The FW'14 Capsule and a mini rant on Minimalist Wardrobes


I meant to write a long post about how I find that there are so many different variations of what a "minimalist wardrobe" means that it's rather exhausting trying to suss out how and why you should own a minimalist wardrobe (inspired in part by this thread). I find that a lot of times, bloggers don't really know why they're throwing or donating a bunch of clothing quite suddenly except that it seems trendy. There are questions about how much loungewear or gym clothes or underwear you should own. For the record, I own A LOT of loungewear and gym clothes and underwear because I live in lounge wear and I am terribly lazy when it comes to washing delicates (I stock up the same bra and knickers set from The Gap for every day use). There are also gripes about how difficult it is to include color and patterns into a minimalist wardrobe. Which all leads to the question, what exactly IS a minimalist wardrobe?

There are some minimalist wardrobe projects out there that talk about seasonal capsule wardrobes where you are suppose to only wear about 30-ish items per season (three months), underwear and bags and shoes excluded or something like that. That seems like an awful lot of stuff to me especially if you're only doing it for the season. I find that fall and winter is when I rotate through the least amount of clothing, mostly because if you wear a camisole under your sweater, you can really just wear your sweater through the season without it getting funky. If you actually have a formal office job, a few shirts, a pant suit, an extra pair of pants and a suiting dress should suffice. There's nothing minimalistic about being able to wear at least one different item of clothing a day!

In my mind, a minimalist wardrobe isn't so much about the minimalist aesthetic of boring monochromatic colors but rather an organic decision about consuming less for both social and environmental reasons. It's not so much about buying the most expensive things by excusing them as quality items but rather, seeking out things so that you don't have to replace them quite as frequently. It's about conscious consumption. It really doesn't matter if you're shopping from Zara or from Rick Owens, the key is to understand and learn where your product comes from, define what quality is acceptable to you and to reflect on why you are buying what you are buying and if it fits into your lifestyle, personality, and if it is practical.

The unfortunate thing is that there is no way to know what your personal style is without owning a bunch of clothes and having worn them for a while. There is also no way of knowing if something is practical for your lifestyle when things can change quite suddenly. Kids, a real job, suddenly working from home, manual labor, suddenly having to work at Taco Bell etc., etc., ... who knows. I've realize that the whole contrived way of building a minimalist wardrobe these days just seems slightly superfluous with the endless spreadsheets and Pinterest bookmarks and wishlists. Not everyone wants to look like the inside of an Eileen Fisher store, and not everyone actually has the time to make moodboards to suss out how to mix and match, and truth be told, some people just like really like variety!

It took me a long time to figure out how to streamline my closet, not because I was trying to be a minimalist in anyway, but because reading about the clothing manufacturing industry made me very sad. In addition, I hated doing the laundry and I didn't like having to spend a long time figuring out what to wear when the smart thing was to just throw on what I had worn yesterday that looked semi-decent; having a small closet helped with that. I have wasted a lot of time and money in trying to achieve that 10-item closet and tricking myself into believing the myth that $$$ = quality.

The funny thing though, was eventually I realized I couldn't have too tiny a wardrobe because I needed all these other things that made my hobbies and work more pleasant. I certainly couldn't muck around in the field or garden or hike or bring the dogs on a walk with the 10 or so items I tricked myself into believing would work for everything. Despite what anyone says, No. 6 clog boots are not made for hiking or sleek cobblestones in the rain.  In fact, sometimes I think the minimalist wardrobe is an ignis fatuus (illusions, Michael...) and really isn't applicable in any of these conditions:

(a) You have a full-time office job
(b) Over the age of 25
(c) Do not work in the creative industry
(d) Do not run a blog
(e) Are not a privileged individual 
(f) Like colors other than 000,000,000 on the RGB scale

I posted a little figure of the 12 items I will be wearing when I actually have to leave the house starting in October all the way through February. They're all kind of the same shade because I look terrible in colors and patterns and I have no skill in matching anything that don't belong on the same side of the color wheel. The Barbour jacket is rainproof and lightweight enough for me to layer over a black cardigan from Organic John Patrick and the grey Rag & Bone one I bought on sale from La Garconne. I find that I can prolong the life of my sweaters by layering underneath with an organic cotton camisole from Araks or if it gets a little chillier, a super warm woolen-silk tank from Hanro. I also basically rotate through two pairs of pants - the 6937 trousers has been my staple since I bought it earlier this month and got it hemmed a good two inches. Other than that, I have the perfunctory Acne jeans in basement , A.P.C. suede boots from 3 years ago, a silk Madewell shirt I bought eons ago and the very sturdy Isabel Marant scarf I bought last year.  Those are what I call my nice, 'put-on-a-front' clothing.  However, It took me a REALLY long time to figure out how to narrow things down to 12 items a season and it was mostly through trial and error and a lot of wasted income. You could probably come to the same conclusions I have or figure out what suits you at a much lower price point (something which I will touch on the next post) - I'll be the first to admit that I'm terribly particular about achieving that right 'look' and am an out and out pretentious label whore (self-worth intrinsically linked to aesthetics, blah blah blah).

The truth is that I'm home most days of the week when I wear a good amount of yoga pants, fleece sweaters, an Arc'teryx rain jacket* that I bought a couple of years ago with a measly student income, and a pair of Isabel Marant clogs. It's easy for me to list 12 items because for the most part, because I don't need to get up most mornings and schlep out of the house. I also simply don't care what people think anymore. It's strangely liberating and it's made me become a more conscientious consumer because I'm buying for me and my lifestyle and not merely because someone else set the rules.

* I live in a very rainy city so buying a good Gore-tex rain jacket seemed like a no brainer. I bought this a couple of years ago, first for field work, then for skiing. This is the one I own which I bought from Backcountry.com on sale. You can find off-season colors for a fraction of the price.

Note: Some of the product links will provide me with a commission if you make a click or make a purchase. See here why I decided to do affiliate linking. As always, I encourage you to shop around for sale items and to shop responsibly. 

35 comments :

  1. true -- I do find that planning to wear 30 pieces to work can be challenging, although I do find I rotate the same few after a while. I think setting strict guidelines can be a downfall to anything -- if you just choose to be more conscious about the things you buy and understand why your'e making the purchase, you'll tend towards the minimalist end of things naturally.

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    1. I think there should be a happy medium - and it depends on what you include in the 30 items. I find that 30 items per season including shoes and bags is a little too much but then again, it comes back to access to laundry, what kind of field you work in or if you travel etc., etc.,

      You're right that ultimately, minimalism comes naturally as you're more conscious about the choices you make in consuming.

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  2. I have nothing interesting to add, but I just wanted to say how much I loved this post! It's actually quite rare to find people discussing the concept of minimalism outside of a purely aesthetic context, or to approach the topic in a way that isn't just an excuse to shop. So - thank you! So many people think they're doing it wrong just because all the blogs don't reflect their own experience. It's a shame.

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    1. As we've discovered, there's many definitions of the word "minimalism" and what a minimalist wardrobe should constitute. You can't win them all - it's a damn if you, damn if you don't situation. I think the best thing is to just focus on your own style and purchasing habits and be a minimalist in what you think is best applicable to your lifestyle and beliefs.

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    2. Took the words right out of my mouth Samantha. I actually was planning a similar post for months. Minimal fashion is an aesthetic in my opinion while conscious consumerism can be part of this trendy minimalist lifestyle we are all trying to wrap our heads and lives around these days.

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  3. Please let me rant a little too: Fashion related blogs are not very relatable to me anymore. I see fashion bloggers do OOTDs who wear new stuff everyday and then discuss why they would invest lot more money in classics. And you never actually see them wear these classics. Or the ones who talk about this french capsule wardrobe thats usually menswear inspired. And show some very boring/norm core clothing. I know how-to-dress-like-french-women books talk a lot of similar stuff but they give a lot of importance to accessories. Without that, the outfits are just boring. I used to enjoy fashion blogs but i cant relate to them anymore.

    On a different note, i think ones who love color can still do a minimalist wardrobe. Accessories to the rescue ! Less amount of clothing and a good collection of accessories like scarves, shoes, jewelry and bags do a great job elevating a norm core neutral outfit.

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    1. Haha! The amount of accessories I own are so incredibly small that they sort of don't even exist when I put them on. I have some nice, slightly patterned scarves but always revert to monochromatic ones. I really need to learn how to mix and match better.

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    2. We have a lifetime to slowly amass them dont we? They are more durable than clothes. Thankfully, i inherited some from my mum and grandma. And am building my own slowly.

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  4. I agree with you that "minimalist" fashion bloggers are a joke now. These numbers of 30+ pieces, etc. are so arbitrary. There's no such thing as a minimalist number of clothing articles because everyone's lives are different.

    For the past 6 months I have built a business casual work wardrobe consisting of 15 tops, 5 pairs of pants, 2 blazers, 2 cardigans, and 4 pairs of shoes. Everything is a variation on black, gray, navy, beige, or white (I had one purple sweater but I ruined it last week :( So I actually had 16 tops until recently). I have a pair of nude loafers, nude ballet flats, black oxfords, and black ballet flats. I know this is way too boring and restrictive for most people but it has worked surprisingly well for me. No one ever comments on me wearing the same things. I honestly don't think they notice at all! I do plan to buy a few more pieces (2 more pairs of pants, maybe 2-3 more tops, 1 more cardigan, a light coat, and some tan shoes) but overall I am really pleased at how little I can get away with owning while still looking professional.

    I suppose my point is that I'm sick of fashion blogs. I have an office job and I can't go into work wearing either F21 or Rick Owens. I don't wear dresses (my legs get cold in AC) or heels (I take public transit, walk to meetings at work, and am already tall - plus I like comfort). That disqualifies 99% of bloggers from having any relevance to my life. So I'm pretty much over giving any more of my time or affiliate clicks to any bloggers except the few who seem like genuinely good and thoughtful people.

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    1. Are those cloths you listed for your work only or do they intersect with your leisure pieces?

      You're right that most people don't care what you wear, especially men. My mom always said that as long as you're clean and don't attract attention, everyone else is too self-involved to pay you any mind. Heck, sometimes I don't even notice what my husband wears and I see him all the time.

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    2. Except for a couple of sweaters, I really only wear them for work. I also forgot to mention that I work in a field not known for its fashion forwardness, which I think makes it easier. Not sure I could get away with so few clothes if people who knew anything about style were scrutinizing my outfits, haha.

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  5. Hi. I am so happy that now you blog more often. Sometimes I save it until a later time to enjoy it, sometimes I will just read it and mark it as 'unread' so that I will remember to come back later to read again including all the comments. - I Ying

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    1. I Ying, thanks for being such a long time reader!

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  6. Hahahaha @

    "(a) You have a full-time office job
    (b) Over the age of 25
    (c) Do not work in the creative industry
    (d) Do not run a blog
    (e) Are not a privileged individual
    (f) Like colors other than 000,000,000 on the RGB scale"

    I have a full-time office job, am over the age of 25 and I do love a bit of color, but I also work in a creative industry and I run a blog. I'm privileged in the sense that I make a decent salary and live in a dual-income-no-kids household. But then again I wouldn't call myself a minimalist fashion blogger - it's just a philosophy that I clumsily and often unsuccessfully try to integrate into my life while writing about the journey on my blog. I've been keeping an eye on that thread every since it popped up on Google Analytics, mostly because I'm scared shitless of GOMI (I'm of the boring and non-snarky live-and-let-live persuasion) but also because the discussion is an interesting one. There are so many definitions of minimalist out there, so no matter what you do you can't live up to all of them. You'll own too many things, shop at the wrong stores, wear the wrong colors or be too much/too little of a snob.

    For me personally it is about making an effort with choosing the right item from the get-go so that I'm sure I spend my money on things that I love and that will last, and about getting rid of the dead weight items by giving them to friends or charity. It's a process though - you don't read a few books about minimalism and magically become The Perfect Minimalist. I buy too many bags and too much makeup. I reel it in, slip up, and reel it in again. I feel like an asshole and then I try to do better next time, in hopes that my readers remember that I'm a normal person and not some Shiny Wannabe-Minimalist Guru of Stuffless Perfection™. It has gone well this far. You guys are awesome.

    Love your recent blog posts, by the way. Way to shake things up and start a discussion.

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    1. Yeah, I don't know how we're all suddenly lumped into this minimalist fashion blogger schtick. I think we're all just trying to shop more consciously for personal reasons, mostly ethical ones. GOMI can be pretty brutal and some people are definitely perpetually waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but you can learn a lot from criticism and hey, if I'm on there snarking on someone else, I'm gamed for being criticized as well.

      Anyway, I think people don't realize that as long as you like clothes or makeup or things where you actively have to buy, learning to *buy less* can only be achieved through trial and error (and dire circumstances I guess). There really isn't a magical or right way to achieve "minimalism" though I am loathe to call it that - it's a journey mostly of discovering how to consume less with be content with what you have.

      I like the "I reel it in, slip up, and reel it in again" bit, I may plagiarize it, but I'll be sure to give you full credit :-P

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  7. I agree with Maja, great recent blog posts! You write thoroughly in a straightforward way, thumbs up.

    I am doing Project 333 (including shoes and accessories), and am hoping for a bodily experience of how little I actually need, even with an office job and varied spare time activities. I'll keep your words on consciousness rather than rigidness in mind. I do believe though, that a project with a limited time frame can help kick off an initial phase of "living with less". My long term goal is to ditch the spread sheets and obsessive lists, and keep going in a more natural way without compartmentalizing my closet.

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    1. PS: I like Erin's two cents: http://www.readingmytealeaves.com/2014/09/growing-minimalist-wardrobe-step-2.html

      Looking forward to your future rants! ;)

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    2. Ooh, thanks for linking to that blog - I'm really liking all her homemade, DIY stuff and lovely pictures.

      Good luck with Project 333! It looks like you made some good choices for your 33 items. I'm so terrible with spread sheets I think I'd be so frustrated, I'd go out and buy more crap!

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    3. Thank you!

      I think I meant *rigiditiy, btw..

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  8. That's a very interesting discussion to be had indeed. I really find the word "minimalism" to be double edged. In a way, it can scare off people because of the stereotypes linked to it (black & gray, boring, ascetic, snob...), but in another way there is some sort of "minimalist Joneses" going on too - going into some sort of opposite excess of as few as possible just for the sake of it.

    I think numbers isn't where the debate lies. I agree with you that it's more a question of approach rather than numbers (or the collection of items itself, as a matter of fact). It's about thinking before buying, making conscious decisions, mindful shopping, paying attention to ethical and other social/environmental issues, and not letting oneself be drowned by shopping, debt, wishlists etc.

    Other than that, I think the form it takes for each and every one of us is very personal, as the very definition of minimalism, at least in my opinion, is to tailor something to your lifestyle and constraints, not the other way around. In other words, I believe in setting the appropriate number after assessing personal needs, and not trying to conform to 30 or whatever other arbirary limit.

    That being said, I think minimalist experiments such as project 333 (which says to limit to 33 items for a season) can be a good way to start, experiment, see what's working. Sure, it can sound like a huge number compared to what people used to wear (which was, maybe a rotation of 2 outfits?), but it may also sound very little to people who have bloating wardrobes and don't know where to start. I like the idea of trying to live with fewer clothes and see how it works out. As you say, there is no other way to know what's going to be the most adequate item and closet without actually trying and seeing how it goes...

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  9. The funny thing for me is the more time I spend thinking about my clothing, the less time I spend doing other things. If it's a hobby, sure why not, but when it starts to feel like work (pinterest, spreadsheets, research), it's time for me to take a break.

    It's just stuff in the end. Stuff that I will probably wear out and need to replace. I used to hate the idea of throwing out or giving away clothing because it gave me the false sense of freedom to purchase more. Now that I live in a tiny place with hardly any storage, the work has been done for me. I shop the way I eat: just enough to keep me going without becoming a jerk because of hunger or wardrobe fails.

    And a big yes to $$$$ doesn't equal quality.

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  10. Well I fist heard of minimalist and simplicity (generally speaking) back in the late 1990's and beginning 2000's. It came from Canada at that time. For me all that stuff is a bit of rubbish..... in case you are wondering, I am french and we are supposed to be very forward and frank so here I am!!! You can't be minimalist and in the simplicity when you throw away your clothes to buy new expensive classic one. That is perfect nonsense to me and very posh in a way. It seems to me that no "real" people (I mean people that are not obvsiously struggling to eat, live, work) but privileged one. InFrance, fortunately, until quite recently (relative time), we did not have to be minimalist but just use common sense. Same with fashion: when you do not have a lot of money to live, you just CAN'T use money to buy as much clothes as some of famous Uk or US fashion blogger do (or not fashion blogger by the way). It is true that our style and our body shape are evolving along the years hence the change of clothes but why buy so much and then, to be trendy (for most of people), throw the cothes away. Shop your closet !! And why ever should minimalist wardrobe be so boring: black, grey, begy taupe, navy blue. No colour, no being bold, same kind of uniforme (albeit minimalist) with slim jeans, sneakers or THOSE boots, sweat shirt, no bold pattern or colour, leather jacket. And this all other the world. I wonder sometimes if people are so insecure with themselves, their bodies that they need to hide, have unfit clothes with no shape and be all the same. I do not see anything different in this minimalist wardrobe and would not have one. True I shop differently now as I aged and feel more confident and know what fits and flatter me. And I do love colours, like life and nature itself. So I shop my closet for most of it, shop via Ebay when I need to (my body has changed). I would not call myself minimalist of using simplicity, I am only a woman with a limited amount of money and I do not want to be defined by my clothes (although they do anyway in a sense). This is my rant. I stopped following several fashion blogs and tumblr because to me, they are all the same boring kind of clothes with the breton top, the trench, the scandinavian interiors, same kind of shoes, no real colours. I think I am not trendy, poor me. I like to have very good quality clothes and, as a very petite, sometimes I do not have a large choice of range to choose. And I do have a lot of accessories, easy to have a new outfit everyday (a flower on my lapel), scarves, belt, jewels...). So in conclusion, I should say that I am really fed up with this worl minimalist: in my opinion, it found its origin in the fact that, please do tell me if I am wring and written rubbish, in the US consumption reached such a level that it was a complet waste. In Europe to alas! But I have never heard of minimalist in, say, Africa or Vietnam or any other place where money is scarce and you have to be inventive and make do with what you have. I plead guilty as well.

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  11. I love the mini-rant! I also love your style uniform! I sometimes feel pressure to BE more minimalistic - but actually have a shit ton of organized clutter, love color, and the only time I was minimal was when I was forced to when I lived in Asia out of two suitcases for a year. Hahah!

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  12. This is a refreshing read compared to all the other "capsule-minimalist-10-item" posts that are popping up now that it's Fall again. I never end up cycling my clothes depending on the season, summer and fall and winter are always up in my closet all the time! Creating a capsule has always seemed too restrictive for most lifestyles (like you mention) - almost like you've accidentally under packed for a trip. Anyway, that OJP cardigan really caught my eye. I might have to try and track one down to try on since you've given it a good endorsement :)

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  13. Hear, hear! Or is it here, here? I never actually knew.

    I am 100% behind you on this rant. I find a lot of these "capsule" wardrobes popping up are like, wtf. You still bought 20 new pieces this season??? What you said about, "streamline the closet" is exactly it: don't have a ton of superfluous crap, but also not only 30 pieces to wear forever. I was in the superfluous crap camp in my early-mid 20s, but now, that I've accumulated so much and had to move so often (UGH), it really makes me think about each item a little more lest I be left with one more item that I wore ONCE and dragged around in the u-haul 10 times since.

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  14. What I really enjoy about reading properly personal blogs like yours is the journey of figuring out what makes sense (clothing and consumption wise in this case), at any given time in a person's life, and I think people who quibble over what "kind" of wardrobe one should have and who is "failing" to meet some arbitrary standard are unrealistic, not to mention missing the forest for the trees. Like you said, trial and error is all part of getting it right, to say nothing of lifestyle changes (and ageing argh) which always throws things for a loop, in terms of what's practical for my life. Setting goals (eg, being a "better" consumer) and failing to meet them is also important because it sets you thinking and learning from the process.

    I realised at some point that I need not beat myself up for buying the odd COS or Zara item if I end up wearing them for years and putting them to good use - I do have my moments of "I can't resist it's so cute" but I think I would have been a lot worse off if I didn't try and set myself a goal of buying better and more thoughtfully on my blog - writing about it and keeping track helped rein in impulse buys.

    The whole numbers thing, argh. It did get me to start thinking about counting how many pieces of clothing I get through a month. In hot weather, it's quite difficult to wear tops more than once, so I think I get through a lot of those, especially since I don't do laundry daily. I think projects setting a number of items a season as a goal are a help starting or reference point but realistically I suppose everyone will end up with a different number. My friends are astounded when I say I have 11 pairs of jeans but then all of them are over 6 years old, I haven't bought jeans since 2008, and I still wear all 11 pairs regularly. Hardly "minimal", numerically but hey, works for me.

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  15. Sorry I know you are (slightly) serious but I cracked up the entire time while reading this post. I'm not laughing at you though. I just know exactly who and what you are referring too and it's hilarious. Right on right on, A.

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    1. P.S. Even their instagrams looks alike. UGH.

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  16. i have never aspired to a minimalist wardrobe. seems like an interesting project, but i agree with your lists a through f. having a full time non-creative industry job and a part time social life means that the kinds of clothes i wear have to either be able to do double duty or sometimes be divergent. i quite like having a difference between what i wear for work and play. there's absolutely nothing minimalist about it. and i do think you are right, sometimes cost doesn't equal quality. i think it's interesting that minimalism isn't really about being entirely minimalist. it's really about spending the maximum to be able to embrace the minimum. ahh well. i'm still me--print mixing, doing what i do, wearing my little lace up shoes. it's been working so far!

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  17. Surprisingly, I fit into all the categories but (e) [depending here on 'privilege'--economic or other privilege?] and (f) [I love black, navy, and gray], but I have no troubles going to work 5-6 days a week in business casual to formal clothes and keeping in what probably constitutes a minimalist wardrobe. I think it's because, when you're rushed in at 7am in the morning, you don't really want to think about what you're going to wear and try on a bunch of clothes. Perhaps the secret to true style is being busy enough that your natural impulses are able to shine. If I spend lots of time trying to look a certain way--a lawyer, a sex kitten, whatever--then I always end up feeling a lot less myself and I don't want to wear the clothes again for a long time.

    As for the clothes themselves, I recently described them as the type of clothes you'd expect maybe a young child to draw to illustrate the garb of Soviet Russian civilians: extremely simple, functional, almost gestalts of actual garments. They're easy to replace in a sense because they're so simple. I can almost buy their replacements in my sleep!

    So I don't buy clothes with the hope they'll last me for years. I go through clothes really hard and fast because I wear them twice every week for maybe two or three years straight or until they give out from the stress of all the wearing and washing and etc. I think there's something sentimental about having the same garment for 10 years or more; but I'd rather have something that I can wear to death for a good few years than clothes that I gently circulate through for forever. I guess I'm just not sentimental about my clothes. Then I buy a pretty good replacement that looks exactly the same as the garment I just destroyed and repeat the whole process over.

    It's the trade off about being in a rush, I guess. Things are always snagging or I'm always wearing clothes from day to night and sometimes getting mustard on them. It's just part of what I consider wearing clothes. So I've given up on perfect and I focus on what works for me. Perfection in clothing makes me feel like I'm working for the clothes!

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  18. I really enjoyed your last two posts. I don't really read blogs at all anymore (I still pop in every once in a while to see your updates though!), and I find that I personally do not enjoy wardrobe planning and any concept of minimalism that goes with it. I love clothes and hate wasting money on things I won't get a lot of wear from, but I never found that wardrobe planning did anything for me to help in that regard, and I do not find online browsing to find that one perfect item a good use of my time. I'd much rather spend what little free time I have looking at cooking videos, reading, or even watching tv to be quite honest.

    And I am so on the same page as you with the flowy, Japanese aesthetic. Anything that resembles a kimono or blanket is what I like right now (paired with IM striped linen tees, which are not too breton-like, and far too expensive Chimala jeans that have become my favorite jeans ever ... oh and I think I need that Manoogian cardigan. Sorry, got distracted there.). But even with all that sturdy, non-precious clothing, I too find myself spending most of my time in workout/lounge/REI type clothing on the weekends. Because I'm not going to shy away from my kids' hugs just because I'm worried they'll rub their pie-stained faces all over my IM blouse.

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  19. excellent discussion here, and i've only to add that i think fetishizing 'a minimalist wardrobe' as a numbers game is missing the point. there's importance in the pleasure of cultivating a meaningful life, and there needs to be room for personal exploration, trial and error, and spontaneity. :)

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  20. I hear you on the rainy weather - an awesome rain coat is worth the price in the Pacific Northwest. Ditto on shoes that can withstand the rain and mud. I appreciate the nuanced view of what it means to have a minimalist wardrobe, and as always, glad to see you're posting!

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  21. Hopefully not too late to comment; thanks for pointing out the realities of the "capsule" wardrobe concept  - sound so good on paper, but in reality I find it incredibly boring, on both myself and others.  ( I had a coworker with a capsule wardrobe of very fine quality  -  I know she shops high end -  but after a few months I just wanted to scream "will you PLEASE wear something different! )  We have to respect our own personality on this.  I love variety and creativity - always have, always will.  After shelling out some bucks basics I really hated but was told I should own (khaki blazer - really? I look awful in khaki) I decided it wasn't going to work for me.  Obviously I do own some high quality basics that dont change (pants, skirts, black silk blouse, black blazer etc.) but I now allow myself alot of shopping second hand so I can have my creative fix and honor my adventurous side without dropping big bucks.  I enjoy this much more than wearing the same outfit over and over.  I have alot of fun with it, and when I decide I'm done, I redonate. (Both the buying and selling benefit charity.) Works for me!

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  22. What if you're a former shopaholic who always had nothing to wear but trendy, low-quality, unethical disjointed crapola? (Raising hand) "Oo! Oo! Meeee!"

    Project 333 helped to keep me honest and is a terrific guideline.

    As far as 33 being too high of a number, I've seen YouTube videos of vloggers who own 33 items total for the whole year, including jewelry and outerwear. I say, do what's best for you, but don't judge others.

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