Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge: 5 Garments, 5 Outfits


The way we over-consume fashion today will not work in the long run. That’s just a fact – our planet is not equipped to deal with the pace with which fashion trends change. I recently took a look at my own consumption, and even though I’ve never been a massive shopper, I decided to take some steps to try and create a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe. With the aim of reducing and re-using, I thought it was quite fun to take on a new type of minimalist wardrobe challenge – 5 different outfits with 5 pieces of clothing and 5 pair of shoes. Is that even possible?

The clean-out

I started out by giving my wardrobe a good clean-out, getting rid of the things I knew I wouldn’t wear again (you know – that stuff buried at the very back of your wardrobe, that you know deep down will never see the light of day again), leaving me with a good view of what I had to pick from when I started. It also meant that an excessive amount of clothing didn’t exist. Here’s what I came to realise when picking my pieces:

  1. Picking basics only will make 5 boring outfits.
  2. Each garment needs to mirror you and your style.
  3. Shoes are the magical touch. Nothing changes a look as much as a shoe.

To sum it up: focus on the basics, but add in more fun or interesting pieces to create a variety in your five outfits. I ended up picking two bottoms, three tops and one dress.


Mom jeans, Monki

Jeans are a given choice. No matter if you’re into a skinny or loose fit, I do think that a pair of jeans that YOU feel comfortable is key in a challenge like this. I went for a mom style as they were easy to match and provided a versatile base for outfits.

Black culottes, H&M

Culottes are are the ultimate divider – you either love them or you hate them. I’m definitely into culottes and found they were a great backbone for pairing up with simple, sleek tops. They look like a skirt but give you the freedom of trousers – that’s the power of a good, neutral-coloured wide-leg culotte. 

Black turtleneck, Åhléns

An essential piece in my wardrobe! A good turtleneck can be the ultimate basic, up there with the perfect pair of jeans – it’s easy to dress up or down and always look chic.

Striped long-sleeved top, Åhléns

If Coco Chanel herself wore one, it can’t be wrong. The striped top is a casual piece that gives keeps your look casual, yet with a polished edge.

The classic shirt, H&M

If you’ve got one in white, light blue or a striped pattern – work it for night or day. The classic shirt will never let you down in work situations, but it will also keep your look interesting on evening occasions when everyone else is in a dress.

Lace dress with spaghetti straps, vintage

This is one of the pieces I picked to show a bit more of my personality in this challenge. It’s playful, dressy yet easy to wear, and a welcome hint of originality among the clean, classic lines of all the other pieces.



Black boots, Bourgeois Boheme

A pair of black boots is the backbone of a capsule wardrobe. Th

Black heel sandals, New Look

Like the boots, you just need a pair. Doesn’t matter if you prefer a thicker or thinner heel, both works.  

Sporty sneakers, Nike

They’re trendy and perfect for those days (which is like every day) when you just want to be comfortable in your shoes all day.

Pink strappy sandals, River Island

This was also a pick I did to get away from the basics. These pair is also one of my absolute favourite pair of shoes!

Loafers, ASOS

They’ve got the effect to make your outfit look relaxed but thought-through at the same time.




Turtleneck + jeans + strappy heels



Turtleneck + culottes + trainers



Shirt + jeans + sandals



Striped top + culottes + loafers



Dress + turtleneck + Chelsea boots


This wardrobe challenge shows that you don’t have to over-consume fashion to have a variety of outfits. It’s definitely possible to create lots of looks with different styles with just a few pieces.  Taking on a challenge like this can also make you find pieces you’d forgot you had and make you discover new combinations. Just get creative and start to mix and match!

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Olivia Kahlin

Fashion Writer

Olivia is a lifestyle blogger who loves fashion and food. With a background studying at London College of Fashion she's now based in Stockholm as a journalist and media student. Read her blog here:

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