It’s 5:30 in the morning. My alarm sounds as I pull back my linen sheets, slip on my leather slides, and walk to the other side of my tiny apartment to start the coffee. It’s summertime on my brother and sis-in-law’s Wisconsin farm, the place I call home, and projects are waiting to be checked off a growing to-do list.
I walk to the closet and slip on my self-appointed summer uniform, a black linen tank my mom made from a vintage pattern and linen shorts in the perfect shade of olive green. The fabric is soft from wearing and washing, just the right amount of wrinkles and worn-in edges. The short pockets are deep to fit my sewing tools and the elastic band fits comfortably at my natural waist. The boxy tank hangs loosely from my shoulders, the perfect fit for a hot summer day. I smile because the color combination reminds me of pine trees at golden hour.
The clock strikes 6:00, I grab a mug full of coffee and head to my sewing studio. Those fun projects are waiting.
This, my friends, is the beauty of a minimal wardrobe. Less options, quicker decisions. Years ago, my morning routine consisted of outfit changes and fussing in front of the mirror. This left little time for coffee sipping and morning texts with friends. After my move to Wisconsin and the tiny apartment, I have been more intentional about the pieces I bring into my home and closet.
Wearing the things you love, loving the things you wear. More than that, a shift in priorities. Less time worrying about what to wear, more time focusing on where to go. A simple change that has added space in my life to create memories with the people who matter most.
Want to create a well-loved wardrobe? Start here:
Look for natural fibers like linen, cotton, wool, and leather that will get better with age. This is true for purchasing new clothing, thrifting vintage textiles, or sewing your own creations.
Notice the sewing construction. French seams, finished edges, rolled hems, topstitching, reinforced bartacks are small design details that extend the life of a garment.
Buy what you like. Purchase what fits. Notice I did not mention fashion trends here. Your clothing should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around. For me, that looks like versatile pieces that can go from a morning in the sewing studio to an afternoon hiking a sandstone cliff. The garments in my closet must fit my broad shoulders, long legs, and my love for exploring the outdoors.
Fix when broken. Mend when torn. Wear until it’s worn out.
Spend less time in front of the mirror. Seriously, set a timer if you have to. Wear your favorite pieces to explore cool places. Document your findings. Sip more coffee.
Could we buy less and enjoy more? Could we celebrate the wrinkled linen, the worn-in leather, and the faded denim? Every scratch and scar, a gratitude practice to reflect on good memories made, slowly creating a wardrobe marked with stories of a life well-loved.
Our clothes, then, simply souvenirs from our adventures. After all, life is for living.