It wasn’t until I graduated from college and moved to Richland, Washington (a small town in the eastern part of the state), with two suitcases and a box filled with books that I realized my external beauty didn’t matter if I was broken on the inside. I was one of seven Black people in the whole town, where absolutely no one cared what lipstick I had on or the kind of car I was driving. This deserted place is where I discovered minimalism. I changed my blog name and content a few times, landing on Clothed In Abundance, a balance between rekindling my love for fashion while monitoring my consumption of stuff. My values shifted from only purchasing the cheapest, most aesthetically pleasing clothes to taking the steps to shop slowly and with intention.
Now, before I swipe my card I prioritize purchasing and working with brands that are size inclusive, economically accessible, use quality materials, and most importantly, are racially conscious. As a plus-size woman reaching toward a size 18 or 20, it’s difficult for me to find clothes that not only fit but are also my style. And as a Black woman, it’s also a challenge to find brands that represent women of color, especially Black women, without tokenizing them or using them as a marketing pawn.
Thrifting for clothes at Goodwill or on Poshmark is where I spend most of my money. They provide a more affordable and often more accessible option for people who want to save the planet without compromising style.There are times where I will splurge and spend between $150 and $200 on a brand that I’ve shopped with or worked with in order to support them. A few of my favorite sustainable or size-inclusive brands are Elizabeth Suzann, Warp and Weft, Henning, and Universal Standard. Even when I receive free products, I always ask myself, Would I pay full price for this?
The easiest way to get minimal with your wardrobe? Build a capsule wardrobe, starting with what you have. A capsule wardrobe is a core group of about 34 pieces, not including undergarments or athleticwear. First, you take inventory of every item of clothing, shoes, and accessories that you own. Make three piles of what you want to keep, sell, or donate. Narrowing things down is the hardest part. This is where trying things on is key to determine if the style and fit is worth keeping. And if you don’t want to try something on then you probably don’t need it. I have a fluid capsule wardrobe where I follow the rule of one piece in and one piece out, without owning a specific number of items. I still track the cost per wear of each item to determine if it’s an “essential” or just taking up space. If I’m not wearing a piece for a while, no matter how bomb it is, I put it in the sell or donate pile.