As of late there has been many articles about how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama all keep a very minimal wardrobe; I was also glad to see a few articles about how women could achieve this too. A minimal wardrobe is, in my opinion, easier socially for men to achieve than women, but certainly possible and many do.
There are many reasons to have a minimal wardrobe, for me its about saving time and reducing decisions. Studies have been done that show the more decisions we make, the worse we become at making good judgements and the more it wears on us. So things like “what shirt should I wear today” can actually impact our abilities later to make the right call on critical decisions later in the day.
So here is my wardrobe:
This is almost everything for when I’m traveling, when I’m at home its identical, but instead of 7 days of clothes, I have a total of 1o days. The only thing not shown here is one jacket, a pair of dress socks, a button down shirt, and a pair of dress slacks. I dress up once a year, so I keep those items in a garment bag in a hard to reach storage space.
- 7 charcoal grey short sleeve shirts
- 7 white undershirts
- 7 pairs of socks
- 7 pairs of underwear
- 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 winter hat
- 1 blue long sleeve shirt
- 1 workout shirt, 1 pair basket ball shorts
- 1 shirt to sleep in, 1 pair of flannel sleep pants
This has been a really great setup for me because I can just reach into the specific drawer and without looking, grab what I need in a flash. The shirts I get are very comfortable, they are plain so they don’t have graphics or logos, and they aren’t too expensive. At worst they cost me $10 new, sometimes I can get them on sale for a little at $1.50 from Khols.
Other things to note are I have all the same socks. This means I don’t have to pair them during laundry, I know I can grab two socks and they’ll match. For shoes I have one pair of sneakers, one pair of hiking boots, and one pair of dress shoes.
I’ve also have washed these clothes individually with hot water and a “color catcher” sheet, this let me remove any dye that might bleed into the whites. So now when I do laundry, I can do it all in one batch. Once or twice a year I’ll run an all white batch and bleach it heavily to keep the whites, white.
When I am traveling, I use packing cubes which keeps things neater and makes it easier to find things. They’re really just square/rectangle mesh bags that you sort into them.
I travel a good bit of the year so having this translate to a easy pack is important. The plain shirts and jeans help me blend in a little bit better as a local versus an American tourist. The packing cubes I use are made by ebags. I’ve heard good things about Eagle Creek too. My suitcase is an Osprey Porter 65, which is suitcase that has pull out shoulder straps to become a backpack. I like it because instead of being top loading like a backpack, it opens up on the front panel so when you put it on the ground, it fully opens and things are very accessible. The backpack straps also tuck in so they are out of the way so that when in the airport, the straps don’t get caught in rollers etc.