All The Items Your Really Need - Pt. 1

The Importance of a Minimilistic Lifestyle - Clothing and Footwear

One year, I took a deep look at what possessions people really need and why. As my children have moved out on their own

this list has been helpful as it represents the bare minimum a person needs to live and challenges societal norms of what a person should have. I am sure there will be people reading this who would like to debate the items on the list. Debate away. Use this as a starting point to compare with your belongings. I challenge you to see if you can eliminate some unnecessary items in each category, as this list represents living life at its most minimalistic state. Each of the categories has a section for the purpose and some comments I chose to include. In order for an item to be worth saving, there needs to be a practical use for it. This list is not gospel, but it holds truths and general changes to think about including in your life.

Clothing/Footwear -

Purpose: Protect from elements (heat, cold, rain, snow). Interact with society in a conforming way.

Comments: Assume 2 weeks max clothing rotation, or, if you really want to be a minimalist, assume 2 total outfits – 1 on and 1 to wear while laundering. People own a lot of clothing and footwear because they have many roles in society that require different uniforms. Additionally, they get tired of wearing the same clothes. If the focus is shifted to view clothes as protection from elements, people would need less because the clothes would serve that purpose (as opposed to looking nice). To minimize excess clothing, consider whether or not you would like to fit into society. Also consider how often you want to wash clothing. I recommend getting clothes that are made with natural fiber, are neutral shades, are medium-weight fabric, are cross-seasonal fabric, are not too formal or casual, are cut-easy to layer, and have a medium fit.


Undergarments – Not really necessary but do allow sweat and secretions a place to go so outer clothing does not have to be laundered more frequently. Undergarments are accepted by society as normal, not totally necessary but highly desired.

Socks – keep feet warm and protect your feet from blisters, gives sweat a place to go. Not 100% necessary but nice to have.

Long Pants – Good for keeping warm, protection from harm (bugs, poison ivy, snow, etc.) Sometimes easy to move around in. If living in colder climates: may want different thickness pairs for different weather. If working, may need “uniform” for a job.

Short Pants – Not really necessary but some preferred depending upon weather.

Skirt/dress – Same as shorts. Dress may be worn for special occasions.

Shirts – Only a few are really needed but many people have a large quantity to wear for different occasions (tank, blouse, basic long sleeve, basic short sleeve).

Swimsuit (optional, depending on situation).

Sweaters/Jackets – Purpose is to keep warm. Probably good to have varying weights for varying weather conditions (protection from cold, snow, and rain). 1 light-weight, 1 thick, 1 cardigan, 1 overcoat, 1 blazer

Hats – 1 for sun protection, 1 for cold protection. Rest that people own are extraneous.

Gloves – Protection from cold. Protection while working.

Handbag – To carry items from place to place.

Jewelry – optional.

Footwear – Keep feet warm and protect from various surfaces such as grass, concrete, and sand. Various styles for various uniforms.

This post is the first of a 10 part series.