‘Millenials are choosing experiences over things’ – you might have seen one out of many headlines like this lately. You might have even asked yourself ‘do I choose experiences over things’ (or, if you’re anything like me: ‘do I still qualify as ‘Millennial’?) but if […]
I honestly can’t remember the last time I went on a shopping spree. ‘Shopping spree’. A word I used to associate with all kinds of positive feelings, now something that I can’t seem to bother too much about. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a bit of personal styling anymore (I do!), and I’m definitely not saying I’ll never go shopping again, but the endless hunger for the next item while still having other pieces – unworn of even worse: untouched! – hanging in my closet? Nope, not happening anymore, and I feel proud as a peacock for it!
As I said, minimizing my wardrobe, looking for more meaningful ways to invest my time and money and basically simplifying the way I look at style doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with withdrawing myself from shopping/browsing as a whole. Just as minimalism doesn’t always mean having less and less. It’s about having enough. It’s about aligning short-term actions with long-term values. And one of my most important style related long-term values is that I want to make sure I get the most wear out of my items. A fun story about the bag I’m wearing in the picture above is that I bought it approximately 5 years ago. Even thought I had been on the hunt for a designer bag at that time (probably something Alexander Wang, as I used to be a huge fan of Wang bags), I didn’t even really think about ordering this one. I knew from the start it was going to be a great purchase (I mean; it has a great size, and it black and uber basic.. couldn’t possible go wrong with that!), but I never expected it to be such a great purchase I haven’t really been looking for a similar sized bag after I got this one. Now thát is what makes a purchase a GREAT purchase if you ask me; when you don’t feel the urge to replace it by something else anytime soon (although I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind replacing or at least adding a classic, black cross body bag right now, because I know I’ll be able to justify spending my money on a bag like that).
Every now and then I just like to sit down and jot down some thoughts. Thoughts that slowly but certainly turn into a story that sometimes I share on this blog and on many occasions I don’t (true story, my phone is filled with stories/thoughts that will never see the light of day. Same for pictures, as you can tell, because these pics were from our trip to Portugal back in September. I still think it’s nice to use them, but feel free to let me know if this bothers you!). This time I’d like to share, because especially around this time – talking about you, Black Friday and Cyber Monday! – I’m more determined to not let my urges take over. To not fall for all the screaming discount e-mails I receive on a daily basis. I have to admit that I’m not totally against them. Au contraire, I’m all for finding good deals and made quite a substantial amount of them myself (I anxiously started scrolling through that Shopbop sale section, especially now that their MORE17 promo kicked in). What I am talking about is the fact that I try to avoid buying – or cluttering, as you wish – stuff for the sake of buying it. ‘Because it’s cheaper now’, ‘because it looked so good on person X’, or ‘because I think I need this, now that I see it’. My solution: choose wisely! :)
I’ve read a LOT about minimalism lately and even though I’m not by any means trying to become a minimalist (what is the true definition of that anyway, I’d ask myself), I do think it’s very inspiring to look at our own (shopping) behaviour and ask ourselves the question: ‘Does this item (whether it’s clothes or not) add value to my life?’. Most of the things we buy on a whim, don’t really add value. Real value, I’m talking about. Not the type of value that I used as an excuse for years: ‘But I like it, so it adds value!’. And of course, I’m not saying I’ll never indulge in a pair of shoes that I don’t need, or change the pillows on our couch for the 2nd time since we moved in, but I just want to remain conscious about that fact that I do it. Deliberate. Thoughtful.
Something that helps to stay on track is that I don’t give a damn about trends. I don’t necessarily avoid them, but I just don’t feel the urge to follow every single one of them, and looking ‘trendy’ almost feels like an insult instead of a compliment, to be very honest. I’ve never been one to search for anything like outside impulses or the approval of others to make me happy. Style wise that means: I love my classics and came to realise a looong time ago that this is something that I’ll always be drawn to and will never stop leaning towards. Boring? To some, perhaps. I’d rather call it non-conform. I guess non-conformity has become my ‘thing’, and I’m totally fine with that. I can still just add a fun element every now and then if I feel like it, but always try to rethink that little outburst a couple of times. If there’s one important lesson I learned from all the minimalism articles/books I read, it’s that minimalism isn’t necessarily about deprivation; it’s about aligning your short-term actions with your long-term values. My long term value? I’d rather not become the sum of my urges. Looking forward to see where this mindset will lead to.