“You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”
– Paulo Coelho
End of another year. When doing a yearly round up, I want it to be more honest than dumping a list of things I purchased. The 3 categories and corresponding goals :
Need – optimize
Want – minimize
Fashion victim – avoid
Replacement to the clothes I wore out. I will not beat myself about it. These are good buys. I will purchase the exact same thing if and when they wear out.
1. Black leggings ( second hand )
2. Navy linen shirt (new )
3. Chinos Black ( new )
4. Navy silk shirt ( second hand )
5. Polka dot shirt ( second hand )
6. Studded blouse ( second hand )
7. Black trousers. (second hand) ( in mail, not pictured )
These are things that I don’t need but gave me that extra cushion. This is the category where I confess to not buying clothes because of a need, but as an indulgence.
1. Black handbag ( vintage )
2. Chinos – khaki ( new ) ( not pictured ) ( regret )
3. pinstripe wool top ( second hand )
4. Sling backs ( second hand )
5. Cable knit sweater ( second hand ) ( in the mail, not pictured )
I didn’t know that this garment existed or can work in my wardrobe. I read an article online/saw an influencer wear it/its trending this season/ …… and gave in. These garments are for the days when I am bored with my uniform. These purchases make up the 20% of my wardrobe. Kick me out of the style rut.
Classic trench ( second hand )( Influenced by the french woman ) Gifted to my girlfriend over the Thanksgiving weekend. She is a new mom and it fit her really well.
3. Pink Ballet Flats ( new ) ( Bought into the trend )
Navy ballet flats ( gifted for review )
Nude A.P.C handbag – ( borrowed from my sister. We swapped bags. )
Burberry trench – Estate sale find. Undecided. Might sell on eBay for profit.
The only words that should accomplish this list :
This is my personal style. This is what I added to my closet. The end.
I could probably add :
P.S : if you want the verbose, read the appendix.
IS CONSUMPTION THE NEW ORIGINAL SIN ?
1. I am not a meticulous counter of things. I put these lists out there because the “M” word gets used very casually these days. This is more of ‘this is the current health of the consumer in me’ sort of post. To me, 16 additions a year is plenty. A 52 item closet is big enough. I didn’t want to do the consumption talk all year around. One post per year is enough. This is it.
2. To me, its only about how much I am taking from the earth, in terms of resources. From a view point of sustainability, the more I take in a short amount of earth time, the more irreversible the damage. ( Some brands do more damage than others, during production. That’s a conversation for another day. ) This is how much I took this year.
3. There has definitely been a mind set shift from trying to own as little as possible to building a closet that I don’t get tired of.
4. Declutter and haul. Cull and buy. On repeat. While using the M word. It is a pet peeve of mine. Its a dangerous school of thought parading as minimalism. I am trying to get out of this cycle.
I recently sold one silk Equipment shirt through the blog. I did a giveaway with the pink Cuyana clutch. I gave the Valentino pink lace loafers to my sister-in-law. I have made my peace with this amount of cull per year.
I wore out a few clothes which I donated or cut into cleaning rags.
The subtractions have become a lot more normal than how I was getting rid of stuff in the past. In my next version of my better self, I will wear what I have till they have holes in them or till I no longer fit into the clothes. I want my clothes to age with me. I want to treat them like personal belongings, not disposables.
5. While my year’s consumption is hardly a minimalist success story …… doing yearly round up definitely helped. Made me accountable. I find these posts highly embarrassing to do. ‘Look at all that I bought’ has always been in bad taste, in my opinion. Every year, I tell myself that I will no longer do this blog post. But it helps quantize consumption. ‘Buy less‘, ‘buy better’, ‘sustainability‘, … are such abstract words with no real meaning or measure otherwise.
6. How many mindful purchases can one make in a short period of earth time ? Why is it that I feel this way when everyone else is fine consuming so much ? Aren’t they reading the environmental reports at all ?
7. I challenged myself to write a post every week on personal style. I wanted to prove it to the world that we can talk clothes without making it all about what to buy/what we plan to buy/what we bought. I tried. This experiment ends with 2017. Okay Fashion, I will come meet you half way.
8. I am trying to do better without writing it off as ‘I am. Hence I do’. This post is not about me. I will be fine if I bought 100 new garments from a fast fashion company every year and threw all of my old clothes away. This post is about sustainability and the role I play. This blog was started for that sole reason. I set out to do better than the average. This doesn’t prevent me from enjoying fashion. On the contrary, it helps me appreciate it so much more. I need the 100 wears and time to truly understand the genius/phoniness of the garments I own.
9. Finally, tune for the week : Society, Eddie Vedder, Soundtrack for Into The Wild.
Question of the Week :
How did you do this year ? Please, let’s not compare or compete. Did you meet your goals ?
How do you perceive such blog posts from me ? I often worry about the intent of the post getting lost in translation.
This post made me uncomfortable. The hard conversations always are.