For the past six months, I’ve worn pretty much the same thing every single day.
Well, similar. Not the same. (For those Grammar Nazis out there.)
My daily outfit consists of a black loose-fitting tank top (hand-sewn at about $25 per top), of which I own five, and black leggings (ModCloth, $19.95), of which I own three.
Yes, I’m that weirdo you would see at work and think “Ew, doesn’t she have any other clothes?” No. No I do not. And the reason is because I got rid of them all. And I am loooving it!
So wah ha happened was, one day during a random Internet binge (that happens way more often than I’d like to think), I came across the concept of minimalism while doing some research about backpacking through Europe (something I really want to do one day soon).
The premise of minimalism — reducing all your possessions to just the items that serve a truly useful purpose in your life — really struck me, mostly because of one thing. My closet.
Now, I’m no extreme hoarder or anything, but because of my weight fluctuations in the past few years, I had a closet full of “one day I’ll be skinny enough to wear that again” and “weeell, I don’t love it but I’ll wear it one day when I’m desperate”. And like many other folks, there seemed to be only 20 or so pieces that actually got worn regularly. Women reading this blog, you KNOW what I’m talking about.
Thus began the ultimate purge.
I went through my closet and got rid of everything I didn’t wear in the past 3-6 months. Clothes, accessories, shoes, everything. When I was done, I had three garbage bags full and about 30 items left in my closet.
But I couldn’t bring myself to dispose of the purged items just yet. I stuffed them on the floor of my closet for the next month while I got used to my new wardrobe.
As time passed and I researched more about minimalism, I got this euphoric high. It triggered a complete lifestyle change. Once I got rid of clothes I want wearing and stopped buying new stuff, I started to really understand my likes and dislikes.
One benefit I loved about my minimalist closet was how much easier it was to pick an outfit to go out. Yet, in the back of my mind a strange thought was nagging me, “What if you could make this even simpler?” I refused to acknowledge until I came across an article about well-known people who wear the same thing everyday.
The same outfit everyday?!
Holy shit! Could I do that?! Would it be weird? Well, if course it would be weird. But I was weird long before this.
For a person who loves fashion and loved dressing up, this would be enough to give them a conniption. But I was not that girl. I don’t give a fuck about fashion. And if there was some way I could wear the same outfit everyday and be comfortable and (fairly) appropriate for most settings, I would not hesitate to do it.
So first I looked up women who did this, so I could get versatile outfit ideas. Nada. Women weren’t really into this kinda thing. And the ones who were didn’t really share my lack of passion for fashion. So then I thought about my own preferences for clothes. I’ll spare you the details of that crazy mental session but here’s what I came up with:
– Black tank and leggings as the basic outfit
– A couple outer layers (cardigans) in color for when I needed a break from the monotony
– Three pairs of shoes for different occasions – one flats, one heels, one sneakers
– One black handbag and purse for all occasions
– I kept one LBD (little black dress), a black hoodie and winter coat, gloves and boots for special occasions
But then I got a fucking job…
It’s key to note that all these decisions were being made when I was a work-from-home bum who went one the road twice a week for groceries and the rare social event. In that mode, this new wardrobe thrived.
But then I met a client who wanted me to do a long-term stint, working from their office three days a week.
I couldn’t possibly get away with wearing leggings and a tank top to work for nine months, no matter how relaxed the dress code was. So I gave in and added a jeans pants and black dress pants to my wardrobe, wearing these with a tank and a cardigan. Crisis averted.
So, what do people say?
I was almost sure that I would get regular commentary on my lack of diversity in clothing, particularly when I started working with a new team.
I was so wrong. Not even one person has actually come to me and said anything about it.
Turns out, at least 50% of people don’t give enough of a fuck to care about what you’re wearing. Some don’t even notice. The ones that do notice are usually too politically correct to actually say anything. Most of these people know I’m bit strange and not too poor to buy clothes, so they just figure it’s a thing I do. Absolutely no one thinks I’m wearing the same clothes I did yesterday (i.e. wash (or not) and wear again, as opposed to having multiple similar items).
And you know what, the most spectacular thing happens with people I have shared this with. They want to know more! They are fascinated. And some are even motivated to try their own version of it. Woot!
So far, I’m loving this lifestyle. So much that I’ve extended minimalism to many other things in my life (7 makeup products, 3 hair products, 1 face product, 16 kitchen items, etc.). I highly recommend that everyone who has a vague interest in minimalism try it out in some aspect of their lives.
And if you’re into commercialism, that’s cool too. I don’t think this lifestyle is for everyone and I’m certainly not advocating for such.
In future posts (hopefully soon), I’ll share more about the other areas of my life I have transformed through minimalism and maybe a list of all the items I own (yes, I have one). If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!