How To Create A Minimalist Wardrobe


Minimalism doesn’t always mean purging 70% of your wardrobe. It doesn’t always mean being able to pack everything you own in a Winnebago so you can travel the countryside. It doesn’t even mean owning only one of everything.

Minimalism simply means owning the minimum that you need to be happy and healthy. What is way too much for one person is way too little for another.

Minimalism styles can vary greatly from one person to another as well, especially when it comes to fashion.

Some folks love rocking nothing but black and white. Other’s need a rainbow in there closet.


For some minimalism as a practice and minimalism as an esthetic go hand in hand. For others it means mixing and matching boho layers.

Let me give you an example of two very different types of minimalism.

For me minimalism means not owning any wardrobe clones.

Yes, I do own three blue skirts but they vary in style and shade. One is a short dark teal skater skirt. Another is a light periwinkle handkerchief hem knee skirt. The other is an electric blue peasant skirt.

    In contrast, I know a woman whose work style is wearing all black with a colorful statement accessory. She owns just enough black slacks to get her through the week.

She only buys low black heeled shoes for her office “uniform.” Because of that she only needs to own two or three pairs of them at any given time.

She also has a pair of sneakers and a couple sandals for when she’s not at work, and a pair of boots for the winter.

I own five pairs of pointed toe flats, although they are all in different colors. I also own several heels and sandals, none in duplicate shade.

She owns one winter work bag, one summer work bag, one weekend tote, and a handful of crossbody bags.

On the other hand, while I could probably fit all my clothes in a large duffle bag, my bag collection would need two duffles of its own.

There is little to no overlap between her work and weekend wardrobes.

While one could argue that she could rock her black heels with her white weekend maxi dress, that is simply not her style.

And despite the casual dress code at her office, she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing sneakers to work.


I wear almost every top in my closet with every bottom. I mix dressy with casual, conservative with snake print, preppy with boho. You get the idea.

Her minimalism is owning a handful each of her go to basics.

Almost every piece of clothing that I own is timeless. But basic? Not so much.

Orange is my favorite neutral at the moment. A little while back it was crisp white. Before that it was leopard. Everything I own has to be unique, just to keep up with my moods.

My minimalism means around having 65 pieces of clothing that make thousands of outfits.

Her’s means having  a similar number of garments and nine or ten go to looks.

As you can see we have very different styles when it comes to both minimalism and fashion.


Here’s the thing though. Even though we each have a similar number of actual garments there is no actual “magic number” of pieces that applies to all women or all men.

I truly believe that most people in the first world own more than they need. That said if you don’t live in a Winnebago you don’t have to be able to fit everything you own in one to benefit from a minimalist lifestyle.

Here are a few steps you can take to figure out what a minimalist wardrobe means for you:

Figure out what your personal style is when it comes to fashion. Go beyond the basic archetypes.

For example, even if you are eclectic like me you probably don’t dress exactly like me.

I love metallics and hate florals. I rarely wear dresses or short skirts without leggings. And I don’t do sporty. (If I’m wearing sweatpants it’s time to either work out or do laundry.)

Knowing what isn’t your style is just as important as knowing what is. Take the time to figure out what you actually wear, what trends work for you, and what trends don’t.

Know what flatters your body type.

Study up on the tips and tricks that personal stylists use. Just remember that knowing your personal style comes first.

If you’re big and you love printed yoga pants, then rock them. Just be sure to only choose prints that highlight what you want highlighted and camouflage the parts that you would rather be camouflaged.

Remember that this is your body so you get to choose what parts make up your assets.

Pick a color pallet.

Know what colors flatters you. Know what colors you love. Stick with them exclusively. This is the biggest secret to having a wardrobe where everything goes with everything else.


Trim the fat… slowly.

Start with the obvious offenders. If it’s not in your color pallet donate it. If you hate how you look in it, get rid of it.

In a week or two widdle down non seasonal pieces you haven’t worn for three months or more.

After that audit your closet monthly until you find your sweet spot. Use your pallet and style to find tune your wardrobe and gain insights on your shopping strengths and weaknesses.

Make a list of what you own.

Keep it on your phone so you know what you already have when you go shopping. This will help you make sure new items actually equals new outfits.

I know that this can be a huge task. If you need to break it down to types of garments. For example I have a list of that is tops broken down into tees, button downs, tank tops, etc.

Make a list of what you need.

Keep this on your phone too, so you know what you really need when you go shopping. It’s a good idea to have a “short list,” a list of items that fill the gaps in your closet to help you prioritize you purchases.

Not only will it save you money but it will also help you to focus and zone in on what you’re really looking for when sorting through the chaos of clearance bins and thrift store racks.

Practice the art of wise shopping.

And I do mean practice. Just as with learning any art form, everyone sucks at it at first. Be patient with yourself. Keep with it and it will get a lot easier to do.

What do you think? What is the smallest number of shoes you need to be happy? What is on your must have list? Tweet me or comment below.

 As always have fun. And remember the lines only exist so you can color outside them.

Best Minimalist Eyeshadow Palettes Spring/Summer 2018

Whatever your budget or belief system there are some great options. Here are the best minimalist eyeshadow palettes for this spring and summer… going into fall.

I’ve found two great stand alone options: one prestige, one drugstore. I’ve also found an affordable vegan option although it is actually a combination of two pallets. (I’ll explain why in a minute.)

So, what makes a perfect minimalist palette?

Simply put, it’s a portable palette you can make a wide variety of looks with very little effort. Because makeup trends change season to season, the requirements for a minimalist palette can vary from year to year.

Here are the requirements for a potable multitasking spring/summer 2018 eyeshadow palette.

  1.  A strategic mix of matte and magpie finishes

The right ratio of metals to mattes is vital to a palette’s versatility. This year daytime shine is a major, major trend. I say bring it on, which is why I recommend around 50/50 with a mix of both metallic neutrals and metallic colors.


  1.  Nudes

The “no makeup” makeup look is as timeless as it is easy to wear. For this look you need a minimum of two shades: matte brown and matte beige.

With a little blending and mixing these two shades create a third shade that is applied to the lid. Apply the light beige shade to your brow bone. Smudge the coca color into the crease and blend.

  1.  The color of the year

Violet eyeshadow is a recurring trend. It comes and goes but when it’s here it tends to last several seasons or even years. Whether it’s smoky, bright, or shiny, All that matters is that this eyeshadow makes a statement!


Apply to just the lash lines, and top with a coordinating purple, green or blue eyeliner. Or add to just the bottom lash line of a neutral eye. Or just replace the brown shade in the “no makeup” look with it to create an easy “bold(ish) makeup” look.

  1.  A colorful vamp

Or, like, whatever…Any dark matte nonneutral will do, even a second purple!

This shade is all about the night time. Smoked out with a coordinating shade, smudged in the crease of either a neutral or colorful eye, or smoldering all on its own. This shade is the color equivalent of an exclamation mark.

So, why not black or charcoal?

Simply put, dark colors are easier to wear than gray or black. You’re just not as likely to get mistaken for metalhead or a raccoon in plum or navy eyeshadow.


  1.  Green

It’s not an “on trend” color. It’s not a timeless shade exactly. This may seem a bit random but it’s just a nice color to have for this spring and summer.

Olive green is easy to wear and works with the timeless boho and safari trends as well as soft feminine floral prints. Emerald green works with novelty prints, lucite accessories, and even updates vintage costume jewelry. Not to mention they both work with the retro 80s vibe of the moment.

Green is great for the beach, pool parties, and music festivals. Green is just a versatile eyeshadow color that not everyone is wearing right now.

If you have green eyes feel free to skip this requirement. I recommend working a warm or rosy shade of blush (the stuff for your cheeks) into your eye makeup routine.

Actually I recommend this for everyone. It makes pulling off the monochromatic look so much easier. I’m talking crazy easy. But I digress…

Wear green the same way as purple. There is no need to come up with completely new looks. Just swap out a shade or two. Let the palette do the heavy lifting.

  1.  Gold

I’m talking shiny, shiny, yellow gold!

Glitter is good. Something that can double as a liner is even better.

Even if you’re more of a silver girl (or rose gold, or copper, or gunmetal), there is a reason gilded lids are having a moment. Yellow gold plays well with all the other current eye trends

Dual chrome? Yellow gold, rose gold or silver go well with them.

Pastels? Again yellow gold, rose gold or silver work well.

Nudes? Yellow gold, rose gold and copper are options.

Fiery orange shadows? Yellow gold and copper.

Ethereal pastels? Yellow gold and rose gold.

Candy brights? Yellow gold and silver.

Purple? Yellow gold compliments violet. Literally.

As you can see yellow gold plays well with all the current players.


  1.  A low plastic to makeup ratio

Don’t get me wrong, I like cute packaging, but it doesn’t have to feed the ever growing trash continent floating in the Pacific Ocean or waste oil quite so spectacularly.

The weird thing is even companies like MAC (who has an awesome recycling/reward program by the way) are adding crazy amounts of plastic to their pallets for the sake of “cute.”

Aside from being bad for the environment this extra plastic makes what would normally be a very portable amount of makeup just plain bulky.

There is also the little issue of cost. Honestly, I would rather just get that extra tiny bit of eyeshadow than pay for unnecessary packaging.

  1.  Minimalist

Minimalism means not having more than you truly need. It also means not having less than you need. If you go below the minimum needed to make your life both easier and fulfilled than that obviously isn’t minimalism. It’s sub minimalism.

The number of shadows that one needs will vary from one person to the next but for the purpose of finding a palette that travels as beautifully as it looks, look for between 8 to 18 different shades.

So what have I come up with?


For the mini minimalist I’ve found the Ciate London Fun Palette.

Each shade plays well with all the other shades. And almost all the colors in this palette can be worn by themselves. You can create an all matte nude look, an all metallic nude look, or of course combine the two.


The winking packaging is both cute and innovative without being wasteful. Yes it can be done!


If nine eyeshadow shades is too skimpy for you I recommend the Smokey & Highlight Ultimate Shadow Palette by NYX.

With twice the shades you have a lot of options in a tiny little package.

I like that some of the colors are duplicates but in different finishes. This allows for some fun textural play when pulling off single shade looks.

For the vegans out there I couldn’t find a stand alone palette that met all the requirements, but Christian Siriano’s collaboration with E.L.F. Cosmetics comes pretty damn close. And it too just happens to have pretty packaging, too.


Just add an E.L.F. Sculpting Silk Eyeshadow trio (don’t worry they’re made with nylon, not actual silk) in either Rose’ All Day or Brown Beauties to meet the nudes requirements.

Use the two shades of pink the same way you would create the “no makeup” look for a fun take on the candy colored makeup trend.

Or mix the highly saturated shades with the champagne color to soften them to create more ethereal looks.

Did you find this helpful? What eyeshadow palette do you find yourself reaching for on the regular? Tweet me a pick or let me know in the comments.

As always have fun. And remember the lines only exist so you can color outside them.

Stylish Alternatives To: Rubber Sandals

Rubber sport sandals, what can I say? They’re easy. They’re sporty. And they were never intended to be worn outside of the locker room.

These fungus fighters shave become a favorite copout of students world wide.

But why exactly?

There are three main reasons:

Label Lust – Whether they’re Pumas, Nikes or Adidas there’s often loyalty to the shoemaker.

Personal Style – Women who rock these shower shoes are rarely girly girls. Those who are balance femininity with tomboyishness.

Convenience – No moving parts. Just slip them on (with or without socks) and go.

So what are some fashionable alternatives?

Ballet Flats

Comfy and cute they’re easy and go with just about everything. They look perfect with jeans, although they’re too dressy for overly distressed (read “worn out”) pieces.

A round toe will not only be the most comfortable option but will also work with the casual vibe. A brown real or faux leather pair will go with almost everything, or rock a colorful canvas pair.

Slip-On Sneakers

These shoes definitely meet the convenience requirement. They are casual. They go with jeans and most shorts. Most fashion sneaker brands have a couple of versions, making them perfect for label loyalists.

Buy the best quality you can afford. Even within the same brand quality can very greatly.

Women’s Real or Faux Leather Thong Sandals

You can wear them with everything but a winter coat.

Budget between $75 to $150 a pair. You’ll actual save money at this price. They’ll last longer and never go out of style.

Men’s or Boy’s Thong Sandals

Pick a pair in real or faux leather. Again, they work with jeans and shorts.

Men’s fashions are less expensive. Budget between $50 to $100 for mid price versions.

Tweet a pic of your go to casual kicks and tag me @ShiftsThinking. I may even share share it with my followers.

As always have fun and remember the lines only exist so you can color outside of them.

New Sponsor (Sort Of)

I just joined joined the BzzAgent product sample program. This is isn’t a paid sponsorship, but I will be receiving free products with the understanding that i will talk about them on social media and my blogs.

What exactly does that mean for this blog?

If any of the products are beauty, style, or fashion related, I will write a review about them and most likely try to find multiple ways of using them.

Will getting these products for free effect the reviews themselves?

BzzAgent is very clear about what they expect from their bloggers. They expect honest reviews regardless of whether they are positive or negative. They understand that honesty is the best policy when it comes to both blogging and marketing. If readers distrust their bloggers reviews the program is basically pointless.

Will sponsored post be labeled as sponsored posts?

I will always clearly indicate when a product being reviewed, or being featured in another post, is provided by a sponger or affiliate program and by whom it’s being sponsored by.


Shop Your Closet, Find New Stuff

Pushing items beyond their intended uses is one of the best ways to do more with less. Using pieces in ways they weren’t designed for can sometimes be tricky, but with a little creativity you can expand your fashion repertoire without buying a single thing.

Let’s use a cascading front cardigan made from a lightweight jersey as an example. This was a popular look several summers ago. Now, not so much.

The process to reinvent this piece might look like this:

You add a belt turn it into a wrap top.

You find that the silky fabric from this cardigan slides as you wear it.

You consider pinning it with safe pins or a broach but decide the fabric too thin; it would leave holes ruining the garment.

After a little experimenting you find that tucking the ends into jeans or a pencil skirt prevents the top from sliding open as you wear it.

After a little engineering it’s time for a test run or two. You wear it for a few hours at home while ignoring the fact that you’re wearing it.

Twist, move and bend. Do things you normally do like reaching for something on a shelf in the kitchen or playing with the dog. Mindlessness is the key. If a new look requires constant attention it’s just not going to work out in the real world.

This week’s challenge is to try experiment with new potential tops. Wrap, crew neck, and boyfriend cardigans are all on the table. So are vests, jackets and blazers, and swimsuits. Even mini skirts and scarves are fair game.

Not every item is going to be a winner, but they don’t all have to be. Think of it as a numbers game. The more looks you test, the more that will make the grade.

As always, have fun. And remember the lines one exist so you can color outside them!

Beauty DIY: Red Lipstick Edition


Because red is the basis of most lip colors a tube of red lipstick is a natural staring point for mixing your own lip colors.

Select a bright shade that is as close to true red as possible. It’s okay to veer a little warmer or cooler, but try to keep it as close to neutral as possible.

Also only do so with a shade that mimics your coloring. In other words: if your on the warmer side don’t pick a blue based red!

Store them individually in clean used eyeshadow or gel liner pots. Or group in color collections in used clean eye shadow palletes.

These are better options than buying new containers for two obvious reasons: they keep cosmetic waste out of landfills and repurposing them saves you money.

Mixing each lip color in the container it’ll end up in also helps to keep the amount of waste down by minimizing the amount of clean up afterwards.

Now for the good stuff:

Using a pallet knife, butter knife or metal cuticle pusher, blend (read “smash”) a piece of red lipstick with a small amount of dark brown and/or eggplant cream liner or cream shadow to create a bold vampy lip color.

Mix a small piece with little white, ivory or silver cream shadow to make pink. Stick to white or silver for cool complexions, but warm complexions can use any of these.

Mix another piece with cream concealer to create a nude shade.

You can vary the ratios of ingredients and remix new shades to create an entire lip wardrobe.

This week I challenge you to make your own lip pallet. You can pick a theme (Festival Season, Pastels, etc.) or you can just go full on mad scientist and just mix ‘em to see what you get. As always, have fun. And remember the lines one exist so you can color outside them!