“Look at all those fancy clothes, but these gon keep us warm just like those.”
What does a minimalist wear? I’m surprised I get this question as often as I do—as if people expect to see me walking around Dayton, Ohio, in a loincloth—but, given the many misconceptions surrounding minimalism, I suppose it’s a valid question.
My answer: a minimalist wears his or her favorite clothes and nothing else.
You might recall I donated over 90% of my clothes this year. Do you know why that’s so exciting? Two reasons:
- I was able to contribute to people who were less fortunate than me.
- I love all the clothes I kept, so I get to wear what I love every day.
Thus, a minimalist wears his or her favorite clothes every day. Most days I wear jeans, a teeshirt, and a pair of Toms shoes. Or, when I feel like it, I wear a crisp white button-up shirt (pictured above), jeans, a blazer, colorful socks, and a clean pair of dress shoes. And I avoid logos for several reasons (though I still have a couple items with a small horse logo).
I don’t have many clothes now—and I still go to the Goodwill a few times per month and donate an item or two (if I’m not wearing it anymore, it gets donated)—but I thoroughly enjoy the clothes I do own.
But I don’t give sentimental meaning to my clothes. If all my clothes burned in a house fire tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a big deal to me. I give meaning to the important things in life—to relationships, to health, to pursuing my passions, to growth, to contribution.
I enjoy my clothes, but I am not my wardrobe. To illustrate this fact (i.e., to practice what I preach), I gave away my favorite jeans, my favorite shirt, and my favorite shoes on my buddy Craig’s Simple Black Coffee website in February. What did that mean to me? Well, the same two things as above: (1) a few people got some nice new attire (plus I made a new online friend in David William, a great guy who got my favorite pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes); and (2) other garments stepped up and became my new favorites.
What about those shoes you’re in today?
They’ll do no good on the bridges you burnt along the way.