I have come to realize I'm not a minimalist, not by a long shot. I like the coziness of woolen layers, and I'm an inveterate thrifter. But the past few months have made me a minimalist of sorts, by necessity. (I know I restate this idea in some form every few posts, but I feel weirdly apologetic about it.)
With a partner in graduate school and a constantly growing toddler, there's not much in the budget for clothing. But the thought of turning to mass-produced cheap clothing to fill in any gaps isn't appealing either. And as much as I subscribe to the idea that a well-made item is worth it, and as appealing the idea is of having an entire closet of clothes that may have cost a lot initially but have withstood the vagaries of time and trend, I find it hard to justify when my budget must account for so many other things and my style is in so much flux, post-baby. Both of these factors have prompted me to make use of an unlikely resource, the "community closet" that's open to all residents of the county I live in. It's a way of recirculating goods in the community. I've donated bags of stuff that I felt good about getting rid of, and I've found the bulk of Maizie's winter clothes from there.
It's altered my perspective on consumption. For one, it seriously curtailed my pursuit of the "perfect" version of something. Other than perhaps classic items (like a peacoat), I'm starting to think that perfection doesn't exist. Even classic items have details that may end up dating them, like the rise of the pants or the length of the collar. I've tried to find the be-all-end-all versions of things, but all that that's done for me is fuel the pursuit of More Things. It's quite possible that I just lack discipline or a clear sense of style, but the idea of perfection was for me a fantasy that didn't bring me much closer to a conscientiously edited closet.
My recent foray into buying a suit for my partner has highlighted how difficult it is for anything to be really perfect. Here is an article of clothing purported to be durable and classic, but it seems to take only 10 or so years before it becomes dated. In the thrift stores where I initially searched, I saw racks and racks of suits with cuts too baggy and long to pass as modern. Or perhaps it was the placement of the buttons or the width of the lapel that gave the suit's age away. Whatever it was, it's clear that even supposedly enduring clothes can end up in the dustbin.
Rather than seeking perfection, I've come to really like the idea of choosing from the "best available." Good enough, just what I need, and I don't need anything more. It's like relying on the largesse of the world to bring around the right thing at the right time.
Anyway, I suppose a shift in my sartorial perspective and personal interests accounts for why this blog will see a change in future posts. I started the blog because the idea of the French Method really appealed to me, and it still does. I think it's an intelligent solution to the problem of overconsumption and under-satisfaction, and it's just fun to meditate on one's purchases this way. But lately I've found myself wanting to post about vintage clothes, thrifting trips, motherhood, photography, wild foods, and and random things from my life. I expect I still will write about style now and again, but I want to make the blog a little more relevant to my life. I know these new topics won't appeal to everyone, but I think it will make the blog feel more true to me. Thank you, sincerely, for reading thus far.