February 12, 2018

Out Of The Closet

It's out of the closet: a minimalist wardrobe is enough.

The pioneers of one planet wardrobes are coming out of the closet, and they are clean, adequately clothed, and content. And they have some great ideas.

What a pleasure to see the discussion going on in the comments after our post on the serious global clothing clutter conundrum. There are many experiences shared that show that simplifying ones closet is the way to go for a multitude of reasons.

Linda and I have been de-clothing for many years. After reducing our possessions to what we could carry in our van in 2014, we have since reduced further, and are enjoying a more minimalist wardrobe than ever before.

Recently we have laughed about our "uniforms". Each of us have been relying on two sets of clothes since the winter started. One set is worn, while the other is to be laundered. We usually wear the same set of clothes for a week, then do laundry along with bedding and towels.

At the same time we do laundry, we have our once per week shower (more or less depending on the time of year and what we are doing). And let me tell you, if you are only having one shower a week, each and every one feels like a major spa treatment.

There is nothing like living in simplicity to heighten your appreciation and enjoyment of all aspects of life. The same goes with having too many clothes - how can you appreciate the things in your closet and drawers that you don't even know you have?

Our tiny wardrobe, coupled with our shower and laundry routines, help to make our life more simple and efficient. In simplicity, such routines become an enjoyable part of life, not something to avoid, or do in hurry rather than in savour.

And do I even need to say it saves resources and money?

In closing, let me say how satisfying it is to be able to have this discussion with such sensible readers. No fashionistas making fun of wearing last season's colours or clothes. No oversanitized hygiene hysteria. Just simple, frugal, enviro-friendly ways of living happier with less.

How refreshing.


  1. Anonymous2/12/2018

    Hello again

    I have a lot less clothes that most people I know, but I do need more that 2 sets of clothes. Our summers are very warm here and our winters very cold so there is at least 4 sets. I think one's wardrobe must depend on location and lifestyle.
    I do tend to wear the same 2 sets during the winter, summer I have to have shorts and lighter pants.
    I also have a large selection on gardening clothes( ones that have been downgraded)

    We do like you, change clothes on the weekend and do the laundry with the towels and bedding.
    I don't take showers anymore though....I started cutting down then got all the way to zero and discovered I don't like showers. I will admit sometimes after a dirty garden day I have to have a shower, along with my clothes....hence the large selection :)

    I do buy any clothes I need at the thrift store, I also sew and am great at mending, so our clothes do last for a long, long time.


    1. Marie,

      Sewing and mending are vital skills to have. With cheap industrial clothing I am afraid that the throw away culture has replaced the frugality of sewing and mending.

  2. Anonymous2/13/2018

    Yeah, minimalism is the way to go. I do take regular showers due to working and running. I take cold showers year round as hot water makes me feel tired and lethargic. The showers are pretty short in duration, I use soap maybe once a month at present, but will phase it out. Haven't used shampoo for over two years now.

    1. Alex,

      That is very simple. I enjoy cold showers in warmer climates, or here in the summer time.

  3. Anonymous2/13/2018

    Once again quite a "refreshing" post!
    "How can you appreciate the things in your closets & drawers that you don't even know you have." Well spoken & oh so true.

    1. Linda,

      The same goes with all the unloved stuff that we cram into our basements and garages and off site storage lockers. Fewer things, more appreciation for what you have. It is counter-intuitive, but less can be more.

  4. Anonymous2/14/2018

    These last two posts on clothing are great reminders, thank you. I have far too many clothes. Having worked 28 years in an office (retired now), I find that I have too much of the "work" clothes around. But since my job was at a firm with a casual clothing code, these are clothes I can wear each day and actually wear out. I'd love to hear other's ideas on what they do with worn out clothing - I use older ones when gardening, cut up for rags and cloths to wipe things from my nose to the kitchen counter...what else? Thanks again, love these posts. -- Mary

    1. Mary,

      Linda thought that maybe the local school or daycare might appreciate a donation of used button up shirts to use as painting smocks for the students.

      Someone on the last post mentioned making underwear with old shirts. I imagine that would be quite comfy. With the right pattern. I will ask my sister in law, who is a skilled seamstress, and has made us clothes in the past.

    2. Anonymous2/15/2018

      Great idea about the button up shirts and day care painting smocks! Living in the suburbs, there are several day cares around me. Will look into it, thanks! I'm not a skilled seamstress - wish I was! Can do some basic stuff, but making my own undies would be beyond my skill level, although it sounds intriguing! Thanks again - Mary

  5. Anonymous2/15/2018

    I admit this is a tough one for me, the world values you so much on your appearance that it takes dedication to being countercultural to truly lose the obsession with clothing... I don't find it easy working in an office where people can be quite judgemental about your clothes ("Dress for the job you want!" they say - never mind that my dream job is at home doing the gardening!)
    Whilst I do still find myself occasionally envying other people's wardrobes (clearly I need further zen practice) I deliberately limit myself by buying second hand or making my own clothes. Making clothes is much easier than you think - clothes manufacturers win by making constructing clothes look like a mystical process requiring a design degree but most of the clothes I wear are really easy & half of them I hand sew.
    Still i have much work to do before my conscience can be as clear as yours & Lindas on this topic...

  6. Anonymous2/15/2018

    A very good and thought-provoking post! Like you and Linda, my family and I must be frugal and conservative with our water. We live out in the boondocks and do not have city water. We have a cistern for which we have go buy wager ($110.00 US for 2,000 gallons.) Any snow melt from the roof and rain water goes in, too, but we still must be careful. We have low flow shower heads, a low-flush toilet, and I do the laundry at our local laundromat. As far as I can tell, no one thinks that we smell and we all look presentable in public. I have honestly found out that I don't have to wash my jeans every time I wear them and a nightly shower really isn't necessary. I imagine that a lot of people may read this post and roll their eyes in horror, but there will probably be even more who will be nodding their heads in agreement. Yes, I still do enjoy wearing nice clothes but I have learned that I can do that in a simpler, more frugal way and end up happier than ever! The simpler life is so wonderfully adaptable to all of our situations and positions in life.


  7. Anonymous2/17/2018

    I wear the same clothes everyday for work. One black pant I got from Chicos Travellers Collection & another black yoga pant from Kohls. Since I don't tuck in my tops I hide the string of the yoga pant so it looks like a regular pant. I finally told our receptionist & she said she never noticed. I figure if the most nosy woman on this planet didn't notice then no one else noticed. Then I found out that she wears the same Navy blue pants from Monday to Thursday & the same jeans on Fridays. As for showers, I don't shower much in the winter time but I do everyday in the summer. I live in Texas so it's toasty at least nine months of the year.

  8. I love this post. I’m no fashionista, thank god. I used to think I was. But what I really was, was a damn idiot, unable to think for myself.


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