What’s the difference between a buffet vs. a restaurant? At a buffet, the dishes are mediocre, food is left uneaten, and you leave feeling worse than when you came in. With a restaurant, the food is portion sized, (usually) well made, and you leave satisfied. That’s just like having a full closet vs. having a minimal closet.
With minimalism, it means cutting all the unnecessary crap and keeping the nice, durable clothes that you do actually wear.
At the basis of minimalism are these three important ideas:
- Not too much clothing: Having enough clothes to get through a week or two
- Quality clothing: Clothing that will last and not wear or tear
- Moderation: A clean, unclogged closet/luggage
For me, the essential winter clothing are: 2 pants, 4 sweaters, 2 shirts, 5 button-ups/OCBD, a vest, 3 coats, and 3 pairs of shoes.
While it may not seem like a lot of clothing, there are countless combinations I can make with the sweater: sweaters alone, sweater w/ button-up, sweater w/ vest, or all three. By doing so, I have 48 possible different combinations with the vest.
Fewer clothes means higher quality, and price tags. As seen in my own closet of clothes, some of the estimated prices of the clothes are higher than average, with a total of $450. However, let’s take Mike’s wardrobe for example and estimate how much he has spent, even if he bought his clothes on sale or cheap:
- 112 shirts: $10/shirt = $1120
- 20 pants: $25/pant = $500
- 10 jackets: $40/jacket = $400
- 12 shoes: $50/shoe = $600
- Total: = $2620
While he has a lot of clothes really cheap, Mike will probably not wear most of them, spending nearly three grand for clothes that are not that nice and are wasted.
Dressing minimally also means not having an open closet. It means not having to overly stuff your luggage on your trip to Europe. Dressing minimally is clean, light, and worry-free.
If you’re willing to dress minimally, take a free weekend and go to your closet, find the clothes that you haven’t worn in a while (2 months is a good indicator), and take it out of your closet and donate to your local charity. Dressing minimally can have a maximum effect of your clothes, style, and even life.