Faked Potatoes is an art + design studio.
Faked Potatoes is an art + design studio.
This week in our Pursuit of Essentialism we’re going to tackle my closet. I’ve been reading about the concept of the capsule wardrobe lately and it began to resonate with me. Stefan Sagmeister once wrote — as well as created a personal typography project around — “trying to look good limits my life.” When I saw this, I both agreed and disagreed with this statement.
While here he was likely talking in regards to design, I’ve chosen to think of it in regards to getting dressed. Waking up to a closet full of clothes and being too overwhelmed, not knowing what to wear, it had become a time drain.
Back in February I followed some tips from “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” about cleaning my closet. I removed about 1/3 of the items I had in it but after a vacation and ‘helping’ a ‘few friends’ update ‘their’ wardrobes, I found I’d already run out of hangers in my closet by the beginning of April. This wasn’t supposed to be the plan. So what happened? In this way, trying to look good was limiting my life. During this time I remember one specific morning where I laid in bed for 40 minutes, staring at my closet, trying to think about what I would wear when I should have been making breakfast and getting my work day started.
I saw a way out when I came across Denaye’s article “Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe” from the Dallas Moms Blog. Yes, I’m drawing a parallel between a yoga mom with an over-packed closet and myself, but it sticks. If you’re on Instagram or Pinterest you undoubtedly know someone with a set of immaculately curated images exhibiting their picture-perfect lives. Maybe someone you know shared a picture of a closet that looks like one of these?
This started to get me thinking; if I could reduce my wardrobe choices to what I actually need and wear, I wouldn’t have to spend near as much time getting ready in the morning. In theory, even if I were to dress in the dark, I should be decent enough to go straight to a nice dinner, a meeting, or even a night out.
So what is a capsule wardrobe and how do you set one for yourself? Caroline, the Austin-based blogger of Unfancy, describes a wardrobe capsule as:
A mini-wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear.
She advocates for maintaining a 37 piece wardrobe: 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 9 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, and 2 jackets. Obviously this is meant for a woman and 37 is a number that worked for her, but it was a great starting point. At first I thought “Jeeze, only 15 tops?” but then I ended up finding out I only wear 13 anyway, if I’m counting the 4 nearly-identical black v-necks I have as 1 item. She has some great tips for building your own and how often to update it. Find out about your own Capsule Wardrobe.
If you’re having a hard time removing pieces you feel you may want to wear in the future, McKeown’s “Essentialism” has great advice there as well.
1. EXPLORE AND EVALUATE
Instead of asking, “Is there a chance I will wear this someday in the future?” you ask more disciplined, tough questions: “Do I love this?” and “Do I look great in it?” and “Do I wear this often?” If the answer is no, then you know it is a candidate for elimination.
Let’s say you have your clothes divided into piles of “must keep” and “probably should get rid of.” But are you really ready to stuff the “probably should get rid of” pile in a bag and send it off? After all, there is still a feeling of sunk-cost bias: studies have found that we tend to value things we already own more highly than they are worth and thus that we find them more difficult to get rid of. If you’re not quite there, ask the killer question: “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?” This usually does the trick.
For more great advice, I recommend picking up his book.
It’s an incredibly liberating experience and I feel like once I started it got easier and easier. It was great to see our whole house get involved as well. After a while we had collected 6 garbage bags between everyone.
The best part is you don’t even have to feel guilty because you don’t have to throw it away. If you do some research in your area, you can see what your city does for old clothes. Charities or local organizations can resell them for a fair amount, or you can trade with friends and family as well. We already have enough rags so clothes that were too stained or shabby to donate I was able to take to H&M where they work to reuse fibers, keep material out of landfills and reduce energy consumption. For every old H&M/grocery bag I brought in I got a coupon for $5 — if you spend $30 or more — which is the equivalent of free black v-neck in case one gets wrecked.
Sagmeister himself “found that the utilization of good or appropriate style can be very important in communicating content. So I started to take it more seriously. I still don’t like stylish pieces that have nothing to say (in the same way I don’t appreciate well dressed people with nothing to say). But if dressing well gets you heard, why not do it?” Regardless that he was still mostly referring to graphic design, the literal interpretation rang true to me. Now I can dress well with minimal effort while gaining one our most essential and costly resources, time.
Talented Illustration designer Jasper Goodall made this short film about Sanna Annukka and her new autumn/winter collection for Marimekko called Pohjolassa. I’m a huge fan of patterns and have always enjoyed symmetry but lately have been pushing myself in Illustrator. As far as the Adobe suite goes, Illustrator still isn’t my strongest and I’ve learned a lot in 2012 with it.
I’m currently working with a client on her brand refresh and going over bag designs these last couple weeks, been a great experiment in pattern making. I’d love a chance to make wallpaper or textiles like these down the road.
This is the Beardcap. It is what it looks like in that you have a cap, attached to a beard. I read that it refers to the traditional “lambshed-hood” used by Icelandic farmers walking long distances in below freezing temperatures through heavy snow-storms. Designed by Vík Prjónsdóttir in 2005, this cap is made with 100% Icelandic wool and is available in five different colours. For the facial-hair-challenged among you don’t worry, you can get one too.
Photography by Gulli Már.
These photos taken by Ryan Davis — from a shoot for a print publication that, sadly, never ran — were recently posted in his blog, What He Wears. It was shot on Rockaway Beach in New York on a very cold April evening. They’re raw and full of contrast, Davis crushed the blacks in these ones and I love his style.
Photographer: Jeremy Williams
Stylist: Ryan Davis
Model: Justin Passamore @ Red NYC
A video & a few shots from a new San Diego-based line, Favorite Pastime. So far, there isn’t a whole lot to show for the line, which isn’t to say they lack the essentials. It’s short and sweet, almost minimal which is always something I can appreciate. Started by Mat Crossan and inspired by the nostalgia of care-free days of skating, surfing and generally being in the sun until the street lights came on, but updated for those of us who are old enough to not be called for dinner. I’m looking forward to more from this line.
This morning I turned the first pair of Nudies I ever purchased (from back in 2007) into a pair of shorts. 1 less pair of pants and 1 new pair of shorts. My Mom couldn’t believe the price of the denim and I explained ‘they’re built to wear in and to last,’ and to wait and see them in five years. She scoffed and said I wouldn’t be wearing them in five years, which at this point is only 8 months away.
Take that, Mom.
http://Buckstyle.com presents a new animation on the stud trend by up-and-coming Brazilian motion graphics designer Caco Neves, Creative Direction & Styling by Steve Doyle, Photography & Production by Holly Falconer, Hair & Make-up by Holly Bellm, Styling Assistant Celia-Jane Ukwenya, Music by Joakim & The Disco, Photographer’s Assistant Mary Taylor, Model: Johan @ Premier. Clothing by Prada, Levi’s Dr Marten’s, New Look, Mint, Rokit, Year Zero, Primark.
Tom Ford – fashion powerhouse/film mogul/old school romantic/myhero – is the cover star of the spring/summer 2011 issue of Another Man and presents Tom Ford’s five easy lessons in how to be a modern gentleman.
Admittedly I’m not a watch guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be. But I generally spend upwards of $300 when I buy a watch and usually only wear them for a couple months before they disappear into my drawer (see. Watch Graveyard). I told myself if I was to get another watch, it would have to be somewhat timeless, masculine and pretty simple/elegant. This recent re-launch of the Seagull 1963 is that kind of watch I think.
In 1961 the Tianjin Watch Factory was assigned to manufacture the first Chinese aviation watch (chronograph) for the Air Force of the People’s Liberation Army. The code of the assignment was “304.” The factory pre-manufactured three batches of the aviation watch by October 1962. In the end of the year 38 leaders and experts (industrial ministry, air command, and naval equipment supervisors) came together for the appraisal of the watch. After the meeting the Tianjin Watch Factory received permission to begin the mass production of the watch. In 1963 the factory completed and delivered 1400 aviation watches to the Chinese Air Force.
The chrono has an automatic movement with a 40 hour power reserve, is made in China and retails for a cool $339. Find out more here.