Essentialist’s Wardrobe Guide

Get ready to thoughtfully redesign your wardrobe with the perfect fit, fabrics, and colors for you.

What are the benefits of an Essentialist Wardrobe?

You ever notice a person who, at first glance, seems understated and unassuming but something about their appearance keeps your gaze fixated?

Upon closer inspection, you realize that they seem effortlessly pulled together: maybe it’s the quality of the fabrics, the intention in the fit, or the carefully selected silhouette that fits their shape so well.

Or perhaps, most of all, it’s the confidence they exude. This person doesn’t need to wear the “it” bag, showcase a range of luxury logos, or be a walking billboard for the latest trends.

They’ve thoughtfully crafted their own style and that understated elegance is so much more effective than running after seasonal fashion trends.

If this is a style you are eager to embrace you’ll be able to accomplish it with an Essentialist wardrobe. In fact, these are seven main benefits of adopting the Essentialist wardrobe method.

  • You will know what works best for you
  • You will know where to find what you need
  • You’ll develop a keen eye for quality
  • You’ll take better care of your clothing
  • You won’t get caught up in trends
  • You won’t need external validation

Building a wardrobe as an essentialist

The single most important thing you should not do when creating an Essentialist wardrobe is allowing yourself to be tricked by “needy objects.”

Ever been in a situation where you embarked on a brief shopping expedition to purchase one item but ended up spending 5X more money and time than you planned, and bringing home a bag full of stuff you didn’t realize you needed?

You were tricked by what a needy object. Needy objects are things that you initially think you can buy in isolation but actually require several more add-ons to make them work in context. The potential of falling into this death trap is one you need to be mindful of when making purchases for your Essentialist wardrobe.

Inadvertently buying needy objects is a direct result of not having a thoughtful process for making purchases.

How to choose the best essentialist wardrobe brands

A major perk of adopting the essentialist wardrobe — i.e. an intentional approach to curating your closet — is relying on certain tactics that save you time and effort.

One of those tactics is having a go-to list of brands for your Essentialist wardrobe that you know without a doubt works for your style, your body type, and your lifestyle.

You also probably want to know that the brands you support align with any important ideals (such as environmental friendliness or giving back to the community) that you care deeply about.

Focusing on the issues that have a tendency to cause the most problems in the wardrobe, there are five main considerations for creating your go-to brand list.


When choosing a brand, especially for an Essentialist wardrobe or daily uniform, the first element to investigate is the quality of its production and fabrication.


Not all brands conform to the same sizing standards so know your body measurements before you go brand hunting.


“You get what you pay for” is an obvious rule of thumb when comparing opposite ends of the spectrum (like H&M vs. Acne Studios) however a higher price does not always mean better. Once you establish your price range and it’ll take a bit of trial and error with fit and quality to nail your go-to list.


Because there is so much competition in the retail industry and a plethora of options, you should have a zero tolerance personal policy for bad service. There is no reason to patron a brand that doesn’t exhibit A+ customer service.


Connecting with a brand on a higher level can help you narrow your list. Take some time to learn about their corporate policies, company culture, and reputation in the press, and see if they resonate with any of your personal ideals.


Create Daily Uniforms

A handful of daily uniforms would make it easy to pull together a look in about 5 minutes flat, and your Essentialist wardrobe should be comprised of a series of these uniforms.

This is an excellent style strategy because whenever you’re making a decision about what to wear (be it packing for travel, a special occasion, or just a normal day) all you need to do is select one of the uniforms that applies to a particular event.

Rely on the Basics

No matter your aesthetic (be it classic, boho, or edgy) you can benefit from having a selection of staples that represent the bulk of your wardrobe.

These staples (or basics) are the foundational elements worth spending your money on because they are items that can be worn more frequently. Take the time to determine the best staples for you, where to buy them, and how to maintain them so they last.

Spending effort on this just once or twice a year will almost completely eliminate the time you waste getting ready throughout the rest of the year.

Once you have your staples established, if you choose, you can embellish them with a small number of accessories or other more elaborate apparel pieces that help you create a signature look.

Prioritize your Comfort

Have a limit as to how far you are willing to go in the name of fashion. Think over some of your most intolerable or disastrous style moments and make a firm commitment to never go there again.

When you aren’t comfortable you aren’t confident. And when you aren’t confident it shows no matter how expensive, on-trend, or chic your outfit may be.

Be Subtly Stylish

Subtly stylish people have an allure because they aren’t actually trying to stand out but the quality of their look makes it impossible to ignore them.

That quality is most apparent because of the clear attention they’ve devoted to fit and fabrication — not necessarily because they were worried about brand names or trends.

Being a walking billboard may turn a few heads but it may not be because you look good — you aren’t automatically a connoisseur of style because you rushed out to buy the latest “it” bag.

Paying attention to how certain silhouettes complement your body type and learning how to select well-made garments crafted from high-quality materials is more likely to get you admiration.

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