Friday, 18 March 2016

Minimalist Style

Ever heard of decision fatigue? The idea is that our brain gets completely fried by the end of a day of making one choice after another. Why not prevent that in as many ways as possible?

I've been minimising my life in certain areas recently, and my wardrobe has definitely been part of that. It's been a gradual process. When I was a lot heavier, my clothing criteria were 1. does it fit? and 2. is it cheap?

As you can imagine, my clothing choices were eclectic at best. I often would buy something that I thought was nice, but didn't have anything that went with it so I would never wear it. What a waste!

During my weight loss, I decided to only buy clothes in a specific colour scheme. I was only shopping in charity shops and off eBay (because losing weight is highly expensive) and I didn't want to get bogged down in clothes that didn't match or work with my aesthetic. I chose blues and oranges for my colours and only bought items of those shades (or neutrals like whites, creams and browns - I didn't want to do black or grey).

This was a revelation! Everything I owned matched! I could grab whatever I wanted and it would look pretty nice! I felt good about this choice.

In fact, choosing an outfit was like playing dress up. I started caring about what looked good on my body shape and tried to figure out my personal style. To my surprise, all those swishy skirts and flowing dresses I used to wear weren't working for me anymore. I have been gravitating towards a slightly more formal style (in comparison), albeit relaxed. Do those ideas contradict each other? No idea; as you can see fashion is not my strong point.

After a few months of playing dress up, I got tired of it and choosing what to wear every day started to feel a bit oppressive. Like, what NOW? I liked what I wore yesterday; it was comfortable and looked nice. Now I have to figure out something completely different!

But... do I? Do I have to wear something different every day? Says who? Why can't I wear the same style every day? There aren't any rules against it.

So that's what I've done. I bought a few button-down oxford style blue shirts, and I wear it with jeans (my favourite are straight legged, but I have skinnies and boot cut as well) and flats, or my brown knee-high boots, or white keds. (knock-off) I have a selection of cardigans and jumpers to wear with it (orange or blue, natch) if needed.

I was worried about getting sick of it, but so far I'm LOVING it. I have caught myself having that mental conversation in the morning of - what shall I wear today? And I can stop and say "THIS ONE THING, THAT'S WHAT." What a relief! It's literally a load off my mind.

Will I stick with it? That's the million dollar question. I've been doing this for less than a week, but I'm comfortable saying that this could very well be a lifelong uniform. I feel like I look nice no matter how I style it, and even though I'm a stay at home mother, I like dressing just that little bit more formally rather than slouching around all day. I feel more confident in what I'm wearing, and I don't need to scrutinise myself in the mirror to check if I look okay. I already know!

Monochromatic perhaps, but that's not a bad thing. The queen does it! Not that I am taking my style from a royal's wardrobe, but it's interesting to note that it works for many walks of life.

It's also going to be a lot cheaper in the long run, although buying several tops at once is pricey. I lucked out with these and got them from the clearance section on Amazon. Gotta love a sale.