During the Christmas holidays, I was at my friend’s apartment in Vancouver having a glass wine and enjoying the graceful snowfall. We just finished watching a documentary together called Minimalism. The documentary’s title is self-explanatory, revealing an insight that living with what we only NEED is sufficient and emotionally rewarding. It sounds simple enough – living with only what we need. But in actuality, it takes a lot more discipline and self-awareness to execute.
After the documentary, I had a discussion with my friend and asked him if he thought it was possible to live with a minimal wardrobe, one that incorporates the “10 Essentials“, or whatever the number is, bloggers tend to endorse. I am very intrigued with the idea of a minimalistic wardrobe, but, truthfully, I have an extensive wardrobe and have no intention of eliminating 80% – 90% as the documentary suggests. Evidently, I am also an advocate for using clothing as a form of expressing one’s individuality. However I am aware that the reverse may be argued such that utilizing a minimalistic wardrobe is, in itself, a form of expression. I always believe that once you have established your wardrobe, a “uniform” or uniformity between your looks will be present.
Therefore the true motive in question is, can we create an individual’s “uniform” and simultaneously express ourselves thoroughly by utilizing a minimal wardrobe or one with a fixed amount of garments? The answer seems straightforward enough but the skeptic in me believes that nothing is conclusive until proper experimentation has occurred.
Thus I introduce you to M14. Minimalism 14, is a fun, somewhat quirky and discipline oriented project scheduled for the entire month of February. For the next 28 days, I am going to be ONLY wearing 14 chosen items from my existing wardrobe.
The goal of M14 is to primarily conclude if I can find a concrete answer to the posed question above and provide evidence that you do not need a large wardrobe to dress well. But, also, to allow me to revisit my wardrobe, remove unnecessary waste, be contented with it and to determine if my style, which I would frequently describe as wearing formal pieces casually, is still present/coherent with a limited amount of clothing.
What you can expect from M14? Outfit photos and reflections (mostly struggles) upon adopting a minimalistic wardrobe.
I intend to document each day’s outfit. However, realistically, as much as I like to, I don’t think I will be able to do it for the entirety of February. I will be leaving the country in the middle of February for a few days and I am still deliberating if I should continue the project or simply extend it into March. This hesitation comes in as I have specific clothes that I am much more comfortable travelling with, such as cargo trousers, M-65 jacket etc. I have yet to come to a conclusive decision but I will be sure to update you guys as we inch closer to the travelling date.
The 14 items that I am about to introduce is congruent with typically what I think the advantage man needs in his wardrobe, a few formal pieces in the mix but mostly casual articles. Additionally, you will notice that I deliberately used neutral colours, namely greys, navy and a little bit of brown and olives, for this project. However, considering it is Winter, most of these items are season specific, which is another aspect as to why I think it’s hard to establish a wardrobe based on a fixed number of items. Also bare in mind that some of these items are interchangeable with your preferred type of garment, for an instance one of chosen my items is a Blackwatch Quilted Jacket that can be easily switched for a more commonly sourced Denim Jacket. Lastly, these 14 items do not include accessories – particularly, pocket squares, belts, gloves and scarves. But for the purpose of this project I will only be using one of each, x1 belt, x1 glove etc. I know it’s feels a little duplicitous but I decided to give myself a little leeway considering it’s my first attempt on embracing minimalism.
Without further adieu, allow me to introduce the project’s carefully curated 14 items.
1) Raw Denim
2) Grey Flannel Trousers
3) Dark Brown Winter Boots
4) Wingtip Boots
5) Grey Flannel Shirt
6) Olive Turtleneck
7) Charcoal Turtleneck
8) Chunky Knitted Turtleneck Sweater
9) Grey Shawl Collar Cardigan
10) Blackwatch Quilted Jacket
11) Navy Hopsack Blazer (Or Brown Corduroy Trousers)
12) Navy Blazer (Okay… I know I am cheating here, but frankly they can be interchangeable, a single breasted for the more conservative individual and the double breasted option for the dandier individual.)
13) Charcoal Herringbone Topcoat
14) Canadian Goose Parka
On a brief note, I foresee myself being quickly dissatisfied by dressing with such a limited amount of items. But I am hopeful that this project will alleviate my recent issue of taking forever to get dressed and allow me to properly establish a sense of uniformity within my wardrobe.
Disclaimer: I understand that this project may appear mundane for my readers. But, as mentioned above, I wanted to demonstrate that a large wardrobe does not necessarily equate being well-dressed. Additionally, the reality is that most mens wardrobes are small so hopefully this project will be relatable to you. I hope I do not lose any of my beloved readers through this process and, if it’s any consolation, I will still be posting content that is separate from M14.
As always, thank you for reading and visit this page regularly to stay updated with my month long minimalism project/menswear content!