A few months ago I made the decision to eliminate the majority of my wardrobe. Any shirts or pants that were rarely or ever used were donated or put into the rag box. I then took things further and continued to remove items until I was left with the bare minimum needed to function comfortably. All of this in an effort to simplify a part of my life.
This project actually started last year when I decided to buy four identical dress shirts for work. All of them white. The plan was simple – wake up, put on a white shirt and a different pair of pants from the day before (four of those as well). And it worked really well. No decisions to make. Every day I showed up to work wearing the exact same shirt as the day before (one of the clean ones). It was about five weeks before any one noticed.
For the winter I broke out some v-neck sweaters and would rotate through those as well. I had a sweater for Monday, one for Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Again no decisions.
I continued in the same way through spring and into the start of summer. But with polo tops instead of the white dress shirts. Using the same pants and a couple of dress shorts. I work in a high school without air-conditioning and things tend to get warm into June hence the shorts.
The difference now from then is that I simply removed the clothes that were not necessary. Many many t-shirts found the way out the door. Same with some jeans and pants that I was just holding on to for no real reason. My wardrobe now consists of the following:
7 pairs of socks underwear
5 t shirts
4 dress pants
1 pair if jeans
4 dress shirts
2 pairs of dress shorts
2 pairs of sports shorts
A couple of belts and ties as accessories.
32 items and I have to see I feel good about it.
Besides the removal of deciding what to wear, I have also managed to decluter a part of my life. It may seem like something really small, but it is an area of life that you interact with multiple times a day. Better to keep it simple.
Going this route could either save you money or provide you with longer lasting items depending on your approach. For example, instead of spending $50 on 8 or 10 dress shirts you could spend that $500 on four or five higher quality items that more than likely will last you much longer. Or continue spending $50 and put the rest in your pocket.
What is important is to purchase items that are not trendy; fashionable today – out of style in a couple of months. Find those classic look items. Like the fitted white dress shirts I picked up.
I’m not too worried about people noticing that I’m wearing the same thing often. Even if they do what does it matter really. Some very successful people wore the same thing day in and day out Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Carrie Donovan. Not that I am one of these people, but they seem to have made out ok.
The only exception I have are my Arsenal FC and Italia football that are broken out on game days.