In At Work, Capsule Wardrobe, Discussions, In my closet, Minimalism, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

The idea of Luxe Minimalism in Life and your Closet

I have been a minimalist for a while now. I’d say about 8 years?

It might be surprising to a LOT of you that I consider myself a minimalist considering what I have been purchasing and increasing in my wardrobe in all of my What I Bought Each Month posts… but if you consider that I only have a lot of items in an area where I consider it to be important in my life, it makes sense.

Balance my rather extensive wardrobe with the concept that I don’t own much in any other area (furniture most notably), and the fact that I don’t really buy disposable fashion (1% of my wardrobe can be considered ‘trendy’ or disposable, if that..), then it makes even more sense.

Closet example: Jackets & Coats

For instance this is the current list of outside coats I own:

Spring / Autumn

  • [Spring/Autumn] Muubaa casual, slouchy, black biker leather jacket
  • [Spring/Autumn] m0851 custom fitted Perfecto cognac leather jacket
  • [Spring/Autumn] Burberry camel trench coat
  • [Spring/Autumn] Ted Baker Lorili pale purple wrap coat
  • [Spring / Autumn ] Cuyana camel alpaca poncho

Autumn / Winter

  • [Autumn / Winter]Smythe camel reefer double-breasted coat
  • [Autumn / Winter]Smythe navy blue with contrast cuff with gold buttons peacoat
  • [Autumn / Winter]Burberry black wool and cashmere double-breasted trench coat
  • [Autumn / Winter]Cuyana navy blue wrap coat
  • [Autumn / Winter] Isabel Marant Obil boucle jacket which I hacked a little
  • [Winter] Canada Goose dark grey puffer jacket

…it’s a lot of coats, I won’t lie.

And I kind of want a few more in a bright pattern or something super light and dressy like a silk trench coat, a field jacket, etc…. but… these are all incredible, classic coats that can wear until I’m 90 and PLAN on wearing until I am 90.

It is minimalist… for me

I say that because I for instance, don’t have 7 trench coats in various camel, taupe and beige shades.

I have one.

ONE Spring / Autumn camel, classic trench coat. If I bought another one, it would be let’s say a dressy silk one or a deep green dark neutral one so that it serves a different style purpose than the one I currently own.

I wouldn’t buy a second classic, camel trench coat because it has different details on it… it’d be too similar to what I already own.

I’d buy something completely different to serve another purpose completely.

It is a waste of money to buy disposable, cheap fashion

They aren’t coats I plan on throwing away after a year or two, I take very good care of them to make sure they don’t pill and look terrible.

Cheap coats, look terrible after a few winters.

What’s the point in spending $300 on a wool coat that will look terrible after 3 years and have to replace it, when you know it will cost $1000 – 2000 for a great wool coat that you can keep for 30 years?

Or a trench coat that isn’t of high quality (in the fabric) and bubbles, pills, bobbles and looks kind of rumpled and Columbo-messy-like over time.

Why not save your money and buy the ACTUAL trench coat you want?


Really? Do you need multiples of coats for one practical purpose?

I don’t need THAT many coats for all of these 3 seasons….

…but I love them all and wear them all equally to elevate my outfits. Coats are the #1 things that people see and notice first during Autumn and Winter because it covers your outfit.

That to me, it is really the essence of what luxe minimalism is.

It is all about luxurious items that make sense in a wardrobe that is minimalist-for-me because each one serves a style purpose.

My entire wardrobe is based on those kinds of principles because I have one to three perfect pieces for each purpose that it serves.

My style does change over time

I’ve noticed myself veering more towards classics, classic trends (plaid shirts (!!) )… neutral colours and things that aren’t rainbow-hued or too wild in terms of a print that would be unwearable on me at the age of 90.

Of course, there are brilliant, older women who are 60+ who can ROCK a wild print on print ensemble (…Betsey Johnson, Iris Apfel come to mind), but I am fairly certain I will not be one of them unless the print is subtle and/or classic.


I still haven’t jumped on any animal print bandwagon either. I can’t seem to reconcile leopard with my inner sense of style yet, but I am slowly getting there.

As a result, I have been slowly culling (thoughtfully), items from my wardrobe as I see them not being in sync with who I am and who I will be any longer.

Things I have culled from my closet recently:

  • SHORT SKIRTS.. I am unable to gracefully and comfortably squat or bend down with my toddler in them
  • RAINBOW PRINTS … I no longer want to wear very bohemian, artsy “out there” rainbow prints that don’t look neutral, subtle or classic
  • UNFLATTERING COLOURS … I can’t wear muted, muddy tones like yellow-based greens or .. basically orange. I hate wearing orange.
  • TIGHT ITEMS.. No need to show the shape or pattern of my bra!
  • CHEAP FABRICS .. 100% or majority-of-the-fabric polyester has a hard time staying in my closet. It has to be incredible polyester to make the cut.

Still not there yet, but I am trying!

The siren call of things like $7 plaid shirts from Old Navy still call (really? will I wear that when I am 90?).. but I am trying my very best to not succumb.

I am really trying to think

What about you? Have you thought about Luxe Minimalism?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Cassie

    I struggle with this in some instances, but I’m successful with it in others. I wore one of my wool coats to work this week and my boss commented that I had purchased a new coat. In reality I bought the coat in 2008 (Burberry), I had just been using it as more of a special occasion coat the last couple years. I’ve stopped doing that because it’s a great coat that really does need to be worn more, and it really has held up nicely. None of the H&M coats I bought years ago looked anywhere near as nice after a couple months as this one does now. It’s the same story with my Mackage leather jacket. I need to do a better job with my shirts and sweaters though, I do struggle with making larger value individual purchases with them,

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      *nods* I am the same way. I wear really nice coats and people comment on them, and I think: I have had this since 2010, I can’t believe how good it STILL looks. (Burberry.)

  2. Dee

    I’ve started simplifying and upgrading the quality of my wardrobe the last few years and this has come in very handy as the working mum of a toddler. Your blog and the 10 item wardrobe Daily Connoisseur blog have been instrumental in helping me to rethink what I wear, why and how I present myself. I keep to a palette that I love (favouring blues, blacks, whites and greys, with hot pink and turquoise accents in the summer and burgundy in the winter) and to quality pieces that will last (I have NO time to shop these days so I want what I wear to have staying power). I have adopted a uniform of sorts that makes me happy and expresses who I am. Mornings are now a breeze both workday and weekend and I always like what I’m wearing so don’t get bored. John Oliver did an excellent web piece on the price of fast fashion and it also made me think more carefully about what I’m buying and who made it and what it really costs in terms of labour, human rights, environment and resources. I just bought a pair of boots, well-made by a reputable company, that are guaranteed to last 10 years. Most of my boots last 2-3 years as I am so tough on them (like you!) They were pricey but I’m excited that I can hold onto them for a good long time and they will just get better and better and become a favourite item.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on shopping, fashion, style and quality.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      BOOTS! That’s another area I am rough on and spend a lot of money on. Every end of Spring, I take them all to my cobbler in a huge bag and ask for a spruce up. Fix the heel, replace the front grip, buff down the leather.

      I do this with my heels too, and even recently paid over $300 USD to fix my old pair of beloved manolos (originally thrifted for $60 USD… ironically).. and will wear them until they truly bite the dust. In the meantime, I realized that I wore them so often and repaired them so much, I needed to have a backup while they are in the shop (been a month now).. so I bit the bullet and bought 3 pairs of Manolos to wear in the interim.

      You can just imagine that’s where most of my wardrobe spending in November went ;_;

      Thank you for commenting so thoughtfully!

  3. Sarah

    Perfectly sums up the philosophy. Buying a few top quality things and you will look amazing, not to mention that you are saving the planet. What’s not to like?

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I need to work on this for 2016. LUXE MINIMALISM.

  4. Jessica

    I try to invest as much as I can in good quality clothing but I also try to limit myself to 5 purchases per season (six months, excl. necessary basics). Simply because I don’t need that many clothes. I do have a weak spot for coats though, just like you. The only thing that I’d like to point out is that a $300 dollar coat is not cheap in my opinion. For most people that would be an investment which will probably last many years. Maybe even just as long as a $1000 coat. I really believe that there comes a point when price no longer equals quality because the top has been reached. Is a $500 dollar t-shirt really of better quality than a $150 dollar t-shirt?

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Coats. *sob*

      No, I do agree that a $500 shirt is no better in many cases than a $150 shirt. Part of the mystique must also be the brand and the allure of the designer brand which I can admit to.

      I think it depends on WHAT you are spending your money on. $300 is not inexpensive by any means but it is kind of sad how terrible the quality is AT THAT PRICE POINT. I mean, my mind boggles at that.. It’s just like the prices keep going up and the quality drops.

  5. Danielle

    My biggest problem with building this kind of wardrobe is that my style changes a LOT every few years. I’m in my thirties now and still haven’t pegged it down! That said, I’ve definitely been scaling up my more standard winter wear, maybe I’ll get around to my trendy pieces in the next year or so 🙂

  6. Michelle

    I love the idea of this. I am aggressively pairing down my wardrobe and adding pieces that I will feel great in at all times. The tricky piece is that I’m about to begin working out so that I can lose the 20 lbs that have been hanging out for the past 5 years. That will change the fit on all of my clothes. I’m “purchasing” all of my new items via my ThredUp affiliate income so I won’t feel guilty if (when) I downsize. The truth is there are some items that are just worth investing in (shoes/coats/and sassy lingerie).


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