a minimalist lifestyle from a blogger’s perspective

minimalism: noun min·i·mal·ism
\ˈmi-nə-mə-ˌli-zəm\

1: a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity – Merriam Webster Dictionary

Minimalism is the most simple and pure form of any thing. The essence of something – without anything additional. It is the absence of excess. But how does that interpret into lifestyle?

Some interpret minimal fashion as a constricted wardrobe of monochrome ensembles. Black, white, beige, simple. Hangers should be 2” apart with plenty of empty space since “minimalism” seems often translated as having less. Each piece should have minimal adornments and detailing, and must be of the most straightforward nature. T-shirts, tanks, jeans. The aura should be stark, neat, empty.

white sea minimalist fashionstaring into the sea minimalist fashion

photography:KUNDAN KUMAR | camera:CANNON 5D MARK III | top c/o:LIE | shorts c/o:SALIENT LABEL

I have a much different perspective. Indeed, those descriptive characteristics above are part of a minimalist lifestyle – but it goes much deeper than that. It’s less about the rules, and more about the experience and aesthetic of each piece, item, and choices. It’s not about have less, it’s having only those things which have a purpose. The difference? Imagine someone who works from home, is fairly introverted, and rarely leaves the house. The essentials they need would be quite little. For that person a minimal wardrobe would likely be filled with extra space, and items would be that of a most simple nature.

Now imagine someone who travels frequently. Their hobbies include camping, running, fine dining, and other activities that require a different set of tools or essentials. Their closet may be filled to overflowing, but does this mean they cannot be a part of the minimalism lifestyle? Hardly seems fair… People often get stuck on a number. A minimalist should have 5 shirts, 3 jeans, 2 shoes, 1 coffee mug, etc. Instead, I find the definition more adaptive to people’s unique lifestyles. A runner needs shoes, athletic wear and a water bottle. Camping requires an onslaught of equipment in order to eat, sleep and carry on. Reducing so far that one doesn’t have the essentials needed to maintain their lifestyle is a self-created prison, not minimalism.

endless beach

hermit crab huntingminimal horizon

Instead, minimalism is meant to be simple, free and burden-less. If cutting back so far you actually create a more extreme burden, is it truly minimalism? Perhaps, perhaps not. I think it could mean a great many things, but the principle to follow most closely is: if you don’t need it, clear your closet and your mind from everything that is non-essential. It’s a wonderful experience to open space for a less-is-more lifestyle. Purchase pieces sparingly – as you need them, as they serve a purpose. Live a life with meaning, and disregard those things which do not matter. Be happy, and have only those things which make you so.

Minimalism is freedom. Freedom from those things which weigh us down, take up space, and serve no purpose. It’s reducing to those things that truly matter and have a positive impact on your lifestyle. It’s not clothes, coffee mugs, and a checklist of what you may not have. It’s internal, a mental state of mind, and a simple lifestyle consisted of only those things which you need. And that – is a truly beautiful thing.

minimal travel

31 Comments

  1. Kristina, your words are so poetic, beautiful write up. I agreed with your statement of how sometimes the desire of wanting to become a minimalist can at times make you feel restrain, in-prisoned. It’s refreshing to read that you also side with the idea on how there shouldn’t be just black and white, but also some room for grey, (no pun-intended) specially for someone with an active multidimensional lifestyle.

    Priscilla
    http://thestylishflaneuse.com/

  2. I battle with some of the point you make about minimalism often. Like how many pairs of shoes should I own. I need a dress shoe, boots and sneakers. Can I get a shoe to do double duty?
    Do I need workout outfits and biking outfits? Do I have to look like a biker when I am biking or will my workout gear do?
    I am trying to own just five tops and five bottoms in total as a yearly wardrobe ;-(

  3. The Tale Light Trekkers

    First of all, beautiful images! And what a refreshing point of view on minimalism. We are new to minimalism and it particularly came upon us by brute force as we are preparing to become full time RV’ers at the end of the summer http://www.thetalelighttrekkers.com
    Thanks for reminding me that it’s not about the numbers and creating stress by not having what we need; it’s about reducing stress by ridding ourselves of what we don’t need! 🙂

  4. Pingback: how to get the best night’s sleep, even with a lawless, overloaded lifestyle – day in my dreams

  5. Pingback: white, nude, grey – spring fashion in neutrals – day in my dreams

Leave a Reply