Why Minimalism?

21 April 2018




Minimalism has always been highly appealing to me. As a person living with anxiety, needless clutter has always been a prominent source of said anxiety, albeit unavoidable at times. Even worse, clutter manifests as a result of my anxiety or depression. There have been countless occasions where I've texted my friends I JUST WANT TO BURN EVERYTHING I OWN! Does anyone else ever get like that, or is it just me?

From a purely aesthetic point of view, minimalist fashion and interiors struck my fancy on social media, but I always thought, that could never be me. Perhaps it's because, at the time, I naïvely thought that you couldn't be a minimalist and have your own personal style. Vintage clothing didn't really seem to fit into the lifestyle from an outsider's perspective, and I'm sure there are many minimalists still who feel this way.

The way I view minimalism, however, that will best suit my lifestyle, is not what you own, but how much you own, and how to learn to live with less. Many people don't realise or understand that a minimalist can still have interests and hobbies--the difference is that the items pertaining to that hobby are limited to only what the person actually uses or needs. For example, if you're a minimalist painter, limit your supplies for painting to only the essentials, or have only one type of each brush or paint colour rather than multiples.

As it should be with any type of lifestyle or fad, minimalism should not be exclusive to people who dress monochrome and don't own a television. It can be adapted and engineered to best suit your interests and personality, all while keeping the core requirement of limiting yourself to just the necessities.

So why am I interested in venturing into this seemingly huge lifestyle change? Well, there are more reasons than just appearance.


Stress-Relief

As someone living with BPD, I feel things incredibly strongly--this (unfortunately) includes stress. My mood and mental health revolve hugely around my environment. This is why I enjoy working in a café around other people working, where I feel most productive. This also applies to negative emotions and lack of productivity, primarily when I'm surrounded by clutter. Open, clean, environments with very little bring my mind peace and the idea of having a home like this will allow for that peace to be continual -- omnipresent if you will. 

I'm quite the homebody so the more relaxed I can feel while at home, the better! A clutter-free home brings a clutter-free mind, as they say. As an added bonus, the lack of excessive material possessions will hopefully bring fewer things to constantly be thinking and worrying about.

Saving Money

As a full-time self-employed artist living in the most expensive city in the country, it should come as no surprise I am trying to find ways to save money. Obviously, living off of less means that you need to buy less. I've already begun shopping much, much less frequently, and any shopping I do is always at thrift stores, where I only purchase things that already can be incorporated into my wardrobe seamlessly, and would get a lot of wear. 

Allows for More Creativity

Because I am limiting myself and buying less as well as getting rid of tonnes and tonnes of clothes, I am given more opportunity to be creative when it comes to my wardrobe. It's almost nostalgic, having a smaller collection of clothing items. Back in my first days of university, I only brought some favourite pieces and was excited to make new outfits each day with my limited supply. Although I have much more now, six years later, than I did back then, I am equally eager to get creative again and come up with new ways to wear the few items I hold onto. 

Getting creative also applies to ways of getting things done. Nowadays, it seems like there is a tool for everything, but with a minimalist lifestyle, I can adopt new ways to use what I already have to complete certain tasks. It may take a bit longer, but I am happy to put in the extra effort and use my noggin to do so!

For the Environment

In this minimalism journey, I hope to eventually produce less waste. In the process of reducing, I will recycle and donate as much as I can, to avoid contributing to the already horrific waste load that this country bears. Doing little things like bringing a reusable water bottle along with me during the day instead of buying yet another plastic one, shopping for clothes in thrift and secondhand stores, and switching to paperless organising are all ways to minimise and benefit the environment.

It's a Challenge!

I like the idea of minimalism the most because it's completely different than the way I've lived my entire life. My family had a relatively decent amount of money so if I ever needed or wanted something, more often than not I was able to get it. Despite all of this, I was still raised to have to earn the things I wanted and not just have them handed to me.

Eventually, when I started working and made my own money, I took full advantage of this opportunity to spend it on whatever I wanted. Now that I'm grown, paying my own bills, and losing interest in owning things due to a growing distaste for capitalism and consumerism, I now have a very different relationship with money.

Although I still have that pestering need for immediate gratification, largely due to the technological world in which my generation has developed, the desire to consume has greatly diminished in the last year.




So there you have it, a condensed list of why I'm entering the minimalist lifestyle. Even though there is much more to why I'm approaching minimalism, these main points are what encourage me the most. I hope this inspired you to think more clearly about your own possessions and mind space and how you can incorporate a minimalist outlook without sacrificing your personality and interests. Whatever your lifestyle choice, do only what makes you the happiest and healthiest instead of just following any old fad or the way people say you should live. Only you can decide the path you'd like to take for yourself!

What are your thoughts on minimalism? I'd love to know in the comments!

x, Sarah



  • hat: vintage
  • top: thrifted
  • cardigan: thrifted
  • lip colour: nars




My Dream Dress & How I Found My Personal Style

10 April 2018



When I was the ripe old age of fifteen, a film came out that, unknowingly, would change my life forever. Okay, maybe that's a little bit dramatic, but when people ask me what inspired my personal sense of style, I always come back to (500) Days of Summer. Sure, I've been wearing vintage and had a fringe since I was a kid, but something about every single outfit in this film triggered a spark in me that I've only felt a few times in my life. 

Slowly emerging from my emo/scene phase and developing into a "proper young lady" (a term I use very, very loosely, because of it's sexist undertones), I lacked a sense of identity. I didn't associate myself with the raccoon eyeliner, flat teased hair, and unexpected mixture of black and neon colours any longer. I knew I didn't feel myself dressing like that anymore (although, on occasion, I still do, in a much more wearable sense), but I wasn't sure in what style I could. 

Growing up, I loved wearing vintage, but at the time, and most likely my age group, it was seen as weird and sometimes even gross (why wear old, worn clothes when you could wear brand new pieces?).  It was at that moment I stumbled into the soon-to-be-closing Blockbuster Video where they were selling rental DVD's at a discounted price. I grabbed a couple that I hadn't seen, but was interested in, including Away We Go, starring the addictivly sexy John Krasinski, and then I found it. A Blockbuster Video exclusive edition of (500) Days of Summer. I quickly grabbed it and clenched it tightly to my chest, as if I'd struck gold. Little did I know, I found something so much more valuable than gold.


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Upon the opening credits, I was already hooked, from the music (shoutout to Regina Spektor!), to the sweet side by side home videos. But it wasn't until we are introduced to the film's unattainable love interest, Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel, that I was struck by a sensation of lust. This lust was not necessarily for Zooey, although she is beautiful, we are too similar, so that would be a whole new level of narcisism. No, this lust was for her outfits, and that's when it all hit me. "This," I said to myself, "This is what I've been searching for!" I eventually made a list of all of the items she wore so I could recreate the outfits myself, shopping only at thrift stores and Ross. 

But there was one outfit in particular, the one that I desired the most, that I just couldn't seem to find. It was, of course, the infamous IKEA scene dress. The dress was, naturally, vintage, and rented from a costume rental service, so there was no way of obtaining the real thing myself. I spent the better part of 8 years searching for something even remotely similar, just a simple vintage baby blue shirtdress. It didn't seem like it would be that difficult to find, right? I searched every thrift store, vintage shop, and Etsy listing I could find, and still nothing.

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Then came Summer 2017, which was right in the middle of the year of family weddings. I was desperately seeking a last minute dress to wear all around Haight-Ashbury with my sister-in-law's family when we reluctantly entered Decades of Fashion, an incredible vintage shoppe where each piece is organised by decade. Although I love this place, the prices were a bit high for my taste. Not only was I able to find the perfect vintage frock suitable for the wedding, but I also came across what I've been looking for over the past eight years... my dream dress!



At a $50 sale price and a fit that was practically made for my body, I swiped the dress off the rack so quickly that all I can remember is it always being in my hands. I could barely believe that I finally found what I had been looking for. I've now had it for nearly a year, and each time I wear it, without fail, I am complimented by so many people. 


Do you have a film or television series that sparked the inspiration that devleoped your personal style? If you could steal any fictional character's wardrobe, whose would it be? Let me know in the comments! Meanwhile, I'll be taking a trip to IKEA!

x, Sarah


  • dress, bag, and heels: vintage
(source)
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