If You’re Thinking Of Downsizing Your Closet

I go through periods, more frequently now, where I want to have fewer clothes, and a more “refined” closet. I have learned what I love, and I don’t love retail shopping as much as I once did. I am more attracted by quality clothing and the thrill of the hunt. The newest trends don’t interest me so much. I love changing around the pieces I do have and filling in wardrobe “holes” with just the right shoes, scarf, tank, or topper.



I’m not interested in a certain wardrobe number, like a 34/37-item wardrobe, or, heavens forbid a six-item wardrobe, but I have learned a lot from those articles about choosing what sparks joy. I really, really love donating my just-okay pieces to Molly Mutt, where I get to put a price tag on them, then watch them go out the door to someone who does seem to love them. Now that’s fun.

It’s also fun to save money by not buying tat, as Vix would call it – cheaply made stuff or “fast fashion” that doesn’t last through two launderings. I know my favorite brands, vintage and modern, and look for them at the thrifts, consignments and eBay – and retail too. One positive thing about being 60 is I don’t have to count pennies so much anymore and I give myself permission to own a few new things on occasion. So maybe I’m not saving money so much as channeling it more wisely.

Several fabulous websites help me along in my wardrobe refinement journey. They each have something to offer and each speak from the author’s heart, not from a corporate point of view. Perhaps you’ll enjoy an article or two from them, and I would love to hear from you if you have your own favorite sources.


Grechen’s Closet.  Grechen is a real, relatable 40-something woman, who writes about her search for simplicity and authenticity. She wears lovely minimalistic clothing, reviews popular brands, and is invested in sustainable shopping. She’s approachable and authentic, and I love seeing what she’s wearing. No preaching, just sharing. Here’s a wonderful “starter post” from Grechen: Just Do Better.





Garance Dore is French, of course, bien sur, and how could I get through this post without a French woman or two?! Garance writes about many lifestyle topics, is a gifted photographer, and is always fresh and delightful. But this one older post really got me thinking about how much (how little?) clothing I actually need to feel terrific. Yes, more than a handful of pieces, but not hundreds. Just my favorites and a little bit of frosting on top.



Isn’t she lovely? And yes, so, so . . . French?


Into Mind is the Queen of my minimalism sites. Anuschka writes simply and gives wonderful do-able advice if you are looking to downsize your wardrobe. She is knowledgeable about shapes, textures, and colors, and doesn’t dwell on numbers. A great place to start your paring-down journey, if you’re so inclined.



Click here for the basic FAQ’s about Anuschka’s site.


Le Nife en l’Air is no longer publishing, but her posts are still available. Florie gave me a lot of inspiration when I began thinking about downsizing. Her simple living essays cover far more than clothing, but she’s a pleasure to read, and re-read. Here’s a practical and relaxing post: Simple Life – Shopping.




I know this approach isn’t for everyone – and I adore a full, colorful and ever-changing closet too, if that sparks your joy. The world is hard, let’s not make fashion and style hard, too. Buy, and build and create what you love, and stay fabulous, xo


A few of my favorite things:

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  1. I’m a strong believer in minimalism, and having a wardrobe where everything can be mized and matched endlessly. But I don’t like neutrals, and I have regular style crushes. And half of my wardrobe is always in the wrong place… So, I would be a poor candidate for any philosophical, methodological approach to minimalism. My version of minimalism is much more haphazard: make do with whatever is available. I call it living-out-of-a-suitcase…

  2. Since I’ve quit blogging (the old way, I still use instagram similar to how I used to use my blog), I’ve been going more towards this kind of shopping. Black, white, and grey are my bread and butter. I love color, but it’s so much easier to get dressed without worrying. I feel a lot calmer too allowing myself to rewear the same outfit again and again without worrying about boring the internet.

    • Isn’t it great to re-wear an outfit? My husband *never* notices when I do. So glad you’re back on the ‘netz. xo

  3. The book that DEFINES minimalism – in life, closet, etc., – not to mention the correct way to fold – is Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy. Simply put, if a garment is not bringing joy to your life, out it goes. She give clear instructions on how to determine if something is bringing joy or not, and believe me it works. I’ve downsized with this advice and never looked back. Was hanging on to too much that was either a) expensive, and I felt guilty; or b) thought I’d wear it at some future time, even though on close examination, it brought no joy (and hence, I would most likely NOT wear it)
    I strongly recommend this book and its companion, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up. These have been out a few years but when talking minimal closets, this is my rule of thumb. It’s spot on

  4. This post comes at the right time as I am taking a serious look at my wardrobe and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clothing I have. Like Melanie, I am always trying to get rid of stuff, but it feels more urgent these days, so I will be looking at the blogs you’ve linked to for some encouragement.

    • Your is another closet I would love to have a run through! You have cool style. xox

  5. I don’t think there’s ever been a time I’ve not been thinking about downsizing my closet. Each impulse gets stronger and stronger. Feeling overwhelming by volume is taking some of the joy out of playing with clothes. I love this post. I keep telling myself, it’s not what I’m wearing, it’s about who I AM, right? Pfft.

    • Well, what we’re wearing IS part of who we are/ how we express – but it could be the same leopard halter five days a week, if we feel like it. Agreed completely: volume can be overwhelming. And P.S. I will pay for a run through your closet! xox

  6. I’m definitely much more careful about what I add to my closet these days. And I only fill the holes that are true foundation pieces. My goal is to downsize my closet little by little over time; I hope it’ll be less “traumatic” that way. It’s not that I have ever shopped a lot in one season/year, but I hold on to clothes for a very, very long time, so over the years I have accumulated quite a bit. Definitely more than I need… I really think less clothes would make things easier…

    Thanks for the recommendations above! I very much look forward to checking them out!

    • I think doing it gradually is terrific, and there’s no pressure to get rid of anything you love, just because you’ve had it for years, xox

  7. I feel that this time is coming but for now I’m not there yet.

    I know that for me to move into this phase I will need to give up blogging altogether or turn my blog into something other than style. My style blog in an enabler, no doubt.


    • So true – I do struggle to find new outfits to feature. Do whatever feels good for you, xox

    • I have read about the little brown dress, too – an amazing story of making do! xo

  8. This is seriously so helpful, I am trying to downsize my closet big time right now and can use all the tips I can get! I definitely want a more middle of the road closet where I have fewer clothes, but way more than 6 outfits hahaha. Thanks for all the great sites! XO -Kim

    • Good luck with the downsizing, Kim! Most of us have plenty left even after we purge
      : >

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