The tide is turning, my fashion friends, it’s been a long while coming. It’s nothing we haven’t addressed here in many of our posts, but unless I’ve got my newsfeed too customized to my own personal preferences, EVERYONE is talking about paring down, less is more, and redefining what it means to have a stylish wardrobe.
The components to this change in thinking are many, including the much hyped Magic of Tidying Up business from Marie Kondo, Harper’s Bazaars take on the women’s work uniform, and the 37 piece capsule wardrobe by Unfancy. More political in nature, there’s the specific environmental impact of fashion being outlined by Reformation, and the sweatshop horrors highlighted in this video from John Oliver. Add that all up, and perhaps folks are beginning to realize that not only is less actually more, but there are more birds killed with the stone of conscious acquisition than we may have thought. Save money, save time, look great, save the children AND the environment? I’m in!
John Rosemond, in his book New Parent Power, discusses how to get your toddler to pick up his or her toys. His answer is simple. Don’t give the child more than 5 toys. Five. He makes the argument that at a young age, kids are not developmentally able to manage more than 5 items in their possession. What with object permanence in its infancy, kids get overwhelmed and distracted by more than this magic number of items, and will rebel, or rather, leave their crap all over the house. I remember reading that a few years ago and thinking five toys per kid was almost cruel! But I as I go through my own personal purge in my home of late, and some of those toys are still occupying space in my home despite being long cast aside, I realize that my kids really only DID play with a few treasured toys/games over the years. Yes, there was always the “newness” factor that distracted them from a tantrum or case of the bored and blues, but for the most part, that magic wore off quickly, and it was the tried and true toys that came back into play.
So is there a magic number? 5 toys? 37 pieces in your wardrobe? In my view, absolutely not (says the self-proclaimed shoe addict). For people who appreciate style, dressing well, but aren’t consumed by it, then perhaps that number suits them. For those who loathe sartorial choices, perhaps the uniform is the way to go. But for those of us who find Fashion to be a creative outlet for personal expression (Hi!), a 37 piece wardrobe would be like giving a concert pianist a piano with 58 keys.
So do I shop and acquire with abandon? How many keys does my piano have? Well even this diehard fashionista has culled, edited, pared down my collection. Sparking joy, fit, and practical use have all come into play as I’ve been considering what I own. Even more importantly, what I buy. In John Oliver’s piece he suggests we not buy the cheap duds from h&m and the like, but what if that’s what you can afford? Perhaps it goes back to not buying more than you can love. How many shirts can you wear, care for, and love? If that’s one, then get the best quality you can afford and mend it when it tears and move on. A uniform for women in the workplace? Sure, I don’t know why this concept is so groundbreaking. Donna Karan had 7 easy pieces in 1985, Diane Von Furstenburg’s wrap dress was a uniform of sorts when it arrived in 1974 . The idea is not new.
Maybe that’s why I avoid all those Top Ten Lists. My list won’t be the same as your list. Trends may play a bigger part in how you feel alive, young and fresh in your style, or it may be the annoyance that puts your morning routine into a tailspin keeping you from getting to work on time. To each, his fashion own, I say.
So what’s a fashion blogger to do? Well, trendslation has always been about helping people find their fashion voice, if you will. If you embrace having just one (or 37) piece(s), I think you may be the same woman who would wonder, well, ‘WHICH 37 pieces do I need? And why do my pieces not bring me one stitch of joy?’. So I’ll continue to offer my trendslation of what’s going on in the fashion world and retail landscape, perhaps even a top ten list will cross these keys, and maybe some of what I offer will help you find your magic number.