One season’s uniform shirt

What it’s like to wear the same thing every day

Almost no one notices.

Even if what you wear every day is bright and, you’d think, impossible not to notice, few people will notice and even fewer will mention it.

A handful of people will ask you about it.

In your thirties, wearing the same thing two days in a row means something different than the mildly celebratory signal it sends in your twenties, and wearing the same thing for weeks in a row graduates you from “insouciant” to merely “intentionally strange.” Still, some people will bring it up.

The politest broaching of the topic I’ve heard: “That’s your favorite shirt, isn’t it?”

When you wear something different — on a hot day, or for an event — everything feels unfamiliar, like you’re a kid who forgot your wristwatch. Something’s itchy. Why is that tag there? Are these pockets smaller? Where did you put your keys?

You notice what everyone else wears, and look for people like you. That guy wears the same jeans basically every day. This guy wears that jacket a lot. Is that the same t-shirt as yesterday, or is that a different logo?

Your clothes become a symbol for work. When you’re exhausted at work, you put on pajamas as soon as you get home — anything to leave the workday behind. If you’re loving your job, your work uniform is perfect for drinks and dinner with friends.

What you wear matters less than the fact that you’re accustomed to wearing it. Even if you don’t particularly like the clothes you chose a few months or years ago, wearing them every day is easier than finding something new.

Your consumerist instincts decline. Clothing stores scream “sale” signs at you to no effect, and soon, surprisingly, that blase attitude extends to other stores as well. It turns out you probably have everything you need.

You can get dressed in thirty seconds. You might intend to wear something else — shake things up, channel a different emotion — but when you look at your minimal closet, you wonder — why bother?

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