Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Minimalism, infomercials, and my first purchase of 2012

Inspired by No Signposts in the Sea's post about her 2011 clothing expenditures, I've decided that I'll document every piece of personal clothing I buy this year, not including what I purchase for others. I'm a bit uncertain about how I'll like this, actually, since like any addict I skulk around hiding certain purchases that don't really fit into the way I'd like to think that I spend or acquire clothes.

She goes on to write about consumerism, as many others have as well. I've been thinking about that when I've been thinking about the blogosphere, but especially about what Jenny of Fashion for Writers wrote in her post about authenticity and this focus on the exterior that blogs encourage (coincidentally, I just sold her the Lover blouse I bought last year on LOGE).

It's so easy to get caught up in superficiality, images, and obsessions with fashion, especially when your life isn't going the way you want. At least, I find that I begin to fixate on things when I feel unhappy and out of control with my life.

For the same reason I used to watch informercials during bouts of insomnia in my teenage years, I am drawn to the idea that an easily consumable product could remedy some hurt or ailment, some deficiency that you didn't even know you had. I know that makes me a perfect consumer of marketing messages, but I never said it was all rational.

I still get such a kick out of appliances dedicated to doing one thing perfectly, like my Zojirushi rice cooker with its "fuzzy logic programming" and dimpled rice paddle that has for years turned out perfectly cooked pots of rice.

Perhaps that's why I like the minimalist ethic, though it seems so opposed to single-use living. It has a similar idea of there being some square hole for which you have the perfectly shaped square block, and once filled, tada. It's done. Minimalism organizes the clutter of the world by manipulating the environment of one's imagination.

But to conclude with the original intention of this post: A few weeks ago, I purchased a pleated Orla Kiely skirt in dark pink. $1.50 at the thrift store. Probably not an investment purchase, but it allows me to try out a brand I've been curious about for very cheap. Even though I've been limiting my thrift acquisitions, you have to be willing to pull the trigger when it comes to thrift shopping.