Confessions Of A Non-Minimalist
A minimalist, by definition, means a person with an interest in keeping everything simple, and at one point in my life, I thought I was one (God bless my soul).
While I admit to be a true simple girl to the core, especially in terms of values and my deepest desires in life (a.k.a. only wanting pure joy, love, and peace of mind), I am hardly the same on the outside. Not to say I am mean-spirited; on a shallow level, I am rarely simple-minded, as I desire impractical things such as purchases on a whim (e.g. style staples to copy a certain K-drama heroine) and clothes that do more than just… well, clothing my body.
There I said it! Because as I have mentioned, at one point in my life, I honest-to-goodness thought I was a minimalist and that I could live life without shopping (unless necessary). I blame this self-misconception on my roots as a former PR girl, my first job ever, which allowed me to live out all my fashion girl dreams. In other words, as a young PR girl, I channeled all the female working girls from all my favorite films, even if it meant commuting in heels, er, flatforms, and pulling my hair up in a headache-inducing tight bun…
In case you're unaware, working in PR can be very demanding, image-wise. Or at least, that's how I've always understood it. After all, if you're working in an industry that is all about image or your 'public self' then you must live and breathe it. Of course, one can always just dress decently, e.g. tailor-fit trousers, a crisp button down, adequately heeled shoes, neat hair and close-to-none makeup.
But for me, perhaps I’ve long decided that dressing up on the daily means more than looking presentable. I’d crave the tiis-ganda and the adventure that comes with wearing a heavy jacket, challenging heels, tassels that may get caught in another fashion girl’s chains, studs, and rhinestones… And the reason why I can’t say no to fashion? Allow me to explain:
I believe it's impossible to be a K-fan and maintain a simple lifestyle. How can you not want to color your hair? Put on bright eye makeup? Wear sheer, sequins, and satin all in one outfit?
Do you know what a BLACKJACK or a VIP is? A Blink or an iKONIC? (Clue: K-fandoms)
Also, if I dress shabbily, what would Anna Wintour in my conscience say? I came to a company Christmas party dressed as the editrix herself and so I must embody her greatness to the core!
Fashion, to me, is an extension of myself, and I how I dress is a reflection of the crazy things inside my head, heart, and soul…
Dressing up also boosts my mood and I highly suggest you try it!
Plot twist: when I resigned from PR and moved on to publishing, and eventually, the freelance life, working from home introduced me to the comfort and glamour of pambahay clothes… and I didn't want to part with them. With less meetings to attend and events to show up to, I hardly ever felt the need to acquire new clothing, and I thought it was liberating. The freelance life made realize many things: you spend on transportation less, you eat out less, you stress out less, and... you shop less.
For a while, I kept at that low-key lifestyle, thinking of myself a brand-new leaf and, well, a budding minimalist. Until a trip to Korea with two enabler friends whom I call my Seoul sisters proved otherwise. While I did buy practical items, e.g. plain shirts, practical pants… my impulsive haul of unnecessary pairs of earrings was a clear giveaway.
The magical moment all transpired at a quaint little jewelry store at Hongdae street. To say the least, the ambiance was perfect. Not to mention that the earrings right before my eyes were certainly my style, and nothing like the ones back home. I tried to stay calm, and to be fair, on the outside, I seemed like a harmless window shopper, and one with inner peace. Yet in reality, I was frantic, already debating in my head, convincing myself to let go (shop) and let God, because after all, I am on a trip and I don't even know when I'll be back! Right?
And so the minute I let go, I knew I was back. Like a switch that suddenly went on, I was instantly on shopping mode, and my well-trained eyes started scanning the display… yes, no, yes, yes, add to cart…
The rest, as they say, is history. I went home with the realization that no, I'm not fond of keeping things simple, the minimalist way, or at least fashion-wise. And fashion-wise, I'd only go for ‘simple’ if this ‘simple’ means making a statement. Most of all, I realized how it was silly of me to think of myself that way, and to believe that I only dressed up because of my job. Looking back, I found clues in my childhood: I once put glitter glue on my jeans to “design” them, I often came to school with colorful hair barrettes even if these weren’t allowed, and at the prime of my punk rock phase, I’d proudly wear mismatched Chucks, one red and one blue, together.
And so I conclude this revelation by ending my abstinence on shopping (oops), and allowing my true self to shine. Special thanks to my Seoul sisters who’ve supported my transition by lending me luggage space and accepting me for who I am.
Any personal fashion revelations you’d like to share? I’d be happy to read about your journey or evolution or however you’d like to call it. See you at the comments section!
And last but not least, in the spirit of OTT outfits, I’ve created wild mobile wallpapers for your perusal. Feel free to embody the vibe from head to phone. You may download them here.