Day 12 Static Wardrobe 30 day fashion experiment is taking the CapsuleWardrobe or uniform dressing to a whole new level. It is the ultimate in minimalism. This has sure come in handy after 5 days of sick kids, husband out of town and crack of dawn / evening business presentations on skype with Australia and working on my blog. Then it was driving back and forth from one end of the town to the other, for Lego robotics competition, dance lessons and checking on my sick one at home. Believe it or not, even wearing the same thing every day and not giving a thought to it, I still get compliments on what I am wearing. I think it’s because anything that’s not yoga pants, people think “she looks nice.”
Increasingly it is getting harder and harder for my friends who’ve been fashion professionals for decades in NYC to find work. Brick and mortar stores are closing at a record pace and my wardrobe stylist friends complain about the lack of truly innovative, great style and design coming out of Seventh Avenue. Fashion is being dumbed down. Fashion mentors used to say you’re never as good as your last show. The very pressure filled goal season after season was to get ahead of the trends, predict and create beauty. Those are what sell a style. So why is Fashion going through such a severe drought? There are so many factors to blame, I will hit on just a few.
In the early to mid-90s when I was in fashion school, the death of true couture was all the buzz. True couture had very strict rules and a membership society governing it, and every piece of couture clothing was, by definition, handmade. The French were unyielding on what could officially be labelled couture much in the same way the Germans held onto 500 year old laws defending the purity of beer. Between the 50s and the 70s, the number of true couture houses dropped from 140 to below 20. Couture was shrinking at a rapid pace. People were no longer valuing supremely designed and constructed clothing. Ready to wear (which is basically high fashion made in small quantities you could buy off the rack) had taken center stage in the design world, and by the 90s even ready to wear was dying and the only people spending money on it were the super wealthy. Gone are the days that people wear a few beautifully made pieces.
Quality is now a minor consideration, maybe not even a thought at all. Comfort has taken center stage over all other aspects of design … that is if you can even call comfort an aspect of true fashion. True fashion, for the most part, involves suffering … or at least you ought to be willing to suffer for it. Instead, we have at-home pop up shops selling badly fitting clothing in crazy patterns and colors (combinations that could only look good on a toddler) have taken the clothing industry by storm. I say clothing because that is all it is: something to cover your body … there is barely what one could call style (and it’s definitely not fashion). I have purchased some of these clothes because I am pro-women and love my friends, and I do want to support their efforts. But, let’s call a spade a spade: this is a mockery of all the true tenants of good design: style and fashion. Comfort is now the primary goal, and the tolerance for anything that lacks comfort is growing smaller and smaller.
Now let me say there is a place for these. And that place is at home, when you’re lounging: this is lounge wear. Just like athletic wear, it’s made for a purpose. You’re not doing yourself any favors wearing these clothes to work or even running around town. The argument is they are cheap, cute and comfortable. Comfort as the end all, be all is quite overrated … think of those killer shoes you’re willing to suffer for. But we have become so accustomed to the “comfort life” that now everything has to be comfortable, and its comfort becomes the justification for not caring how it looks. Most good things don’t come out of comfort, they come out of hard work, diligence, and perseverance. Cute? They are not cute, they make you look crazy and like you don’t know how to pick out clothes or dress properly. When I see someone with adorable shoes and accessories and a head-to-toe knit outfit in crazy, un-matching patterns and a floor-length vest topper, I just think, “bless her heart (in the Southern meaning of that phrase), someone told her that looked good and she got sucked in thinking is was a good idea because it is so comfy.” We miss out on good things in life by seeking only what is comfortable. Do you remember those parachute material joggers everyone wore in the late 80s and 90s (often with pearls)?
(I avoided this at all costs … I managed to never get sucked in)
My hope is that crazy leggings, mis-matched combinations, and people running around in workout clothes just because they are comfy will go the way of the track suit.
Tip of the Day: creating Static Wardrobe that fits your specific lifestyle can save you significant money in the long run. Not to mention preventing you from getting sucked into trends for the comfort factor. You will be supposed at how easy the Static Wardrobe really is; easier in fact than your yoga pants, because it does not come with the psychological hang up like that lingering thought in the back of your head that you look like crap and you have to apologize to everyone around that you were too busy to get dressed and just wanted to be comfortable. If you’re intimidated about sticking with just 7 pieces of clothing, start with more and pare down. But my advice would be start as small as possible and add a little if needed. In this day and age you know you will end up adding even when you are trying not to: everything in this life multiplies. Like the boxes in the basement: you got married and had two cardboard boxes of things you just could not part with, and 10 years later it‘s 20 boxes and you’re trying to sell stuff on Mom2Mom.
Check out my earlier post of Prep Time to get some ideas on prepping for your Static Wardrobe.