Minimum Viable Closet


#clothing #consumption

I like to think my purchases are driven by my needs. But that's not always what happens.

Do you ever open up some internet store, say Uniqlo, to buy a few basics, only to find yourself checking out with a hundred dollars of on-sale shirts, pants, and shorts? I do.

I'd like buy just as much as I set out to. I'd like to find a counter balance to the weight of short term pleasure of buying new things. Perhaps that counter weight could be a pleasure of having enough, the joy of a simple system, and the lightness of deliberate action. What would that look like for clothes? What would be enough?

Clearly a monastic habit is enough for some. What is enough for Cedric? Let's see:

<div style="text-align:center;width:100%;">body x temperature x time x activity</div>

The x-axis be the temperature range 0 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with the average high temperature of each month thru the year noted below it. The y-axis is the body from head to toe. Another property of clothes is the activity they are for: formal, casual and athletic.

Now, here is today plotted on the drawing:

From top to bottom, I wore sunglasses, a short sleeve shirt, shorts (for working out and for grocery shopping), underwear, and sandals. No need for socks today. This is just what one day looks like.

If we believe this picture as exhaustive of all my clothing needs, then we can see how many articles of clothing would be enough! Aka we can tally up a minimum viable closet.

I count 27 distinct items. Now, we don't want to do laundry everyday, so let's pad out some of the most used items (ignoring underwear and socks):

This brings our total closet count to 48. I just hopped up to count and found out I have 20 long formal shirts alone!

Next steps:

Drawing done in Excalidraw!