Why I Fail At Minimalism: The Mimco Clutch

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Shopping Wants and Needs.

Have you ever really wanted something that just wasn’t necessary to your daily life but you feel like you just had to have it anyway? One of those items you might have lusted after for weeks, months, perhaps years? Maybe it is an item that you see and fall desperately in love with at first sight? Whatever the case, there is likely one moment over the course of your life where you have lusted after an item that you know you can’t live without despite evidence to the contrary. I’ve just made a purchase based on want rather than necessity, and for this reason I will never make a good minimalist. Minimalism is a topic I’ve discussed in more depth in this post but my minimalism-inabilities come down to having a great big love of fabric, artistic expression, and the frivolity of getting dressed. Also the fact that I’ve never really worked out one ‘set style’ to prescribe to.

For now I’m going with the notion that Iris Apfel (an 94 year old style icon with a passion for art, layers, and a huge collection of gorgeous vintage fashion in spectacular fabrics) is my spirit animal and I could never commit to the current sustainability focused idea of ‘capsule dressing’ or a whole closet that is 100% matching. The editors letter from issue 61 of Russh mag in a frame on my desk has a line that sums up my style (and life) perfectly: ‘be a gorgeous mess of chaos‘. It would be nice to think that one day my life would be organised enough to look picture perfect all the way down to the inside of my closet, but mostly it’s a whirlwind of creative mess. Short of a lobotomy, minimalist perfection will probably never happen. Until then (lobotomy or the unlikely event of reaching style nirvana) the trend of chaotic layers, sometimes finding half my closet on the back of my desk chair, swapping my bag daily, and wearing five necklaces at once will continue.

 

The Mimco Clutch.

Those who have followed for some time might remember back during my 365 Day ‘Wardrobe Workout’ challenge that I touted a variety of Mimco purses. Once upon a time I was a bit of a Mimco collector. I don’t regret my shopping decisions from way back then because at the time Mimco bags were known for being pretty decent quality (one of my oldest is around ten years and still going strong) so I considered them to be long term investments. Each is still on regular rotation in my closet (along with my thrifted bag finds) and they start lots of fun chats with people that I meet while out and about. I’ve not purchased anything from this label for years but when I saw their Ethical Fashion Initiative collaboration I was totally smitten by one specific clutch bag. Fuelled by nostalgia for my Mimco collecting days I headed in-store to check out the goods towards the start of 2016. Bad plan. Holding this purse made me love it even more….. Damn! Anyways I went on with life, occasionally walking past the store while running errands or doing food shopping to say hello to the bag until one day it wasn’t there. Some sales emails came my way and the bag wasn’t on them. I moved on with life assuming I would never see it again…until this weekend just past! When another sale email was sent my way with the clutch purse added to the mix. Eeep!

My unicorn bag was back and she was calling me. After an internal battle of wants verses needs my dear hubby was nudging me in the direction of the clutch bag. When I announced…. ‘I think I’m going to buy it to save myself the hassle of stalking around on eBay for the next three years until I find one’ he gleefully sent me on my way and I’m supper happy with my decision. Do I need this bag? No. Which is why minimalism will never be my thing. Do I love this bag and know I will use if for decades to come? Yes! The best bit is that my purchase indicates to a big company like Mimco that the partnership they have with EFI is one that I support and really want to see more of (a sentiment echoed by the women in the video above). My fave bit about this bag other than the african made wax print cotton lining is that my raw tassel has a quality assurance oversight. There is a cut make and sew sticker on still attached but shredded up. in amongst my tassel. Combined with the videos above of the manufacturing process this little sticker  makes me feel a deep connection to those who made my clutch. Also, as a gigantic nerd I’m pretty stoked to own a bag with the word’s ‘Initiative of the United Nations’ printed on it. Can’t wait to bore all the people who ask me about it with stories about ethical manufacturing and social and environmental clothing manufacturing statistics :-)

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Outfit of the bag buying day.

Anyways…. the piccy above is me in my ‘I bought a unicorn bag today’ gleeful dance (be afraid… be very afraid… I learnt how to make a GIF, there may be months of terrible animations ahead). The bag already matched the outfit I was wearing when I went to buy it (score) and I know it’s going to go nicely with many items I already own. The whole outfit above aside from some of my jewels is secondhand. A Country Road hat (which gets a surprising amount of compliments) from Swop Clothing Exchange, vintage Victorian army shirt, vintage scarf, sportsgirl tank, One Teaspoon awesome baggies, and Shakuhachi sandals (a bargain at $5). A uni student budget can work if you shop secondhand and allow yourself the occasional splurge on a well made quality piece that supports a good cause and/or you know you will love forever.

Have you ever bought something you wanted just for the sake of it? Was it a good or bad decision? Perhaps you have reached your style nirvana and live a life of (photo ready) closet minimalism? Share your thoughts, stories and tips below.

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Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

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2 Comments

  1. Yay! I love the bag, yippee for getting your unicorn bag :) I had an exact moment like this over my silver Irregular Choice R2D2 flats I got in June. I chatted to IC about their manufacturing and was happy with that but I toyed with the idea of sending them back as I don’t need them. Mike pointed out that I loved them and was so happy when I order them and opened the box that I should definitely keep them!
    You know I am 100% behind you on the no to the capsule wardrobe thing and I love that quote. I’m also pleased to hear someone else has half their clothing in random parts of their house. Maybe we should just start Instagramming our random closets, capsule wardrobes aren’t the only way to be sustainable.

    Steph x

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    • It’s always funny when we have to get external validation for our purchases isn’t it? He he he. Reminds me of the Thoreau quote ‘Do not be to moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so’. I might be taking this quote out of context but for me I like to see it as an opportunity to not be so hard on ones self. Life is for living and loving and when we spend too much time obsessing over every fine detail sometimes fun can pass us by. Getting stuck in an eco OCD can be easy to do. Glad Mike managed to talk you into the shoes. Lets go with the rationale that the fact that we seek a second opinion is a testament to the development of mindful consumption patterns 😛

      I like your renegade wardrobe ideas. I’m actually missing the ‘Closets’ feature on Style Like U (they are really stuck into the ‘What’s Underneath’ project at the moment) because they always showed ‘real’ closets. Most of which were chaotic treasure troves from people who love their clothes and want to share the story of them. It was rare to see an organised and ‘Instagram worthy’ closet in that series. It was mostly just a fun mess of creativity. A messy closet certainly isn’t very ‘Zen’ but it can be lots of fun and life is supposed to be fun and Thoreau seems to agree with us. He he he.

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