We all have a personal style, but sometimes it doesn’t show through as much as we would like. I had thought I knew my style previously but slowly I realized I wasn’t presenting myself as I actually had hoped to. However, what style I wanted wasn’t really defined either. I knew it was different from what I had, but finding what I liked, how could I determine that? I had liked the clothes I picked out previously, but something was off. Looking at my wardrobe with a minimalist lens is what finally helped me find it.
I liked what I wore, or so I thought. In my life prior to minimalism I shopped in a very simple way. Look for a sale, find something that I like, buy it and wear it. It sounds like a decent plan, until you see that this method is only good for your finances rather than your style and actual presentation of yourself. See I had found myself routinely buying random pieces without outfits or guidelines in mind. Do I like this shirt? Yes. Buy it. No consideration if it looked good with the pants I already owned or if it was the exact aesthetic I wanted. On sale and close enough? It was a buy. This continued for a long time until I realized that I enjoyed each item on their own but they didn’t mesh well when combined as outfits. It was time to rethink how I curate and buy my clothes.
I had been following the path to minimalism for about a year by the time I realized that what I wore was not how I wanted to portray myself. As I ventured down the minimalist path I found myself whittling down the number of clothes I kept and tried to keep it reasonable. A dozen shirts a few pants and some layers to keep warm. However by paring down I realized that even in that reduced state I wasn’t portraying myself as well as I wanted. I realized that with this new lower number of clothes I couldn’t ignore what I had before. I needed to pick a style and buy into it to ensure that everything was cohesive and matched my goal. A wonderful revelation that I needed to focus and not settle on anything on sale anymore, but now what? How do I stop buying these things that are close but not enough? I tried to focus but still found myself falling short. Ok, looks like I will have to research what I want…
Finding Visual Inspiration
Pinterest is great. To any guy who thinks it has nothing to offer him, check again. It’s not everything the women in your life do or show you. Pinterest is for everyone, and it’s where I curated my style.
It’s rather simple. I started a new board called Style(click here to view!) and then searched for men’s clothes. When I found something I liked, I pinned it to the style board. The best thing about Pinterest though is it learns from your pins and offers similar pins to any pin you view. This allowed me to quickly find like items and styles. I spent months casually adding and removing pins and style ideas from this board until I started to see it form a nice cohesive style. As soon as this happened I knew this was the style I was ready to buy into without worry of mismatches and feeling like I was in someone else’s clothes. I also noticed I started to remove a number of pins. My style board grew very small as a result of this pruning.
Committing To It
One of the strengths of minimalism is that you only focus on what brings you joy and makes you happy. So with my new style ideas, I started to replace clothes that fit this new look. Approaching it knowing I don’t want to own a ton of clothes I knew I needed to be selective, so both of these minimalist lens helped narrow my scope and not settle for anything less than what I visioned. This helped ensure I didn’t by anything close enough, or lose vision to only buying what was on sale. If it was what I wanted and I needed it, I bought it. Sale tags be damned. I didn’t even have to worry about the cost really as I was purposefully only buying a few items instead of multiple items that were on sale and cycling through them as they weren’t what I truly wanted.
Speaking of multiple items, I also committed to more versatile colors and items. No more shirts that won’t match any of my pants. No pants that won’t match the shirts. No seasonal designs. A pure fully mix and match wardrobe where almost any top matches any bottom and any shoe.
It’s been a number of months now since I started using minimalism to curate my wardrobe and I couldn’t be happier. I feel I represent myself as I want to almost every day(baring some pieces that haven’t cycled out yet from the before time). Minimalism is a great tool for almost any kind of task. However, I most certainly found it able to find my style. Great things can happen if you remove the excess and focus on what you need.