Why I wear the same clothes every day.
And other questions I get asked fairly often.
For the last 3 years, I’ve worn the same outfit every single day. That’s maybe a little bit of an exaggeration — I’ve been to funerals and weddings that require a suit, but, I can count the occasions I’ve deviated from my go-to on one hand.
I wake up every morning, jump in the shower, and open my wardrobe. 12 black t-shirts, 7 pairs of black jeans, and a black jacket. I realise this is pretty cliche for a designer, and that I’m not helping the stereotype, but hey, what did you expect me to wear while sipping pour-over coffee?
How did it start?
At the time I’d been doing a lot of reading into minimalism and “micro-wardrobes”, something about having a huge amount of flexibility with a seemingly small collection of items was really appealing to me. I tried it for a while, but ran into the same problems of a traditional wardrobe. Every morning I was plagued with the (incredibly unimportant) decision of what to wear that day.
So I decided to take it one step further, and just pick one outfit. I approached this decision as I would a design problem (after-all, I was choosing one outfit for forever), by first of all, establishing requirements. I needed this outfit to seamlessly (no pun intended) transition from a casual night out, to walking into a design workshop with corporate-folk. That meant something that could be dressed up, and dressed down.
The next stage was research — had other people done this? Yes! I came across hundreds of people who opted into the one-outfit lifestyle for a plethora of reasons. Nice, at least I know I’m not losing it.
Then, the visual design, aka: what actually looks good on me? I’m a larger-guy, so something that’s flattering to my body type (read: slimming), and also didn’t have any stand-out features. We’re going for flexible, after all.
Eventually, after weeks of user testing (read: asking people if I looked okay), I landed on the black jeans, black t-shirt, and black jacket combo. It’s simple, flexible, elegant, and it looks reasonably okay on me. Nice.
But what are the benefits?
As I mentioned above, I’ve seen many different reasons for adopting this kind of lifestyle — I’ll share my top few, then we’ll look at some others.
- You get to wear your favourite clothes everyday: We all have a favourite outfit. You know, the one you put on and feel invincible — like there’s nothing you can’t do that day. You look in the mirror, and an angelic chorus arises behind you. Now imagine that feeling, every day. Right?
- Reduction in decision fatigue: Okay, I don’t know if this is real, but it feels like it works. Decision fatigue is the idea that the more decisions you make, the worse they get (in simplified terms). So why would you want to waste one of those decisions on what to wear?
- Minimalist wardrobe: How many clothes do you have in your wardrobe, that you haven’t looked at in over a year? One of the best things about this outfit for me is saving space, money, and time on clothes shopping. If you like clothes shopping, this probably isn’t for you.
Don’t you get bored?
Nope. Not even a little. I’ve found a way to shake things up without ruining the ideology. Ready for the secret?
Socks. Yep, socks. I’m writing this, sat in a coffee shop, with a pair of socks depicting an epic battle between a unicorn and a narwhal. Never be bored again.
If you wear the same thing, how does it transition?
Another foot-related question, the answer is shoes. Everything else in my outfit is 100% flexible, and the shoes define the vibe. I would describle myself as somewhat of a trainer (sneaker for my friends across the pond) addict. Recently I’ve been rotating between the following…
These are my go-to casual day shoe. Simple, clean, and they provide a little flair away from the all-black of my outfit. Also, one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting on my feet.
These are my current weapon of choice, but I’ve had a whole bunch of different ones. I’ve found the Chelsea boot to be an awesome mix of formal shoe, while still fitting the outfit I picked.
I’ll throw these on whenever I’m headed to a meeting with a new client, or something that requires more formal attire.
What are the downsides?
Sometimes I’ll see someone with an outfit that looks incredible. And I’ll get a little jealous. That’s a downside. And sometimes, people probably look at me and wonder if I ever change my clothes.
But for the most part, it’s made my life quicker, easier, and simpler.
I’m not a fashion expert, and I know relatively little about fashion. For all I know, the combination could look terrible, and people collectively decided not to mention it.
This was my first stab at writing something outside of design — if you enjoyed it, Shoot me a tweet.