It’s not a big surprise that women and men generally have different opinions when it comes to how to dress. Kristy has mentioned how a capsule wardrobe can be an effective way to minimize the number of items you have while still allowing for a lot of variety. I’m sure she’ll discuss this more at some point. For me, variety is not so important.
My wardrobe has simplified significantly in the last couple of years. When you weed through all the noise I essentially have a few occasions that I need to dress for:
- Work / Semi formal events
You can get a little more creative and split out a couple of those, but that pretty well covers it for me. With this as my guide here’s where I’m headed.
- Only one style underwear. For me that’s black athletic boxer short style. I can wear them for all of the above occasions and feel comfortable.
- Black dress socks. I can wear them to work or for the semi-formal events.
- Green military boot socks. I can wear them hiking, camping and for military training.
- White crew style socks. (I think that’s what they’re called). These are basically the ones that just cover the tops of the ankle. Frankly I’m not particularly fond of this style, but it’s what the military requires. I can wear these in casual settings, exercise and with my Army PT uniform.
- A couple pairs of gray dress paints.
- A couple pairs of jeans.
- A couple pairs of cargo shorts. I like to wear camo ones in the summer, but khaki is nice for the occasional golf outing, etc.
- A couple pairs of mesh shorts for working out. I’m actually considering cutting these out and just wearing my Army PT shorts for this purpose.
- A couple long sleeved black dress shirts.
- Plain black t-shirts. I wear these under my work clothes and I can also wear them with jeans or shorts in casual settings.
- Tan t-shirts. These are required by the military. I’m considering wearing them when I workout as well.
- A sweatshirt or two for fall and winter.
- 1 pair of dress shoes, combat boots, running shoes (1 for casual, 1 for workouts) and a pair of flip flops.
- 2-3 ties
- 1 belt for work and one for casual wear.
- A sports jacket to convert my regular work outfit into something a little more formal.
- A heavy coat to wear to work in the winter.
- A heavy coat for casual wear in the winter.
The above is sort of my ultimate goal and I’m already well on my way with most of them. I will probably have a polo shirt or two for the occasional golf outing and maybe a couple t-shirts with logos on them as well.
I do have some random gear that I wear, when I go backpacking, that’s not included in this list. Ultimately that will probably be stored with my camping equipment and only pulled out when needed.
That’s my approach… apparently it’s called a “personal uniform.”
So what are the benefits?
- Obviously if we are going to downsize we need to take up a lot less space. When you roll your shirts, socks and underwear they don’t take up much space at all.
- It simplifies folding your laundry. No more searching for the socks match. If it’s the same color, you know it matches.
- It doesn’t take long to decide what to wear. Studies actually show that simple decisions, such as what to wear, can actually degrade your decision making ability for bigger decisions. I’d much rather focus on things that are more important. Here’s an article on that if you find it interesting: (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/10/obama-zuckerberg-us-president-facebook-founder)
- Quality over quantity. When you only have a few items you can really focus on getting what you love. Cost is very seldom part of my decision making process. It’s easy to justify paying a premium when you know you are going to wear it multiple times a week.
Some people think it’s weird or that people will ask a lot of questions if you wear the same thing everyday. In my experience most people don’t say anything to you. I explain to the ones that do, why I do it; they find it interesting and then move on. Most people are too absorbed with themselves to even notice though. And the ones that do? Screw them. Shallow, judgmental people aren’t the ones I want in my life anyway.