The Clothes Experiment Results

Closet Picture

A while back, approximately 8 months ago, I wrote a blog post about how I was trying to simplify my life. One part of simplifying my life was to slim down my wardrobe to just a few basic styles and colors. Here are the staples of my wardrobe since the purge…

  • Grey, khaki, or denim pants
  • Denim, black, or dark gray button down shirts
  • Black underwear and t-shirts

Perusing Reddit and a linked article, I decided to post the results from my clothes experiment. For the most part, the experiment has been a success. No one has noticed or cared that I wear the same clothes style and hues everyday. Dressing in the morning is done almost without thought and I’m pretty much dressed for any work or casual social occasion without having to even try. The side effect of simplifying my wardrobe has been reduced spending on chasing trends. From the article…

“Trendiness is challenging to chase, and provides an infinite opportunity for spending. Instead, focus on quality goods that can last years and, potentially, by brands who encourage you to repair and recycle before you buy new.”

The author is correct that chasing clothing trends in color, style, etc… can be very expensive. I’ve completely bypassed the spending by only replacing things that have worn out. I’ve even started to purchase trendier or purely seasonal clothing on eBay instead of paying full price at a retail store or online. Why pay $75 for a pair of shorts at JCrew that I can get for $10 on eBay. The same can be said for just about anything. For example, I needed a large messenger bag for travel. Timbuk2’s large messenger bags started at around $100. I found a lightly used one on ebay for $20. The days of spending full retail prices on certain types of items are pretty much over.

Lastly, the article also goes into laundry. I wear the same pair of pants all week without washing them. That’s five business days of the same pants. This reduces wear and tear on the pants because of less frequent cleanings and less weekly laundry. I also try to get two wears out of button down shirts before they’re sent to the laundry. Of course I still wash my undergarments and workout clothes after every wear, but pants and jeans get 4-5 wears before washing. GQ has an article on how often your clothes should be washed and here’s an article on why the CEO of Levi’s says you shouldn’t wash your jeans. When it comes to jeans, there seems to be many old wive’s tales about jeans, wash, and breaking them in. I don’t own any selvedge denim, but I guess that this type of denim is only supposed to be washed every couple of months.

TL;DR: My minimalist closet experiment has been a success. Side effects of a minimalist wardrobe are… less money spent on clothes and fewer items in the laundry. I’ve also started to shop on eBay before paying full retail price for seasonal or special items. So my wallet is a bit happier as well.