How many clothes do you actually own? To be honest, I can’t answer this question myself. On average we only wear about 20% of our clothes. At first this number seems really low, yet, when reflecting upon our dressing behaviour, we can probably all notice a pattern.
In the last 15 years the consumption of clothing has risen by over 60%, and even more shockingly, we only tend to keep all these new clothes for only half as long.
This made me wonder whether we really need as much as we currently own and why we feel compelled to continue to purchase more, and more.
Movements like minimalism and downshifting gained popularity in recent years as more people asked themselves similar questions, looking for meaning and living with more intent. As these issues become more commonplace I want to explore the concept of simplicity, asking the question whether it’s compatible with our shared passion for fashion and how luxury can actually aid us on our journey towards minimalism.
You might think that minimalism and luxury are incompatible, because minimalism exclusively focuses on the essential while luxury exceeds any basic needs. Nevertheless, they can match.
Minimalism tries to bring simplicity into our daily life. It enables focus on more important things, gain freedom and detach from any distraction and unnecessary possessions. Yet, when one defines luxury via high quality, durability and timelessness it becomes complimentary. These luxury pieces will last you for longer, not only because of superior quality, but for a more considerate buying behavior.
The question remains, where does our desire for the latest trends stem from?
It feels like, we as consumers are constantly flooded with multiple forms of advertisement for the latest collections, be it in the form of actual ads, influencers or our friends who we consciously or subconsciously see in new outfits every other day. This inadvertently creates a desire for us to keep up and get that new handbag or dress, even though we don’t really need them. This increased exposure can be traced back to two main factors
Firstly, the number of collections released has steadily increased over recent years. Whereas in the past bi annual shows, meaning Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections, where the norm, today almost every big fashion brand additionally offers pre-collections such as resort or cruise.
Often we find ourselves buying new clothes, hoping it will satisfy our deepest desires such as love and affection. What we don’t notice is that this behaviour is rather counterproductive, making us fall deeper into a downward spiral. Hence, it is important to be aware of our spending habits as well as to focus to be at one with ourselves.
Nevertheless, most of us probably love fashion and can’t image giving up that passion. We love it for various reasons, its ability to express ourselves and to transform our attitude. Especially luxury fashion goods are cherished for their aesthetics and craftsmanship. Imagining a minimalistic wardrobe, often perceived as boring or bland, probably doesn’t sound very intriguing.
Although, there are some ways to incorporate simplicity into our wardrobe, making our life a little easier without depriving any of the beauty and feel-good factor that we all appreciate about luxury and fashion.
Often we find ourselves unable to dispose clothing because of a certain attached memory or because we believe that we might wear it again. As often advised, it might be a good starting point to separate clothes you’re not sure about wearing in the future, putting them in a place where you can’t access them for 30 days. When you haven’t thought about any of the items it might be a sign that it’s a good time to get rid of them. Here, it is advisable to either sell or donate these clothes rather than just disposing them.
Apart from gaining more space in and clarity over your wardrobe you might also feel released from letting go of old burdens. Here, the goal shouldn’t be aiming for the smallest number of clothes but rather for a wardrobe filled with pieces you truly enjoy wearing and that will last you for years.
With view to buying new clothing pieces, we all need to start making more considerate choices. As previously mentioned it is rather recommended to invest in a few superior quality pieces than several cheaper versions.
Simultaneously, you decrease your impact on the environment, saving water, chemicals and emissions. Surely, this also helps to remain your wardrobe uncluttered. Besides that, when shopping you always should envision your whole wardrobe and ask yourself if the new garment works with the clothes you already own.
For special occasions renting clothing on platforms like HURR might be a suitable alternative too, since often these clothes will never be worn again.
In essence, it becomes clear that minimalism and luxury are not far off. By building your wardrobe around luxury fashion items you won’t need to buy as many clothes due to their durability and timelessness and at the same time you will feel more fashionable than ever, only owning pieces that truly represent yourself.