5 Tips For Simplifying Your Wardrobe & Buying Fewer Clothes

By R. Leizrowice | August 2016

Life Is Better With Fewer Clothes

As one of the biggest clutter sources for most people, we all expend a lot of time, energy and money on finding, buying, storing, and maintaining our clothing. Clothes that sit in the back of a closet are not going to add any sort of value to our life and instead they contribute to inordinate amounts of waste pollution.

American consumers alone generate nearly 254 million tons of waste per year and much of this waste is is due to the fashion industry and millions of pieces of discarded textiles. Beyond the environmental concern and the desire for minimalism, isn't life just better with fewer clothes? :) With that in mind, here are five simple ways to stop buying clothes you’ll never wear.


1. Unsubscribe to emails from online stores.

These are designed to entice you into purchasing  clothes purely because they are on sale or a new range is out. Or, try combining all your email subscriptions into one message per day using unroll.

2.  Learn to do a few basic repairs.

There is a tremendous stigma against this that needs rethinking. Making garments last should be a source of pride. Even paying for repairs by professionals is (most of the time) more economical compared to replacing items. Try learning to repair socks and getting shoes resoled. By doing this, you can make those clothes you love and wear regularly last longer, reducing the chances of buying new pieces of clothing that have a future in the back of your closet.

3. Invest in higher quality garments.

This is a common piece of advice, but one deserving repetition. When your wardrobe consists of items with a substantial lifespan, there’s less desire and need to buy new pieces frequently. Higher quality clothes also force us to take purchases seriously, rather than scooping up armfuls of clothing whenever a sale is advertised. Shopping for unneeded clothing should not be a primary source of entertainment or stress relief - as much as everyone should do whatever makes them happy, shopping mindlessly is an insidious exception.

4. Keep a wish list.

When you think you might want an item, write the details down and decide to review it in a certain length of time. Never be pressured by the fear of something selling out, a sale ending or any other fabricated constraints. Even if you cannot get the exact item, you can always find something nearly identical elsewhere. The chances are, after a few days, you may not want whatever is on the list. Sometimes the urge might remain; a good sign it is something you would wear and love.

5. Establish problematic garments.

We all have certain clothes which just never work for us. Maybe you have brought dozens of jeans with the aim of finding the perfect ones. Perhaps you keep acquiring six-inch heels and wearing each pair once. Personally, I have realized I shall never find a pair of denim shorts which fits me  (being short but solid is a pain) and now I have stopped trying to buy any. Everyone has such items and once they are identified, consciously avoid those. If you have brought several versions in the past without ever wearing them, it is  likely you will never wear a new one. Let those high-waisted white jeans go and focus on buying only the things you’ll love.