Let them eat cake! The anti-minimalist's guide to dress
I love minimalism in theory—its pristine, ordered, easiness. Yet in practice, the starkness could be read as uninviting and anti-sumptuous.
Swedish interiors usually come to mind when we think about minimalism and the merits of condemning our extra stuff to the trash. In dress, minimalism manifests itself in the concept of capsule dressing: just a few, quality pieces that can last forever.
Indeed, this is a popular prudent line of thinking, fitting in with larger cultural beliefs: Over consumption is bad for the environment, clutter interferes with our ability to stay present, hedonism is irresponsible, spending money is avaricious, materialism is superficial and on and on.
Not as though we have a choice to escape from the bounds of the frame we place around our choices and decisions, namely, to buy or not to buy. But I am for effacing the “shame” experienced when acquiring clothing, the attendant “guilt” for coveting an item, or the subsequent apology for the “splurge”.
As so often happens, clothes are superficial—quite literally—since it serves as the face of our presentation to the world. Which, by virtue of this property makes it a conduit for deeper attitudes and belief systems. So it isn’t then surprising that the feelings that attend to our fashion choices are delicate issues entangled with yet more complex emotions we harbor about class and money.
Putting that to the side for now though, I think we can acquire a happy balance wherein we aren’t nagged, bound in or repressed by what seems to be a cultured instinct to acquire beautiful things, to likewise adorn ourselves and to decorate as a means to create ambience, convey expression, or feel good about ourselves generally.
So I titled this post "Let them eat cake" not for its historical accuracy- there is actually much debate on its meaning. No one is really even certain that Marie Antoinette in fact said this, and if she did it is kind of derogatory as it proves just how out of touch she was with her constituency.
No matter though. I use it as a place holder word for all things pleasurable, perhaps a bit decadent, sumptuous, aesthetically delightful and importantly, guilt-free.
To put it simply, lately I'm all for eating cake.