Five Steps To Scale Down Your Wardrobe

There is a great song that I adore … Scale Down by Appalachia Rising that talks about using what we have, not buying more and getting rid of the “stuff” that overtakes our lives and bring no worth; the bull being Wall Street making us debt slaves and greedy consumers who are destroying our own Earth.Here it is so you know what I am talking about.

There are many ways to scale down, but an easy one is in your wardrobe. How many of you look at your closet and say, “I have nothing to wear.” One reason is too many things to choose from and the most common reason is that nothing is coordinated. We go shopping for fun or for an event. We try on too many things and whatever jumps out at us and fits, we buy. We end up with a lot of disconnected articles of clothing, but nothing really goes together more than once. My mom was a pro at shopping for deals and making sure each piece matched with more than one other piece.

So, as you may know, I make many of my own clothing. This does help to scale down, however, even I can go overboard. Although, this works for me not everyone can dress the way I choose to do. Perhaps, you do not know how to sew, or you do not like that style, or maybe your job requires you to dress a certain way. Whatever reason you cannot make your own clothing, the five ways I have outlined to scale down your wardrobe will work for you too.

1) Choose your style. This is imperative as a starting point. Of course, this is not to encourage more shopping and truly the clothing you have  more than likely already speak your style. Your clothes give clues to your personality, uniqueness, and your interests.

2) Go to and find your color scheme. This is where you choose colors that match and that you like. This enables you to pick shirts, pants, and skirts that will go together and allow you to mix and match to make more than one outfit out of each. This is the one I created for myself. I ensured that mustard and red were in the palette because I already had shirts those colors.

clothing color palette

3) Shop your closet. Find clothing that have the colors in your palette. Set aside all these clothes and find new homes for the others.  Note that blue jeans are neutral and need not have that color in your palette. What doesn’t go with blue jeans? That has been my go to pants, however, most work places will not allow jeans to be worn. Also note that if you work in a job that requires you to wear business suits, you will have to have a separate wardrobe…. everyone else should strive for just one wardrobe for work and off work. For that reason, invest in a good and thick apron for cooking, gardening, diy projects.

4) Choose ten items. Those ten items are your core wardrobe. For women, this should include 4-5 shirts. 2-3 slacks/jeans, 1 skirt, 1 dress. Extras should include cardigans, t-shirts, hoodies, and scarves… but keep it in check. Do not compensate less clothing with excessive accessories. If you do not have ten items to fill in and match then look to second hand stores when you take your extra clothing. You would be amazed at the gems you can find there.

5) Develop this 10 item wardrobe for each major season group; Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter or Summer/Autumn and Winter/Spring depending on how varied temps are in your area. The accessories will enable you to adjust to the weather patterns to keep you cool or warm. Being prepared for weather changes also helps you save money and time in those days that nature gives us unexpected surprises. Also, make sure to keep shoes neutral and able to carry from season to season.

I myself have three shirts (am working on more), four jeans, three cardigans, and one hoodie. My shoes are a pair of tennis shoes, pair of flats, and pair of combat boots. It works for me. I hope this helps you as much as it helps me from getting carried away with clothes that do not do much for me and end up being donated. Make sure you love what you wear…. the style and color is a reflection of who you are and what image you want to present to society.

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