When I started my minimalism journey, it was not planned as such at first. I felt weighed down by my stuff and wanted to live lighter. I wanted to -literally- have more space for myself. After the initial decluttering however, I was looking for more inspiration. When I was ready to have a closer look at that overflowing closet of mine, I NEEDED inspiration. Yes, I was ready to use my wardrobe more effciently, but how? What to keep? What to toss? How many pieces do I need to be able to create a variety of outfits?
So I did what everyone would have done... I went to youtube and pinterest for inspiration. I watched a lot of videos, read a lot of blog posts and found that two "rules" kept returning again and again when talking about pairing down your wardrobe:
1) Do not buy at sales
2) Do not buy at thrift / goodwill / second hand stores
I can see the reasoning behind these points. Sales are the mothership of temptation. Because things are cheap, we are more inclined to buying items that otherwise would not have. They may not fit us well or may not go with a single thing in our wardrobe but hey, they are cheap! Big no-no for a minimalsit wardrobe. Same goes for thrift stores and the like. Let's be honest, dear fellow thrifters. How many items did we take home for one -or both- of the following reasons:
a) it is a designer piece (although it does not fit my style or body shape)
b) it is unique, someone has to take care of it and give it a home (where it will never be worn)
Like I said, I can totally understand where those rules for building a capsule wardrobe came from. Still, as with any rule, I believe that there is room for breaking it as long as we realize how and why.
I do not have much money on hand right now so I try to get by with my money as well as I can. On the other hand, I just threw out 80% of my clothes and the remaining 20% are in a questionable condition. At least, some of them. Or well, the majority of them. Most of my tops have seen better days and I have an impressive collection of black V-neck T-shirts (V-necks are great for larger chests!) all deteriorating right now. I want to look well put together, however, and that means buying new clothes.
So yes, I bought items during sale. But here is the thing. I bought SPECIFIC items and only bought what really really fits me. There are a few brands that make items which fit me well. We are not talking designer items, but prices still are in the three to four times the H&M budget range. To replace my T-shirts,I bought their shirts on sale meaning I would save about 50-70%. Not bad. I was also able to buy a new blouse from their "event" collection. These are items meant for business attire or, well, events. The blouse is made of a very soft, perfectly fitting cotton-silk mix and fits me perfectly. And let me tell you, buying blouses when you are larger-chested is not easy. So not only did I find something that fit me, I also was able to buy it for 50% less than the original price! Double score!
Yes, you can shop the sales while trying to build a capsule wardrobe.
Just make sure you go in with a plan. Make a list of the items you are looking for and stick to it.
Same goes for for thrift stores. I know that they are perfect for finding bottoms and blazers. Two of the skirts I currently keep in my wardrobe actually need to be replaced and so, yes, I do scan the clothing section at my local thrift store for good replacements. Once again, I know exactly what I want: two skirts, A-line or pencil skirts. I know the color scheme: grey, black, blue or red. And I know what I am looking for: good condition, classic cut. With these criteria in mind, I recently found a denim pencil skirt for a mere 3.95 euros. It is again made by one of the better brands and looks like it has not been worn. Yes, there were more things I liked, but I did not need them so they stayed where they were.
Here is something to keep in mind when entering the thrift store: It is okay to walk out empty-handed!
Just because everything is dead-cheap does not mean one has to mindlessly buy it.