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The Ultimate Minimalist Wardrobe List – 28 Essential Items

Flatlay of white crewneck sweater, fray folded up jeans on the right and white sneakers on the left. There are props including green vines on the left, a burlap sack cut off at the top left and a woven basket on the top right. For minimalist wardrobe article.

Your wardrobe plays an incredibly important role in your life. You look in your closet o figure out how you want to express yourself every day. It’s fun playing “dress up” with your clothes, but just like life is ever-evolving, so is our wardrobe. Trends come and go, styles fade, and our closet ebbs and flows with these things. This is why many people are making the switch to a minimalist wardrobe.

With a trend-centric wardrobe, your closet can sometimes feel unstable or metaphorically “messy” with an abundance of options to wear but nothing that feels quite right. That’s where a minimalist wardrobe comes into play which will make turn your trend-centric, cluttered wardrobe into a capsule wardrobe you can always feel confident wearing.

As a fellow minimalist wardrobe lover, I decided to write the ultimate minimalist wardrobe list for people like yourself who are looking for a little guidance on how to perfect your wardrobe with versatile, long-lasting, evergreen pieces. With this minimalist closet list, you’ll be able to achieve a simple wardrobe you’re proud of. Keep reading for more!

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Tops | Bottoms | Dresses & Jumpsuits | Outerwear | Shoes | Accessories | Jewelry

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How Many Pieces Are In A Minimalist Wardrobe?

A minimalist wardrobe is a collection of capsule clothing that is transitional, versatile, and able to be worn for many years. The word “minimalist” applies to many different factors of a minimalist wardrobe including the physical designs of the clothing and the number of items.

There is no rule on how many pieces are in a minimalist wardrobe. However, I find that the sweet spot is between 40-50 individual pieces, depending on your personal style and needs. This allows you to have enough minimalist clothing pieces to mix and match for various occasions and seasons.

What Should Be In A Minimalist Wardrobe?

A minimalist wardrobe should contain just that – minimal amounts of simplistic, versatile pieces. With that being said, here are three questions I like to ask myself before I add something to my minimalist wardrobe.

Is It Trendy?

If you’ve seen it on TikTok or it’s been making its way through your Instagram feed, it’s most likely a trendy item that does not belong in your minimalist wardrobe. Is it a super-specific piece? If the answer is yes and you’re trying to build a minimalist capsule wardrobe, then walk away. Trust me, you’re doing yourself a favor.

Now you might be wondering, how do I avoid having a boring wardrobe if I never participate in trends? Trust me, I get it! Trends make fashion fun. That’s why I rent trendy pieces from Nuuly, which is a sustainable rental clothing company. For $88 you can rent 6 pieces a month from Nuuly. If you’re interested in renting some cool trendy pieces but need more details, you can check out my Nuuly review here!

What Color Is It? What About Prints?

If you are someone whose signature style color is pink, blue, or any other non-neutral color, you can absolutely build a minimalist wardrobe around that. However, I try to avoid bold colors or loud prints as much as possible in order to maintain a simple wardrobe. It’s not to say I don’t love adding colors or prints to my outfits because I absolutely do! But that’s where I use trendy pieces from Nuuly, as I mentioned above.

The best tones to stick with are neutral colors and earth tones such as beige, cream, black, navy, or forest green.

Is It Able To Be Layered?

A minimalist wardrobe should be moderately transitional meaning the pieces can be worn throughout multiple seasons. This obviously won’t be the case for every single piece, but I do try to make an effort to ensure a majority of pieces can be layered over or under other items.

Where Can You Buy A Minimalist Wardrobe?

I have some awesome products below that will help you complete your minimalist wardrobe but if you don’t find what you like I highly recommend checking out this article on my favorite minimalist brands.

The brands you’ll see on this list are all my favorite companies to shop for minimalist apparel and I’m confident you’ll find some amazing pieces that you’ll love! Now let’s get into your essential minimalist wardrobe items.

Minimalist Tops

Everyday T-Shirt

A handful of everyday t-shirts should be a part of every minimalist closet list. T-shirts can be layered under sweaters, cardigans, or even dresses.

I recommend investing in both a black and white t-shirt and maybe a neutral beige if you want more than two options to choose from. You can also play with the neckline if you want a crew neck or a v-neck.

Long Sleeve Turtleneck

A long sleeve turtleneck is the cool weather version of a t-shirt. A turtleneck, rather than a simple long sleeve shirt, adds a little character to your outfit, especially when worn with a cute necklace like one of the necklaces seen below.

I recommend buying similar colors that you own in t-shirts so you can transition a similar look from warm weather to cool weather.

Classic Button-Up

A classic button-up is a must-have in any minimalist wardrobe because there are so many things you can do with them. You can wear them tucked into a pair of jeans, or wear them open with a tank top or dress underneath.

A button-up is a great light layering piece for the transition in spring and fall. Plus, if you’re feeling a little *spicy*, you can tie the button-up with a cute bralette underneath.

Every Day Tank Tops

Believe it or not, tank tops are the perfect year-round capsule wardrobe piece. You can, of course, wear them during the summer tucked into a cute silk skirt or even tied in a knot. But in the winter, they make a great layering item if you’re looking for a little bit of extra warmth under a sweater.

Knit Sweater

You can’t go wrong with a knit sweater in your minimalist wardrobe. Obviously, this item is only for colder weather seasons, but they’re a must-have. I love to wear knit sweaters with different thicknesses and textures, like the ones seen below.

Since knit sweaters are for the fall and winter season, I recommend looking for earth-toned sweaters (browns, greens, oranges) as they fit the energy of the cold weather season while also being incredibly transitional and they will never go out of style.

Knit Cardigan

A knit cardigan is the sister to a knit sweater. You can wear one of your t-shirts, long sleeve turtlenecks, or a tank top under one, or you can wear it buttoned up on your own.

I love cardigans because they’re perfect for changing temperatures and you can always drape them over your shoulders if you’re feeling a little chilly. I recommend purchasing both a long and a short cardigan just to have some options.

Minimalist Bottoms

Timeless Denim

When it comes to building a minimal wardrobe list many people ask: how many pairs of jeans should I own? I recommend 2-3 pairs but make sure that the styles you’re purchasing aren’t too ubiquitous (which I am guilty of).

I suggest purchasing a classic pair of blue jeans, a pair of black or gray jeans, and a pair of slightly distressed jeans. I’ve found these are types of jeans I reach for often and they are the most transitional between work and weekend.

Bike Shorts

I know this might be a nope for some people, and that’s totally cool. But I find bike shorts to be one of the best minimalist wardrobe finds out there.

Even if you’re not comfortable sporting bike shorts and a sports bra, you can wear them with an oversized t-shirt or sweater for a laid-back look. They’re also great to wear under dresses or skirts that may be a little too short for your liking, or if it’s a particularly windy day.

Tailored Trousers

A pair of tailored trousers are some of my favorite simple wardrobe items. If you’re working in an office, these are a go-to and even if you’re not an office professional, you can still wear them for many occasions.

Trousers provide a structured, yet relaxed look so you can be comfortable but look put together at the same time. The options you see below provide a number of styles so you’re sure to find one that fits your own particular aesthetic. Pair your tailored trousers with a t-shirt for a laid-back look or french-tuck your button-up for a professional-chic look.

Silk Skirt

I chose a silk skirt as the perfect skirt for a minimalist wardrobe because it’s an elevated version of what you’d expect from a midi skirt. The below silk skirts are all washable so you don’t have to worry about bringing them to the dry cleaner.

A silk skirt can be dressed up or down. They can be paired with any top seen above and can also be transitioned from summer to winter with a simple pair of fleece-lined tights layered underneath.

Classic Leggings

Everybody needs a pair of classic leggings in their wardrobe. I personally love some that double as workout leggings because they’re comfortable and are multi-functional.

You can wear the below leggings to work out (if that’s your thing) or simply at home or at the grocery store. Leggings are my favorite comfy and casual apparel item and they are what I wear a majority of the time when I’m not in the mood to dress up.

Minimalist Dresses & Jumpsuits

Mini & Midi Dresses

Believe it or not, dresses are a great item to transition between seasons. I recommend sticking with black tones or earth tones for a simplistic, chich look. I love a good midi dress but minis dresses are cute too if they’re within your comfort level.

Style any of the below dresses with a cardigan or knit sweater along with a pair of leather boots. Or make it a casual summer look with a tied-up t-shirt and a pair of sneakers. Remember you can layer above or below dresses, that’s the fun of them!

Classic Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are one of the most underrated but best wardrobe items you can have. They’re basically an entire outfit in one, just throw on some jewelry, a cute pair of shoes and you’re set.

Jumpsuits can sometimes fit people a little weird so I specifically found the four options you see below which are all universally flattering and comfortable. They’re also great pieces to be layered so you can wear them throughout every season.

Minimalist Outerwear

Denim Jacket

Versatile outerwear is important for any minimalist wardrobe and a denim jacket is at the heart of that. I wear my denim jacket throughout every season and find it to be the piece of outerwear I reach for most often.

Levi’s is my favorite denim jacket brand out there because they’re obviously denim pioneers. I recommend owning either a true blue denim jacket or gray (or both!) as they can be worn with essentially anything. If you’re going to own any of the pieces of outerwear listed in this article, I recommend a denim jacket the most (besides a winter coat for my readers who live in chilly climates like myself!)

Structured Blazer

Trust me, whether you’re an office professional or not, you need a structured blazer in your wardrobe. A blazer can be used to layer over dresses, t-shirts, or even a sports bra if you’re feeling brave! One of my favorite looks is a blazer over a sports bra and bike shorts.

I’m a huge fan of plaid blazers as they add more personality and texture to an outfit rather than a solid blazer. I have some awesome plaid options for you below as well as a classic black option if that’s the route you’re looking to take!

Leather Jacket

A few years ago I added a leather jacket to my minimalist wardrobe checklist and it was one of the best decisions I ever made for my closet. A leather jacket is a classic item everyone needs to own because they go with basically anything.

Leather jackets also add badass energy to typically “safe’ outfits and they are perfect for the fall, winter, and spring seasons when the weather is a little chilly or transitioning to warmer weather.

Trench Coat

A trench coat is probably the least necessary outerwear piece in a minimalist wardrobe but if you have the means, I highly suggest investing in one. Trench coats are a great practical outerwear piece for those who maybe want a longer coat option on top of their denim or leather jackets.

There are many styles of trench coats out there but the two styles you see below are the most flattering, in my opinion. I especially love the belted coat if you’re looking to accentuate your waist and add some shape to your look.

Winter Coat

This is for all my cold-weather climate friends! I live in New York City (Brooklyn baby!) and have lived on the east coast my entire life so I am no stranger to freezing cold temperatures. A winter coat is essential for a minimalist wardrobe and the options below are the best, most affordable items for protection from the cold weather.

I own the black Columbia winter coat seen below and it was a major upgrade from my last winter coat. It’s cute, comfortable, and keeps me warm when walking the chilly Brooklyn streets during the winter. I can’t recommend it enough! I’ve also included a few other options for you to check out in case the Columbia one isn’t your style.

Minimalist Shoes

Comfy Sneakers

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for a good pair of sneakers. I highly recommend owning a pair or two of cute sneakers in your minimalist wardrobe, especially if you live in a walking city like myself. But even if you don’t, sneakers are essential for both comfort and style.

Nike Air Force 1’s are my favorite sneakers because they’re not only fashionable but they’re incredibly affordable. If you’re worried about owning white sneakers, I promise you they’re not that hard to maintain. I suggest purchasing Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and Jason Markk Shoe Cleaner in order to keep them clean. As long as you’re not jumping in muddy puddles every day, you’ll be fine.

Classic Loafers

A practical pair of loafers is one of the best pairs of shoes you can own. They’re “easy” meaning you can wear them with just about anything. Loafers are a great pair of shoes to wear during the winter with some socks and jeans, or even during the summer with a silk skirt and t-shirt.

I know loafers can sometimes be uncomfortable during the break-in period. I recommend purchasing socks like these to keep your feet blister-free. Or, you can simply wear them with a pair of tall socks for an on-trend look!

Leather Boots

I’m such a sucker for some leather boots and I don’t think you can wrong with any neutral color. If you’re on the shorter side like me, you’ll love the below boots to give you some extra height. And if you’re a taller human, you’ll still love these because they’ll lengthen your legs even more!

Leather boots are super cute to pair with some jeans and a tied-up button-up, a jumpsuit with some gold jewelry or a midi dress with some fleece lined tights and a knit sweater.

Minimalist Accessories

Simplistic Belt

A proper belt will take your outfit from incomplete to perfection. I always find that when I’m doubting my outfit, I’ll throw a belt either on my pants or on my waist and it completes the entire look.

I tend to grab my black belt more often than any other color I own but brown and neutral tones are great when you want to add some dimension to an all-black outfit.

Tote Bag

I have way too many tote bags, it’s a little embarrassing. But they’re so practical and I could never give them up! If you’re someone who works in the office or you’re someone like me who carries everything with them at all times (I can’t go anywhere without my Hyrdroflask water bottle), then you definitely need a tote bag in your wardrobe.

The first two tote bags you see below are very simple if you’re looking for a no-frills tote bag. The bottom two, which are from Dagne Dover, are perfect if you’re looking for some more pockets and compartments. Dagne Dover makes some awesome bags so I highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking for any type of new bag.

Shoulder Bag

A shoulder bag is perfect for activities like going out to dinner, heading to a museum, or going to the grocery store. The below shoulder bags are all unique shapes and sizes so you can find whichever fits your personal style.

I personally own a couple of shoulder bags that are different styles and colors so I can use whichever one fits best with my look. Black is my favorite bag color but I’m also obsessed with earth tones because they add a little pop of color to my otherwise neutral outfit.

Minimalist Jewelry


In my opinion, jewelry is a must-have in any minimalist wardrobe and is the key to completing an outfit. I never leave the house without a pair of earrings (no matter what I’m wearing!) My favorite place to buy affordable minimalist earrings is from Etsy, more specifically from my favorite shop Babeina.

Gold is the best finish, in my opinion, to complete any outfit. The earrings you see below are classic, versatile, and will put the cherry on top of any outfit. I also love the pearls seen in two of the pieces below which add an extra layer of elegance.


Alright..I might be a little obsessed with layering necklaces. If you own a handful of necklaces then you can mix and match depending on your outfit, which is why layering is so great.

Gorjana is an amazing jewelry brand that is an expert in layering. I highly recommend checking them out for any of your minimalist jewelry needs!



I don’t think bracelets are a completely necessary jewelry piece but if you’re looking to go all out, I highly recommend investing in some. This is another category that Gorjana excels in, along with the necklaces I mentioned above.

I know I’m recommending a lot of gold jewelry in this list, and that’s because I believe gold is the most versatile finish for the neutral tones we’ve been discussing in this article. Gold, in my opinion, matches well with warm tones which I’ve been emphasizing as the best tones for any minimalist wardrobe.


Last but not least, we have some rings! I love stacking rings and think simplistic ring pieces are the perfect way to complete your minimalist look. Aurate New York is one of the best jewelry brands to look for rings, among other jewelry items.

I recommend playing around with both thick and thin bands, as well as different textures and designs on your rings to add a little bit of personality to your accessories.

Let’s Wrap It Up

I hope you enjoyed this article on the best minimalist wardrobe items! I own every one of these product categories seen above and have found they are the best items to purchase when building your capsule wardrobe.

Don’t forget to check out my article on my 16 favorite minimalist brands here! And as always, thank you for taking the time to read.

With love or whatever,

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