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EXTREME minimalism for clothes

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Anyone done this? I have seen minimalized clothes threads, but they still seem like HEAPS of clothes to me.

I have done some minimalizing with my pajamas. I now have two tops and a winter bottom and summer bottom. We wash every day so I basically wear them without putting away, from out of the wash. I could have one top only but am happy with the two in case one gets wet or something. Considering I had two drawers of jammies before this feels great so Im thinking of taking the clothes minimalizing to the extreme too!

So what about clothes?? Anyone go to the point of having only what you wash every day? Im thinking of having just one of each type of top and bottom which would cover for spares in case of accidents. So like one long sleeve, one 3/4 and one t-shirt in tops. One pair jeans, shorts and a skirt. For example

If you've gone this far to the extreme, what did you/do you keep? And any advice? Any regrets?

Thanks
post #2 of 57
I think I would get bored with wearing the same thing day after day. I have about a one week supply of shirts in both short and long sleeves, with a few pairs of pants, plus a couple nice outfits.
post #3 of 57
I'm always happy to have two or three pairs of jeans so I don't have to suddenly go shopping in shorts in the dead of winter.

I inevitably blow through a knee or wear through at the inner thighs no matter what the brand (some do wear better than others). If I only had one pair, I'd probably end up buying a new pair at a higher price. As it stands, I buy them for $5 at a thrift store. I would get bored wearing the same t-shirt everyday. It would get a stain. I'd need a new one and I wouldn't have anything presentable for going out.

I really can be pretty minimal with clothes. A couple pairs of jeans, a couple capris for summer, maybe 5 t-shirts, and a brown cardigan, one pair of boots, one pair of shoes, and one pair of sandals could do me just fine. I really only need to dress up once every couple of years or so. And I don't wear pajamas. I just sleep in a t-shirt.
post #4 of 57
I'm envious just thinking about this thread!

I was talking about this the other day with DH - after my graduation and when his business is mobilized, we're wanting to live aboard on perhaps a monohull sailboat or a catamaran. I told him I'm going to be living in a couple of sundresses - that's it! (Plus rainy clothes).

My current clothes are an absolute mess. I have so much - drawers and dowel rods full, and yet for some reason I can only get rid of a shirt or two at a time. I'm super sentimental when it comes to clothes .
post #5 of 57
Well, the only time I've been really minimalist with clothes was a summer I spent traveling with a small satchel. I had a spare pair of pants, a shirt, and underware in my bag, and pants, shirt, and underware on my body. The climate I was traveling in was temperate, or I would have needed more layers to be comfortable.

Now that I'm a householder, I like to skip days of doing laundry, so I have three pairs of pants, two skirts, and six or seven tops right now. I also don't wear pajamas. Works for me.
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Im down on the floor playing with my kids all day, so all my clothes inevitably get stained anyway :P I could buy a new shirt each week, or just accept it. I did rethink the jeans and I may need 2 of those, or at least 2 pairs of some kind of pants for winter.

My 'pajamas' just are a t-shirt and really comfy pants. They're not cute little fluffy duck pajamas or anything. But they are not something I would wear in the day...well the delivery man has caught me in them a few times, but that was an accident
post #7 of 57
I don't think I could ever go to that extreme. I love all my clothes equally. My wardrobe is a range of sizes because my weight has fluctuated by 20lbs over the past four years. Currently I am at the top of the size range and I really need to get more active so I can fit into the rest of my wardrobe. I guess it is minimalist because there are only a few things I can fit into.
post #8 of 57
I think people would look at you strangely and assume things about your personal hygiene if they saw you wearing the exact same outfit every single day. You also need to consider the extra wear on your clothes and environmental impact of washing everything together every day.

But you could absolutely pare down the pyjamas even more. I just sleep in whatever shirt I wore that day during the winter and a singlet during the summer.
post #9 of 57
I was thinking about this some more - what if you go on vacation? If you're the type to take off to go camping for a weekend then you probably wouldn't have access to a washer.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
I think people would look at you strangely and assume things about your personal hygiene if they saw you wearing the exact same outfit every single day. You also need to consider the extra wear on your clothes and environmental impact of washing everything together every day.
I already wear the same few outfits (two tops two shorts) cause they fit the best/look the best/are the most comfortable. Guess that ship's already sailed Except I can wear other things if I want to, but they mostly just sit in my wardrobe unused, annoying me. Plus I dont generally let other peoples judgement sway my lifestyle, if I did I wouldnt be living the way I am.

I wash every day anyway. We have at least one load a day. It wouldnt be any different amount by minimalizing the clothes, it would just mean the same items getting washed. I find already my clothes end up all equally worn and then you have to wear all worn clothes for ages until they finally die. That's what I like best about all my minimalzing so far, everything gets worn to death so you wear it out before you get tired of it or it goes out of style. And then you can get something new, justifiably, when you actually need it. Instead of having heaps more than you need and never wearing anything out. At least thats how its working so far, and thats what I like best
post #11 of 57
If you go to the extreme, people might also wonder about your economic situation. Right now, you're clothing dream sounds a lot like a third world country. Except without the washing in between.

I currently am living in a "developing" country and it's summer right now. So, I'm wearing three skirts and six tops. Usually no socks and probably 6 pairs of underwear. I feel pretty minimal and kind of panicky about my lack of skirts, but it's working. Once winter comes, I'm sure that I'll be wearing a lot more clothes since people don't heat their houses and nights are about 30 F but days are 70. People have told me that the houses stay cold all the time though (haven't experienced winter here yet).

To the OP, do whatever you'd like. To me, your plan sounds a bit crazy, but to each his own. Are you sure that your kids wouldn't be embarassed by you?
post #12 of 57
I can really relate to this post! My husband always jokes that I have enough clothes to clothe a small village in Argentina.

However, I just recently got rid of about 3/4 of what I have, and it felt WONDERFUL! Also, strangely, I don't have as many of those "I don't have anything to wear" days.

I would like to get rid of even more. I still have many duplicates. For instance, three different types of black skirts, four pairs of jeans, two different pairs of gray pants (dockers for summer and thick cords for winter). On the one hand I know I could do with less, BUT I am a teacher, and feel like I have to dress somewhat professionally, as well as varying my wardrobe slightly each week.

I also live where it's very cold in winter and hot in summer, so I need both a winter and summer wardrobe.
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
I already wear the same few outfits (two tops two shorts) cause they fit the best/look the best/are the most comfortable. Guess that ship's already sailed Except I can wear other things if I want to, but they mostly just sit in my wardrobe unused, annoying me. Plus I dont generally let other peoples judgement sway my lifestyle, if I did I wouldnt be living the way I am.
Well, in that case, full steam ahead!
post #14 of 57
Personally, I would get extremely bored and/or not feel good with that limited of a wardrobe. I do think that it's a great idea to do a major clean-up - get rid of things that don't fit, don't make you feel good when you wear them, don't go with other things in your wardrobe. I found when I did that I had much fewer clothes, but actually more options for things to wear since I could easily see what I had and I didn't have to sift through things I wouldn't wear anyway.

I think it's good to have some buffer room, just in case you get the flu and can't do laundry or something happens, you know? One less thing to stress about if you have a few day's buffer.
post #15 of 57
I have a friend who is an extreme minimalist. She has this tiny closet for her clothing and yet extra room left over. To top it off she always looks so put together. I use her as my inspiration to get more streamlined

On the other hand she has a tiny house and no pets and 2 older kids. I have a farm. It is not uncommon for me to go through 2 outfits a day because I literally smell like a barn after stall cleaning and then have to run errands. I have a jacket for public use and a jacket for barn use, I have winter boots for public use and winter boots for farm use etc etc.
post #16 of 57
I couldn't go as minimalist as you, but I do like the idea of having just 2-3 pairs pants/shorts and a weeks' worth of shirts and a couple of dresses. I'm currently trying to cut my wardrobe down to this amount.

Love what you said here. Makes so much sense!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
That's what I like best about all my minimalzing so far, everything gets worn to death so you wear it out before you get tired of it or it goes out of style. And then you can get something new, justifiably, when you actually need it. Instead of having heaps more than you need and never wearing anything out. At least thats how its working so far, and thats what I like best
post #17 of 57
I live in a place with 4 distinct seasons, so that means more clothes for each of us. We aren't that minimalist, but for a family of 6 we do okay. All of our clothes fit in a regular closet (family closet rocks!) and it isn't overflowing. I keep a set number of each things for the kids and much less for myself.

I think if you are not much of a traveler a couple of outfits would suffice. My dh has gotten by on 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, a couple of t-shirts, one button up, and 2 sweaters for years now. That accounts for slow laundry, unexpected rips, spills that necessitate clothing changes mid-day, a broken washing machine, and going out of town for several days. I have a few more things as I like a bit of variety, but not much more. I tend to do more messy work (yard work, house renovations, painting with kids, rolling around in the dirt at the park, etc) so I like to have extras! I still only fill 1/6th of the closet though.

The biggest problem dh has with his minimal wardrobe is that kids can be messy. He always needs my VERY affectionate (but very messy) 4 year old to wash her hands before she hugs him if she has been anywhere near food. He does hand checks frequently as doesn't have a "back up" if they mess him up more than once. But again, we have 4 active, curious little people so that is a lot of potential messiness! With fewer (or no) kids, a working washing machine, no frequent or multi-day travel, and everything being ideal a couple of items would be just fine.
post #18 of 57
Well you could totally go ahead with your plan but I'm not sure you need to take such drastic measures... what about going through all your clothes... Get rid of anything you don't like/stained/doesn't fit/etc. Then see how much remains... you may only end up with 5 outfits or so but at least there's still a little variety & options for a trip or something... or if you have a kid like mine who spit up so often that even wearing the dirty clothes for an hour or two I still had to change clothes 4-6 times a day

I like the idea of clothing minimalism (and if DS wasn't sleeping on me right now I'd probably be picking through my closet!) but I think what you're talking about is quite extreme! To each her own though
post #19 of 57
post #20 of 57
This is something I keep considering myself. I need to get rid of a lot of old clothes. Some were gifts with sentimental value (a robe that I really don't like except that it was given to me by my late foster-mother for the last Christmas we spent together and is the only physical thing I have from her, for example, or the stupid worn-almost-to-shreds "Princess" pyjama top my late father bought me the last time I saw him). Others were gifts that I don't want to insult people by getting rid of (but never wear ). Still others are pre-baby clothes which I don't fit (but hope to if I ever manage to get to the point of losing weight ).
Blah. Now I'm sad.
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