10 items for a year: A minimalist approach to fashion

Story highlights

  • Matt Souveny has pledged to wear only 10 articles of clothing for a year
  • For those interested in downsizing their lives, the closet is an easy first step
  • Closets are "gateway drug for further simplicity," Project 333 founder says
  • Start small and don't get rid of everything at once, experts advise
Matt Souveny was feeling overwhelmed by the unworn clothes languishing in his closet when he began poking around Reddit's menswear forums, where style-conscious men debate different shoe leather and denim brands, or bravely seek constructive feedback on how a suit fits.
Souveny, a Canadian Air Force pilot, got into discussions about what to wear if you could only choose one outfit for the rest of your life, a popular topic on such forums. It was hypothetical at first, but as the list grew, Souveny decided he had enough intel to turn into a real-life experiment.
"I'd been trimming it down over the past year, but after that conversation on the Internet, it really struck me that I don't need all this stuff," he said.
As of June 1, Souveny has pledged to pare down his wardrobe to 10 articles of clothing for the next year, excluding socks, underwear and outerwear.
The list includes: one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, two T-shirts, one button-down, one sweatshirt, one pair of sneakers, one pair of boots, a blazer and a belt.
He declared his intention in May to wear one outfit for one year in a blog post titled "minimalism." The timing couldn't be better, he said. He and his wife were moving to a smaller home, and he would be on parental leave from the Air Force for six months, freeing him from the daily obligation to wear a flight suit.
It was also a way for him to start experimenting with how to live with less overall, he said.
"We've found over the past year that having less stuff can actually allow you more freedom. Instead of spending free time sorting stuff, or organizing stuff, or searching through stuff for other stuff, you can hopefully spend more time doing things that you want to be doing," he wrote.
Most of us aspire to de-clutter our lives at some point. Shunning all material possessions is a big leap for most, but slimming down one's closet is an easier first step. Popular minimalist fashi