A Minimalist Wardrobe Almost 5 Years Later

by Ari Takata-Vasquez

In case you don't already know, I'm a huge fan of minimalism. Not in a competitive "I'm better than you because I own less" way, but in an "I'm not-so-secretly-lazy and love sleeping in" way. Minimalism for me is a means not an end. What I mean by that is I enjoy and appreciate minimalism for the ways it improves my quality of life. I roll out of bed, grab a couple of things, throw them on, and just like magic, I'm ready to start my day without looking like a shmuck. This is only possible because I decided, almost five years ago, I would only buy clothing that's timeless, well-made (by nice people), and in neutral colors. We have so much more creative potential than stressing what goes on our bodies morning after morning.

Women spend 3,276 hours (136 days)  and men spend 1,092 hours (45.5 days) getting dressed over their lifetimes. Regardless of gender, that's too much of our precious time. And that's not even factoring in how many hours are spent shopping. Those are hours I'm so glad to have back to spend with friends, making things, or frankly DOING ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE. Shouldn't you reclaim your time for yourself? 

On average, we only wear about 20% of our wardrobe. That's why most people look at their wardrobes full of things and say "I have nothing to wear". I won't get into the ecological or socio-economic impacts of this wastefulness or we'll be here all day, but I will say this is why Viscera is 100% American-made, often local (as in made within 2 miles of the shop, or in it). Imagine how much time we spend going out and buying these things we don't need, or even like for that matter? My personal frustration with the traditional shopping experience is why I made Viscera a radically different shopping experience. Viscera is about slow-fashion and developing personal connections with the things you own. It's why our brick and mortar shop is more than a point of sale but a community space that (hopefully) leaves you with a memorable experience.

So here I am, almost five years after I decided minimalism was right for me (you can read what I thought about it last year). I know it maybe doesn't seem like the most revolutionary act, but I'd argue that it's a huge shift in the way you spend your energy. Decision fatigue is real, so why would you start your day exhausting your previous mental energy trying to figure out what you wear? I'm not arguing here for giving up on being presentable, but I'm suggesting we stop making our wardrobe a struggle. We deserve to have things that are well made, comfortable, and make us feel confident. As a shop-owner, designer, and often stylist, my favorite thing about fashion is how transformative it can be. I'll often have a new mom or transitioning customer who's looking to dress for their new-selves and I find nothing more rewarding than being able to help them find clothing that makes them feel good and comfortable in their own skin. That's the power of fashion. 

I appreciate minimalism for what it empowers me to spend my creative energy on rather than getting dressed.  There's something really nice about the quiet confidence that comes with knowing you're well dressed without the stress. I love throwing on an outfit and feeling ready to get out into the world and make waves, because at the end of the day, what we wear does say something about us. Wouldn't you rather your outfit says 'calm, cool, collected' instead of 'stressed, worried, wasteful'?