Extreme Minimalism: Why do I wear the same dress every day, non-stop for 5 months?
In June of this year, I reached the end of my ability to endure. One morning I woke up to get ready for work, opened the closet and found nothing to wear (and my closet was completely full and packed with clothing).
Each morning I’d find myself standing in front of my closet staring at it for at least five minutes, stressed out, contemplating outfits with absolutely nothing seeming to vibe. I could not come up with an outfit that worked. Nothing was good enough!
I work in a super-intense managerial position that requires me to make dozens of decisions each day. Each of my decisions affect my employees, the nature of our projects, the financial system and the general spirit and attitude of the organization. The responsibilities of my job require me to be mentally sharp at all times.
Additionally, in my spare time, I engage in environmental activism (here I am 👋) and a variety of other activities that I need and love.
When I opened the closet that morning and got frustrated because of something like clothing, all I had in my mind was the thought “Sh*t, really? Do I have so little to do, that what I choose to spend energy on (my time and thoughts) are my clothes, my outfit for the day!?”
I don’t always know where moments of enlightenment come from. But when they do come, I love giving them their space and proper due. So that morning I just picked a random dress and left the house promising myself that tomorrow morning would be nothing like the one I had just experienced.
That day, I dived into Google to find a solution to this unnecessary problem. I learned about “Decision Fatigue”, fatigue from multi-decision making. I learned about Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Barack Obama wearing the same shirt every day and holding multiple copies of it.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal”. A quote Picasso, himself stole from Matty Eliot. If it works for these accomplished people, I thought, it would work for me too. I created a list of requirements for the core garments I would need to find and that would fit my needs.
* Disclaimer- I work on an educational eco-farm, which means we don’t have a dress code per se and I can choose what I want, as long as it is respectful. If your workplace requires a different one, make another list suitable for their dress code. 👩🏫👮♀️👩⚕️👩💼👩🔧
Still, I tried to look beyond work, what would serve my best interests wherever I went? Even off the clock.
- Black: Practical, flattering, easy to wash, etc.
- Dresses: Because they are most pleasing and flattering to me for my body and also for the fact that I don’t intend to buy two items per set for one outfit.
- V-neck collars: Not too cloistered and suffocating and not too open to exaggeration, which will be respectful for every occasion.
- T-shirts: Because there is no way I will stand and iron.
- Short sleeves and no tank tops.
- Nothing too sexual or provocative, since I work with teenagers.
- Well-fitting and favorable clothing for my body shape, a dress that I will feel good wearing, and that I will have confidence in.
With these bullets, I picked myself up and went to the mall (since there are no second-hand shops that carry the same dresses equally in multiple copies). I went through a store shopping until I found a dress that checked all my boxes. I tracked down the salesperson and asked her, “How many of these do you have in stock? I’ll take them all…”
I simply bought them all in the same size except one slightly bigger, for some days out of the month that my hormonal system thinks it’s funny to give me a pregnant look- thanks bloating!
That being said, this change has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself lately, specifically regarding my energy.
It saves me:
- Precious time in the morning.
- Money (because you don’t have to change every time into a new garment nor do you have to match one item to compliment another)
- Mental energy and the extra burden of a daily decision-making process.
I wear my dress for almost any occasion, even during business hours. I wear it on a date night, girls night out, Saturday activities and God forbid even to the cemetery for funerals.
It serves its purpose and fits everything. When I desire to explore and be playful, I upgrade its look with my jewelry, shoes and special makeup. I take it down a notch and switch to something else on weekends and holidays for the sake of symbolism and diversity.
Have I decided permanently to continue to do as I have and wear the same dress? I don’t know…Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime, it works for me.
If your morning has become a dizzying daily mess of clothing decisions, consider all of the good things my new system has brought to my life and consider whether positively simplifying your wardrobe the way I did is right for you.
- Pro Tip: If you do choose to make this move, talk about it! Don’t be ashamed or hide what you are doing and why you’re doing it!
I changed overnight from a woman who wore a different dress and matched said dress to different shoes, earrings and makeup each day to a woman who wears the same dress every day. I didn’t initially talk about this move at work and didn’t explain it to anyone either. It took three weeks for one of the employees to come up to me blatantly embarrassed and ask,
“Lee … it probably doesn’t matter and none of my business … but … do you wear the same dress…everyday …?!”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Lee Snir is one of the founding partners of Legendary Life and is the original author of these blog posts. Lee is an active environmental advocate and in-demand speaker, writer and influencer in her native Israel. These blog posts were originally published in her native Hebrew in her personal blog titled, “Elita Yeruka” (“Green Elite” in English.)
When we translated Lee’s blogs for Legendary Life our goal was to only edit for grammar and clarity but to retain “Lee’s voice”. Thus the editorial choices were to err on the side of not “Americanizing” the language and thus leaving the translated blog as close as possible to the original. Therefore, native English speakers may occasionally find the word choices and phrasing a little different than they are used to.
For those of you who are Hebrew speakers and wish to read the blogs in their original form and follow Lee’s Personal blog you can do so here:
DISCLAIMER: Any statements, opinions or conclusions contained herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the statements, opinions or conclusions of Legendary Life (a Legendary Products, LLC brand), its owners, employees, contractors, affiliates, partners or advertisers.