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The Minimal Closet: What are your must haves?

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
I've been working towards a more minimalist lifestyle and have been paring back my physical possessions over the past 4 years. I've gone from having a moving truck full of junk to, other than a couple pieces of furniture, to about 7 plastic totes full of stuff. This, of course, is a far cry from when I first moved out of my parents house and I could literally fit everything I owned in a 1988 Honda Civic Hatchback, by myself, in a couple of hours of packing and unpacking.

I've been reading about people trying the 100 item challenge: these are folks trying to pare down their physical possessions to 100 items only. Some play loose and fast with the rules, depending upon the situation, but the idea is that you minimize your stuff to "needs" and maybe a few "wants".

I've worked through most of my stuff, but haven't really touched my closets. This one is going to hurt.

I'm actually relieved, in a way, because over the past few years, I've been tryign to focus on "quality" over "quantity". I've a few pair of leather soled shoes for repairability, I've switched to higher end heavyweight raw denim for durability (8 months on a pair of RRLs. At this point with my last 3 pairs of Levi's, they're not even good for "work jeans" any more they're so destroyed). Trying for more "timeless" pieces vs "fashion" pieces. And yet, I still feel overwhelmed a bit.

So, let's say I'm going to narrow my wardrobe down to about 20-25 pieces at most. I'm counting socks (all) as an aggregate of 1, same with underwear and my white undershirts. I'm a firm believer that one can never have too many pairs of clean undies. Start skimping here and it's a quick trip to grody-ville.

At the same time, I'd like to use this opportunity to update my wardrobe a little bit and replace some items with higher-quality, more "timeless" pieces that i can comfortably wear into my 40s in Southern California (I'm 36). Let it be known that I'm not a suit guy. Being in Los Angeles, fortunately, I don't have to be.

Trying to avoid sounding like fight club, but here we go:
pants:
2 pairs of jeans (one for daily work wear (RRL), one for working on the motorcycle, out in the garden (levi's))
1 pair of khaki's (more of a casual going out alternative to the jeans)
1 pair of slacks (job interview)
1 pair of cords (for the 2 months of cold)

Shirts:
3 outer t-shirts (AA ringers, etc)
2 "work" shirts (motorcycle, etc stuff.. old logo'd crap)
3 polos
3 button downs

outerwear:
2 sweaters (probably something merino & cotton blend.. doesn't really get all that cold here in LA)
1 hoodie sweatshirt
1 riding jacket (right now, John Varvatos converse)
1 pea coat

Shoes:
1 pair black converse high-tops
1 pair work boots (haven't decided yet. After seeing/trying on the Gentleman Traveller's, I actually prefer the Dr. Martens (will probably go with Solovair))
1 pair black Dr. Martens monkstraps

Belts:
1 black
1 brown
both casual.
1 reversible (yeah, tacky) dress belt.

1 wallet
1 hat

Already at 30 or so pieces.. so I still have some paring down to do.

Anyway, I suppose the point of the exercise is, if you had to pare down your clothing down to 20-30 pieces, how would you do it? What would you keep?
post #2 of 92
No desire plus there's been a thread like this already.

PS. your post is too long didn't read lol
post #3 of 92
There are some things that would go with me no matter what, but it would be difficult for me to pare down. If I had to, though: 1. APC NS 2. Two OCBDs in white and blue 3. 5 polos: white, grey, black, brown, navy 4. 5 crew neck tees, same color 5. Grey v-neck sweater 6. Khakis 7. Black suit 8. Black plain toed derbies 9. Jack Purcells in any basic color 10. A pair of black plastic sunglasses 11. A black dress belt and an old brown belt 12. A peacoat for the winter
post #4 of 92
Search essential wardrobe, theres a thread like this. However its old and this one has a bit more focus. Digging from my old post, this is what my wardrobe looks like, built within the last month. I litreally did a restart. Shoes Jack Purcell White Leather Converse All Stars Black (low) Clarks Desert Dark Brown Suede one pair of nike runners Black Dress Shoes Brown leather boots (no name, beaters) Jeans: 3Sixteen Slim Indigo Tops: 6 Button down shirts 1 Blue Chambray from Vince 10 American Apparel Crew Neck Tees in various colours 6 American Apparel deep V Necks in white for undershirts 6 American Apprel Polos 1 Lacoste Polo 1 Grey Cotton Cardigan from Club Monico 2 Sweaters that have the diamond pattern on them, they look incredibly similar 1 W+H Fleece zip up cardigan 1 Overcoat (random brand bought on sale at international clothers) 1 Winter Jacket one pair of training tops one pair of shorts one track suit three pairs of shorts in white, khaki, and grey Where do I go from here? I still think I don't have enough basics. Picking up the W+H tigerfleece black/grey hoodie when it comes out. Also picking up a navy blue cardigan from somewhere. Getting a chino from JCrew, as well as two merino wool sweaters in black and white. Getting 5 more shirts from janzten, once I get my current white one arrives, to have a solid dress shirt foundation for work. A few pairs of dress pants (possibly incotex). Two dress shoes, nice ones that will last a long time (500$ range) in black and brown. I that that is the foundation for me. Fit is key, I will only keep items that have a good fit. Once I reach this point I'll start looking at more casual button ups, raw black denim.
post #5 of 92
There has been threads on this. I'm doing this with my business wardrobe as it's not what I wear often:

1 suit (dark gray)
1 PS (white linen)
1 pair of dress shoes (thrifted AESaks Fifth Ave)
1 dress belt (black)
3 ties (black for funeral, conservative for a job interview, a fun (ghey) tie)
post #6 of 92
black lace up boots
post #7 of 92
Trimmed: -My old wool coat -My new wool coat -The 2 Alaskan Guide Shirts my dad left to me -SC/LVC 1947s (prefer the SC to be honest) -My old beater Authentics -A pair or two of Bills -My old work boots -My old zip-up jumper and crewnecks (both from JC, and they've lasted me for the last 3 years quite well) And in addition the obvious tshirts, longsleeves, underwear, wool socks, etc.
post #8 of 92
must have:
-oxblood Doc marten 1460
-black crombie coat for colder days
-FP monkey jacket for slightly cool days
-FP black vneck jumper
-LVC 1967
-navy gingham buttondown
-1 suit (worn with the navy buttondown, black jumper, and oxbloods)

I could function just wearing only those clothes 365 days/year
post #9 of 92
I could be pretty happy on 20 items flat.



(1) straight cut jean
(1) solid navy suit pant, wool
(1) solid navy suit jacket, wool
(1) solid charcoal suit pant, wool
(1) solid charcoal suit jacket, wool
(5) white button up shirts w/ a couple of different collars & materials (oxford cloth button down, broadcloth point, tab collar, maybe 1 short-sleeve, etc)
(1) khaki pant
(1) summer casual boot
(1) winter casual boot
(1) formal dress shoe/boot in black
(1) informal dress shoe in burgundy
(1) work boot
(2) simple v-neck sweaters
(1) light weight jacket
(1) heavyweight jacket
post #10 of 92
Love that, PP. Great footwear, especially. For me, I'd just add white plain tennis shoes to that list and be completely content. What kind of navy suit is that, btw?
post #11 of 92
5-10 Grey/white pima cotton crewneck/v-neck short sleeve tees and a few OCBDs
1 Brown quick release belt
1 pair of uniqlo slim straight jeans that are 2 years old or a pair of KC chinos that shockingly well.
1 pair of white/black trainers. right now I'm just wearing my old chucks.

Colorful socks, my SE feather ring, FH key ring, and Billykirk wallet round out eveything else.

This is my summer uniform.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebugmm View Post
What kind of navy suit is that, btw?
that one is brooks brothers black fleece
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieAngel View Post
I've been working towards a more minimalist lifestyle and have been paring back my physical possessions over the past 4 years. I've gone from having a moving truck full of junk to, other than a couple pieces of furniture, to about 7 plastic totes full of stuff. This, of course, is a far cry from when I first moved out of my parents house and I could literally fit everything I owned in a 1988 Honda Civic Hatchback, by myself, in a couple of hours of packing and unpacking.

I've been reading about people trying the 100 item challenge: these are folks trying to pare down their physical possessions to 100 items only. Some play loose and fast with the rules, depending upon the situation, but the idea is that you minimize your stuff to "needs" and maybe a few "wants".

I really like this idea and see myself following it.

Getting rid of all the 'extra crap' and just having what I need.

Of course, a large portion of what I need will be clothes and shoes, the other stuff I want to cut down.
post #14 of 92
I don't necessarily think it's bad to revive topics like this, given the turnover in members over on a forum of this size. Probably best to bump one of the existing threads, though. I intend to make a spiffy graphic like PP, which means you'll probably not see me again in this thread.
post #15 of 92
my must haves:

vb houndstooth cotton sweater spring 07
ccp paper derbys spring 07
vb "show stopper" cardigan
ccp overlock fall 07
ccp spiral zip boots
jil sander blue marbled cashmere v-neck fall 08
jil sander blue metallic v neck fall 07
vb tweed grey dress pants fall 07
white vb button down shirt
lanvin black one button blazer fall 07
dior homme 21 cm indigo and black

2007 was a good year
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