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||126||: What if We Slowed Down? – More Living, More Intentional Purchases.

I return again to what slows me down and reminds me to be:
Content. Grateful. Living as someone who is enough, just as I am.
Photo by Samar Patil

These days it’s not my goal to reach aesthetic perfection, I’ve tried that once and ended up spending more money trying to be someone I’m not, as if I’m a sculpture in a museum.

I’m convinced I don’t need to be anyone but myself, and sometimes I simply don’t care, I just want to be around good people, with intimate conversations and good food. Then I’ll say, pass me by favorite jeans jacket, I get cold easily.

You won’t find my closet with 10 items. I’ve accumulated stuff over the years. I’ve purchased and donated, exchanged. I’m doing a low buy this year and since I’ve made that decision, I’ve been given enough gifts. Maybe it’s because I’ve said, I have enough that I’m attracting generous folks.

As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”

Emma Watson

These habits go way back:
My dilemma with maintaining a minimal wardrobe was addressing the fact that I was not content with myself, what I offered as an individual, and the items I owned, and so I told myself I’ll never be content — I want more, maybe then I’ll be happy.

Snippet of my Origin Story:
I’m a young kid living in Brooklyn. I attend a middle school closest to my Fathers home. My parents are separated and so we travel back and forth between homes. The school I attended, I hated it because I got teased often (those kids were blunt and brutal) because my clothings weren’t popular designer brands and they didn’t fit (high waters). I was tall for my age and back then they didn’t have tall inseams or at least accessible/affordable like today.

The students wore designer clothing like, New York Fashion Week on the daily, which is absurd. And so I wanted to fit in, too young to get a job, I built up this story in my mind that if I changed my hair (Afro to Straight), and purchased designer clothing, I’ll attract more friends, or at least blend in.

I carried that story with me in high school and in college. Yes it is pathetic, but I didn’t admit it to myself, so it felt normal to want to improve my self image and wardrobe daily.

When you know better, you do better.

I copied everyone else and called it “inspiration or creative experimentation”. I remember asking a student or mate, “I love your outfit, where’d you get that piece?” They’d look nervous and say “No bruv, this is a vintage piece or some place downtown, my special spot.” It was the goal among folks to own vintage or couture pieces, and pair them with the newest trainers.

With Instagram and many social platforms, people inspire us daily, and probe us to purchase the new new but if the look isn’t you, then it’s an expensive hobby.
This expensive hobby bled into my life and I’ve paid the price over the years, with debt to pay.

I share this story today to say, the reason Minimalism has been so important to me, is because it’s the discipline I need. A filter to keep me grounded and my habits on track. The main thing in my life is: family, traveling to connect with LC, relationships and one day owning a home.

The most important priorities to me, are people, not things.

Clothes are not going to change the world, the women who wear them will.”

Anne Klein

Why I prefer a small wardrobe:

  • Less laundry – more time to relax
  • Effortless Style – everything matches and fits well & everything is my favorite.
  • Less decision fatigue – easy routine
  • Intentional Shopping – Save for quality must haves and helps weed out the excess.
  • Encourages creativity – you learn to pare outfits together and can mix and match for many outfits.
  • Encourages a uniform look – which helps saves money. You can still dress up on the weekends or special occasions.
  • You begin to set yourself apart – be an anti conformist, be authentically you and learn to careless about repeating outfits and others opinions.

Generations before us wore clothing and made repairs to small tears, wholes, etc. They saved up for pieces and purchased less. I remember watching a film where the husband went to a boutique and carefully selected a silk scarf for his wife’s birthday. The store owner packaged the scarf in a box. The husband handed the box to his beloved, she beamed, squealed and carefully opened the box, set aside the tissue and held up the silky bright cloth. She leaped for him, held onto his neck snd thanked him like it was a precious jewel.

Clothes could have more meaning and longevity if we think less about owning the latest or cheapest thing and develop more of a relationship with the things we wear”

Elizabeth L. Cline

What if we started by slowing down and not consuming so much stuff, just because it’s there and cheap and available. It’s amazing how that process makes sense financially, it makes sense ethically, and it makes sense environmentally.”

Andrew Morgan- Filmmaker and director.

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