I fell off the minimalist wagon recently, and bought summer clothes. I stuck to the basics, but I was very tempted by the latest fashion trends.

Fashion is the enemy of minimalism. Ok, it’s not the only enemy, but it is definitely one of the many. Fashion is constantly changing. Trends change with every season. What’s in this summer will be out by next summer.

Fashion and consumerism go hand in hand. Following fashion trends demands that you spend money to purchase the season’s “must haves”. You have to buy the right dress, and wear it with the right shoes, and carry the right purse. One purchase leads to many more, all in an attempt to be fashionable.

Fashion causes discontent. It keeps us from being content with what we have. Instead of appreciating the clothes, shoes, and handbags we already have, we focus on what we don’t have. For example, this year’s ads for smocked tops and dresses have now made me want a smocked top. I don’t need a smocked top. I just got four tank tops. But seeing the ads makes me want one, though I have plenty of shirts. Another top is not what I need. What I need, I already have.

Fashion is everywhere. It’s on every TV show, it’s on the commercials, it’s on the mannequins in stores. It is always exerting its influence, always trying to enslave you. A good way to break free from fashion is to minimize your exposure to advertising. Read fewer magazines, toss the sales papers, and spend less time in front of the TV. Magazines, sales papers, and TV are usually where the rules of fashion are propagated. They make you feel that what you currently have is inadequate, and create the false need for more.

Just because we decide not to be slaves to fashion does not mean that we have to live a lifestyle of austerity. We can dress nicely. We can look marvelous, dahling. But we don’t have to bow to the rules of fashion to do it.

  • Decide to break free from the bondage of fashion trends. Make up your mind that you will not be caught up in fashion and its demands.
  • Choose timeless, classic pieces. Steer clear of trends.
  • Appreciate what you already have. Take good care of the things you already own. Hand wash, dry clean, and hang to dry as appropriate. Keep your wardrobe looking good for as long as possible.
  • Maximize the use of the accessories you already own. Do you have jewelry or scarves? Use them to add interest to your existing outfits.
  • Develop your own style, and stick with that. Is your usual outfit a pair of khakis and a white shirt? If so, then be true to that. What items of your wardrobe do you naturally gravitate toward? Take note, and remind yourself of this when that blue dress is calling your name.

My goal is to be an appropriately dressed minimalist. I want to have the clothes and  shoes that I need. I do not want to be a fashionista. I just want to be happy with what I have.


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