Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Fashion Week, Edited

If you live in New York City or are interested in fashion, you might be aware that this week is New York Fashion Week (NYFW for the cognoscenti). It’s a weeklong celebration of the fashion trends that will make your current clothes look inexplicably outdated in the not so distant future. The practice of continually refreshing and overhauling one’s fashion is, for many, one of the leading causes of accumulating way too much stuff. As I oft-quote, one expert estimates that only 20% of most wardrobes are actively worn. The rest is just filler–likely casualties of changing fashion.

Let me hazard to say that I am not a fashion basher. As much as I continually extol the virtues of having a few well-selected garments, I am pretty fussy about what those garments looks like. I am particular about the color, fit and function of my clothes. I believe fashion is one of the most practical mediums in which one can express him or herself.

But let’s face it, fashion has a super dark side. As mentioned, many people find themselves with way too many clothes, leading to stuffed closets and emptied bank accounts–all done in the name of staying au courant. And then there are the considerable environmental and human right tolls paid in order to keep our clothes cheap and plentiful (follow this innocent looking link if you are interested in knowing more about what I’m alluding to).

As with everything, less, but better wins the day. Those of us living above or below the tropics can’t very well live without clothes, but we can create wardrobes filled with necessary clothes that are worn and cherished. In honor of NYFW and looking spiffy all year long, here are a few posts from the past fashions that will help you create your edited wardrobe.

  • Project 333. Courtney Carver is like the minimalist Anna Wintour. But instead of yay or naying particular fashions, she challenges people–women and men–to put more thought into their wardrobes by selecting 33 items to wear for three months. What’s great about her approach is that it’s pared down, but no so much that you can’t achieve variety.
  • Outlier Tailored Performance. I know, I’m a bit of a fanboy, but this company is a great example of how you can sell folks (ok, mostly men) great-looking, responsibly manufactured and sourced clothes that allow you to do more with less.
  • Shapeshifting fashion. For those who might want to spice up their minimalist wardrobes, companies like MORF create clothing that allows several looks with the one garment.
  • Rent and shared clothing. If you are simply not someone who can wear the same thing too long, consider renting or swapping your clothes. It’s way friendlier to your pocketbook, the planet and will give your closets some breathing room.
  • Fall deeper in love with your existing clothes. Just like friends and family, sometimes we take great, but familiar things for granted. Patagonia’s Well Worn campaign urges us to fall back in love with the things we have. Love them, wear them, fix them if needed. Sometimes the fashion we seek is the fashion we already have.
  • Wear a uniform. Yep, I’m a broken record, because uniforms are so awesome! They’re the autopay system of fashion–select one and forget about it. There’s something so liberating about not thinking about what you have to wear on any given day.

Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com

  • Archana Paladugu

    I have to disagree with you on your introduction to this article. The fact that we cannot control ourselves should not be blamed on the choices available. Fashion is not shopping. Its a craft. The designers are artists and there is nothing frivolous about what they do.

    That being said, yes to a very curated wardrobe, ethics and staying in the boundaries set individually for self.