An argument for wearing the same clothes everyday

The idea of wearing the same clothes every day has always been something I’ve been interested in, especially after becoming a minimalist over four years ago.

My day job inspired my ambition for wearing the same clothes every day. At work, I wear a uniform. I don’t have to think about what I have to wear, I just need to make sure my clothes are clean, and I’m good to go!

However, when I think about applying the same philosophy to my personal attire, I have my reservations, and I’m sure you do too.

That’s why in this post, I’m going to take a deep dive into why it is beneficial to wear the same clothes every day. We’ll also be looking at the common objections against integrating such a polarising system to your wardrobe.

If implementing a personal uniform is something you’ve been contemplating for a while, but haven’t dared to do it, this is the post for you. I should also mention that this philosophy applies to women as much as it pertains to men.

To build my argument, I think it’s important first to understand why humans wear clothes.

Note: we have since recorded a podcast episode breaking down our experiences with wearing the same clothes every day.

Why do humans wear clothes?

When born, humans are naked. Being naked is our most natural form. But moments after birth, we are wrapped up in cloth and from this point on we wear clothes every day.

It’s interesting to note that we are the only species that willingly wears clothes.

When did this obsession with clothing begin?

According to the BBC, clothes do not fossilise, so we cannot get direct evidence for the time humans stopped being naked and started wearing animal furs and skin.

However using indirect methods of research, a lice study showed that it was only 170,000 years ago when it all began.

In hot climates such as Africa, humans happily walked around naked. But in colder climates, as sentient beings lost natural body hair, it became necessary to wear clothes to protect against freezing conditions.

netherlands clothing

At this point in history, clothing was not about self-expression or looking good in front of others. It was about practicality — life and death, in some instances.

From the mid–1300s clothing started to represent much more than the practical use-cases discussed above. Clothing became a culture. Clothing was used for gender differentiation, social status, religion, heritage, fashion, and sports.

Fast forward to today, clothing acts as a representation of who you are.

Think about it when you meet someone for the first time, what they wear plays a role in what you think about that individual, either consciously or subconsciously.

girl walking on something

And because clothing is considered fundamental to human existence, the global apparel market is valued at over 3 trillion dollars and accounts for 2 per cent of the worlds Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With such a massive market, it’s no wonder why there’s a continuous push for more clothing products for different use-cases. Not only that, fashion is one of the worlds nastiest polluters, second only to oil.

As a minimalist, thinking about these numbers makes my head spin. What started as a practical survival mechanism has turned into one of the most significant drivers of consumerism in history.

Not only that, this market continues to grow at a rapid rate because of the value we place on how clothes shape how others perceive us. This idea in itself is motivating for me to go against the grain and simplify my wardrobe. But to understand this more, I want to talk about uniforms.

What is a uniform?

What does elementary school, your local basketball team, police officers, and Orange Is the New Black have in common? They all wear uniforms.

A uniform is a type of clothing worn by members of an organisation while participating in that organisation’s activity.

Orange is the New Black crew

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that it was my work uniform that inspired me to think about wearing the same clothes every day.

At a practical level, I love wearing a uniform to work because it’s one less decision I need to make in my day. In previous professional careers, it was an excruciating process to figure out what I wanted to wear to work, and I’m sure many of you would experience the same pain.

But beyond convenience and simplicity, a uniform represents equality and unity across an organisation.

An argument could be made that we should all be wearing one uniform. As suggested in this article, the rich wear intricate clothing to peacock their wealth, depleting the lower classes of their innate power and self-esteem. High fashion favours taut, unrealistic figures, leaving the rest of us with emotional complexes about our bodies. Uniforms could alleviate many of these problems.

In fact, in 1916, home economist Helen Louise Johnson proposed a Standardized Dress. “Our purpose,” she said, “is nothing less than freedom from a kind of slavery.”

It’s the slavery that has led us to a 3 trillion dollar industry today.

Helen’s vision is extreme, but one that is often fantasised in fictional galaxies. When you visualise an extraterrestrial world on another planet, what do you envision? It’s usually a progressive society wearing a standardised uniform, and hovering cars, of course!

The Island - Wearing The Same Clothes

With a globally standardised uniform, we would no longer be judged on what we wear. Instead, it will be our personality and ideas that create a sense of individuality.

It’s an interesting idea, but perhaps one that’s considered too extreme to become a reality.

Many would argue that individualised fashion is what makes humans, human. I would entirely agree with that. However, I do feel that fashion is excessive, both from a practicality and an individuality standpoint.

I think the next point is a happy medium.

Become an icon by wearing the same clothes every day.

The late Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Inc., is widely considered one of the most iconic entrepreneurs in history. And a quick google image search of his name will reveal photo after photo of Jobs wearing a black turtleneck shirt, blue Levi jeans, and New Balance shoes.

Steve Jobs Same Clothes

The combination of Steve Jobs attire and the growth of minimalism in mainstream media has many to believe that Jobs wore the same clothes every day because he was a minimalist. In other words, he intended to reduce decisions he had to make (fashion) ruthlessly, so he could focus on building the worlds largest tech company.

However, according to Walter Isaacson’s fully-authorised biography of Steve Jobs, his choice for clothes had less to do with minimalism and more to do with becoming an icon.

In the book, Jobs explains:

On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony’s chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signatures styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. “I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple,” Jobs recalled.

Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create its uniform. It was a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest. So Jobs called Issey Miyake and asked him to design a vest for Apple, Jobs recalled, “I came back with some samples and told everyone it would great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.”

In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.” Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. “That’s what I wear,” he said. “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.”

Jobs developed a personal uniform to build his brand.

Alice Gregory, a writer in Brooklyn, also advocates for a personal uniform. In this article, she states:

Wearing a uniform is also a way of asserting your status as a protagonist. This is the reason why characters in picture books never change their clothes: Children—like adults, if they’d only admit it—crave continuity. We recognise Babar in his green suit and crown, Eloise in her suspendered jumper and Madeline in her little yellow raincoat.

Alice Gregory

And that’s why I think wearing the same clothes every day is powerful.

On one side of the spectrum, keeping up to date with fast fashion trends and having an overflowing wardrobe of clothes purely to express your individuality is excessive and wasteful.

Conversely, having a globally standardised uniform like the fictional worlds we see in movies, shows unity, but it’s just not feasible in the world we live in today.

A happy medium of simplicity and individualism is a personal uniform. Taking the time to craft your “superhero” outfit that you can rely on is an incredible way to not only build your brand but to also reduced the number of decisions you need to make.

Objections to wearing the same clothes every day.

I can feel your reluctance towards the idea of a personal uniform.

Yes, it sounds great in theory, but there’s still resistance! Would you really commit to wearing the same style of clothes every day?

I understand why you are pushing back. I felt and still feel the same way. But I want to break down some common objections for wearing the same clothes every day and how to overcome them.

Isn’t it boring to wear the same clothes every day?

Again, fashion and clothing have long been associated with individuality and imagination. So to commit to only one style each day may feel dull and restrictive.

I would challenge you to think about this. Fashion in and on itself can be used to mask boringness. You could be the most boring person in the world, and rely on what you wear on your body to change that perception.

Meanwhile, you could be super interesting but wear the same clothes every day.

The punchline here is that whether you’re boring or interesting, you shouldn’t let what you wear mask who you are.

The more you bring your authentic self to the world, the more iconic you will be, no excessive wardrobe needed.

What about special occasions?

It’s undeniable that many of us have unique occasions to attend to whether it’s a sporting event, a wedding, church, funerals, etc.

In these instances, I would keep the absolute bare minimum attire to cover these occasions, and nothing more. I would also keep them stored somewhere separate to your personal uniform so you can remain focused on the day-to-day.

What about different weather?

Your personal uniform may be suitable for warm weather but no use in cold seasons. I think having a personal uniform per season could be a way around this objection.

Or maybe it’s as simple as adding one more piece of clothing during the colder months of the year. For example, finding an iconic jacket to wear with your current uniform.

How do you choose what clothes to wear every day?

This is a tough question to answer as the uniform we choose to represent ourselves is a very personal decision. Also, I know my boundaries when it comes to fashion advice.

Having said that, from the examples I’ve seen, it’s always safe to go with neutral colours such as black, grey, and white. These colours are the most versatile, and you’re least likely to get sick of neutrals.

I also think it’s okay to have a variety of colours within the same style. For example, you may find a top to use as your uniform, but you get the same top in three different colours for variety.

Together with clothing, I would suggest finding your go-to accessories. Does your uniform include a hat, glasses, chain, bracelet or a pair of sneakers? Seek advice from people you trust to find a style that makes you feel authentic.

How many pairs of my uniform should I have?

When it comes to wearing the same clothes every day, you need to think about maintaining the quality of your attire. What makes personal uniform stand out is how fresh your uniform looks daily. This is going to come with having multiple pairs in the rotation to share the workload.

I can only speak for myself. But I would go for five pants, five jumpers, ten tops, two hats and two shoes. Then I would rotate daily to preserve the life and quality of my uniform.

You’ll have to experiment with your personal uniform until you find your sweet spot.

My personal uniform update.

Note: updated September 3rd, 2019.

Shortly after publishing this post, I put through my first bulk order for my personal uniform. Here’s what it looked like:

  • Ten t-shirts with five colour variations (light blue, black, burgundy, white, navy)
  • Four cuffed pants with two colour variations (black, khaki)
  • Five pairs of medium length socks with two colour variations (white, black)
  • Two black hoodies

The above order served me well over autumn and winter. For spring and summer, I made another purchase, including:

  • Four cargo shorts with two colour variations (black, army)

It’s been over 18 months since I’ve been wearing the same clothes every day. How has it been? For the most part, incredible!

Admittedly, it was a strange feeling to order so many of the same clothes at once. But that’s because the process was unfamiliar.

I love not having to think about what I’m going to wear each time I step outside of the house. I also like the fact that my clothes lasted a lot longer than usual because I had so many in rotation.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I felt comfortable bulk ordering clothes as I had so little wearable garments in my wardrobe. The very few clothes I had leftover became my home clothes.

Having different colour combinations helped to keep my uniform fresh and interesting. I also found that by adding a cap, watch or any accessory had far more weight to brining my style to life.

I’m still going with my uniform to this day, which we discuss at length in this podcast episode. I’ve recently been experimenting with eating one meal a day, which has led to weight loss. So I may be in the market for another bulk order as my uniform is too big for my body. 

Are you ready to become an icon?

A lot of people think simplicity is easy. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

You need to be courageous to be simple. You need to forgo your long-standing paradigms about social standards and think purely for yourself.

A personal uniform is a testament to individual thinking. I would argue that it is more attractive to see someone so confident that they would intentionally wear the same clothes every day despite having the means not to.

Are you ready to challenge your minimalism chops and execute on your personal uniform?

Would love to get your thoughts in the comments below.

An Argument For Wearing The Same Clothes Every Day

Other articles you’ll love:

  1. The Psychology of Appealing Brands
  2. 50+ High-Quality Ethical & Sustainable Clothing Brands
  3. The True Cost of a $10 Garment
  4. What Is Minimalism? An Introduction To Living With Intentionality
  5. A Minimalists Guide To Debt-Free Living


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and give us your update. I’ve been doing some research on this for about an hour and this article sealed the deal.

    I already know what my uniform will consist of from now on:

    Clean white tee
    5 different colors of the same jeans
    Off white sneakers
    A blazer

    The End. Thanks!

  2. I’ve been doing this for years. I go to work in my standard model of khakis + my standard button-up shirt + my standard short-sleeved t-shirt as an undershirt; when I get home, I just change to my standard model of jeans and (in the warmer months) lose the button-up. Colors are chosen to all work together so I never have to plan my outfits and never look goofy, and there’s enough variation in patterns/colors of button-ups that it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same clothes to work every day.

    The best decision I ever made was switching to one standard model of sock that I buy in bulk. No more pairing them up or worrying about them matching, and I just throw them out one at a time as they inevitably get holes in the big toe.

    I choose my standard models based on durability, and as it turns out that’s actually pretty cost-effective. For example, I go with very plain 100% cotton denim jeans (most jeans nowadays have some stretchy material in them which makes them far less durable.) These also happen to be the cheapest jeans I’ve ever found at like $13/pair.

    The biggest challenge for me is that the clothing industry is catering to fatter and fatter people. I’m in good shape and have been the same exact size for the past 12 years. Size Small t-shirts keep getting bigger, jeans are being made with stretchier material, button-ups keep getting boxier. I imagine they do this to make fat people feel better about themselves, at the expense of making it difficult for people who care about their bodies to buy clothes.

    1. Hi Dave, sorry for the delayed response. I only just saw your comment.
      Wow, it’s so refreshing to hear that you’ve been wearing a personal uniform for so long. It sounds like you have a solid system in place. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. You nailed it!! I am moving quite often and the thought of packing again clothes am barely wearing made me realize I don’t want that anymore. Minimalism is finally becoming more prevalent and my main worry was the fact that my friends and family would find it “weird” to see me in the same clothes all the time. I can’t wait to stop wasting time finding which clothes to wear and use that time for something I would consider more useful. Your explanation are helping me to get organized with my new permanent look ! Thanks you ?

    1. Thanks, Marie!! I’m so glad you’ve found the courage to start blocking out the noise and focus on building a permanent look. It’s such a great feeling to not only reduce the amount of time spent thinking about what you’re going to wear, but also establish an iconic style. You’ve got this!

  4. Hi,
    i just want to thank you for this wonderful article 🙂
    this really put a big smile on my face 🙂 I am just starting my journey to become a minimalist, but in the place where i live in and worked in, all of my plans are not that workable, but i surely started to myself, i started little by little and i am sure im helping this world a better place (even on my small gestures and effort)

    more power and thanks again.

    1. Hi Cheng! Aw, thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Good on you for starting this journey. And as you said, little by little you’ll make a difference. I know that once we began practising minimalism, we never turned back because of how it made us feel.

  5. I love this, honestly.
    Not only does it look into how much we’ve gone beyond the purpose in terms of clothing, but it also sheds light into how over time we’ve slowly gone past the boundaries of “need” to “excessive want” in our lives. Sure there’s nothing wrong with wanting your clothing to represent your unique personality past just covering your nakedness, but once we go into the amount of waste generated by the clothing industry, the ridiculous cost of some apparel, etc, we need to start asking ourselves what exactly we’re doing.
    Very well written, definitely sharing this.
    If you have time as well, I wrote a similar piece on excesses, check it out!

    1. Hi David, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. And you’re spot on about the progression from “need” to “excessive want”.

      I had a peek at your writing and love the way your mind works.

  6. Thank you for the thoughtful article. My husband and I have been evolving our lifestyle into a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s amaxing to realize the hold items have on you when you think about giving things away.

    My husband has found his comfort style and uniform style. He has three pairs of jeans, two pairs of tennis shoes, about 10 black t-shirts and about 5 button down shirts. He has one belt, and his socks and undershirts are all uniform. His button down shirts are different but all the same brand and style. But they aren’t all solid. He has solid, plaid, and stripes of the exact same shirt. They are in his preferred colors, grey, dark blue, and black. I am impressed by his ability to stick to it.

    I want to make this transition but am struggling with solids, patterns, florals. I like them all and I like color. how does “mix and match” for women fit into the personal uniform Style? I need someone else’s perspective on this. I’d appreciate your feedback.

    1. Hi Lisa, your so right about the control out items have over us!

      Hmm, you and your husband sound exactly life myself and Maša. I’ve been able to stick to my personal uniform for a whole season and love it. She also has reservations about the lack of variety and combinations.

      I don’t know if I can comment at a fashion style level. My only suggestion would be to see if you can get the same cut of garment but in different colours for added flexibility and variety. What clicked for me with my uniform was how fresh my clothes are all the time because I have multiples. So even though I’m wearing the same clothes, it feels fresh because it looks nice and I have different colours.

      Try it for two weeks and to see how it feels. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself as it will require some experimenting to find your style initially. You can do this!

  7. Aravind Kumar : I just wanted to know how you bought the 10 tall tees , did you bought just 2 of it and then bought the remaining 8 ?

    1. Hi Aravind, I’m so glad you enjoyed this article! I personally, ordered of tees at once. However, I did have to send them back because I got the sizing wrong. So in hindsight, it’s not a bad idea to trial some clothes before buying multiple pairs. I must say though, having multiple copies of the same garment makes life much easier! For your reference, I built my uniform largely from a clothing company called AS Colour. They focus on quality basics and they have an ethical supply chain. All the best with your personal uniform!

  8. Hey nice article, best part that you covered story behind “steve jobs” uniform. I always wondered how they come up with the uniform which suits them because that will be going to be with us for long time and it shout suite us well. Found your article while searching for how to choose a neutral uniform.
    I am thinking to trail by buying 2 pair of same costume and then based on experience will go for getting it in more numbers.
    If possible you can post how you finalized your uniform.
    Thanks and keep writing.
    Love from INDIA.

  9. I really like this idea. Ever since I left the military, I have crave the uniformity that it provided. My service left me with severe anxiety, so when I go shopping for clothes, it can be quite the ordeal for me. It can be difficult making those decisions. It’s always difficult in the mornings when I get up and I’m deciding what to wear. Thankfully, my new job does indeed have uniforms, but I do not like wearing them. I’m trying to think of what I would like to wear every day for the rest of my life. Do you have any ideas on what would look good on a man if he wore it every day? I can’t go buying the Steve Jobs sweaters because they are over $100 each. I was thinking that the only thing in my wardrobe I would change is the watchbands for my Apple Watch, and socks. I like to wear randomly colored socks. There is no decision fatigue involved in those. I just grab a pair that looks awesome and throw it on. Just can’t think of what I would like to wear every day for the rest of my life. Although I know that if it was something that had a collar to it, I would likely wear the under armor compression shirts and white color or gray. For a top I have no idea. For bottoms I was thinking something like a nice pair of stretchy jeans that is a very deep blue color and has a lot of wiggle room. For shoes I was thinking of Adidas, that have that cool looking block on the side. Socks would be Stance or pair of thieves. Underwear would be of course under armour. Any pointers that you can provide would be wonderful. It’s just such a hard decision to make to choose the one thing that you were going to wear forever. But I want to do it.

    1. Hey, thanks for sharing your interest in developing a personal uniform. As I said in the post, I’m definitely not one to have a great deal of knowledge in fashion. Having said that, we’ve curated a large list of online ethical fashion stores. Personally, I keep my wardrobe simple. Two pairs of Etiko shoes (one black, one white), tall tees x10, cuffed pants (black and beige), hoodies. As it warms up in Australia, I’ll review my uniform for the season.

  10. Love this. I have a basic black uniform. I am a high school counselor and wear black tops (typically nice quality tops from Nordstroms) over black pants, some colored pants/jeans. I’m even thinking of one pair of high end sneakers this year to stay super comfortable. I have been teased in the past over my all black uni, but I don’t let it bother me. I’m a confident person, I know what I like, and I don’t like to be bothered trying to dress to impress. I don’t need to express creativity with my dress, but I understand others may feel that need. My individuality is expressed by me, my personality, not my clothes.

    1. “I’m a confident person, I know what I like, and I don’t like to be bothered trying to dress to impress. I don’t need to express creativity with my dress, but I understand others may feel that need. My individuality is expressed by me, my personality, not my clothes.”

      This is such a powerful statement, Tracey. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  11. Dear Michael,
    This is a great article. I loved how you started to the beginning to bring the story to your points and how you include all different aspects into consideration. I guess I am fan of articles that merge a lot of facts with a lot of opinions and philosophies.
    It looks to me that your ‘personal uniform’ idea is something that is getting very ‘fashionable’ lately as a ‘capsule wardrobe’. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic myself. As a consequence I started my own personal wardrobe rehab and starting to write some thoughts and experiences on my web.
    I personally think that as the clothing is for long a part of our culture and individuality expression it is not really possible to completely go back to kind of idealistic utopia. Many reasons for that. I like the way who you did not want to push to the extreme which would mean supposing that your solution is better than any other but tried to look for a solution that both serves you and can exist in modern day society.
    I think we went far in everything today, to the point that what made sense at the time completely lost its meaning today. I wonder how people who advocate or consume all that fashion think that they are expressing their individuality when they are all wearing the same and buying what it is served to them or when they are trying to ‘buy the look’ that an influencer is wearing.
    I really love fashion and I love to express my personality and creativity through my outfits. I love them to be unique and exclusive to me. I think that everyone can find their own expression by experimenting with ‘ personal uniform’ concept. It is open for each individual to choose their items, have more or less of them and most of all use them in a creative way. I honestly believe that working with less set us on a challenge to find creative ways to do more with what we have and saves us from constantly wanting an buying more.
    Since I’ve started my capsule wardrobe journey I got even more inspired and got so many new ideas of how to wear same items in a different way. It helps to pack less for traveling and even sometimes to turn a more casual outfit into a more sophisticated one that would serve me for a special occasion. The more this kind of ‘joker’ items you have in your uniform the easier it gets.

    Thank you for the lovely article. I can already see myself referencing it in my future posts or newsletters 🙂 and including it in my lists of resources for people to read 🙂

    1. Hi Mili,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment 🙂

      Love your passion for sustainable fashion. I particularly like your idea of wearing the same clothes but in different ways.

      I’ve experimented with my personal uniform, and so far it’s been incredible. The mistake I made in the past was not getting enough of the same items—so I would wear out my clothes quickly.

      Thanks again for connecting.

      With simplicity,


  12. Great article, Michael. I have recently started building a vegan closet and I am trying to keep my items to a minimum. I found that I had too many geeky T-shirts that I thought would be a showcase of my interests to the people around me. Now, I feel very differently about statement shirts and I’m trying to create a sustainable wardrobe of which I could feel proud.

  13. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement to take the uniform idea more seriously. I’ve been leaning in that direction for a while. I also appreciate your sharing some of the history of clothing and how it has evolved/devolved. Most of all, I appreciate your integrity and willingness to improve things for all Earthlings. And it was great to hear you both on Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan podcast! She’s one of the reasons I became vegan. Blessings to you and all!

    1. We’re so flattered Alice. Thank you for your kind words! Would love to know how your uniform develops over time. It’s cool to see that you discovered us through Victoria. She’s also an inspiration to us!

  14. This article is blowing my mind. Is this what I’ve been seeking all these years?? I have always had such a low a stakes relationship to clothing, but growing up in a traditional Latina household that is very focused on all things fashion expression, it’s been so challenging. Feel like my brain cavity has been pried open, really need to investigate. Thank you so so so much.

  15. I like to simplifiy where possible as I don’t like creating extra work for myself. I recently found a pair of green combat trousers that I fell in love with. I bought 6 pairs. This is all I wear now. I’m female. I have no interest in fashion. I don’t wear make up with the exception of when I DJ I wear face paint. I love this concept and hadn’t really considered it till now.. But I’m lazy enough to be totally up for this. I have loads of clothes I don’t wear now because I pretty much just wear my green combats and a long sleeve top with at shirt over the top. I am 40 this year so it’s fair to say I’ve had lots of opportunities to be creative with my choices of clothing but at the same time it used to stress me out, I would get very frustrated about which outfit to choose. I care not these days how I come across as long as I don’t have food all over me and I’m reasonably clean it’s all good. I think I will extract all clothing I no longer wear from my shelves… and work towards this even more now. My personality is what sets me apart from others.. I don’t really feel the need to express myself through my clothing choices. Except that I like to feel like I’m ready for anything. Thanks for a thought provoking article. And as always keep up the good work x love from Portsmouth UK

    1. Pip, what a fantastic story! Thanks for being so honest with the TMV community. I think it’s totally badass that you bought 6 pairs of the green combat trousers and you have enough confidence in who you are to not give in to fashion trends. Much respect and I hope others can gain inspiration from your laid back and practical approach.

  16. Some populations in China are expected to wear a genderless uniform approved by the state.
    Women in some countries are required to completely obliterate their individuality by including a face covering. Outside of a uniform being imposed by government, I think a personal or cohort uniform (such as school, religious, or spots teams) is a great idea I’ve considered for at least 20 years. Knowing others feel the same gives me courage to move ahead. Thanks for the article.

  17. I’ve been thinking about building my own uniform for a while. Love the ideas you explore as reasons why some people would gravitate towards this–self-continuity, becoming an icon, as a part of a minimalist life choice, and to help reduce waste. Building your own uniform could also serve as a method of evolving our social expectations towards gender in clothing. In other words, if you are building your own uniform, you could have more freedom to express your gender in its most full and pure form. Thank for writing this–super interested in this idea & it’s nice to think more about how history has played a role in our clothing choices.

    “and I’m a dude! I can only imagine how painful this would be for women”
    Please be careful/aware of how you use statements like the above. Women would not inherently experience more pain in choosing an outfit in the morning. It can be harmful to make statements like this that reinforce false narratives about gender.

    1. Angel, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I hadn’t considered how a personal uniform could evolve our social expectations towards gender in clothing—but I can totally see how.

      Thank you for making me aware of my statements as it relates to gender. This part of the post has been edited as it’s not our intention to create false narratives.

    2. Just because one “can only imagine how painful it must be for women” does not imply that it must be more painful. You brought that bias, the statement was only expressing how men have to “imagine” the pains that women go through. The statement works in reverse to imply that women can only “imagine” the struggles that men go through. To read “I can only imagine” to be a declarative statement requires the reader to insert their own bias on the statement.

    3. I think he just stated a fact. In reality, it is much more difficult for a woman to decide what to wear, because there are so many options, while for men the options are rather limited and the expectations are lower, not to mention all the problems that come with certain outfits (inadvertently showing cleavage, skirt shorter than expected when sitting down, uncomfortable heels, etc). No woman would feel offended for what he said, rather she would feel understood.

      P.s.: I’m a woman 😉

  18. I have been contemplating on developing my personal uniform for a while now and was unaware others where basically having the same thoughts about clothing. The primary reason for me is practicality; basically it comes down to deleting all these decisions I have to make about clothing everyday so I can focus better on the things that are more important.
    Thanks for the pleasant read.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. The practicality piece is incredibly valuable when it comes to day to day decisions. Thanks for sharing, and please let us know if you end up implementing a personal uniform.

  19. This was thought-provoking, Michael! I’ve heard the idea before of course, but you’ve really broken it down to the practicality and the details. I’m a happy medium myself – I have a personal uniform of a certain type of shirt and pants with flats most days and have the bare minimum for occasions on the weekends. But I do see where you’re coming from, the way it is now isn’t the answer.

  20. I really enjoyed the post, it’s definitely a different mind set. I do think it’s really cool to make a statement and becoming your own brand by wearing the same outfit.

  21. Hi Michael! I enjoyed this article. It is interesting to consider having a personal uniform. I agree that we have gone way too far down the road of fashion. For me though, I think that we do not all need the same uniform because individuality is the spice of life. It would be sad and restrictive for me to wear the same uniform as everyone else because it may not reflect my personal growth or mood. To allow for this sort of flexibility of expression and fun I think a small set of clothing that goes together could be just as ethical and more lively. On another topic, I really enjoyed your book. It was short and sweet and motivated me to continue the work of creating my own life. Thank you!

    1. Couldn’t agree more Devin! Thank you so much for your kind words. Masa and I are so glad you enjoyed our book. You’ve already won if you’re actively creating the life that you want.

  22. I love the idea of this but how do you feel about clothes for specific activities such as going to the gym or while camping (two activities that I personally enjoy)? Finding a personal uniform that is appropriate for work but also translates to these activities seems difficult. How would you navigate that? Thanks!

    1. Hi Hannah, we’re glad you like the idea! Totally understand where you’re coming from and that’s why we included a response in the common objections section of the post. Here’s what I said:

      It’s undeniable that many of us have unique occasions to attend to whether it’s a sporting event, a wedding, church, funerals, etc.

      In these instances, I would keep the absolute bare minimum attire to cover these occasions, and nothing more. I would also keep them stored somewhere separate to your personal uniform so you can remain focused on the day-to-day.


      I agree that it is hard to find a uniform that covers all situations. When I think of a personal uniform, I think of what you would wear outside of specific activities.

      1. Ahh! Yes, okay. I guess I missed the sporting event part and was only thinking formal occasions there haha! Thanks for the response!

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