For people with perfectionist tendencies, inconsistencies with their clothing can become a daily distraction. As a response, some independent thinkers have embraced minimalist wardrobe principles to gain greater control over their relationship with clothing.
The most legendary simplified dresser of all time, Steve Jobs, famously wore black mock turtlenecks, faded blue jeans, and grey New Balance sneakers. He claimed the value of this minimalist wardrobe was daily convenience and a signature style.
Other legendary men, like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama have embraced minimalist principles with their clothing with the same goal – to reduce daily decisions and distractions.
Minimalist wardrobe benefits backed by science
What these successful men know and how they apply it to their dress code is backed by science. Roy F. Baumeister, social psychologist coined the term decision fatigue. Baumeister discovered decision fatigue depletes self-control which results in emotional problems and underachievement.
Make getting dressed automatic
Mark Zuckerberg wears one outfit; one color t-shirt and one color jean. The same thing every day. Mark said, “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible.”
Embracing minimalist clothing principles doesn’t have to be as extreme as wearing a daily uniform, but a focused wardrobe, makes getting dressed easier and helps you start each day clear-minded.
Establish a signature style
The consistency of a minimalist wardrobe helps communicate a stable identity others can rely on. Savvy public figures like Jobs and Zuckerberg understand it and use it to their advantage in crafting their public persona.
Keep an organized closet
The more defined your dress code, the more structure and clarity you’ll add to your clothing acquisition decisions.
By clearly understanding what you wear and what you buy, you’ll begin to eliminate clothing you rarely wear and declutter your closet. When your closet is organized, and all garments work together, getting dressed becomes easy.
“I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing,” said Barack Obama.
How to get started
We recommend first removing garments you haven’t worn in more than a year. Put those never worn garments in storage, then eventually take them to the donation bin.
Next, pull out the garments you wear most often and study them. Because these garments will tell you the colors, fabrics, and fits you like best. Once you clearly know what you like best, you can begin to building a wardrobe that you enjoy wearing every day.
We recommend a narrow range of colors. The more colors in your closet, the less cohesive your style will be. Make it easy, narrow your color range, and stick with it.
When your clothing doesn’t fit the way you want, consistently, getting dressed each day becomes more difficult than it needs to be. Find the brands that fit you best, and stick with them. When it comes to brands in your closet, less is more.
If you have a personal story about developing a minimalist wardrobe, we’d love to hear from you. If you have questions or thoughts about this article, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.