Minimalism is a philosophy where you reduce the amount of material objects in your life. It’s a great way to simplify your life and make it more efficient. I think it’s good to have a minimal wardrobe that you can mix and match. But I think the most important thing is to have quality clothes that you love. The number one question I get asked a lot by men wanting to live a more minimalist lifestyle is how many clothes you need as a minimalist man. My answer to this is, “You don’t need any if you live at a nudist colony!” All kidding aside, the real answer to how many clothes you need as a minimalist man is seven pairs of underwear, seven pairs of socks, seven shirts, one pair of pants, one pair of shoes or boots, and one jacket.

Seven is a useful number because if you do laundry once a week, you then have clothes for every day of the week. This of course assumes you wear one pair of socks a day, one pair of underwear a day, and a different shirt each day. Generally you can get away with wearing the same pair of pants an entire week, but shirts soil more easily due to your armpits than pants do, especially since underwear is a form of lining for your pants. You also don’t want to re-use the same pair of socks too much, as walking around daily with bacteria infested socks this is what causes foot fungus and bacteria to grow on your feet. This bad habit of wearing the same pair of socks many days in a row is also one of the reasons people have smelly feet.

How many clothes do you need as a minimalist?

Some minimalists believe that you don’t need a lot of clothing, so they only wear one or two shirts and pants. This is fine as long as you have the other items that make sense for the season and you have access to laundry, and don’t mind doing laundry often. You have to consider how often you can or want to clean your clothes when trying to be a minimalist. I personally prefer to do my laundry once a month so I keep at least twenty pairs of underwear, socks, and have around twenty shirts I can wear. While I do have blazers and business suits for meetings, I primarily wear a pair of jeans and a leather jacket with a t-shirt and a pair of boots.

As a minimalist man, it’s not about quantity of clothes. It’s all about quality and what you put on when you get dressed in the morning. If you’ve got on a good pair of shoes, your socks should match them. The easiest colors for socks is black for this reason, as black socks will go with the largest amount of shoe types.

What is too many clothes for a minimalist?

Too many clothes for a minimalist lifestyle would be having clothes you don’t wear or wear very rarely. Generally speaking the clothes you have in your wardrobe should be tailored to each season. The number of clothes I have changes with the seasons. In the winter, I usually keep a few pairs of jeans, some sweaters and shirts, and a couple of coats. So for each season it is a good idea to have different shirts and jackets you can wear, and out of season clothing can be stored for when the season next comes around.

How many pants does a man need?

As a minimalist man you only need four pairs of pants, one for each week of the month. Unless you work a job where your pants get dirty often, you don’t need to change your pants too much and wearing the same pair of jeans each week can work well. However if you wear dressier pants, this is a bad idea as the crotch will wear out faster in finer materials like silk and polyester, so if you wear business casual or formal clothing often you might want to have a different pair of pants for each day of the week to reduce the wear your pant crotches gain.

What color of pants should I own?

Generally the best colors are black and blue for pants, as that gives you the most variety of clothing fashions to mix and match with. Other colors of pants can be fun to wear but will often not match with the most variety of clothing.

How many t-shirts should a man have?

While living a minimalist lifestyle you can get away with just seven t-shirts, wearing one each day of the week, as long as you do laundry once a week. However if you don’t want to do laundry every week you should own at least twenty shirts you can wear. You should also consider how often you work out, and have a shirt you can wear to the gym and get drenched in sweat in for each day of the month you go to the gym.

What color of shirts should a man own?

The best colors of shirts for a minimalist lifestyle as a man are black and white shirts, as they will go with just about anything. It’s also a good idea to avoid shirts that have logos or branding on them, like comic book or movie characters, or whatever. Band shirts and so forth can be stylish but are less applicable to all situations as a solid colored black or white t-shirt can be.

For more fashion advice for men, check out our other articles here at the Millennial Gentleman.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.