10 Item Wardrobe? My 60 Item Minimalist Wardrobe?

This may seem like a trivial topic, but of course everyone must wear clothes and having a good relationship with them can really affect our life. This topic is important to me because clothing is so over-consumed and wasted in the western world. I’m hoping that this article could be useful to everyone, not just digital nomads. Statistics show that most people in the UK waste a lot of clothing, so minimizing your wardrobe could save you money, time, and help the environment.

IMG_3246

80% of my wardrobe. It’s impossible to show all of it, since it’s never ALL clean. In a van everything must be hung up so it doesn’t go mouldy. I fashioned this rack from the handles from a supermarket shopping basket.

As a vagrant and minimalist (one causes the other), my wardrobe has to fulfill specific criteria, whilst being a performer also requires me to have range of interesting things to wear. Clothing is the bulky and takes up room. I literally have to choose between keeping an extra jumper or a few more tins of food in my van. So I end up blog-trawling to find how minimalists/travelers solve these problems. I’ve noticed the following about those who have very few clothes:

  • They usually dress in a boring way
  • They don’t seem to live in cold buildings or go outside much – where are all their layers?
  • They obviously have constant access to washing & drying facilities. How else can someone only own 1 set of sports clothes?

So, those of you who it may help, here’s the inventory of my wardrobe. It works for a wide range of climates, situations and activities. There are 60 items in total, covering all seasons from -2C to 35C. Things like socks and pants are counted as 1. In bold are my 10 core items for winter, which obviously change in summer. In italics are things I’m considering giving away.

On an environmental note, apart from underwear and sports-clothes, 95% of my wardrobe is 2nd hand or home made. Since I’m able to sew, I repair things, extending their life by more than half. My hope is that posting my 60 item wardrobe will help to show more people, not just minimalists, how to keep a smaller collection of garments.

IMG_3247

As you can see, one of the t-shirts isn’t really a t-shirt, simply a way of storing my socks and pants

Here are few of the systems and methods that make this wardrobe work. Even though it’s big my minimalist standards, it’s minimal.

  • Two week’s supply of everything for each season: This tides me over when I can’t get to wash my clothes.
  • Very temperature specific clothes: I even have different thicknesses of t-shirts for summer and winter. Basically I can’t afford to get too hot or cold. Too cold & if I’m in my van, I won’t have a source of heat to get warm again. Too hot and I’ll sweat more meaning having to change my clothes more often, causing a washing crisis.
  • Clothes for every occasion: I used to shun smart clothes, sports clothes, or pyjamas, but over the years I’ve recognised them as necessities. Owning a few smart clothes stops people from thinking I’m a dysfunctional vagrant. Since I exercise a few times a week, sports clothes do the job better and help avoid a washing crisis. Pyjamas are necessary for when I stay with friends.
  • Avoid Synthetic Fabrics: They aren’t warm or breathable. They also smell quickly. I’ve shelled out the extra cash to buy merino wool clothes for winter. Wool doesn’t need washing often, dries quick and is very warm. It wears faster if layered directly, so cotton has to go in-between. Where I’ve chosen synthetics, such as for sports clothes, they must say “breathable” on the label. I have 1 synthetic outfit that dries so fast it can be worn straight out of the washing machine – for emergencies.
  • Pockets: Travellers tend to carry a lot of stuff about their person. Clothes need lots of pockets, and should be the same on everything I own otherwise I’ll ruin the habits I’ve formed, and lose things (4 pockets on trousers, 2 in jackets.)
  • Exciting clothes, all the time: As a performer, I think it’s important to look interesting & different, but I don’t have separate clothes to perform in so this becomes how I always look. I like bright, strong colours and it boosts my mood to wear them. Although I always wear trousers, what I wear on my top half can be very versatile. I dress like a box of crayons. However, once my folk band played at a very formal wedding and stood out a mile! So I got myself a discreet pinstripe suit and white shirt for such events.

So that’s it – my token practical minimalist post.

Kimwei

Kimwei.com , youtube.com/kimweidotcom , facebook.com/kimweidotcom

Here are all the clothes I own – Total 60 items.

Main Wardrobe:

Winter Summer
Trousers 1.    Blue Cords

2.     Burgundy Cords

3.     Homemade Red & Black Trousers

4.     Blue Wraparound Trousers

5.     Brown Wraparound Trousers

Shorts 6.     Purple Shorts

7.     Red Wraparound Shorts

T-shirts 8.    Cotton Black & Red

9.     Cotton Black & White Tie-Dye

10. Cotton Rainbow Hooded T-shirt

11. Thin Batik, Purple

12. Thin Batik, Orange

13. Thin Batik, Red

Long Sleeved 14. Rainbow Crayola
Shirts

15. Synthetic Striped Shirt

16.  Red Shirt

17. Black Pinstripe Shirt.

18. Blue & White Duck Patterned Shirt
Jumpers 19. Wool Blue & Blue Striped Jumper

20. Wool Red & Yellow Heart Jumper

21. Red & Pink Cotton Blend Jumper

22. Red Merino Wool Professor Jumper

23. Blue & Black Striped Cotton Hoody

Coats 24. Blue & Red Wool Overcoat  
Waistcoats 25. Black Wool Waistcoat 26. Black Sleeveless Shirt
Shoes 27. Red Leather Calf boots 28. Purple Leather ankle boots

29. Flip-flops

Accessories 30. Red Wool Hat

31. Extra Thick Red & Black Wool Hat

32. 2 pairs Wool fingerless gloves

33. Blue sparkly cotton scarf

34. Black wool neck-warmers x2

35. Red Chequered scarf

36. Black Leather Belt

37. Starfish hat & liner

38. Pinstripe Lapels (as an alternative to a formal jacket)

Underwear:

Winter Summer
Socks 1.     5 pairs black merino wool, 2 pairs cotton, 1 pair waterproof (sealskin), 2 pairs thick wool
Pants 2.     10-12 pairs cotton, 2 pairs quick-drying synthetic travel pants
Vests 3.     Merino Wool Long Sleeved Vest 4.     white

5.     red & black striped

6.     yellow

Thermals 7.     Merino Wool Leggings

8.     Synthetic Leggings

9.     Purple & Black Striped Onesie

Pyjamas 10. Yellow Cotton Pyjama top

11. Black Cotton Shorts

12. Black Eyemask (Buff)

Other:

Formal Gig-wear (such as for weddings) 1.     Synthetic Pinstripe Trousers

2.     Synthetic Pinstripe Jacket

3.     Smart Leather Belt

4.     White Shirt

5.     Blue Tie

Sports: Cycling 1.     Cycling Leggings

2.     Cycling Leggings

3.     Extreme Winter Cycling Leggings

4.     Summer Cycle Shorts

5.     Long Distance Padded Summer Cycle Shorts

6.     Summer Cycle Jersey

7.     Winter Cycle Jersey

8.     Tight Merino Wool Thermal Top

9.     Tight Cycling Raincoat

10. Clip-less Cycle Shoes + 2x waterproof overshoes

11. 2 Pairs Extreme Winter Gloves + 2 Pairs black wool gloves, padded gloves

Sports: Running 12. Cool-max Black T-shirt

13. Black cotton shorts

14. Running Shoes

15. Burgundy Cotton Hoodie

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “10 Item Wardrobe? My 60 Item Minimalist Wardrobe?

  1. Lineke

    Loved this! So inspiring, thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s