Does your white tee bring you joy?

Kon-Mari's famous words in her best-selling tome on decluttering, was to pick every item in the house & ask yourself - Does this bring me joy?

If your heart says no, throw it away! Your space should only be full of items that bring you joy. By that logic, I would be sockless and would have no plates to eat out of, coz neither inspire any joy in me.

Inspired by her, thousands of fashionistas have whittled down their closets to 30 items, all based on a carefully curated color scheme that builds on neutrals and is environmentally sustainable.

But I don't buy it.

This new "carefree wannabe-french chair painter" is just another version of the "manic pixie dream girl" before her, which seems to come in from the entire "French Girl" aesthetic. While their intentions are noble - buy less, waste less  - is always a good motto in life, I don't agree with their negativity towards fast fashion brands and their tendency to ignore their economic privilege.

When you dress in a minimalist fashion, you have to buy pieces that are well made in good fabrics, because simple, neutral pieces shine best that way. When plain clothes are your centerpiece, they better be very well made! When these minimalists have a limited wardrobe with carefully curated pieces, it means that they have the luxury to replace their woolen navy pullover the moment they see signs of aging, without waiting for a sale, at any mall because they are a standard size. They don't need to buy backups of items are worn often during a sale because they can afford it at full price.

And then they tend to shit on fast-fashion. Say what you will, but the H&Ms and Targets are the mainstay of most women and have made trends accessible. No one who can afford to buy pieces by Celine is really impacted by Zara also offering the trend in their store. In fact, it just offers everyone more choice. And speaking of Zara, I wish they would offer a lot more items inspired by their own Spanish & neighbouring Italian fashion heritage of D&G and Gucci, rather than keep pushing variants of Celine's French Girl. There's only so interesting you can look in a black blazer, white tee & jeans. No matter how it's accessorized, it is still Pinterest Basic 101.

Maybe it is just me. I have always been a maximalist.

I hate the basic white tee. Why buy a plain, white tee when I can get a black, vintage tee with a print. Or a red trenchcoat? Or a white mini? or plaid? When I look for inspiration for dressing up, I always end looking at Italian & Spanish women. I love prints and colors. I like dressing up, I have never seen it as a chore. That brings me joy. Maybe I'm just briefly distracted from the emptiness of my life by the promise of looking as alluring as those Spanish sirens. Do you think they would rock an embroidered chambray?


  1. that's a very good point! Personally, I have never been able to afford designer stuff. And as for being a minimalist, I just could not!I love color, I could never dress in different shades of neutrals. Neutrals make me look ill. Give me pink, orange, red any day!

  2. I'm so, so glad someone else thinks like me. I just didn't buy the whole "spark joy" thing.
    BTW, welcome back…I've missed reading your posts.

    A Keypad Ninth Tourist

  3. Love this article. I get the need for having basics and I often dress in 'minimalistic' monochromatic manner. I however do that when I'm feeling sad and non-joy. When I'm happy I tend to wear colours and prints and be more fun and trendy. Also basics can be very high maintenance! Washing the plain white tee is tough!


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