Minimalism. I have a deep and abiding love of the aesthetic appeal of minimalism. The cleanliness, the simplicity combined with detail (which, of course, does not mean boring). In a very fashion-minded sense, I am, perhaps drawn most to the clean cuts, textures, and shapes of minimalism. I have admiration for minimalist minded stylish people. I, however, cannot quite get there.
Part of my reluctance is, perhaps, the realization that I grew up with “clutter.” Clutter is as intrinsic to my family as anything. Clutter is a sign of where we have been, who we have loved, and how we view the world. Don’t get me wrong, minimalism is astounding. The ability to get down to the essence of needs and wants is something I’ve always craved. And I’m sure it’s possible but I’m not sure I want to give up the memories that are associated with all of the things that have been handed down.
Now this sounds like a post that is drifting away from style and heading toward lifestyle and interior design. Maybe it is. Those things are part of style for me because style is a way of expressing how I choose to live. As much as people say minimalism is a mindset, eclecticism is also a mindset, albeit a much more common one.
I’ve always struggled with this give and take between my desire for minimalism and my love for the odds and ends of family heirlooms (postcards, heaps and heaps of books, vintage clothing, etc.). That is until I encountered this quote:
“Minimalism is not about abandoning pattern or print. I see minimalism to be a philosophy that involves overall sense of balance, knowing when to take away, subtract. It’s an indulgence in superbly executed cut, quiet plays of color tones and clean strong shapes.” –Calvin Klein
It got me thinking. Maybe I’ve been looking at this all wrong. Maybe minimalism can be as subjective as anything. My form of minimalism can be achieved through careful consideration of what is necessary and what I find aesthetically appealing. Paring down on the excess isn’t as hard when one thinks about what is essential to happiness. I don’t have to get rid of my patched tabby cat pillows because they’re not “minimal” as defined by general consensus.
Style wise, this personal form of minimalism is probably much more achievable. I already lean towards things that can be morphed into a minimalist wardrobe. I can incorporate the sleekness of the style with my own form of quirkiness. Sharply cut garments with strong lines layered with a bit of eclectic print-work come to mind. Focusing more upon the details of a wardrobe instead of being a mindless consumer can help me get there. I plan on thinking more about what I purchase to figure out how it fits into my life. Instead of “wanting” it, I can decide if its in place in my life will be valuable.
I think I’ve got a good head start. I recently went thrifting with my friend and came across a striped beige and black airy blazer.* I’d seen it a few times prior and had been playing with the idea of giving in to the tug of my heart strings. Unlike a variety of other blazers I’ve accumulated (mostly from H&M and F21), this one fit into my closet and my future perfectly. I can wear it again and again. I can look sharp while dressing in a casual manner appropriate for a college student. I adore it and am already eagerly waiting cooler weather to introduce it to my wardrobe!
I’ll never been a hardcore minimalist that follows the rules placed by the powers that be but I can merge my two leanings together in a way that is distinctly “me.” Don’t you just love it when you have mini-epiphanies?
*Sorry there isn’t a picture. I had my friend hold onto it and forgot to get it back before we parted ways. Not to worry though, you’ll be seeing it soon enough.