts when pregnant the first time and realized the upkeep was too much and I just gave up on wearing them entirely. So keep your grooming preferences in mind if you decide to buy skirts for work (also, if you decide to buy sleeveless things - consider the pit hair situation, this is reason number 10 I don't wear anything sleeveless at work).


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:13 am 
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You should go with it if you think it's useful. As for my thoughts on it, I just make sure that I wear completely different garments for two weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:53 am 
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My work is more casual than yours at the office but quite dressy at events/in the city.

I have about a million pairs of tights (I don't like shaving and don't have a lot of hair, but some of my skirts are a bit short and opaque tights make it feel okay--that and I'm tall with skinny scabbed boy legs), versatile black skirts, more casual black pants, a couple of dressy tops, many plain camisoles, cheap dress and casual shoes (I go through shoes like crazy), and the one thing I never have enough of is warm nice tops (so like, not hoodies or guaranteed to rip H&M cardigans) to put on when I'm cold. I feel like I'm always wearing the same trusty cardigan.

I also buy casual but still somewhat dressy (so it can be sleeveless but not a beach dress) dresses and use my millions of pairs of tights with those. H&M dresses are my favourite for that--so inexpensive and can sometimes pass for actually nice clothes.

Sometimes I forget that I have to climb ladders to to the mezzanine and shiitake at my job, haha, opaque tights always at the winery.


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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:52 am 
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yesterday I went through my clothes- all of them, including the stuff in storage I was "saving". I got rid of a significant amount of stuff that's been with me for 10+ years and is basically destroyed or just not ever gonna happen. I felt that I was being a little too soft on some things that I couldn't bear to part with yet, and will probably do another round of cuts later this week, but big progress was made.

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 Post subject: Re: Building minimalist wardrobe for work?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:51 am 
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I really like this idea. I sort of do it already, but I have a really hard time getting rid of clothes for some reason 'just in case' I need that item again someday. I have 2 pairs of black slacks and a black basic dress that go with any of my cardigans and most of my jackets. I have several black boat neck shirts that work well and then some more exciting shirts, as well. I just also have a ton of other stuff that hardly gets worn, unfortunately. I, too, need to figure out an easy hairstyle that isn't so frumpy. And maybe a more basic make up routine so my choices aren't none or a full face of it.

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