The minimalist retirement wardrobe

It is tempting to hold on to work clothes, but it is at the expense of freeing up room in your closet.  A lot of my work clothes are kind of dated anyway. Joe Fresh has almost everything you need for retirement. Yes I know their hiring practices in Bangladesh have been controversial but you can’t beat the prices and styling and there are no snooty ageist sales people. Ok no sales people.  I have converted many of my friends to Joe Fresh who don’t already shop at the Salvation Army.   What is about baby boomers that draws them to the Salvation Army?

Yes you need a three season wardrobe in Vancouver.. Winter, Spring/Fall and Summer. Don’t forget Junuary. Are you working part time? Ok let’s say you need business casual two days a week. Save something from your work wardrobe. Laundry once every 2 weeks. If you do laundry once a week you can do with a smaller wardrobe.

2 day a week work wardrobe all year round

    • 1 pair black pants or tights
    • 1 long black/grey/burgundy warm sweater
    • 4 long sleeve t-shirts any colour.
    • 4 short sleeve t shirts any colour
    • 4 pairs black socks
    • 1 pair black shoes/runners depending on dress code
    • 2 scarves – warm, fancy etc to dress up wardrobe and keep neck warm.

This takes care of 4/14 days all year round.

Winter/Spring/Fall in Vancouver

  • Tights – 2 pairs black, 1 multicolor for fun
  • 10 long sleeve t-shirts -various colours
  • 1 Fleece Jacket
  • Rain coat with lining Hely Hansen is my favourite because it has a zip up collar at the neck, a two way zipper and flannel line pockets as well as a light weight lining.
  • Windproof shell you can wear over short down or fleece jacket.
  •  I seldom wear wool sweaters in the winter here.
  • Outerwear 

  • Down coat, knee length. It can be very windy and the dampness goes right through you.   Here my favourite from Eddie Bauer.    I am on my second one.. buy a dark colour!
  • Short lighter weight down jacket – Eddie Bauer and North Face have lots to choose from.

Summer in Vancouver/Travelling south in the winter

  • Knee length tights – 2 pairs, black and multicolour.  Joe Fresh has a great selection.  Very cute patterns. 
  • 2 pairs LLBean Comfort trail shorts because the waist is adjustable, quick dry, will last forever and good for travelling south.  Black and khaki. $ 50.00 US.
  • The LL Bean Comfort trail cropped pants-1 pair when tights or shorts are too exposed or cooler weather.
  • 10 short sleeve t-shirts various colours and styles
  • Two dresses with short sleeves. Can wear to work.

In Vancouver you will seldom need: Sundresses, tank tops, tops with spaghetti straps, bathing suits. Vancouver is pretty casual so the work wardrobe can work for upscale events. Layers are the best way to go as the weather changes hourly and from area to area in the city.

Shoes For the Beach!  This is a new addition to my Hornby Island wardrobe.  


My favourite waterproof walking/running shoes.  I have bought 4 pairs as I do a lot of walking.  They are not for cold weather or snow.  Of course the version I bought is no longer available.  .. And my new favourite, a slipon by Merrell. These have an air cushion feature that is very comfortable. However I think some of the other slipons from Merrell might provide more support for walking.


2 thoughts on “The minimalist retirement wardrobe

  1. Hi, Ann – Thank you for sharing this I am guilty of having a closet full of clothes from work that I have kept “just in case”. As I wear yoga pants and a long sleeved t-shirt most days of the year, I know that I should further reduce my wardrobe. For me this is a slow, ongoing process!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.