This is another challenge where we could not give up this item completely; however, we could definitely invoke some stringent rules that would push us outside our comfort zone and really cause us to examine our lives from a different angle. We lived this week with only three outfits. The rest of our clothing was off limits.
Before we get into the outfits we chose to wear we will share some of the rules. 1. Unlimited undergarments were allowed. These could and should be changed daily. 2. Due to the season there was no limit on the outerwear we could use to stay warm; however, we tried not to abuse this rule. 3. If an item became dirty, stained, etc. it would need to be washed and added back into the rotation.
Joshua decided to work with two semi-casual outfits and one athletic outfit. He used a t-shirt and shorts for his daily trips to the gym. Those items were washed as needed throughout the week. His other two outfits were actually similar in appearance to allow for interchangeability. He wore a pair of navy Dockers with a solid grey dress shirt as one outfit and a pair of jeans and a checkered blue collared shirt as the other outfit. These four items provided a few different looks with minimal effort. He used a tie to change the outfit one day. He used a warm vest to mix things up another day. This allowed him to live within the parameters of the challenge and still mix up the clothes he was wearing.
Bethany’s outfit choices were more specific to her job. She gives piano lessons at the school that is associated with our church. She wanted her outfits to be a bit more formal. She chose three semi-casual outfit options. She wore a cranberry maxi skirt, her favorite pair of black jeans, and a black and white striped skirt as her bottoms. She relied upon an olive green tee, a black and white striped shirt, and a chambray as her tops. She was able to get away with all kinds of outfit choices throughout the week.
Joshua definitely felt a bit more constrained because one of his outfits could only be worn to the gym. It limited his options throughout the rest of the week.
There was a bit of discussion about one specific rule and we chose differently. Joshua interpreted the rules to exclude the use of additional clothing for pajama wear. He used his three outfits to fill this slot. Bethany’s interpretation of the rules allowed for an additional set of pajamas. She counted these in the undergarment category since she would never wear them outside on their own. So Bethany was comfy most evenings while Joshua chose to lounge about in his formal-ish wear.
So what did we learn? Well, we know it is possible to survive with only three outfits to choose from. The clothing items within those three outfits are very important. But we also want the majority of our closet to be made up of basic, interchangeable pieces. This allows us to keep the smallest closet possible. It helps us decide which clothes to keep and which ones to purchase in the future. It also helps us be more intentional. This is the best way to avoid storing clothes that we wear once a year for some random reason. It creates a wardrobe that is usable year-round in a variety of situations.
Here are a few thoughts Joshua Becker has on why it is better to have fewer wardrobe options:
You would have more disposable income.
You would have more time to live your life.
Mornings would feature less stress.
Your closets would be well-organized and uncluttered.
Packing for trips/vacations would take less time.
Laundry days would be easier (not necessarily less, but definitely easier).
What clothing items would be in your closet if you did the three outfit challenge? Can you think of any more benefits to owning fewer clothes?