The lifestyle habits of the world’s most successful people intrigue me. I listen to Tim Ferris’ (author of “The Four Hour Working Week”) podcasts and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity hacks. Something cropping up regularly in the pop-tech world is minimalism.
Along with an increasing number of high profile personalities Mark Zuckerberg and Obama stick to a capsule wardrobe of core basics so they can focus their brilliance where it matters. It wasn’t until I watched a Netflix documentary called “Minimalism” that this pared back approach started to come together in my mind. At this time my brain felt like it was short circuiting with information overload and decision fatigue - so much choice is just overwhelming and I felt like I was on a hamster wheel on having.
The one area I didn’t need stressing me was my safe place, my fitness so I decided to introduce small changes. As an ex fashion designer I’m interested in the evolution of style and sub cultures the who's, hows and whys of our sartorial habits. I used to run a busy label but my lifestyle’s evolved into something more nomadic so I’ve naturally evolved into having less and living more with my gym bag leading the way.
Minimalism cuts down on excuses. I was never one for packing the night before which meant ending up in the gym without some crucial part of my kit like socks or deodorant. That meant a “get out of jail free” card so I could go for a drink after work instead. In the spirit of #noexcuses I stripped things right back and I couldn’t be happier or fitter. The changes I made were simple and sensible so here’s a guide to no-nonsense gym kit minimalism:
Keep it simple. My colour is black – which incidentally is always the new black. I don’t think about colour trends in my gym gear – black is also chic, slimming and I feel like a spin bike ninja. I suggest selecting three colours as your kit foundation. Choose two basic colourways black/grey/navy and add that one colour that everyone tells you suits you as your accent. Stick to basic cols in your bottoms and add your colour accents to sports bras or tops. I’ve purposely excluded white. Choose colours that you can wash together so you do it all in one go on a Sunday in preparation for the following week. Simplicity and automation are key. I keep clear of prints, down to my dislike for visual clutter but if you are choosing a print stick to your cols.
I’ve found my holy grail – the Lululemon 'All The Right Places' crop. I do spin, weights and yoga and I need one pant for all. The high waist is super supportive sucking everything in and the cut is really flattering. Choose the pant you love, lose the others rolling around your wardrobe and buy one of these for each day you workout – in my case 3.
Don’t shop everywhere. Too much choice = confusion. Decide where your affinities lie and stick with them – I’ve chosen Lululemon and Under Armour.
4. Tops and Sports Bras
I just love a racerback and Lululemon do a great one in several colours – again think of how many classes you attend each week and buy one for each class. If you’re really parched for some colour switch it up here. Do the same with your sports bra – I’m in love with Under Armour because of the shape and support.
Don’t do all the Boots minis as you’re creating unnecessary waste and aesthetically they just don’t look nice. Invest in Muji minis which are chic, uncluttered and refill as needed. Pop this in a Muji transparent makeup bag.
These three days you’ll need a bag that works. I love Lululemon’s Urbanite Backpack I need a bag that I can throw my gym gear and a laptop into and go. Backpacks work better for me on the Underground.
There’s a social stigma around being seen in the same thing twice. It originates in a time before fast fashion where a plentiful wardrobe was a sign of affluence. Time is the new wealth and with this approach you’ll have more of it. Once you announce to the world you’re embracing minimalism to improve your life experiences and productivity, you’ll become a trend leader in lifestyle which is the new fashion.
So the conclusion being - collect moments not things – minimalism helps.