Today's adventure in radical lifestyle simplification is all about how I've completely cut out the time I spend shopping for work clothes, courtesy of a service called Le Tote.
Clothes shopping is ridiculously inefficient. The mall experience is fraught with hassle from start to finish. The fastest process possible goes something like this: find a parking space, walk to the store you want, find a style you like in your size, wait in line to try it on, wait in line to pay for it, walk back to your car, head home.
And that's if you can stay focused long enough to find pieces you like. Sometimes, decision fatigue sets in before I'm able to make good selections, and I end up empty-handed or worse, with a bag full of items that won't get worn. So I've wasted time and gotten an undesired result.
Even if I've made a good purchase, there's a good chance that it'll sit in my closet, to be worn once or twice a month, if that. Talk about inefficiency.
Enter Le Tote. The service essentially lets you rent a wardrobe, three to five pieces at a time. Here's a video from Le Tote on how it works:
After using Le Tote heavily for about three months, I've experienced several distinct unfair advantages for efficiency-seekers.
I spend zero time looking for new clothes to wear to meetings or work events. I get a tote, keep it long enough to wear some of the pieces, and I send the whole thing back.
The first few totes had a few tops I didn't like, but there's no risk involved -- I just sent the whole tote back, rated everything in it on the website, and got a new tote a few days later. A few months after I joined, Le Tote introduced a new feature that lets you select the five or six items in your tote.
I like being able to try new styles and trends, but I don't want to invest the time needed to stay abreast of the hot colors, cuts and details of the season.
Another benefit: you can send back pieces in your tote unwashed. That skeeves out some people I've shared this with, but it doesn't bother me.
3. Wardrobe Utilization
My closet has thousands of dollars in fashion that I never wear. Yet I feel compelled to keep them because I think about the money I've spent on them, even if they don't fit properly or I no longer like them. That's inefficient.
With Le Tote, I wear 80% to 100% of the pieces I get in each tote, and I mix them with my favorite staples in my wardrobe -- mostly jeans and sweaters. That's efficient.
Due to my experience with Le Tote, I can envision a future in which I only have five to 10 core pieces, supplemented by my latest tote. That would slash my closet and clothing storage requirements down significantly, saving a ton of room in my home.
Le Tote's been a game-changer for me. If you want to try it out, head here.
Disclosure: If you sign up for Le Tote using one of the links above, you get a $25 purchase credit, and I get a $15 credit.