This is the first in a new series of interviews with fascinating folks about their unique perspectives on style, fashion, and body image. I’m launching with Sarah Von of Yes and Yes, who is one of the most stylish women I know yet owns an absolutely tiny number of wardrobe items. Call her a minimalist, a capsule wardrobe aficionado, or a thrifty shopper, she’s got a good thing going. Let’s hear from Sarah!
How many pieces of clothing do you own? How many are thrifted?
Without actually counting each piece of clothing, I’d say I have somewhere between 20-30 pieces, not including accessories. I have 4 or 5 pairs of shoes that I regularly wear, but I have approximately a gajillion scarves and bangle bracelets. About 80% of my wardrobe is thrifted. If it’s not thrifted, it’s from Target, Old Navy, or TJ Maxx.
It should also be noted that I’m self-employed and I work from home. Virtually nobody sees me two days in a row. I seriously have three or four go-to outfits for each season and nobody is the wiser. Well, they weren’t until I just told the internet about it.
What’s your philosophy of wardrobe-building?
It’s probably overly generous to say I have a ‘philosophy’! But I try to limit myself to clothing that’s
c) fits really well
Also, if I find something I really love, I buy it in multiples. (I only have five pairs of pants. Three of them are Old Navy ‘Rock Star’ jeans. For a long time I only had two pairs of pants, then my BFF threatened to stage an intervention about my grey jeans.)
I spend about three months of each year traveling, so I’ve become very accustomed to living out of a carry-on for weeks at a time. Once you’re used to that, it feels weird (and sort of overwhelming!) to fill a whole closet with clothes when you know you can look good with just a few things.
Until about a year ago, 99% of my wardrobe was thrifted but it’s quite difficult to find clothing that meets the above mentioned needs at a thrift store. I still thrift when I want to fulfill a shopping urge without spending lots of money, but I’m much more likely to go to a ‘Proper Store’ if I’m looking for something specific to add to my wardrobe.
Do you ever get bored with your clothes? How do you keep things interesting?
Very occasionally, but that’s usually when I’m traveling. If I’m feeling bored, I add a patterned layering tank. Or a scarf. Or tights!
What would you consider to be an investment piece? In other words, what are you willing to spend big on and why?
Shoes and boots! I balk at paying more than $30 for just about any piece of clothing, but I will happily spent $80 on a pair of nice ballet flats with arch support. I spent $50 getting my riding boots reheeled and I’d happily do it again.
What motivates you to shop? How often do you do it?
I shop once every 2 or 3 months, when I feel bored with the few pieces I have for that season or when I see a new trend I want to try. It should also be noted that I haaaaaate malls and I don’t particularly like shopping with other people, so that limits how often I got shopping as well.
Sarah with gorgeous blogger Carly of Smaggle
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow your minimalist example?
It’s lovely if you want to have a small, curated wardrobe but don’t force yourself to edit your closet down to nothing if you like having lots of choices and clothes!
If you’d like a bit more space in your closet, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, can’t be paired with several other pieces, or doesn’t make you happy. I have a few pieces in my closet that I wear once or twice a year, but I genuinely enjoy seeing them there on their hangers, so I keep them.