This is a Guest Post by Amanda Brownlow of Hello Brownlow
In 2017, we drastically reduced our home inventory by getting rid of well over half of our belongings.
Since we started living a more minimalist lifestyle, every part of our lives has become simpler – including my wardrobe. But it wasn’t always that way!
My wardrobe grew even smaller as I transformed how I got dressed each morning with a minimalist wardrobe challenge: wear the same dress for 30 days.
This challenge, prompted by the clothing company Wool&, changed not only my wardrobe but how I shopped, too. I ended up wearing the same thing for 100 days, a simple wool dress. It still has its place in my wardrobe two years later!
After learning that I could wear the same thing for months, I went all-in on a minimalist wardrobe.
Why bother trying to wear the same thing everyday?
There was something bothering me over 2020 that I couldn’t quite pick out. I didn’t realize it had everything to do with what I was wearing and what went along with getting dressed in the morning.
When I found Wool&, it was by chance. I quickly dismissed the dresses they sold based on price alone. Then the dress haunted me. The challenge that Wool& posed was all too tempting.
Could I really be happy wearing the same thing for 100 days in a row?
I knew it was meant to be when my husband brought it up to me. So I purchased the Rowena swing dress in heather gray. Basic? You bet. Could I style it with literally anything? Also yes!
I packed up the majority of my clothing and stowed it in my dresser drawers for use after the challenge was over. While packing up, I decluttered at least 30% of my already small wardrobe. It felt great.
And that feeling of a weight lifted from my clothed shoulders continued for the next 30 days. This is why I wanted to do the challenge: to see how few clothes I was actually happy with and to eliminate decision fatigue.
What I learned from wearing the same thing for 30 days
Uniform creation equals less decision fatigue
Never would I have thought I would call myself an adopter of the everyday uniform. But here we are.
An everyday uniform doesn’t have to be the literal exact same thing everyday. Nor do you need to own multiples of the same item in order to adopt a uniform.
My uniform formula is:
- Leggings for cold weather, bare legs in warm weather
- Layer = scarf or cardigan
- 1 piece of jewelry if wearing a cardigan
As I’m typing this out, I keep asking myself “Is that really it?!”
Indeed, uniforms should be designed to be simple and easy to replicate everyday. This uniform of dress/leggings/scarf has simplified my morning routine and drastically reduced decision fatigue. I no longer dread putting on “real clothes” to start the day. The decision is already made for me of what to wear and that gives my brain the break it needs.
I only wore 27 different items in the last 30 days.
Out of the 55 items I currently have out in my closet right now, including clothing items, shoes, jewelry, and accessories, I’ve only worn 27. That’s just about 50% of my wardrobe. The number would be a lot lower if I wore my dress and leggings all day then just put pajamas on. But I’ve taken to putting a t-shirt or sweater on at night before bed to do chores and lounge in.
There are also items I wore once and didn’t like how they went with my dress, or only wore half a day that I include in this 27 number.
What does this mean? It means I can do a lot more with a lot smaller wardrobe. As we get closer to a new season, I will declutter more items from my wardrobe and very intentionally add new ones.
Over the last year, I have craved comfort over anything else. Practically forgotten are my blazer, jeans, and more formal dresses. Even with those items out of reach, I was still searching for the most perfect and most comfortable things to wear. Most days, I ended up in leggings and a t-shirt.
I grew restless wearing leggings and worn-out shirts. I wanted something comfortable that wasn’t sweatpants that could easily go from being home to going to the grocery store to date night (just kidding on that last one, but I still want to look nice!).
With comfort in mind, I can easily get dressed with this simple, wool dress. I am comfortable wearing it as a dress or knotted up as a shirt. There’s no fuss with yanking or pulling on it to stay in place. I’m rarely too hot or too cold. It’s perfect. The items I paired with the dress were of equal comfort and easy to pick out from my pared down wardrobe.
I found that there wasn’t much I loved in my wardrobe.
Over the last year I became really invested with thrifting. A little too much perhaps. Every chance I got, I was in a thrift store searching for something perfect to wear. I found some really great things that I still really love. But I also purchased a lot of items that I wore once and donated (for shame, I know).
With every purchase I made that wasn’t well thought out in terms of what I actually wanted to wear, how the garment was made, the fit, or how much wear the garment already had – it brought down the happiness I had with my wardrobe.
Whenever I packed it all away thirty days prior, I noticed a trend. There were of course items that just didn’t fit well either purchased for my “imaginary” self or because my body had changed. And then there were items that I loved but the quality of the item made it wear so terribly that I don’t think I can even donate them. That’s what I get for thrifting fast fashion.
Going forward, I will try to find well-made clothing either secondhand or purchased directly from the company. Yes, well-made, more sustainable clothing is more expensive but the quality is worth it. With more invested in each piece, I am more likely to purchase something I love rather than just grab it off the rack.
Can you wash the wool dress? Yep! Should you wash the dress (and other garments) after only one wear? No!… except underwear, please wash that after one wear. 🙂
Wearing the same thing for 30 days does not mean you can’t wash it. Washing it to be clean and for it to go back to its original shape is encouraged.
After learning how to get mascara out (wash from the reverse side of the fabric) and how to remove pit-stains from wearing aluminum deodorant (scrub the reverse side of the fabric with Dawn and rinse), I am washing the wool dress as a whole a lot less than everything else in my closet.
Washing your clothing less not only extends the life of the garment, but it saves water and your time! Our laundry load has been reduced by about 30% over the last month because I’ve been wearing the same thing everyday.
More self-aware (rather than clothing aware).
Pre-uniform, I was very aware of what I was wearing and less aware of how my body was feeling. Now that I wear the same thing everyday, I am more easily able to see when I’m dehydrated, ate too much sugar, or need to eat more protein.
Is it weird to be able to see these things now instead of looking at how clothes fit on my body? No! Becoming more self aware has been one of the most surprising things I’ve learned in these first 30 days of wearing the same thing.
Contentment with wearing the same thing everyday.
In the beginning of the thirty days, I very much felt that I would be bored with wearing the same gray dress over and over again. But in fact, the opposite has happened.
Wearing the same thing for 30 days has made me very content with not having a huge wardrobe. I am content in the same gray dress. I feel good in the same dress, same leggings, and same scarf.
Leaning into a smaller wardrobe eliminates decision fatigue and puts time back into your day. A smaller, minimalist wardrobe also can help you find your style and become more confident wearing your favorite garments over and over again.
Meet the Writer
Amanda Brownlow write the Hello Brownlow blog with the goal of helping you have a sustainable and frugal simple life you love.
She continued the 100 day wool dress challenge by Wool& and loved it? Is it something you should try?Want to see all the style ideas? Follow Amanda and her minimalist journey over on Instagram!
Need Help Creating a Minimalist Wardrobe?
What if you don’t have anything like a minimalist wardrobe yet? What if the idea of decluttering your closet brings with it feelings of dread and overwhelm?
I’ve created an e-book for all my fellow clothing lovers! In Closet Simplicity I will explain my long journey to a minimalist wardrobe and everything I learned along so that your journey doesn’t have to be so hard! Closet simpicity will help you declutter and organize your closet to find the minimalist wardrobe you love that has been hiding in there all along!