How to Architect your Minimalist Wardrobe

January 18, 2017

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Last week, I walked you through step two of our Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook which is the dreaded (but so fulfilling, no?) closet audit. How did that go?

I'm fully expecting that most people get stuck at this point. Auditing your closet takes an immense amount of mental (and physical) energy. If you haven't done this step yet, put a date in your calendar right now on which you'll dig in.

If you're caught up on the workbook,  you've also created your dream 'uniforms' through that process too.
Through that process, you may have realized that you are missing a few key items that will round out the wardrobe of your dreams. 

The last section of the workbook is creating a list of the 10 items you need. The final step in architecting your minimalist wardrobe.

For the true minimalists, this is 10 items you need in 2017.

 

How to Architect your Minimalist Wardrobe

 

In this week's post, I'm going to show you my process of creating that 10 items list, and also some of our favourite resources (stores, blogs, books) for crafting a minimalist wardrobe.

It's not enough to just have a minimalist closet. It's important to take it one step further and fill that closet with only high quality, high-vibe clothing. Buying a $6 t-shirt that you'll have to toss at the end of the season totally defeats the purpose of having a curated closet. It's not curated if it's constantly a revolving door of fast fashion crap.

The first step of this is to make sure you've done step two - finished your closet audit and created your dream uniforms.

Now, it's time to fill the gaps (if there are any) in your dream minimalist wardrobe.

 

Create your 10 Things I Need List

 

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Take a look at your dream outfits and the closet audit results and ask yourself these questions:

Are there any items that are overly worn and need to be replaced?
These are things that are classic items but may be worn, pilling, stretched, or stained. Think about that classic white tee. If you wear it a lot, but it looks awful, you'll want to upgrade that item. Add it to the list.

Are there any items that I'm missing that would add or amplify my wardrobe utility?
Looking at your dream uniforms, and overall closet, are there any items missing that would allow you to create MORE outfits out of your existing pieces? I'm not talking about that floral pair of jeans, but classic, everlasting and timeless items.
For example, you've got a couple of winter jackets, but none of them are dressy. Or, perhaps you have 5 pairs of blue jeans, but no pair of black jeans. Or you have all pants, and no skirts. Think of key items that when interchanged into existing outfits they can change the look, style, or appropriateness of the style.

Are there any items that don't fit?
Up until I was 35, I was the same weight that I was in college. Then, all of a sudden my whole wardrobe was tight. It's totally normal to go through seasons with your shape and body. There's no sense in keeping items in your wardrobe that don't fit (unless they are heirlooms or egregiously expensive - see our previous post for more on that). 
If you have a pair of black skinny jeans, but they're too small and you never wear them, hence your outfits combinations are reduced, then you need to replace them with ones that fit you right now.

Are there any items that could up your style or make you feel more like you? 
This last question is the most dangerous as it leaves much open for interpretation. Shopping is a very emotional experience for many of us. Some of us (myself included at one point), used to use it as a way to relieve stress. 
If you're in a different season of your life, or perhaps you feel like you're due for a style reinvention of sorts, then this category is for you. Maybe you want to try wearing a moto jacket, or trade in your heels for flats. Whatever it is, this is a good question to ask if you're feeling restless or like you're in need for a personal style pivot.

Based on your responses above, work to create your 10 things you need list.
If you're committing to making it ONLY 10 things you buy in 2017, great.
If not, no pressure, but try to think when you are purchasing new things for your wardrobe in the mindset that everything you buy is additive, and in my opinion, it's one in, one out (after your 10 items!).

 

Resources for Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe  

 

I think our minimalist wardrobe workbook is pretty awesome but I've compiled a few of our fav blogs, books and brands for shopping ethical, sustainable and for capsule wardrobe essentials.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 

Brands
DSTLD - ethically-made, sustainable denim for women and men without department store markups.
Spirit of Vera - up-cycled, and sustainably sourced gorgeous minimalist silver jewelry
Cuyana - fewer, better things. Ethically and sustainably sourced luxury items. 
Encircled - us, what's better than a shameless plug for our ethical basics and versatile travel essentials.
Naja - Fair-trade, ethically-made lingerie made for all women.
Eileen Fisher - ethically-made responsibly sourced work and leisurewear
Vaute - made in NYC, vegan winter coats
Elizabeth Suzann - made in Nashville, natural-fibre womenswear
Brook there - ethically-made in USA lingerie and loungewear
Teeki - recycled pop bottle leggings and activewear, made in the USA
Michi - fancy activewear for fitness gurus, made in Canada
Copious Fashions - party dresses, made in Toronto, Canada
NAU - Jackets made from synthetic insulation and recycled down
Poppy Barley - Shoes ethically made in Mexico

 

Blogs
Into-mind - loads of advice, worksheets and frameworks for your wardrobe
The art of Simple - Tsh's blog/podcast about the simple life, with a family
Sustainably chic - Natalie's style blog is a go-to for discovering new ethical brands
The Style Bee - Style blogger focused on ethical and sustainable life
Light by coco - Ultra-light and stylish world traveler and capsule wardrobe maven
Un-Fancy - Caroline essentially started the capsule wardrobe movement. 'Nuff said.
Simply Liv + Co - Blogger Olivia has created a mindful community focused on capsule wardrobes, and ethical fashion.

 

Books
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo
Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less by Greg Mckeown
The joy of less: A minimalist guide to declutter, organize and simplify by Francine Guy
Slow fashion: Aesthetics meets ethics by Safia Minney
The more of less: finding the life you want under everything you own by Joshua Becker
The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

 

If you haven't already grabbed your copy, get it now when you sign up.

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

    Questions? Comments? I'd love to connect. Leave them in the comments below. I'd love to see how you're progressing with step three of the minimalist wardrobe workbook.

    I also welcome you to post your fav links to ethical brands, blogs and books below so we can all share and grow together.

    With gratitude,

    Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

    Kristi
    Founder + CEO, Encircled
     

    Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

    Love travel? Join our League of Travelistas -
    A community for women who love to travel. Click here to request access to our private facebook group.

    All photos are copyright Encircled. Contact us for permissions/rights to re-use or repost images. 





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    Encircled Size Charts
    Please scroll down to find the size chart for each design. If you have any questions on sizing, please try out our online size recommender or click here to contact us with questions prior to ordering. Size charts are in alphabetical order based on design name.
    If you're on our product page viewing the size chart, click anywhere outside of the pop-up (or on the X in the top right corner) to close the size charts, or click here to surf back to our main collection page.

    The Chrysalis Cardi

    Size
    Garment Length (Laid Flat) Garment Width (Laid Flat) Bust 
    (inches)
    Waist 
    (inches)
    Hip 
    (inches)
    Height 

    Regular

    (xs - xxl)

    38" 39.5" 32"-41" 25"-34" 35"-44" 5'2"-6'0"

    Petite

    (xxs - m)

    35" 34.5" 27"-35" 23"-28" 30"-38" <5'4"

    Maxi

    (xl - xxxl)

    43" 41.5" 41"-52" 33"-45" 44"-56" <6'0"

    Fit Advice: The Regular Chrysalis Cardi is a one size fits most garment ranging from sizes XS-XXL or 2-14. It can be easily belted in multiple ways, however the Regular is not recommended for petite or shorter woman due to the volume of fabric - See Petite Cardi. The Regular is also not recommended for curvier/taller women due to fabric pulling around the bust or bottom - See Maxi Cardi.

    We recommend watching the how-to wear videos to see how much fabric drape and length you would like in your finished garment. If you are in between sizes, it is best to size up and the garment can always be tailored shorter to better suit your look - you cannot add more fabric, unfortunately!

    The Petite is best suited for women 5'4" and under with a smaller frame, although it will also work on women above this height (depending on preferred length when styled). 

    The Maxi is best suited for all women under 6’0” with a curvier shape to eliminate any uncomfortable fabric pulling, although it will also work on women who are a bit less curvy (depending on preferred length when styled).

    *If you have any questions on sizing, please contact us - Remember it is best to provide us with your height and size range of garments that you already own! 

     

    The Dressy Sweatpant

    WHEN WORN AT NATURAL WAIST

    Worn higher up to sit at your natural waist - straight leg tapers from the hip to ankle opening.

    Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) XXL (18-20)
    Waist (inches)
    23" - 25"
    25" - 28"
    28" - 32"
    32" - 34"
    34" - 37"
    37-39"
    Hip (inches)
    32" - 34"
    35" - 38"
    38" - 41"
    41" - 44"
    44" - 47"
    47-50"
    Inseam (inches) 26.5"

    Fit Advice: We recommend staying with your usual size if you are in-between sizes. The cut on The Dressy Sweatpants is more generous and the fit is meant to be drapey and slightly loose. 

     

    The Essential Long Sleeve Top + The Essential Short Sleeve Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14-16 (XXL)
    Bust 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 33 - 36" 36 - 39" 39 - 42"
    42 - 45"
    Waist 23 - 25" 25 - 27" 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 34 - 36"
    36 - 38"
    Hips 30 - 32" 33 - 36" 36 - 38" 38 - 41" 41 - 44"
    44 - 47"
    Front Length / Back Length 24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"
    24 - 31"

    Fit Advice: The Essential Long Sleeve Top fits a bit larger than our usual tees. We suggest to order true to your normal size, however since the styling is more flowy than our other Encircled tees, it is suggested to size down if you prefer a tighter look. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Evolve Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS)
    4-6 (S)
    8-10 (M)
    12-14 (L)
    16-18 (XL)
    20 (XXL)
    Bust
    30.5-32.5"
    33.5-35.5"
    36.5-38.5"
    39.5-41.5"
    42.5-44"
    45-47"
    Waist
    25-26"
    27-29"
    30-31"
    32-34"
    35-37"
    38-40"
    Hips
    33-36"
    37-39"
    40-42"
    43-45"
    46-48"
    49-52"
    Fit Advice: The fit of The Evolve top is drapey but tapers towards the hip and tends to fit large. We recommend for you to size down from your normal size if you are unsure. The fabric on The Evolve top has a natural stretch that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

    The Flipside Legging 

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
    Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
    Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
    Inseam 28" 28"
    28"
    28"
    28"

    Fit Advice: We recommend sizing up if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The modal fabric on The Flipside Leggings is not as 'taut' as synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you prefer a snugger fit in the waist area for your leggings, size down. The Flipside Leggings are pre-shrunk. 

     

     The Minimalist Legging + The Minimalist Crop Legging

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
    Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
    Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
    Inseam

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    28"

    (crop 20")

    Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The bamboo fabric on The Minimalist Leggings is tighter than the Flipside Leggings. The Minimalist Leggings are pre-shrunk.

     

    The Nomadic V-Neck

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
    Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
    42.5 - 44.5
    Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
    35-37"
    Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
    45-47"
    Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
    28"

    Fit Advice: The Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Retrograde Kimono Dress

    Size
    XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) 
    Bust (Inches)
    28 - 32.5"
    33" - 35.5"
    36 - 38.5"
    39 - 41.5"
    42 - 49"
    Hip (Inches)
    33" - 36"
    37" - 39"
    40" - 42"
    43" - 45"
    46" - 50"
    Length (Inches)
    At longest, 33"
    At longest, 34"
    At longest, 35"
    At longest, 36"
    At longest, 37"

    Fit Advice: The Retrograde Kimono Dress is our most "oversized" piece in the collection. We suggest to order true to your normal size to get the intended look. If you prefer a slimmer or tighter look, we suggest choosing a size down than your usual Encircled size.

     

    The Reversible Pencil Skirt

    Size
    XS (0-2)
    S (2-4)
    M (6-8)
    L (10-12)
    XL (14-16)

    Waist (inches)

    23" - 26"
    26" - 29"
    29" - 32"
    32" - 34"
    35" - 37"

    Hip (inches)

    32" - 34"
    35" - 38"
    38" - 41"
    41" - 44"
    45" - 47"

    Length Total (inches)

    20"
    21"
    22"
    23"
    24"

    Fit Advice: The Reversible Pencil Skirt fits true to size, but it's suggested to size up if you fall between sizes. The pencil skirt offers a smooth silhouette that slightly tapers from waist to hips and down through to the hem, hitting just at knee length. A pencil skirt should smoothly skim your curves, so to get a perfect fit, first identify your largest measurement then choose the size offering that range while still allowing for some stretch. The fabric on The Reversible Pencil skirt has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

     

    The Revolve Dress II + The Sleeveless Revolve Dress

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL) 20 (XXL)
    Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44" 45-47"
    Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37" 38-40"
    Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48" 49-52"
    Length (in inches) At longest, 34.5" adjustable At longest, 35.35" adjustable At longest, 36" adjustable  At longest, 36.75" adjustable At longest, 37.5" adjustable At longest, 38.25" adjustable

    Fit Advice: The Revolve Dress is designed to fit drapey that tapers towards the hip. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. If your hip measurements are above the guide, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. The fabric on The Revolve Dress has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

     

    The Wanderer Sleeveless T 

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
    Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
    42.5 - 44.5"
    Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
    35-37"
    Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
    45-47"
    Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
    28"

    Fit Advice: The Wanderer Sleeveless T fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

     

    The Reversible Bandeau Bra  

    Size
    (XS/S) (M/L) (XL)
    Bust 30 - 33" 34 - 37" 38-41"

    Fit Advice: The Reversible Bandeau Bra fits true to size and the wide elastic band provides light to medium support. To ensure proper fit, measure your bust and check our size guide.

    The Everyday Twist Top

    Size
    0 - 2 (XS) 4-6 (S) 8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL)
    Bust (in inches)  30.5-32.5" 33.5-35.5" 36.5-38.5" 39.5-41.5" 42.5-44"
    Waist (in inches)  25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34" 35-37"
    Hips (in inches)  33-36" 37-39" 40-42" 43-45" 46-48"
    Back Length (in inches) 24.5" 25" 25.5" 26" 26.5"

    Fit Advice: The Everyday Twist Top is designed to fit drapey. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. The fabric on The Everyday Twist Top has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

     

    The Men's Nomadic V-Neck  

    Size
    S M L XL XXL
    Chest 36-38" 38-40" 40-42" 42-44" 44-46"
    Back Length 27" 27.5" 28" 28.75" 29.5"
    Fit Advice: The Men’s Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. It features a straight fit, being more fitted in the shoulders and looser towards the waist. The fabric is 4-way stretch and it will fit within ~1-2" of the measurements. If you prefer a more relaxed fit, size up.