Recently, I’ve read several articles about people who wear the same thing every day. The titles of these articles always catch my attention because I have a similar habit. At any given time you can step into my closet and view a collection of white V-neck shirts. I’m not sure how many I have in my wardrobe rotation right now, but know that I would be safe in saying you’ll need both hands to count. This number doesn’t seem excessive until you realize that the number of shirts I have in total is no more than 25. This means the white V accounts for almost 40% of my shirts.
If this was to be similar to all the other articles on successful people that wear the same thing every day, then I would proceed to tell you about how limiting your wardrobe can save time and energy or even make one “iconic” (I can only hope to become iconic for my V-neck collection). Sadly though, those articles have been written several times and I don’t need to reiterate the reasons why Steve Jobs always chose to wear a turtleneck. Why he specifically chose the turtleneck as his only top is beyond me. Nevertheless, I do wish to take a moment to answer a question. Why the white V?
1. Low Quality and a Fancy Logo
It is so easy to get caught up in brands, logos, or intriguing fashion statements. Now, I’m not some sort of anti-brand advocate, but I do notice that most of the clothing that is in my price range, even on the higher end, is the same quality. Nearly 100% of the time, I find that there is no difference in quality between my $3 shirt and a $20 alternative. If I love a brand, then I’m happy to support it, but the brands I love usually earned it with great products, not a popular logo.
2. Attention to Detail
Much of what I love in the world of design relates to being either small or simple. My “fashion sense” is the same way. I would much rather add an accent mark such as a watch than to wear something that is overstated.
When I was younger, I loved being able to claim that I had something for every occasion. If I had a friend call at seven inviting me to an Egyptian party at eight, then I wanted to have something ready to go in my own closet. This perspective changed as I continued to travel throughout my college career. I began to realize just how little I needed as I packed my life in and out of suitcases for a year at a time. By ridding myself of the superfluous, I feel less weighted down.
4. Out with the old…
You know that expensive thing you bought a few years ago? It’s the one that’s starting to get old and tattered. You know that you should get rid of it but you can’t stand to because you can still visualize the price tag. I don’t have that problem. I constantly cycle through the new and old and my lifestyle provides the perfect environment right now. I fully believe in taking care of what you own, but when the value of something is so low, i.e. a t-shirt, it’s nice to be able to toss it guilt-free.
Yes, I could stand to diversify a bit. No, I don’t think I’m iconic like Steve Jobs (turtleneck) and Mark Zuckerberg (grey t-shirt). I have simply found what works for my current lifestyle. Finding value in minimalism has taught me endlessly about how fortunate I am. This value will likely not be forever manifested as a t-shirt, but rather in the value that I put on experiences, friends, and occasionally, possessions.