Seeing all the beautiful clothing that came down the runways at New York Fashion Week is pure eye candy—the colors, the design, the innovations and spectacle of it all is mesmerizing. I love it even though I know none of these pretty pieces will ever end up in my closet. That’s because every day my outfit consists of some variation of black skirt, black top, black leggings or black dress.

“My monodressing started somewhat accidentally ...”

I started dressing this way while working in New York, where inky wardrobe palettes are the norm. Even after moving to California, my monochromatic look stuck. Mono-dressing isn’t new (case study: Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and blue jeans) but it does seem to be gaining popularity in recent years.

Many articles have been written about research documenting “decision fatigue” — or the fact that the more choices you make each day, the more tiring and difficult the process becomes. If I only have a limited number of good decisions to make each day, I would rather they not be about what I wear or what to eat for breakfast.

Eliminating the small decisions you make every day creates more space in your mind and heart to focus on the things that are most important to you and bring you joy. It’s the main reason I recently had my hair cut in a much shorter, easier-to-manage-style, and why I have six pairs of the same shoes (in different colors) for work. If I get five extra minutes in the morning, I’d rather have breakfast with Alea than do my hair. Taking care of my skin is something I make time for every day because it truly makes me feel refreshed and renewed, physically and mentally.

Although my monodressing started somewhat accidentally, it became much more intentional once I started Tatcha. Overnight, I had to maximize my efficiency so I could give myself fully to my work and my family, and I’m still learning and refining the process.

Through trial and error I’ve learned that the changes that make the biggest difference and are easiest to stick to are those that feel most natural. So whether it’s taking a moment to care for your skin, unwinding by cooking a meal, talking to your cat or wherever your happy place is, be sure to honor what’s important to you. Wearing the same clothes does bring me joy and takes a lot of stress out of my mornings, but this is surely different for those who love creating a new ensemble every day.

Simplifying and avoiding “decision fatigue” looks different for everyone, but for me right now, it’s short hair and lots of black outfits. What does simplification look like for you? I would love to hear your approach to it as well.


Always,

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published September 2015

Living, Beauty Secrets
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