The best thing about this blog is your comments. Really what fascinating reading.
You make me think.
Thank you so much for that, for taking the time to share.
A few thoughts of my own now, seems less profound than what you have written here but here goes.
My house was built in 1958.
The bedrooms have closets that are a little more than one standard door wide, probably less than 3 feet across in each one. This surely reflects the number of clothes folks wore then.
Who had a walk-in closet in those days? How many families had three, four, five kids and one bathroom?
Imagine trying to talk minimalism then?
So this is about the times as much as about clothing collections.
After all you need a fair amount of stuff before you "edit".
I have just got back from New York where I did have to pack a minimalist wardrobe to get by with a case I could carry on, in black and grey (which I hardly ever wear at all at home these days) so I looked a little less like I had an out of towner sign on my forehead - although I am sure I blew that one every time I opened my mouth and got all chatty with everyone I met.
It also occurred to me that all these minimalist wardrobe articles and adherents seem to be from New York. Thin racks of white shirts and black pants etc.
Well have you ever been in a Manhattan apartment? My son once shared one for a rent that would have paid for a mortgage with a pool and a four car garage around here that was so small he had to put his shoes on the dresser. Worth it of course because there was so much going on outside that apartment, but you can see where the minimalist thing might be pretty handy in apartments like that.
OK what do I think?
Well I get a uniform in that you don't have to think about getting dressed but what defines a uniform?
We all have one I guess, our go to - for everyone it is different (that's a great next topic - what is your uniform?) For me it would be an apron on at home and poop bags in my pocket when I go out, knitting in my purse in case I have to wait anywhere, knit tops I don't have to iron.
Back to minimalism.
It seems to me that this works for folks who have minds on other things. Of course Obama is a wardrobe minimalist.
But what if you are a person whose mind, at least a good part of it, is on the business of your wardrobe? Mine is and what's in that closet (three now of the '50s kind) is more than a work in progress, more a record of my changing ambitions and ideas. I am always starting from scratch it seems, always trying to figure out a better way to get dressed every day (and for someone who has just confessed to poop bags being her most consistent accessory this is a remarkable indication of optimism and lack of self-perception).
I can't imagine of multiples of any of the same thing.
To make laundry easier? Maybe if you did it in the laundromat, but I don't mind going downstairs to the washing machine when I have to - it's next to my sewing room and there is always something interesting to do in there.
I couldn't live in black, grey and white no matter how easy it would be to dress.
Who could do without coral in a summer dress?
A red jacket in the rain?
A green sweater on a grey day?
Or how about combos?
How nice wine goes with sky blue.
Or lime green next to navy.
What about great buttons?
You know the really amazing ones.
Why cull those out?
Why eat just toast when there is pie?
Why is it is so important to focus on only the best things and cherish them?
They are just things.
What you cherish are four-year-olds.
Quality things are easy enough to find.
Finding the quality people takes more work.
This week I took my friend for a walk.
They are calling it frontal lobe dementia.
I did the zipper up on his jacket. The jacket didn't matter, that he had candies in his pocket he put there for me did.
His dog walked at a pace with us. Slowly and stopping every few yards to make sure we were still OK.
I am thinking minimalism comes anyway sometimes,
In the meantime I think I will go with living brightly.
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon