Recently I have been linked to a group of bloggers under the label of "minimalism" largely due to my constant promotion of the virtues of curating your wardrobe. I am extremely flattered to be considered on the same level as some of my curating cohorts, however I would like to go on record saying that I am not a minimalist. What is the point of making such a distinction?
First it is easy to see why people view those who curate their wardrobe as minimalist by default. The ideas surrounding the process of curation is conducive to the simple modes of living that is encouraged by minimalism. There is nothing wrong with living simply. In fact, it's great. However, by pigeonholing all those that curate under the umbrella of minimalism, it does harm in discouraging those who are attracted to the idea of curating but otherwise don't necessarily consider themselves as minimalists. This also restricts the number of reasons why people should curate if they can. For me, it was an idea borrowed from menswear. For others it could be environmental reasons and others, financial budgeting issues. Curating is essentially a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is a tool that anybody can employ to achieve any goals they set for themselves, whether that falls under minimalism or not.
Secondly, by calling me a minimalist, it would most definitely muddy the name of minimalism and those who practice it. I do not know anything about minimalism per se, except for maybe getting rid of the excess. Less is more type of stuff. If I had any minimalistic inclinations, it would be through Buddhism understood through traditional Chinese culture growing up (a heady mix of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism) to eliminate desire and attachment to material objects. It's definitely appealing on a philosophical basis, however I have yet to putting his teachings to practice. I am still kind of a pack rat. I've stopped collecting trinkets but I have yet to be able to bear the thought of throwing sentimental things, like snail mail from Jada, away.
This all sums up exactly why I am such a strong advocate for curating. It's not a “lifestyle choice”– it's a way to save yourself time, money and trouble, along with whatever objective you may have. You can be minimalist, but you most certainly don't have to be.
+ PHOTO: THE COLLECTIONS BY TOM ALLEN FOR UK HARPER'S BAZAAR FEB 2013