Despite our society’s obsession with fashion, the so-called capsule wardrobe movement continues to gain momentum. ’Capsule wardrobe’ refers to the idea of wearing just 10-15 basic things all the time. What is particularly intriguing is the fact that more and more successful and famous people — including some of the world’s top politicians and entrepreneurs — are being drawn into it.
Here are eight fascinating reasons why this is happening. This is a far more interesting subject than it may seem at first glance!
Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making. For people who make significant decisions every day, the removal of even one — choosing clothes in the morning — leaves them with more mental space and better productivity throughout the day.
This forms the basis for President Barack Obama’s limited fashion options, ’You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ Mark Zuckerberg cites similar rationale. One less frivolous decision in the morning leads to better decisions on things that really matter.
We have no idea how much of a burden our possessions have become until we begin to remove them. But when we do, we immediately discover a new life of freedom and opportunity. It was almost five years ago that I first experimented with Project 333 — a personal challenge of wearing only 33 articles of clothing for a period of three months. The project is simple, life-changing, and wildly beneficial. I quickly discovered one of the greatest benefits of limiting my wardrobe: the gift of time. Getting ready in the morning became easier, quicker, and more efficient.
Matilda Kahl, an art director in New York cites both decision fatigue and less time getting ready as her reason for wearing the same outfit everyday. But she adds another: less stress — specifically, less stress during the day over the decision she originally made in the morning. ’Is this too formal? Is that too out there? Is this dress too short? Almost always, I’d choose something to wear I regretted as soon as I hit the subway platform.’ But now, in her trademark silk white shirt and black trousers, she has one less source of anxiety during the day.
Christopher Nolan has created several of the most critically and commercially successful films of the early 21st century. But, according to New York Times Magazine, he decided long ago it was ’a waste of energy to choose anew what to wear each day.’ Now, he settles instead for a dark, narrow-lapeled jacket over a blue dress shirt with black trousers over sensible shoes to wear each day.
Christopher offers an important distinction when he refers to ’wasted energy.’ Not only do large wardrobes require more decision-making, they also require more maintenance, more organization, and more shuffling around. Additionally, while a capsule wardrobe may not result in less laundry, it does result in both easier laundry and storage.
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