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Ways That You Can Save Time and Money by Downsizing Your Wardrobe

downsize your wardrobeI don’t wear the same outfit to work every single day like Matilda Kahl. If you count yoga pants and a tank top then maybe I do since my “job” is being a stay-at-home mom. Of course there are days where I stand in front of my closet and complain that I have nothing to wear (a similar response occasionally happens when I stand in front of the fridge and have “nothing” to eat). However, my takeaway from reading that article is that I realized I’m actually grateful my wardrobe is particularly small.

Aside from items like cotton t-shirts, workout clothes, sleepwear and undergarments tucked away in my dresser drawers, I can easily wrap my arms all the way around my entire wardrobe. I’ve never tallied up how many items of clothing I actually have to I was interested to know. Here’s the final count of what I have (categories from


  • Tanks = 10 (including spaghetti strap)
  • Casual tops = 23
  • Overlays = 10
  • Zip up jackets/hoodies = 3
  • Sweatshirt = 1
  • Dress tops = 5
  • Sweaters = 5
  • Formal dresses = 3
  • Casual dresses = 2


  • Jeans = 4
  • Khaki pants = 1
  • Capris = 1
  • Shorts = 6
  • Jean skirt = 1
  • Dress pants = 5
  • Leggings = 2


  • Scarves = 7
  • Bags/purses = 1
  • Belts = 0
  • Necklaces = 3


  • Flip flops = 3
  • Casual flats = 2
  • Dressy flats = 3
  • Tennis shoes = 4
  • Boots = 3
  • Heels = 1

That’s the total for what is in my closet; I did not count what’s in my dresser because that includes workout clothes (a lot of high school/college tees) and undergarments. How do you compare? Do you need to downsize your wardrobe? I really didn’t think that I had a lot of clothes, but 23 tops seems like a lot to me! I’ll add that I probably wear 10 of those tops the most and wear the others much less often. I worked as a clinical dietitian before moving to Calgary for 6 months and then having Nora so I still have my business casual outfits that rarely get worn nowadays. Even when I was working full time, my wardrobe wasn’t much bigger than it is now as a stay-at-home mom. The Business Insider article shares some of Matilda’s reasons for keeping a simple work wardrobe: it saves her time & energy and it makes her appreciate the clothes she wears outside of work. If those reasons sound convincing enough to make you want to downsize your wardrobe, here a few tips I implement that may help you get started:

downsize your wardrobeBuy gently used instead of new

I buy almost all of my clothes from Thred Up (affiliate link) or Twice. I already know the size of my favorite jeans so I can click and order what I need for less than half the price without even leaving my house. Does anyone really enjoy spending all day trying on 20 pairs of jeans to find the right pair? This also keeps me from making spontaneous purchases on clothing I wasn’t planning to buy but now want because I saw it on display at the store.


If you buy more clothes then it makes sense to get rid of a few. I’m thankful my weight hasn’t fluctuated since high school and have a couple pairs of jeans that have stood the test of time. However, there are some clothes I still had from high school and college that really needed to go- either because I look like a 26-year old trying to stay “Forever 21” or because some of my favorite tees were becoming paper thin. A simple place to start would be your undergarments; do you have any single socks or some with holes? Downsize your wardrobe and throw them out!

Buy simple

As much as I love the look of a shirt with a unique pattern, I feel like I couldn’t wear it more than once every couple of weeks. My husband teases me because I have about 5 of the same v-neck T-shirts but in different colors and I always wear one or two of them every week. The shirt is very simple but I can make it look different depending what I wear with it. I do have a couple of unique articles of clothing but I tend to buy more items that can be worn with various tops, bottoms, and accents.

Focus on accents

With a shirt as simple as my v-neck I can easily change up the overlay, scarf, bottoms, or jewelry and you wouldn’t even know I wore it last week. If you want  to see a great example of a smaller wardrobe than mine and how to compile a variety of outfits from just a few items of clothing then check out Andrea Dekker’s wardrobe. She’s from Michigan just like Derek and me! She also has great tips on how to purge clothes (you keep saying you’ll wear that shirt some day, but will you?).

These tips have helped to reduce stress and spending a lot of money on my wardrobe. I will admit I lean more toward the “Plain Jane” side and wasn’t blessed with the gift of creativity but you can still simplify a giant wardrobe in order to save time and energy.

Will you downsize your wardrobe? Why or why not?

This post has been written by Jessica from

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AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. After a weight loss, I did purge a lot of my clothes. Now, however, I sort of wish I hadn’t done that because I got rid of several things that were great quality and back in style. I should have had them altered instead. Now, if I want to replace them, I have to spend money to pay for a more expensive item than the one I originally had. I know that the minimalist trend is taking hold and everyone is advocating this type of purge, but I’ll keep what I still have.

    • Bummer! It seems like the decision to purge comes naturally if you don’t think you’ll ever wear certain items again. It’s hard to know what to really keep or not.

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