How many clothing items do minimalists have?

Minimalism has been growing in popularity over the past decade. More and more people are drawn to the idea of living with less and embracing simplicity. One of the key areas that minimalists focus on decluttering is their wardrobe. But how many clothing items do minimalists actually have? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism is a lifestyle that encourages focusing on experiences over possessions. It involves removing items that don’t add value to your life and embracing intentionality in what you do own. The goal is to own fewer, higher quality items that serve a purpose and bring joy.

Some key principles of minimalism include:

  • Owning fewer possessions
  • Decluttering and removing unused items
  • Focusing purchases on essential, functional items
  • Avoiding consumerism and buying only what you need
  • Embracing simplicity and intentionality

When it comes to fashion and style, minimalists aim to have versatile, timeless pieces in their wardrobe. Quality over quantity is key.

Minimalist Clothing Guidelines

So how do minimalists decide what clothing to keep in their pared down wardrobe? Here are some common guidelines:

  • Choose versatile, neutral colored clothing that can be mixed and matched easily
  • Stick to high quality, durable fabrics that will last
  • Make sure everything fits properly and is comfortable
  • Only keep clothing that you wear and love
  • Aim for pieces that work for multiple seasons
  • Have a color palette that coordinates
  • Get rid of clothing that is worn out, doesn’t fit, or you haven’t worn in over a year

The key is to only own pieces you actually wear regularly. Anything that doesn’t fit, isn’t comfortable, or doesn’t make you feel good gets removed.

How Many Clothing Items Do Minimalists Own?

So this brings us back to our original question – how many items are actually in a minimalist’s wardrobe? There is no single magic number that applies to all minimalists. The exact amount can vary based on factors like climate, lifestyle, gender, and personal preference. However, here are some general guidelines and estimates:

Capsule Wardrobes

Many minimalists use the concept of a capsule wardrobe to guide their clothing selections. The general idea is to have a small collection of versatile essentials that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. A standard capsule wardrobe consists of around 30-50 items total including clothes, shoes, accessories, and outerwear.

The “30 Item Wardrobe” Method

Some popular minimalist fashion bloggers and authors have promoted the idea of limiting your entire wardrobe to just 33 items or fewer. This includes clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories. The reasoning is that having fewer items makes getting dressed easier and forces you to really love everything you own.

The 10 Item Wardrobe

On the very extreme end, some minimalists try to get their wardrobe down to just 10 essential items. The 10 item wardrobe typically includes basics like jeans, a black dress, a white button down, black pants, etc. This is an extremely pared down approach that works best for those with very simple, uniform style requirements.

The “Four Week Rule”

One simple way minimalists determine what to keep is the “four week rule” – if you haven’t worn an item in the past four weeks, it should probably be removed from your wardrobe. This helps eliminate unused pieces taking up space.

100 Item Wardrobes

For many minimalists aiming to wear both casual everyday clothes and professional workwear, their total wardrobe often totals around 100 items including accessories and outerwear. This allows for more versatility while still avoiding excess.

Gender Differences

Women’s wardrobes tend to have more items than men’s because things like dresses, skirts, blouses, and a wider array of shoes are commonly included. However, core minimalist principals of quality over quantity and removing unused items applies to both genders.

Minimalist Wardrobe Ideas

To give you a visual idea of what an ideal minimalist wardrobe may include, here are some examples of capsule wardrobes at different item counts:

50 Item Capsule Wardrobe

Clothing Item Quantity
Pants/Jeans 5
Shorts 3
Skirts 3
Dresses 5
Tops/Blouses 10
Cardigans 3
Coats/Jackets 2
Sweaters 4
Shoes 10
Accessories 3
Undergarments 7
Total 50

33 Item Wardrobe

Clothing Item Quantity
Pants/Jeans 3
Shorts 2
Skirts 2
Dresses 3
Tops/Blouses 5
Cardigans 2
Coats/Jackets 1
Sweaters 3
Shoes 5
Accessories 2
Undergarments 5
Total 33

10 Item Wardrobe

Clothing Item Quantity
Pants/Jeans 2
Shorts 1
Skirts 1
Dresses 1
Tops/Blouses 3
Cardigans 1
Coats/Jackets 1
Shoes 2
Accessories 1
Undergarments 2
Total 10

As you can see, a minimalist’s wardrobe can vary greatly depending on one’s lifestyle and needs. The key is keeping only essentials that fit your style and get regular use. Quality over quantity and versatility are key when building a minimalist wardrobe.

Benefits of a Minimalist Wardrobe

Why would someone want to limit their wardrobe so drastically? There are many benefits to embracing minimalist fashion:

  • Saves time – no more digging through piles of clothes wondering what to wear
  • Saves money – no more frivolous purchases or wasting money on unnecessary items
  • More worn outfits – since you have fewer clothes, each piece gets worn more
  • Less laundry – smaller wardrobe means washing clothes less often
  • Easier decision making – choosing an outfit is quicker and simpler
  • Focus on favorites – keep only the best pieces you really love to wear
  • Better sense of style – you really understand what works for you
  • Less clutter – minimal visual noise and clutter in your closet
  • Easier to coordinate – a color coordinated capsule makes mixing and matching effortless
  • Travel friendly – packing is easier with fewer clothing items

Minimalists also cite mental benefits like reduced stress and anxiety. Knowing exactly where everything is and removing excess clutter helps create a sense of calm and control.

Tips for Building Your Minimalist Wardrobe

Ready to start building your own minimalist wardrobe? Here are some helpful tips:

Audit Your Current Wardrobe

Go through your whole wardrobe and be ruthlessly honest about what you actually wear and what makes you feel great. Get rid of anything that is worn out, doesn’t fit, or you haven’t worn in over a year.

Choose Versatile Basics

Focus on versatile neutral colors like black, grey, denim, white, navy, tan, and olive green. Items like solid t-shirts, button downs, blazers, and fitted trousers pair well with almost anything.

Quality Over Quantity

Remember – less is more. Focus on buying a few high quality, well-fitting pieces that will stand the test of time. Natural fabrics like wool, silk, and cotton last longer and look better than cheap synthetics.

Mix and Match

Build pieces that coordinate so everything can be mixed and matched easily. Aim for cohesive colors and styles in your wardrobe. Having key foundational piece makes getting dressed easier.

Only Buy What You Need

Be very selective when shopping and only buy pieces that fill a specific need in your wardrobe. Avoid impulse purchases that don’t fit your minimalist style.

Take Proper Care

Follow garment care instructions to make your clothes last as long as possible. Invest in a garment steamer to reduce wrinkles and trips to the dry cleaner.

Store Properly

Use breathable garment bags, fabric storage boxes, and cedar blocks to prevent damage from moths, moisture, and dust. Proper storage preserves your minimalist pieces.

Review Regularly

Reassess your wardrobe each season and get rid of anything you didn’t wear. Your needs may change over time. Stay ruthless about only owning pieces you absolutely love and wear.

Finding Your Just Right Number

Remember there is no magic number for every minimalist’s wardrobe. The best approach is to gradually downsize your closet over time while remaining realistic about your lifestyle needs. Eliminate excess items that don’t serve you and focus on true wardrobe essentials. Pay attention to how many items you actually utilize on a regular basis and let your habits guide you to your “just right” number. The end goal is owning the perfect curated wardrobe to make getting dressed each day quick, easy and stylish.


So how many clothing items do minimalists have? While the exact number varies, most minimalists aim to limit their wardrobe to somewhere between 30-100 essential pieces including clothes, shoes and accessories. The focus is on owning high quality, versatile items that get regular use. Having fewer pieces saves time, money and reduces stress for minimalists embracing a simpler, more intentional lifestyle.

Leave a Comment