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Is Fashion Becoming Streamlined?
After attending New York Fashion week this season and following all the European shows, I have noticed a slew of designers that are creating very basic uniforms for an answer to all your daily fashion dilemas, like what to wear. Some of those brands include Toteme, Wardrobe NYC, Khaite, and even a favorite mainstay Vince. Included in that are templates you can wear for the everyday, evening, and weekends. The only color options are actually non-colors: see black, beige, white, and gray. In a post-peacocking post-Phoebe Philo era, I get the gist. They are redefining the way in which people shop. Seeking to challenge the cyclical nature of consumption and production in the fashion industry, they create capsule collections of four to eight wardrobe heroes that can be styled cohesively and worn season after season. Long reign the neutrals. Here is getting back to basics, how to shop now.
Back to Basics, How to Shop Now
The reason I love fashion are many and one is to express my individuality. But if we dress like clones of each other and in uniform, are we losing our forms of expression? The question begs to be answered. I never used to shop this way. I used to listen to my gut. If my gut told me I had to have something, like this lavender sweater and snakeskin skirt, that feeling that upon contact was worth the acquisition, I’d get it. There was no calculation beyond that. No rules. So, I’d get the thing, and not always, but often, would find that after a couple of wears, or the sum of a season, I would sell it or give it away. And this, more than anything else, is wasteful.
My clothes were fantastical tales of the identities I once marveled in pretending to become. Whimsical and nonsensical. I took pride in assuming these adjectives to describe how I dressed. Now I want the classics. The white button-down. The camel cashmere. A “good” jacket. I want basic jeans, high-waisted and clean. The attire you wear day in and out, season after season. Finally, dressing that way is so boring it’s actually fun, because you can learn to have fun narrating with your shoes, bags and jewelry. And alternatively, simply how to style a simple white shirt.
Take for example this outfit below. It’s simply an updated black shirt with ruffles and my favorite jeans and boots. I lean towards these items season after season. I updated the look by adding this bag, and hat. You can shop both of my outfits by clicking on the photos above and below.
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Photos: Brian J. Greene