Why You Don’t Need to Bring Too Many Clothes When Traveling

The late Steve Jobs wore only his ensemble jeans and black turtleneck shirt later in his life; President Obama likes to keep his suits just black and blue. Even Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook wears his gray T-shirt all the time. These great men think it’s all about making one decision less from all the big decisions they make everyday. As for the Pope, well, that’s another thing altogether.

No, you don’t need to go that far (or less), but if you’re traveling or relocating for work or business, you might just find it surprising how going spartan can be quite a relief. There is such a thing as decision fatigue but when you remove one thing like clothing, you provide yourself some mental room.

Yes, you will say that you need to look presentable. You can still do that. An Australian news anchor Karl Stefanovic wore the same navy suit, only changing shirt and tie, the whole year of 2014. Hardly anyone noticed.  

If you’re relocating or simply renting a corporate apartment for a few months, the question you may be thinking is how to pack your stuff, but also a pressing issue is what you will learn by not bringing your entire wardrobe with you. Here, we give both the how and why you need fewer clothing with you.

  1. Fewer clothes give you freedom.

Think what William Wallace in Braveheart hollered to his men in the medieval war movie–FREEDOM!!!.The freedom to think of other more important things certainly gives your mind more mental space while also helping you to channel your energy somewhere more substantial. If you recall, Wallace’s men also mooned the British empire in that movie, letting us know why you need less even in battle.

  1. Wearing fewer colors can cut all your unnecessary accessorizing in half

We’re also conditioned to think of buying more clothes by all the ads we see, accumulating more than what we need. Try owning fewer clothes. You’ll probably think clearly. Fewer clothes mean less accessories like belts, handbags or shoes.

  1. Wear clothes befitting your destination — and profession.

If you’re moving to New York for the winter, bring lots of everything black, whether casual or business attire. If you’re moving to northern California, and everybody else is wearing tees, you wouldn’t want to stack your luggage with suits. If you’re still skeptical about how you can manage with a few clothes, just ask flight attendants how many clothes they actually bring when they travel.

  1. Just set yourself a monthly limit for clothing purchases.

If you’re thinking of bringing fewer clothes, because you plan to buy more later when you’ve arrived in your destination, just remember not to overspend. When you’re in a new place, you might want to accumulate stuff. But you’re not staying there permanently, so don’t need to buy as much. How do you control yourself? Never go into a clothing store if you didn’t plan to buy anything in the first place. The mall traps us into buying, especially when you see those giant SALE signs. Condition yourself to shop once a month perhaps. Remember, if you’re staying in a corporate apartment for a few months, what’s the point of buying?

  1. There will be more money in your pocket.

It’s good to indulge yourself once in awhile, but if you buy less, you’ll also have more money in your pocket. So when you return home, you’ll think more frugally and realize how much you don’t actually need. You’ll learn some valuable lessons. Mornings would be less stressful. You could pack for other trips more efficiently. And don’t forget, fewer clothes mean your laundry days would be more manageable.