Why the “10 French Capsule Wardrobe Essentials” Fails You
*A Tangent on Normcore*
I’m starting to understand the issue with "Classics"; a canonical list that is distributed to the masses by the current purveyors of non-offensive fashion. Like many, I’ve felt my dissenting skepticism for these lists deep down, and in my early college years, have scoffed at anything that tried to pin-down a collection of what everyone should have in their wardrobe. I view it in the same way as “these are the books you should read” and “these are the things you should eat” but everyday. Anyway you button it, fashion is a conspicuous communicator. So why are we aspiring so frantically to communicate the same way?
Let’s take a look-see at the culprits of some of these “lists” and my knee-jerk reactions to them…
A Trench coat? But I hate khaki. And tie-waist belts are a pain in the gut.
A Pencil skirt? More like a food-baby skirt…
Ballet flats? I can get on board with this. But I need 12 different colored pairs…
A crisp white shirt? Lint. Sriracha. Foundation. Nuff said.
A striped sailor’s tee? But the good ones are $200 at least!
Knee high boots? But my calves are bigger than my neck. (True story.)
And so on.
I do not in fact want to end up with a wardrobe like the above. I would be underwhelmed and boringly dressed. I understand that these lists often outline a solid foundation for which a wardrobe should grow upon, but nowadays, every blogger worth her streetstyle is hell bent on purveying minimalist-chic looks that can be encapsulated in full to a list of basics.
If being “fashion savvy”, if you will, were that easy, everyone would dress the same all the time…and though many are, there’s still some idiosyncrasy pushing through the crowd of sportif-clad monochrome moguls in Stan Smith sneakers and something vaguely Philo-esque. So why the resistance? For you, dear reader, I don’t believe that it is purely “trench coats don’t come in my size” or “I cannot find the perfect one…” you simply don’t see the classics as a) interesting or b) pertinent to your personal style at the moment. Simple and completely acceptable. Dead Fleurette’s take on simplicity dennotes the relative difficulty in buying “simple” styles: look beyond the “boringness” and see the almost imperceptible shifts in denim washes, proportions, texture, cut and tailoring. If you ask, “won’t wearing the same things get boring?” then yes, the answer to you is wholeheartedly yes. If you had a wardrobe that felt ALL YOU, then no, you wouldn’t get bored. You’d feel like you could conquer anything.
The Man Repeller just came out with this cogitation on her own reaction to “Normcore”. This literature changed my life because my constant mental tug of war between choosing to have a uniform and being a fashion unicorn was almost becoming too much to bear. Over six months into this journey of not buying clothes, I can definitely identify my wardrobe as being 80% Uniform & 20% Unicorn. My question then is how do I discern what to invest in in the future? What should outweigh the other when it comes down to click-time? I thought that last-ability in both the stylistic and fidelity senses were trump all, but now, how an item makes one feel (shmexy like a glitter-covered skinny dipper! Hot like an emu’s egg on fire! Omnipotent like Lorde!) may in fact be the kicker…
So. Are you uniform or are you unicorn??
Until next time,
Ph. The Sartorialist.