Once upon a time, the clothes in my closet ran the gamut of colors—I had warm hues, cool hues, neutrals, pastels, jewel tones, etc. What’s more, I had a variety of accessories to “match” this rainbow of apparel.
No more. In my quest for a minimalist closet, I found the secret to a well-edited wardrobe: choosing a base color.
Ideally, your base color should be a neutral like black, brown, navy, or khaki. I chose black—mainly because it’s flattering on me, travels well, and hides stains (if I splash something on myself at lunch, I can still make it through the day without looking a mess!).
This strategy has transformed my look, my closet, and my shopping habits. For the most part, I stick to black for bottoms (like pants and skirts) and add color with tops. Almost anything goes with black, but my wardrobe consists mainly of grays, burgundies, purples, and blues. I also have gray pants, and a gray skirt, that I can wear with either black or colored tops.
Furthermore, I’ve been able to significantly pare down my accessories. I no longer have the need for footwear or handbags in varying shades of brown or navy. A black purse, or pair of shoes, goes with everything in my closet—which means I can get by (and still look put-together) with far fewer purses and pairs of shoes.
The surprising part: although my wardrobe is a fraction of the size it used to be, I never feel I have “nothing to wear.” In fact, I find that I look (and feel) more well-dressed than when I had two closets full of clothes. Building a wardrobe around a base color ensures that everything goes with everything else—even if I dressed in pitch darkness (or by pulling out pieces at random), I’d end up with a matching ensemble. It doesn’t get any better than that!