I was planning to write a deep, philosophical post on minimalism this week…but to be honest, I just wasn’t in a pensive mood. I am once again “between homes,” and the burden of dragging around my possessions between various hotels and sublets has inspired musings of a more practical nature.
I’m going to stay on the topic of wardrobe this week, as it constitutes the bulk of my baggage at the moment. In particular, I’ve been fantasizing about items that would enable me to reduce my load even more. And foremost in my fantasies are ultra-versatile items that address all my needs in a single package.
Warning: anyone who took issue with my 10-item wardrobe may not want to read any further, as the fashion transgressions in this post will be coming fast and furious. ;-)
You see, I’m the type of person who gets excited about the sleek “uniforms” in science fiction movies — you know, those monochrome futuristic outfits that people in spaceships wear. Yes, the minimalist aesthetic appeals to me; but even more so, the idea of a world in which fashion for fashion’s sake is irrelevant.
So here’s my magical minimalist wish list. I always enjoy “designing” these items in my mind, so thought it might be fun to discuss them here.
1. Transformer shoe
My fantasy: While I spend most of my time in flats, certain occasions call for a heel. I wish someone would create a comfortable flat, onto which one could screw a heel when needed. Perhaps a male version would involve an interchangeable sole — flat for dress wear, rugged for casual wear.
Reality: I was surprised to find these Camileon heels in a Google search. They adjust from a 1 ½” to a 3 ¼” heel — not quite a flat, but close! I also discovered another type of interchangeable shoe, in which different tops are attached to one base for a variety of looks — check out these offerings from Mohop and OneSole. Not what I was looking for, but an interesting idea nonetheless.
2. All-season coat.
My fantasy: I would like a coat that works year round, for everything from shoveling snow to going to the opera. I prefer a slim, tailored silhouette (in ¾-length) rather than a ski-parka look. In my mind, I’m picturing a three-layer system: the middle one would be a nice coat in a fall/spring weight, the outer would be a wind-and-water resistant shell for inclement weather, and the inner would be a zip-out fleece for frigid days. Extra points if the nice middle layer reverses to a different color.
Reality: While there are plenty of coats with zip-out liners, most seem to be of the sporty or trench variety. What I want may very well be out there; I just haven’t found it yet!
3. Removable sleeves.
My fantasy: I’d like to be able to wear my favorite tops in both summer and winter by simply adding or removing the sleeves. If they can do it with pants, why not with shirts? Let’s throw dresses in there as well; I’d love to be able to pop some sleeves on my little black dress when it’s cold. (Apologies to any fashionistas who are having a coronary right now!)
4. Climate control fabrics.
My fantasy: I’m also dreaming of smart fabrics that can heat and cool me as needed — another requirement in my quest for a seasonless wardrobe.
Reality: Interestingly enough, it seems this high-tech function is best performed by natural fabrics. My go-to hiking shirt is an Icebreaker merino wool tee, which has kept me comfortable in a wide range of temperatures. I’m glad the company is expanding its line beyond sports and exercise wear. Silk is a candidate as well, though cruelty to silkworms is a concern.
5. A uniform.
Okay, I’m throwing this one out here to get your opinions, as it certainly has minsumer appeal — after all, the fashion industry creates a tremendous amount of waste and is often linked to deplorable working conditions.
So (laundry concerns aside), what if you could have one perfectly-comfortable, perfectly-designed outfit that you could wear everyday — and nobody cared, or ridiculed you for it? I’m not talking scrubs, or military dress, or a UPS uniform, but something you looked fabulous and felt great in. Would you want that? Or do you find variety, and self-expression through clothing, too important to give up? Please let me know in the Comments!