Fashion

How One Facebook Exec Streamlined His Life, and His Closet

When style writer (and Facebook's eighth employee) Matt Jacobson moved into a smaller place, it kick-started a whole new Spartan lifestyle.
IMAGE Dave Lauridsen
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After an amicable divorce, I moved next door to my ex-wife and kids and downsized from a 4,200-square-foot house to an 850-square-foot bungalow. The storage realities of my new home mandated some serious editing: retaining the things I loved the most, ditching the duplicates, and giving away the rest.

That’s when I adopted a “one in, one out” policy, meaning whatever I acquired had to replace something I already owned—from shirts to shoes, from cars to surfboards. My then-girlfriend, and now-wife, Kristopher, is a stylish pragmatist whose design discipline favors curation over consumption. Her editorial rigor when it comes to“stuff” became the Tao of our household.  A decade later, even after moving to a bigger place, I still stick to this rule. Whatever I buy has to replace something else. Because of that, I’ve been able to build a tighter and better wardrobe, surf smarter with fewer board choices, and curate a selection of watches and cars that simply would not have been as interesting without the requisite pruning. 

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In practice, my surfboard quiver is tiny for someone who has surfed most of his life. I keep the “magic” boards, from legendary shapers like Skip Frye, and avoid the draw of the next big thing. From a collector’s standpoint, I don’t have a lot of vintage watches, but I have refined the collection to the very best examples by trading up for better pieces instead of merely adding more. The same goes for suits, shirts, ties, and sneakers. I take good care of my wardrobe, and things rarely wear out, so when I see something I want, it’s always weighed against what it might replace. 

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These days, what’s left in my house has survived the allure of the new just for the sake of it. I don’t pine for the things that got away, because I’ve been thoughtful about every acquisition. I own my things, rather than having them own me. And so far, I’ve had zero regrets.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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