For 21 days, I wore the same outfit to work *every single day*, and for 3 weeks after that I expanded a bit and added a few other items with a very narrow, minimalist capsule wardrobe theme.
My original plan was to do this for 7 days as a semi-prank to see if anyone noticed… But no one did 🙂
And then I kept going because I realized I really enjoyed it, and I think this experiment really helped me to narrow down what my preferred style is.
In the upcoming video below, I give you the full scoop including:
- Why I decided to try this experiment
- How I chose what outfit I would wear every single day for 21 days
- What I included in my capsule wardrobe when I expanded my selection
- How this experiment changed my mindset about buying clothing
- How this experiment will make it WAY easier to shop for clothes in the future
The Benefits of a Minimal Wardrobe
I’ve read about people like Steve Jobs who wear the same outfit all the time, and they do it for a few reasons. One reason is to save mental energy and another is to save time.
If I stop worrying about what I wear every day, I have a lot more energy for other things.
Another reason I decided to try this out is because I’ve suddenly become exhausted by having STUFF. A few weeks ago, I filled two trash bags with clothes for donations—TWO WHOLE BAGS.
And you know what?
My closet is still seemingly full of clothes, much of which I don’t wear. I hang on to all of these clothes in all of these styles, and I find myself gravitating towards the same items all the time. So, I decided to be more intentional about it.
How I Chose An Outfit
The two most important factors were
- comfort and,
I wanted something that was comfortable on a normal day AND on days when I might be bloated or not feeling my best. So, it couldn’t be too tight and had to have some stretch. I wanted to wear something I felt confident in.
It also needed to look good every day. I decided NOT to go all black, because I didn’t think all black was all that versatile. So, I something that I could wear to work and on the weekends so I could dress it up or keep it casual.
I also wanted something that was flattering and attractive. So, I had to find a balance between “comfortable” and professional.
I landed on a white collared shirt with skinny jeans, which was the perfect choice for me.
If you’re wondering more about how to create a capsule wardrobe, download the free guide below.
The Dress Code Idea
I initially planned to do this for 7 days, which turned into about 3 weeks. At the end of the 3 weeks, I still wasn’t ready to “return to normal”. I was enjoying the simplicity too much.
But during the course I stumbled on an article about creating a dress code, and this seemed SUPER exciting to me.
The idea behind a dress code is to continue to keep things simple, and recognize that I tend to gravitate towards the same things all the time. So, I might have 100 pieces of clothing in my closet, but I’m not joking when I say I probably wear about 15 on a regular basis.
What I Included in My Capsule Wardrobe Dress Code
I noticed that the clothes I wore repeatedly were very predictable:
- Dark pants: I have light pants and colored pants, but I always gravitate towards dark blue or black pants. I knew I should go with whatever I typically wore the most.
- Basic shorts: I chose a basic air of super comfy denim shorts. They look good with the white shirts, they’re stretchy and they’re a good length for me (shot, because I’m short…but not booty-showing short.) Here are some other great examples of shorts I tried.
- Collared shirts: I have a thing for collared shirts. I just think they flatter me, and they’re professional enough for my office without me having to try too hard. I normally wear primarily dark colors, but because I wore white in my 21-day outfit and because I don’t love all-black, I knew I should include both a white AND dark collared shirt.
- Black, White, Blue, Purple, Orange: The colors in my wardrobe would consist of those 5 colors in that order because 1) that’s basically what I have now and 2) everything I have that is outside that spectrum doesn’t get worn.
So, once I decided on the rules for my dress code, the items I included seemed like a no-brainer.
The images below are all things I wear all the time. And if I’m honest with myself, I’d probably wear them way more often if I thought it was socially acceptable.
I came up with about 7 pieces of clothing for my capsule wardrobe.
I bought many of these ages ago, but found alternatives on Amazon after vetting some user reviews.
How Trying A Minimal Capsule Wardrobe Changed My Mindset
The thing about creating this dress code that I wasn’t expecting is that I don’t miss the clothes I haven’t been wearing.
The second thing I discovered is that people don’t care or notice if I wear the same thing all the time…
That was a total game changer.
On the weekends, I wear the same thing all the time. I go through phases of what’s comfortable and what I’m in the mood for. I just didn’t realize I’d be able to do the same thing for work. The fact that I can totally excited me and makes me feel a lot of contentment around my wardrobe.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get rid of 75% of my wardrobe, but this experiment made it clear that I wear very few things. I love a lot of different clothing and styles, but I consistently gravitate towards the same pieces over and over again.
Feeling Contentment in the Simplicity of a Minimal Wardrobe
About a year ago, my identical twin sister decided to get rid of almost everything she owns and travel the country in a car with her partner and toddler. I felt sadness in the uncertainty of her embarking on a trip I knew nothing about, but I felt something else too…
And I didn’t feel envy because I wanted to travel the country, I felt envy because her life had suddenly become SO SIMPLE.
I think this experiment helped me realize that I’m ready to allow myself to have a more simple life. It started as an experiment and morphed into an exercise in self-care and personal development.
Recommended reading: What is self care and why is it important?
So for me, this experiment was a total win!
What do you think? Would you ever wear the same outfit for a week?
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