Ushering In The Fall Season, Minimalist-Style

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Published: September 20, 2018

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Over the weekend, the temperature dropped with a sharp reminder that summer was transitioning into fall. Ushering in a new season is the perfect occasion to declutter my closet. In the past, the changing of seasons would throw me into a frenzy of rushing out, trying to get new clothing items to match the weather. But since I adopted a more minimalist mindset to my style, I have found that I can ease into the decluttering process with a calmness and intentionality.

I may be in the minority when I say this but it’s perfectly acceptable for decluttering your closet to be a gradual process. When aiming to create a capsule wardrobe, it’s best to begin with the end goal in mind. The goal is to have a closet that consists of intentionally selected clothes that compliment your style and fit your lifestyle. For me, this was and is a trial-and-error process. My style is ever-changing because I am always evolving as an individual. As a result, clothes cycle in and out of my closet. I have learned to not hold onto my clothes with a tight fist.

Start with the basics

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Step away from trends and try to venture out to find an aesthetic that speaks to individual style.

A common misconception is that minimalists have to wear the same boring outfits over again. Not true! A smaller, more intentionally curated wardrobe makes for a more focused set of clothes to create signature looks with. I can mix and match different combinations, breaking fashion rules to make looks that speak to my personality, my mood, and interests.

I encourage everyone to step away from trends and try to venture out to find an aesthetic that speaks to their individual style. For example, I prefer the look of high collars and crew necklines. Even when trends move on, I tend to dress myself according to my preferred style. These preferences become the palette on which the rest of the capsule collection is built. When capsules are built around individual style versus trends, there is less turnover of clothes in your closet. I spent a significant amount of time trying to find my preferred version of style staples. I can be very particular about the way certain shapes, cuts, and fabrics drape on my 5’2 frame. A pro-tip that saved my style was finding a good tailor to hem pants, shorten skirts and take in the seams of clothes for a more fitted look. Clothes that are a better fit automatically look to be of higher quality.

Rotate your accessories

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Accessories can completely transform a look.

The basics of my closet don’t change much as the weather change, only my accessories and layers get swapped out. My summer closet starts out with the least amount of clothing and I add the layers back into my closet as it gets colder. Most of what I’m adding into my closet is accessories and outerwear.

Accessories can completely transform a look. If there’s an outfit combination I really liked in the Summer, I’ll re-imagine what the Fall or Winter version would look like. Slip on a cozy sweater or toss on a blazer. Slide into some loafers or tug on some socks with your favorite pair of boots. Thankfully, most jewelry can still be worn all year long so they become a signature part of my look. My whimsical Summer jewelry doesn’t get left behind in the fall.

Here, the key is to prioritize quality and function over quantity. If you’re going for a minimalist aesthetic, you don’t need hundreds of items that each does one thing. Instead, get a few items that you can wear in various ways. For example, you can have a statement necklace that adds a pop of color to outfits to dress and a little dimension to a chunky sweater. It’s also important to select items that are made well enough to withstand multiple seasons.

Get rid of what no longer serves you

Minimalist-Style

The minute an article stops serving its purpose, it can be released.

Marie Kondo’s famous decluttering question is “does it spark joy” but the additional question I ask myself is “will it serve you well?” I tend to categorize my clothes by function—I have clothes for getting the job done, clothes for showing off my personality, clothes for making a statement, clothes for having a good time. Everything in my closet is intentional, placed there on purpose. The minute an article stops serving its purpose, it can be released. All clothes had a function at some point, but then comes a time when perhaps the novelty wore off or they no longer fit us or our style. Sometimes we have things in our closet that were gifts to us, were impulse purchases, or were our most prized possession.

As much as I loved this outfit, over time my style changed and I found replacements for these articles of clothes. No lie, every single item I’m wearing in this picture has been either donated, swapped away, or recycled. In their place, I slowly found better quality versions of these items. At the point where we recognize that these clothes no longer serve us, we can pass them along to somewhere else where they’ll do more good. No guilt needs to be associated with the process of letting the clothes go. I typically donate my unwanted clothes through my nonprofit, Style Lottery, to give them to women in need. You can check to see if there are local charities that will take your donations or stores that will recycle your castaways.

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Know thyself

Although we might start this process to declutter our closet, in the process we learn how to dress as our authentic selves in the world. Our fashion choices give cues about who we are. We must be patient with our growth as individuals. Who we were in one season may be different from who we are now. Because our needs evolve what was a right fit for yesterday might not be right for today. We must let go of what no longer serves us and allow ourselves permission to be seen as who we really are. I promise you won’t regret it.

What are some things you need to get rid of as we step into the new season?

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About Timi Komonibo

She is the founder and Chief Philanthropist of Style Lottery, a nonprofit with the aim to "Restyle, Reuse, and Reward" (TM) with fashion. She is a firm advocate for connecting people to their community and fashion to sustainability. Through her startup, Timi has given a TEDx talk called “How I Found My Heart in a Walk-In Closet.” When she’s not saving the world through fashion, Timi writes about sustainability, fashion, and life on her YouTube channel "Naturale Chronicles” and on her lifestyle blog, naturalechronicles.com.

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