Is A Minimalist Wardrobe Realistic?
By Molly Cohen
In line with the capsule wardrobe topic, I wanted to discuss an experiment minimalist blogger Ivania Carpio challenged herself to in 2011: Wearing The Same Dress for 30 days. Carpio bought an oversize tank top at COS, and with gentle hand washing and styling, attempted to see how many times she could wear it. Her goal was to see if she could base her wardrobe on one garment and still have versatility, but the outcome was that she realized that quality was the actual issue: all garments can’t withstand 30 days of repeated wear.
These were her questions before she started the challenge:
How versatile can a basic piece be?
Versatile enough to be worn everyday to every occasion that comes up?
And if it is, how meaningless will a large wardrobe look?
Will I miss my other clothes?
Will this dress be burned afterwards because I’m so sick of it or will I continue to wear it daily?
And this was her conclusion:
I love clothes and honestly speaking I want to have a big collection of them. There is a but; quality wins it over quantity every time. I want to keep all my garments for life and am sad that the great design of this COS dress only lasted for two weeks. This experiment made me realize even more that I don’t actually need as much clothes as I initially thought. With this in mind I can be even more critical about what I am adding to my collection. Because that is what I’d like to built: a collection of great quality, beautifully designed items.
The idea of a fixed look, a uniform that doesn’t change every season but is a reflection of ones personality is very interesting, though a close to impossible thing to put together. Perhaps by the time I’m 50 I’ll be done dressing up and I’ll know myself good enough to be able to find an outfit that perfectly resembles my personality that I could wear every day for the rest of my life.
Though an extreme take on the capsule wardrobe, I think the lesson learned is important: quality matters. If we do want to live more minimalistic lives (in regards to all aspects of life), we need to ignore trends and social norms, and instead focus on quality. However, the challenge stirs up a potential problem: can the general population afford to not buy fast fashion from the high street?