the minimalist working girl wardrobe explored and beaten to death
You know, the world is ripe with crap that can be misinterpreted including what is a minimalist wardrobe. Exhibit A: having a Napoleon complex doesn't mean you're short... because dude was actually above average height for the time period. It's called context people! Exhibit B: Monsanto can air as many bullshit commercials as they want, but their company is built on chemicals and mental slavery, so no, they do not really care about the health of your next meal. Exhibit C: Taylor Swift's latest album is not about your ex boyfriend, so don't take it so personally. I mean honestly.
But this minimalist wardrobe business, man, that's the most controversial of them all. Is it aesthetic, is it consumerism, is it mindfulness, is it social awareness? Could be a bird or a plane; who knows! Some fashion bloggers, who are otherwise completely rational, think a minimalist wardrobe is buying 30 new pieces every season. (UPDATE: Oh what do you know, said irrational fashion blogger has now closed down her blog, go figure...) In lamen terms, that's ten pieces in three categories, or three pieces for the freak who thinks they need ten categories of clothing every season. Real minimal ya'll.
Why so harsh Lola? Well just think about how much of a hedonist I am while shopping, as many of you are. Striving for perfection- the perfect white tee, jeans that fit like a glove, a cozy winter sweater. To buy that many pieces, 30 or above (because the free crap sent to bloggers needs to be included too!) is eluding to a certain air of mindlessness while shopping. It takes me days, if not weeks, to track down a covetable piece at a price point I am willing to suffer through at any given moment. So if I bought ten pairs of pants and jeans in one gosh darn season, something is wrong there. Don't you think? Isn't it beside the whole point to buy enough so you have a new item every single day for an entire month?
Then there is the flip side. The intellectual folk who are like, so mega. They dress in black death and goth purity. They sip blood for breakfast and salute an altar honoring Martin Margiela, Prada, Celine and Madewell. Don't take offense. I was there too. In a scurry to indulge in minimal style, I completely sterilized my entire sense of being by becoming a plain Jane in all neutrals. Shit happens, and it happened to me. Then I did this post, and remembered, holy crap, I'm actually Kim Kardashian deep down. Why the hell would Jessica Rabbit wear only black and white to appease the undefined trend of the masses? I am unabashedly feminine at heart, mixed with a bit of unshakable high glam-New Yorker all black/all day DNA, sprinkled with whatever is as easy to wear as a mumu.
We're trying to be minimalist, not average.
But I guess that's the problem. What is minimalist? There isn't one answer, because funny enough, I fell into the trap of curating bore-me-to-pieces, monochromatic, architectural items after deciding to become a minimalist. It seems like quite a common phenomenon. You lose your identity a bit when you try a new lifestyle and cleanse yourself. You pray that it will happen easily. It does not. Because for me, a minimalist wardrobe is about mindfulness and this can come in innumerable forms. Fair trade and ethical production overseas, organic or sustainable raw materials that don't harm my skin or the air I breathe and ground I walk on, supporting local designers and homegrown brands who stay in America no matter the cost and lack of private jets for the CEOs, and most of all the minimalist lean wardrobe is about consuming less to prioritize priceless experiences over materialism and conspicuous consumption for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses, both online and in our minds. And let's be clear, we can't judge and we can't boycott. Dollars are votes. Whether its the lying wasteful giants H&M or vegan protesting Stella McCartney, each shopping excursion is a chance to show the world what you expect of it. We all have to stop bitching and just do something. You deserve to know what material is seeping into your bloodstream each hour of the day, what's the name of the child who made your Gap jeans, how little the Indian was paid to farm your cotton for that designer dress. Did you hear they commit suicide because they are hostage to debt from farming cotton? Yeah.
On the other hand, the one thing I learned is, creating a minimalist wardrobe is so much easier after buying quite a bit of crap you end up hating. Sounds counterproductive, but being in a new lifestyle and constantly evolving as a person shines focus on your needs, quirks, personality, comfort level, and ideal look since moping around on Pinterest all day, idolizing meticulously curated boards, doesn't do anything for real life. I hack through this oxymoron by thrifting my way through the process. I absolutely went without buying anything new for months and months. Thrift and vintage became my best friend. Unfortunately I ended up looking like a bland version of an Eileen Fisher model, which is pretty freakin bland. And now I know what I do not want to look like ever again. And it only cost me about $300 to learn, then off to the donation pile they went to benefit families of veterans. Win win.
So now here we are. Redefining, or perhaps, defining for the first time, just exactly what is a minimalist wardrobe. I'd love to hear your comments on what it means to you. I think for me, its been gradually answered in my lean wardrobe series which I should finish off soon. I put that one on pause to continue the Fashion CEO series which you all seem to be nosy and into, so for the sake of vanity as a profession, I decided to stop being shy and come out of the closet. Is that a figurative pun? I'm not sure.
But since I haven't done an outfit post in a while, how about a peek behind the scenes of my photo shoot from Monday for my new brand launching on, well, Monday. Yes, this coming cyber Monday. That is how behind I am on sharing the 12 steps it took me to launch a designer lifestyle collection, but all is forgiven right? I come bearing outfits! Yay, me in outfits! So original, I can hardly bare it. But jokes aside, this is my minimalist, french capsule, lean (enter-other-ways-to-call-it-here) wardrobe that I have been curating for the last year purely and ONLY through thrifting and vintage. I didn't spend more than a thousand dollars for the year on what I have in my closet now, and I'm pretty proud of it. I still supported designers I would have given my hard earned dollars were I wealthy. The vintage pieces are French, and from a time when paying a fair wage to the artisan meant something. The leather pieces are pre-animal cruelty for the sake of beating on living things that can't speak for themselves. Then I ended up with a capsule I can actually wear for a photoshoot, because um, being a minimalist means not using everything as an excuse to purchase more shit. Build a capsule wardrobe you're actually proud of. And through all of this, I sort of learned what it means to be a minimalist. So shopping can reach beyond the superficial, trust me.
Oh and I gained some of that bad relationship weight we chatted about a few posts back, and just like Jezebel, I'm pretty anti-photoshop from the neck down, so forgive me if this is too much real woman curves for ya'll. I can't keep up with those skinny girls on other blogs. I tried to do the diet where you just drink lattes and pray for your remaining nutrition to manifest, but it didn't work out too well.
So dolls, its a long winter ahead of us for some cities. And now I am left to plan a winter refresher wardrobe on a budget. I have an uber exciting eco shopping guide that you have asked me to do for months now, so even I don't know all the places I should be supporting with my own money. Until that happens, I am still thrifting and this is what I got lined up. What do you think I should keep and toss from the list?
I'm edgy biatches
rock steady knit top
vera wang cape
kate spade tailored wool blazer
God is in the details, even if you don't believe in him
vintage lace back jacket in blush
j. crew silk ruffle blazer
peanut butter perforated leather coat
I'm a basic bitch too
a bunch of draped cozy goodness from rag & bone + others
photography Honey Lake Studio