The other day someone asked me how I was doing on my 30 item a year resolution, and I realized that I actually had no idea. I have to admit that 2016 so far has been such an adjustment for me – especially on the parenthood side – that I’ve been quite indulgent, probably far too much. I haven’t really kept track of my purchases at all – partially due to time but also probably because some part of me doesn’t want to see in one place, all the damage I’ve done!
I’ve realized over time that while I love the idea of what I’ve always thought of as “minimalism” – that beautiful closet with just a few gorgeous items hanging, all crazy expensive but it’s OK because I’ll wear all the pieces forever – I can’t make that concept work for myself in real life, at least not all the time. I love buying fun things, trying out new colors and shapes and trends. And sometimes, I indulge in a few more fun pieces than I probably should…but I’ve chosen to accept this, at least this year, because the act of culling items, or just deliberating and picking that one perfect piece, has been even more tiring. It’s so much pressure! Is this piece the one? Will it look outdated ten years from now? Even if I love this item, shouldn’t I get another that’s much more versatile, that I could wear tons of different ways?
After a while I just realized I was too tired…and isn’t shopping supposed to be fun?
I have a friend a little older than me, who always, always has the most classic items and taste, and I once asked her how she decided what to buy. “I ask myself if Jackie O would have worn it,” she told me. I tried this for a while and I did end up adding a few very expensive, solid black items to my wardrobe. They are classics, and I’m glad I bought them. But after a while, I felt very constrained. I really wanted to buy these Ann Demeulemeester lace up booties, and I texted her for advice. “Get them,” she said.
“But they’re not Jackie O?????” I wrote.
“So what?” she said. Apparently it wasn’t a guiding principle for her at all, just a trick that she used sometimes, to help her find what worked for her. And I totally took it to heart. One of my favorite purchases of the year has been the flowered Fendi strap above (reviewed here). This is most likely not a classic piece, and Jackie O most definitely wouldn’t have worn it. But in my friend’s words…so what?? I love it, and it brings me great pleasure right now.
By the way, I still plan on updating how my resolutions went early next year, and I still want to give myself a goal of the number of items I want to buy in 2017. I never just want to purchase willy nilly, and end up with tons of items I won’t use. But for now, I’ve accepted that I’m not a minimalist…not as much of one that in an ideal world, I’d like to be. I just want shopping to be fun for a while, so for now, I’ve stopped counting.