This Week I Love …

theminimalcloset_buywhatyoulove

… Grechen’s series titled The Minimal Closet.

We’re living in a polarized world, friends. Congress is the most visible example, but it seems like people are glomming on to extremes everywhere and in relation to issues both big and small. It’s been utterly fascinating to see polarization creep into the fashion blogging world: In terms of readership and definitely in the Instagram world, excess is celebrated. People love to see the pretty, the glamorous, the Louboutins on a white table next to some peonies and macarons. But in terms of discussion, minimalism is the buzzy topic. From Un-fancy to Into Mind, we’re all fascinated by downsizing and capsules.

But my absolute favorite minimalism-related read is The Minimal Closet series over on Grechen’s Closet. While other sources are urging you to discard absolutely everything that doesn’t “spark joy” or pare down until you have exactly 15 gorgeous items that will hang, perfectly spaced, on a single closet bar, Grechen is exploring the contradictions and challenges involved in moving toward minimalism. Buy what you love? But what if you only buy things you love and still end up with too much stuff? Is it really possible to populate your wardrobe with “perfect” items? She is a stylish woman who loves fashion and shopping and makes her living writing about those topics. She is also someone who came to the realization that she just owned way too much stuff and needed to make a change. She is not moving toward minimalism because it’s trendy, she’s doing it because she craves simplicity. But she’s refreshingly honest about her journey, and talks openly about how hard she has to work to make this change possible.

And perhaps more importantly, she doesn’t put parameters around minimalism – hers or anyone else’s. She doesn’t proclaim that she now has three pairs of jeans and will not buy jeans again until those three pairs are threadbare to the point of indecency. She still shops, and talks about shopping as being both risky and a natural part of her process. She has tinkered with capsules, but doesn’t limit herself to a set number of items. She says, and truly believes, that there’s no one right way to do minimalism.

Which is so refreshing for someone like me who ALSO loves fashion and shopping and makes her living writing about those topics. And who ALSO felt like she was drowning in choices but feared the systems and maxims handed down by self-proclaimed minimalists. Grechen has great insights, helpful tips, and a completely judgment-free tone. If you’re interested in an earthy, honest take on moving away from the collector mentality and toward simplicity, take a peek at The Minimal Closet.

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3 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. Gloria M

    Everything we own takes a little bit of energy: to store it, care for it, remember we have it, and figure out how to use it. So it makes sense that in a time and place of plentiful consumer goods, we need to be careful about not acquiring too much. But I think the ideas of curation, a capsule wardrobe, and “the perfect” XYZ can also be anxiety-provoking (and a new temptation to overspend as we find that our existing things are not “perfect”). My take is that it’s a good idea to keep some “holes” in your wardrobe and not rush to fill every possible clothing need. You’ll want new stuff periodically, especially as fashions change, so don’t try to make your wardrobe complete. Leave some gaps to fill next season or next year… your future self will appreciate the opportunity to shop for something new.

  2. eleissia

    Honestly, there’s nothing minimal about Grechen’s Closet. Except maybe where she spends her money. The sheer definition of “minimal” is ignored. Her look is basic, and frankly quite boring. I’m glad she’s trying to spend less on “things,’ but I don’t know where she’s going with it. Your post reminds me of what she stands for. Thanks!