Minimalist lifestyle: building a minimalist wardrobe for the modern man

Published on 12 September 2019
by ASI Team
Category: Style

While no doubt a buzzword, sustainability is at the forefront of people’s minds. As we are constantly overwhelmed by more products, more advertising and more push to spend, it’s no surprise we’re looking to simplify and cut back on consumption. Enter ‘The Minimalists’ and Marie Kondo, installed to help us overhaul our lives, but what about our fashion choices?

The average person has more than 120 pieces of clothing in their wardrobes, but 80% of these go unworn (source Cladwell). That’s a lot of tags still on and money misspent. A minimalist wardrobe is designed to remove distractions and provide clarity of choices and styles, to save you time, money and waste.

Versatility and timeless

Minimalism for men

When it comes to the modern man’s minimalist wardrobe, it’s about building versatility and seeking timeless design. Be deliberate in your choices: choose only clothes that work together and can be used in a number of different looks. To master timelessness, avoid trend-based purchases and stick with the classics. Pieces should be bought based on quality of fabric and fit.

Colour choice

Minimalism men's fashion

A simple and neutral colour scheme is key. It’s a bulletproof way of ensuring all pieces can work back together. Choose tones such as blacks, charcoals, greys, navys, khakis, beiges, creams and whites.

Sustainable fabrics

minimalism mens fashion

We need to be prioritising sustainability in our fashion choices. Considering fabrics produced without pesticides that have a low impact on the environment such as linen, hemp, wool and other plant-based, highly durable or recycled materials. Avoid dyed clothes and harmful fibres such as synthetics (polyester, nylon and acrylic), animal-derived materials (leather and fur) and conventional cotton (source Who What Wear). Generally, cheaper clothes are going to be more impactful. As we are looking to buy less and wear more, your garments will need to be built to last the long haul.

Elevated pieces

minimalism mens fashion

The trickiest part of creating a minimalist wardrobe is catering for all occasions, whilst keeping the number of garments to an absolute minimum. Ensure you’re mixing in a few pieces that enable you to elevate your look and dress up or down. This could be a blazer, dress shoes or shirt. It’s not about fast fashion, but rather style – the two don’t always go hand in hand.

Key ingredients


Keeping your outlay minimal is the whole purpose of this process, so ensure that you’ve got a small but effective wardrobe. A wardrobe of around 25 pieces, not including socks, jocks and accessories is an ideal:

  • 1 warm coat
  • 2 lightweight jackets (1 bomber jacket or denim jacket and 1 blazer)
  • 8 lightweight tops (a mixture of collared shirts, t-shirts and polos)
  • 4 jumpers (consider knitwear and pullovers)
  • 3 pairs of pants (1 pair of casual chinos, 1 pair of dress pants and 1 pair of jeans)
  • 1 pair of shorts 
  • 1 pair of boots (black or brown)
  • 2 pairs of shoes (1 pair of sneakers and 1 pair of loafers or sandals)
  • 1 suit

Interested in learning more about menswear? Get in touch: success@australianstyleinstitute.com.au


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