Minimalism – Rich People’s Aesthetic

Minimalism and minimalist aesthetic is something only people with money can buy. I have come across blog posts which tell me I should have a capsule wardrobe owning 36 items of clothing. Rest, I should just get rid of. From my perspective, this sort of minimalism is only for the wealthy. I can’t afford to throw out or donate a perfectly good pair of jeans, because I have two more. Or I cannot have just one pair of trousers. What if a stitch comes off, I obviously need a spare.

This idea that any “decluttering” in my life is automatically a positive thing is simply an aesthetic choice being reframed as a moral one. Makeup, more-elaborate wardrobes, cozy home decor, art, supplies for hobbies, nice home goods — these are all things that I am supposed to declutter. 

Minimalism says that I should not buy more cheap alternatives, but buy one sustainable item when required. Now, now, do you know how much sustainability costs? A lot!
I cannot afford sustainable or ethical. I am too broke! It’s bargain shopping or no shopping at all. There is no gray area here.

To a degree, I feel that minimalism is less about personal enlightenment and more about pretentious blog posts. The simplicity yet elegance of the minimalist lifestyle created by our bloggers, makes us want to live it, just like any other lifestyle trend we have fallen for in the past. So be conscious of what you are choosing to get rid of or take in!

I am not in denial of the good in minimalism. Thinking before I buy and be grateful for what I have, is something we all need! Creating more space after years of hoarding will be healthy for the mind. So I think I will try to embrace this trend, but I have to do it while being frugal.

So basically I will have to try living with less, rather than going all out and buying the essentials of minimalistic aesthetic!

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14 thoughts on “Minimalism – Rich People’s Aesthetic

  1. Heyy! I think you’re misunderstanding minimalism or not following the right bloggers. 🙈 Minimalism is an extension of sustainable living which focuses on getting the maximum usage out of the products you have before discarding it. A minimalist lifestyle and a minimalist aesthetic are two different things. Minimalist aesthetic is being promoted by designers as the new vogue trend but it isn’t something promoted by minimalists. The idea behind minimalism is to be more conscious in your purchases which actually works well if you’re on a budget. And a capsule wardrobe doesn’t mean you get rid of everything else. For a new college goer who doesn’t have a big wardrobe – it would help them get an idea of how to manage their wardrobe. For someone who already has a lot of clothes, you can make mini capsules wardrobes out of everything you own and rotate them week on week. The idea is to ensure that you end up getting the maximum use out of everything you own. And the things that don’t fit into any capsule wardrobe idea of yours – you pass on to a family or friend who would find it useful instead of it just lying in your wardrobe for years.
    I think bloggers on IG jump on the latest trending words and then pass on their own definitions of what they believe – which can often be misleading.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree that minimalism is something that one can slowly make part of their life, but what I have stressed on it is minimalist aesthetic is only for the rich people. Just like you pointed out, it is a new trend being promoted by the designers and bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. From my understanding minimalism is all about keeping only those things that bring you joy and let go of others. If that extra pair of jeans bring you joy and freedom of having a spare, then why not keep that? You don’t need to follow what others are doing in terms of minimalist aesthetics. If that is how they want to practice minimalism, let them do it.
      Highly appreciate your frankness and honesty, courage to speak your mind.

      Like

  2. Good read, Ankita!
    The ‘minimalistic’ approach is itself very subjective, and people define it in their own terms indeed, but I back Happy Panda on that you seem to be misled on the idea of minimalism.
    From what I’ve learned from the web, minimalism is not just about ‘getting the maximum use out of everything you own’, but more than that, a way to filter out what you don’t feel a need for. It’s like if you don’t fall for a flashy ad, or you don’t upgrade your tech (unless it’s necessary) every now and then, kudos, you are a minimalist!
    It goes way beyond wardrobe, and it applies in wide varied domains like your thinking process, personal finance, so and so.
    Again, it’s all about personal approaches to ‘minimalism’ and the feeds, that I’ve been exposed to, shapes ‘minimalism’ as a filter, which I can exemplify that it’s not just affordable for the rich!

    You are spot on on the notion of the new design trend. I’m a tech savvy person, and I can say it’s seen in the tech / auto industry too.
    Tech companies are in the direction to a minimalistic design approach in the user experience, as if simplicity equates to class, and people are loving it.
    I think it has nothing to do with minimalism but aesthetics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There will always be people trying to profit from movements and philosophies. That’s one reason there is such a strong association with rich people and aesthetic minimalism. I identify a lot more with financial minimalism and functional minimalism. Financial minimalism asks questions like “Can I get this on a secondary market? Can I borrow it from a friend or relative? Can I rent this instead of buying it?” Functional minimalism asks questions like “When was the last time I used this? Have I ever used it? Will I ever use it? Do I like it?”

    Decluttering is an action we take when there are so many things around us we can’t think straight or there are so many things we are saving for later that we can’t find things we need now. An extra pair of trousers isn’t excessive to me, but an extra twenty I barely wear is. Finding the things we never use and selling them or giving them to people in need can relieve us. And when it comes time to buy a new pair because we’ve worn out the ones we love, we can go to used clothing markets to get a bargain. If I bought a sewing machine to start a sewing hobby five years ago, but never once used it, should I really keep it just in case? I’d rather sell it and make space available for something I love. Maybe if the desire to sew comes back I can make a more minimalist and intentional choice of buying a simple needle and thread. Or maybe I can ask my friend with a sewing machine if we can spend time together and sew for fun.

    One of the biggest tenets of minimalism is to avoid regret by being careful about what we buy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You really have put in a perspective for this whole minimalistic trend, and you are right when you say that there will always be people trying to profit from movements and philosophies. Finally, what I take away from this is that we have to be mindful about what we are using and what we are buying. And also decluttering is a continuous process. I cannot wake up on one fine day and decide to get rid of all that I hoard or don’t need!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. as a minimalist lifestyle blogger myself, i feel like you are mistaken. minimalism isn’t just the idea of getting rid of x amount of items. it’s more so living intentionally. minimalism looks different for everyone & yes there are a few who take it to the extremes, but it should never feel like a deprivation. i think minimalism can be for all socioeconomic groups as well. for me, it’s more so the idea of getting rid of the things that don’t serve you. if you do find use in things, keep them. it has taught me the idea of letting of the guilt certain items bring. your life should bring you joy, so if you love having tons of books on a shelf keep them. if you like having more of a larger wardrobe that is fine too. it’s more so living in the moment & enjoying the things money can’t buy like friendships, family & experiences.

    B| http://www.mindbeautysimplicity.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The key is to realise that minimalism is different for everyone. Ok we all see the lovely pictures online but it comes down to what you value at the end of the day. If you value keeping that extra pair of jeans as a backup then keep them!

    Liked by 1 person

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