Zero Waste Minimalist Wardrobe, Part MMMCMXCIX

 

The reaction people have when they find out how small my wardrobe is is usually the same as when ODB interrupted Shawn Colvin at the Grammys to say Wu Tang Clan is "for the children... we teach the children. You know what I mean?" Since my life is somehow following the same trajectory as both Becky Sharp and Dorothea Brooke (if you don't know who they are, watch Maggie Rogers' 'Alaska,' then listen to Beyonce's Lemonade), my style is changing considerably. Now instead of dressing like a senator's wife I need to dress like a real person who does stuff apart from picking out new wallpaper for the great room. Since we moved to Pigalle, my wardrobe has become nothing but black eco-rib tops from Reformation, cotton spandex, and vintage Levi's, all of which make sense for devouring Albert Camus’ unabridged works on the way to Playground Duperre. I haven't worn white sneakers since 5th grade and now I practically live in them- I love the sound they don't make when I don't play basketball in them. Only my trusty trench coat, which garners inspiration from John Cusack's character in Say Anything, and Dior dresses remain.

My accessories are mostly the same- six pairs shoes (Nike Dunks and Air Force 1's, Louboutins, boots, Ferragamos, espadrilles for summer), Longchamp bag, two rings. I lost my sunglasses in Oman and considered ethical options including a secondhand Gentle Monster pair (because I'm Korean) and secondhand Dior (because I'm basic), but my eyes ended up being squinty enough for me not to need them. I kept the white ribbed squareneck American Apparel tank top, white t-shirts, and plaid Isabel Marant shirt because they're useful, as appropriate in Sultan Qaboos' Grand Mosque as sitting on a bale of hay by the fire in Cleveland, roasting marshmallows and melting tires.

     

Since nobody makes eco-and-wallet-friendly lingerie in my size yet, my options resemble the plight of many single women today- to either exist without a supportive relationship forever or eventually be like, "This'll do." I've settled for non-vegan Stella McCartney: French Calais lace and silk, organic-cotton gussets, recycled metal hardware. I have the Clara Whispering and Isabel floating sets- like Asian eyelashes, my thoracic region essentially points straight down, so thick straps are important. I also wear old pure wool and solar powered Elin Nude / Stefanie seam Swedish Stockings.

Back to the new (secondhand) items. My jeans are 100% cotton Levi's, one Wedgie icon and one high rise short (thought they were both vintage but noticed they had tags). Both are size 25 and respond well to freezer washing (just stick in the freezer a day), but they stretch out a lot, so I recommend sizing down. I love pure cotton jeans so much. I love the marks they get and the nice sheen developing as a result of moisturizing with coconut oil before wearing. I still have the J Brand Maria high rise, which seem thin and disappointing after Levi's. For now, I mostly just wear them around the house. 


I heard mixed things about Reformation, specifically how high prices are for synthetic fabrics. The eco rib is substantial, warm, and durable; the sizing charts, spot on. You have to wash synthetics by hand and dump the water into a houseplant, but otherwise my shirts- an Edison dress shortened into a tunic (XS), and Piper top (S)- are perfect. You can throw them in the freezer to freshen them up too. Same for an American Apparel bodysuit, navy Ryder dress, henley dress, foil ponte dress, cropped top and high waist skirt; Petit Bateau black t-shirt, H&M ribbed lace-up shirt, and H&M tank. I got a Closet dress from Asos' Eco Edit because I wanted something red and I got attacked in my red Dior dress (also in my Prada shirtdress). Nothing bad happened to me and nothing was stolen; I just didn't want to wear those clothes after that. I gave one dress to my sister and sold the other.

I had my skirt and navy, black, and grey Dior dresses taken in, handwashed my alpaca hat, gloves, and sweater, and bought a black American Apparel bikini plus a purple wool coat. Those are all the wardrobe updates I have for now. If I'm not wrong, that's 40 items (including a bamboo slip dress and bandeau from TranquiliT), not counting socks or lingerie? I wear the henley dress and white t-shirts primarily at home- I used to wear the dress outside, but then my friend's daughter called it "pajamas" so it's a nightgown mostly now. If I need to run out or answer the door unexpectedly, it still looks okay. Anyway the links are really ugly in this post. Sorry. Pictured here are most of my outfits in the wild, undoubtedly inspired by all the images of Sarah Michelle Gellar I was exposed to during my formative years. I'll try to photograph the other new stuff soon.

 


Paris to Go

37 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your attacks!! I was desperately hunting down that Prada shirtdress recently, nothing I find is as lovely. I love both ends of your style evolution, and am envious of the ability to find such good stuff that fits. I love thrifting, but I confess the best stuff I find that fits is usually cheap polyester.

    I know (or think?) that you stopped using The Real Real, but I'm trying to invest in some good everyday shoes. I'm worried about sizing, seeing as I don't have places in town I can size myself in designer brands, assuming the fit is consistent across styles. Do you have any experience with Gianvito Rossi? Anyway, time for more research I guess.

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    1. Aw thank you Rayna! Don't worry- I take care of myself like Gigi Hadid. Seriously, people have tried to attack me in so many countries and I never get a scratch and the other person always regrets it :) The Real Real still has good stuff but I think the prices got too high and they take too many things, so the quality is not always so good anymore. I would only buy the pieces marked "Excellent" now. I don't have experience with Gianvito Rossi but I hear great things. Maybe others will know more? He grew up in the shoe business and Sergio Rossi shoes are great so I'm sure they're good.

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    2. Wow. I don't know what your secret is but I feel inspired to go get some self-defense classes, if for no other reason than, should the worst happen, being able to say "I never get a scratch and the other person always regrets it" haha!! Seriously though, good for you and glad to hear.

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    3. Thanks :) My parents made sure we learned self defense early and it came in handy because I think Asians are targeted in some places. Stealing is not really a part of some Asian cultures and people prey on that

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    4. Because Sergio Rossi was mentioned here, does anybody have experiences how the sizes run?

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    5. I heard they run large and that you should take a half size smaller

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  2. " I love the sound they don't make when I don't play basketball in them" hahaha this is me

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  3. More importantly I'm glad that you're okay

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  4. I love this; thanks for inspiring us with your wardrobe. I'll have to study your choices more and see where I want to whittle mine down as I'm still carrying around a few pieces I can't quite leave and can't quite wear enough :-) I agree about old 100% cotton levis! I don't like stretch in jeans (or much else except maybe sportswear) either and I also love levi cords. Nearly everything I have is thrifted except for a few handknit sweaters & scarves. All your clothes are lovely.

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    1. Aw thanks!! Ok we sound like wardrobe twins, I love nothing more than thrift shop finds and handknits :) I will only wear handknits from now on. Nothing compares. Do you know why you can't quite leave some of your pieces? Thanks for the cords recommendation! My friend is eying a cord Levi's mini on eBay and wasn't sure. She had a bad experience with American Apparel corduroy

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  5. I am wondering, how do you keep your sneakers so white?? Mine always seem to look grimy immediately... Thanks for the posts, they are incredibly inspiring and helpful! :)

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    1. Lol I have no idea! Because I always step in puddles and I wore these in a creek and the forest and didn't get a spot on them!

      I do wash them once a month though. Maybe it's the material? What are your sneakers made of? I notice the flyknits don't attract much dirt. You are so sweet! Thank you!

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    2. They are Nike GTS-- the white part is rubber. Just soap and water? I will try that, thanks!

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    3. Yes! I use aleppo or bulk lavender soap to clean them and then dry them in the sun which I also think keeps them white. I have thrown them in the laundry machine but usually spotcleaning is fine :)

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  6. And now you definitely have to write a note on how you keep your sneakers so white ;-)

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    1. :) The funny thing is I am the person who can never wear white because I usually get spaghetti stains or salad dressing or chocolate or something on it and these are the only things that last...

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  7. Great pictures as always...so sorry to hear of attacks...were they in France? It must be a real shock to them that you can defend yourself...also your hair looking tremendous at the moment ����

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    1. Thank you Francesca :) Yea in Paris both on my street- the one guy was grabbing me and I slit his arm with my nail totally on accident and he got grossed out by his own blood and left me alone.

      The other one was a little more complicated but I got away safe and he didn't steal anything!

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  8. Hi Ariana, can you explain more about how you arrived at your current style? It's such a departure from previous posts. Not that's a bad thing, you have lovely clothes at all stages of your style! Do you stick to any particular rules when it comes to selecting clothing? Are there any things you wouldn't consider purchasing while thrifting?

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    1. Hi Emily! I'm going through a black period and also I'm sick of tying my shirts so they fit properly... so I just look for natural fibers and my only rules are no brown and no synthetics. And I only buy what I need. For instance yesterday I went thrifting looking for merino wool or cashmere sweaters and didn't find anything- there were cute jackets and stuff but I really don't need another jacket!

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    2. If you don't mind my asking, what prompted you to change your style? Was it the lifestyle change only? I think I need a transition and I'm fascinated by the evolution of capsule wardrobes. I think it might be a good tool to help me hone my style with spending a lot.

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    3. Just your normal ontological crisis :) I don't mind at all! And yes the lifestyle, I no longer need a mostly corporate wardrobe anymore. I shifted from the colors because of Diane Christensen in Network. It definitely is a good way to get a feel for what works and what doesn't and try combinations you wouldn't otherwise.

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    1. (updated to correct my horrible spelling mistake) Oh no! You dress like me now! The universe wanted it to be the other way around, but in any case, you still pull it off better than anyone. It's a good look for biking around and eating with the dexterity of a 5 y.o. (me on both counts).

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    2. Lol yes I can't eat in public, yet I still eat vegan gluten free burgers without the wrapper openly on the street, so the black hides it well. And I still bike in my dresses haha just not as often now that I have actual pants and stuff :)

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  10. Thank you for this update - the review about the Reformation's Eco Rib is especially welcome. I ordered some of their pieces, tried them on, but returned them because I was worried that they would become ratty too quickly, thanks to our feline roommate. I like your new style! Less granny-chic, but still classy.

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    1. Thank you!! Ah my cats have been lying on my shirts and they're ok still :) They are pretty durable, for the next order

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  11. Ariana,

    Glad to know that you can take care of the attackers. You are such an inspiration. I took karate as a kid but all I got out of it was a strong distaste for martial discipline.

    As always, your closet stories are inspiring. You wear your trench coat so well. I blame you for making me try one.

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    1. <3 me too I don't have any desire to partake in martial arts but i think it's important in this day and age for girls to know how to defend themselves. I LOVE your trench. So beautiful.

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    2. Mourning Trump adequately ? Is the distance helping ?

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    3. Eh, I expected it, so the shock did not hit me too badly; I told my husband two years ago he would be president. My husband laughed. Everybody laughed. Only Trump is laughing now. I walked a Muslim neighbor to her car because people threw things at her after the election :(

      Hey do you still use your ASU email? Or what is the best way to get in touch? I'm going to Arcosanti in December, I'll have a car and want to see Grand Canyon, Sedona, etc. but was hoping for your advice on great hiking areas

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    4. I laughed at it all too. When Kanye announced he will run next, I put them together in the same boat. Boy was I wrong. Anyone can become the President of America apparently, provided you use the right keywords during campaigns.

      I check my asu email. I leave Az and you happen to visit. But yes, lets chat.

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    1. Emma this is so exciting!!! I'm so happy for you!!

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