Minimalistic lifestyle can save students money on clothes

Sophia Iannelli

Students often find it hard to walk away from something that catches their eye, even if it is not in their budget. So, how can a minimalistic lifestyle keep cute clothes in your closet and more money in your wallet?

Minimalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. It is intentional and is marked by clarity and purpose, the founder of Becoming Minimalist Joshua Becker said.

For some people, minimalism looks like a white laden apartment with little to no furniture. For others, like the author of The Collegiate Minimalist and senior public relations major Audra Gormley, minimalism is much more. But what does it have to do with money and clothes? 

According to financial behaviorist Syble Solomon, many students run into budget issues when they begin making decisions based on emotions in the moment. For Gormley, those moments were when she was shopping. 

“I had a very unhealthy and expensive shopping habit that left me constantly feeling unfulfilled and broke,” Gormley said. “I looked at shopping as a form of therapy and as a form of escaping my problems, which I know is common for a lot of people.”

When it comes to clothes, minimalism isn’t necessarily aesthetic. It is more about the amount of clothing you possess. A common minimalistic practice is creating a capsule wardrobe, described in Gormley’s book as “a curated closet of clothes that are usually monochromatic and can be mixed and matched in many ways to create different outfits.”

By shopping less often and only keeping what you need and love, minimalistic living allows you to save money and, every now and then, invest in a high-quality piece that holds a lot of value.

Yet, for a college student who may be living paycheck to paycheck, saving that money for clothing might not be an option. So, minimalism can also mean finding value where others didn’t.  

“Thrift shop,” Gormley advises. “There’s different ways to do this. There’s traditional thrift shopping and then there’s online thrifting which I’ve found a lot of success in. It’s cool because apps like Poshmark and thredUP allow you to directly support the people selling the clothes.”

Transitioning to a minimalistic lifestyle has even shown to put extra cash in your pocket. Minimalism starts with decluttering, and this includes the closet. After going through every item, there is the opportunity to utilize those thrifting apps to sell what is no longer needed and make a profit off of it.

“Minimalism has given me the chance to shift my focus,” said Alyssa Yonders, a sophomore integrated social studies student. “Especially when it comes to clothes. I spend so much less time worrying about my outfits and what fits and what doesn’t look right. It all looks right and I love all of it.”

Sophia Iannelli covers fashion. You can contact her at [email protected].