How Minimalism Changed How I Buy

Less but better

A few years ago, I fell in love with minimalism both as a philosophy and as an aesthetic. It didn’t take me too long to realize that it could give me something I had always desired: freedom. As an aesthetic, it’s pleasurable, soothing to my mind, like good food or music. So I began taking small steps to actively become a more minimal, conscious consumer.

I was probably 22 years-old at the time, and I remember the relief of getting rid of low-quality pieces I’d bought when I was about 17. I no longer liked them, my mindset had shifted. To start saving money, time and energy, I slowly began decluttering and recycling my wardrobe by donating tons of items I no longer wore. I also threw away home items that were gifts I had never really loved.

Over the years, I started to pay more attention to the clothing’s cut, fabric, fit and colors. The reality is there are many, many times I just do not have the amount of money available to spend in the classical, high-quality, long lasting pieces I want to buy. But, still, I’ve learned to either buy something I need or not at all.

Making it last

An enduring wardrobe resist appeals to “stock up” on “basics” that are neither designed to delight nor made to last. Instead, I aim to build an enduring wardrobe, special piece by special piece. Thankfully, some companies see their success lies in providing a true antidote to fast-fashion: ultra high-quality clothing, made sustainably, that people can afford.

Your quality piece of clothing will last more than the rest of your fast-fashion items. This has to do with the quality of its material, the care in its overall production and the cure after buying it.

A $215 dress is not something most people are likely to buy on impulse, but that’s really the point. “Fast fashion sees clothing as something that’s disposable,” explains Karla Gallardo, co-founder of Cuyana.

Cuyana Tall Structured Leather Tote, $215

Defining your wants and needs

It’s important to be honest about your lifestyle and define what you need from your wardrobe. It’s not realistic to own fifty party dresses if you never go to parties. Thinking about your shape, size and how you like your clothes to fit is also key.

What items do you own and wear all the time? What items do you own and never wear? What colors are you more drawn to? What style defines you?

Finding a season foundation in six refined elements distinguished by their character, craftsmanship, and versatility. Each component unlocks inventive ways to combine and define a look.

Summing up

Minimalism urges me to resist buying things on a whim. Sometimes, things I don’t really want or need. Usually, before making an online purchase, I let it hang in the “Cart” for a few hours or days to let the spur of the moment cool off. I’m sure my wallet and future self will thank me for reflecting on that purchase.

As with most things in life, quality is more beneficial than quantity. It’s not about how much we have, rather than the quality of what we have. This concept applies to our possessions or the experiences we encounter.

Being a minimalist comes down to promoting the things we value the most and removing the things that distract us from our life. It is buying with clarity, purpose, and intentionality.

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