Five Rules to 80/20 Your Wardrobe

If there’s one thing I’ll postpone purchasing for as long as possible, it’s new clothes. I’m perfectly fine wearing the same clothes for years on end, even when they’re worn out (to the dismay of my girlfriend).

I hate when people are wasteful with clothes, claiming they “need” to buy them every month. The mere thought of owning hundreds of items alone would drive me crazy. Then there are environmental reasons—it takes 2,700 liters to make one t-shirt. Then there’s time and energy wasted buying, storing, and choosing between all the clothes.

80% of the time, we wear the same 20% of our clothes. The proportion is more extreme for anyone owning a lot of items. Most of what fashionistas buy is only worn once (if at all), creating a frightening waste of resources.

Here are a few rules I follow to 80/20 my wardrobe:

1. Quality over quantity. I’m comfortable paying 50 dollars for a pair of high-end boxer shorts I’ll wear for years. Not only is it less wasteful; the additional comfort improves my quality of life. I also prefer to support manufacturers who stand against cheap Chinese-made junk. One example of a quality brand is Sunspel.

2. Neutral colors only. This assures that you can wear everything in whatever combination you want.

3. Timeless multifunctional clothes only. Did people wear it a decade ago? Will they wear it in a decade? Can you wear it for many different occasions?

4. Think before you buy. Research the best option possible, including brands, designs, and fabrics.

5. When in doubt, don’t buy. If you think you might need a particular article of clothing, you won’t use it often enough to justify the purchase.