The Minimalist’s Guide to Your Wardrobe

Tag Christof & Lauren Lyon

September 09 2015

The summer-fall season change is one of the year’s very best opportunities for redefining and refining your wardrobe, but it is often difficult to build a cohesive edit when sifting through storage boxes and considering in-season styles.

So, as we often do when we want to get organized, we dropped in on Richmond’s tidiest, most punctilious resident, our friend Kristen Ziegler, better known as Minima. By guiding us through her own fall wardrobe, Kristen gave us an object lesson in maximizing fall and winter style choices through five thoughtful minimalist principles.

1. “Having a minimalist wardrobe is all about having your core pieces that you can count on day after day. Shop for high quality items that you will use for three years or more.”

This is one we can certainly get behind—though you’ll want your own style to run the show and it will evolve from season to season, it is always best to base your wardrobe on solid foundations. From denim to basic T’s, look for well-made items that you will be comfortable in for the long run. Scandinavian and Japanese brands are always safe bets in this department.

2. “Look at sweaters and heavier outerwear as investment pieces. For timelessness and versatility, stick to neutrals and add color and pattern with accessories.” 

Think of that beautiful heirloom coat from your granddad: good quality in classic colors never goes out of style. You can always offset safe choices in outerwear with a daring outfit or accessories.

3.  “You only need three coats: formal, everyday and utilitarian.” 

Though it may be tempting to cop a coat for every occasion, instead, Kristen says, buy the best three coats you can, and your style will benefit from the discipline.

4. “Treat your investment pieces with respect.” 

“Dry clean or hang dry with a drying rack like the above wood dowel rack from The Container Store.”

“Use solid wooden or non-slip felted hangers so sweaters keep their shape. You can also roll them in a drawer if you prefer to fold.”

This is a cardinal rule for anything nice you want to keep around for a while, but one that often goes unheeded when it comes to clothes. While there’s no need to get precious about mega expensive garment bags or go overboard with the dry cleaning, small steps that reduce stress on your clothes will go a long way toward keeping them crisp and snag- and pill-free. Well-cared-for clothes lasts longer and looks better, always.

5. “Buy stylish dual purpose footwear made of rubber or leather—this includes rain and snowboots. Unless you live in an extreme climate, you’ll get a lot more use out of them than a heavy duty pair of hiking/outdoor boots.” 

Basically, tough minimalist footwear almost always wins the day. Hardy leathers look fantastic and, especially when treated properly, are fine in all but the most inclement conditions. Go for all-weather wearability and keep the moon boots on mothballs until you absolutely need them.

Shop The Minimalist’s Wardrobe for Men.

Shop The Minimalist’s Wardrobe for Women.


Kristen Ziegler is an Organizing Consultant based out of Richmond, Virginia with a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and over 15 years’ experience. She helps clients all over the world declutter and streamline their lives.