uis XIV stated that appearance was what mattered. In a presentation to others, that is what is seen. How you look. How you smell. How you walk. Talk. It takes less than a New York minute for anyone to make that assessment.
My relationship with clothing is complicated. While in high school, the ladies down the street from me who made nun's habits, taught me how to sew. I sewed everything but my underwear and shoes. I bought Italian shoes at that time. My appearance was so professional I was able to walk down the senior steps to go for lunch at my friend's house without anyone questioning or noticing that I wasn't supposed to be doing that. I looked like a substitute teacher!
I left all those lovely clothes behind when I went to University. Traded them in for bell bottom jeans and one skirt. When I lived in the dorm and ate at the dining hall, we had to dress for dinner. Looking back, that was actually good training. No one looks good in a suit if they never wear one. Trouble was, all my clothes were at my mother's house. I had a partner 'in crime.' She also had her one skirt for the evening ritual. It made it easier.
After graduation, myself and four other girls went to teach in Tokyo. On a regular basis, people had few clothes that they wore throughout the week. If they spent money on clothes, the women that is, it was to pay for costly kimonos. But they didn't seem to spend on everyday wear.
After Japan, I lived in farming villages in Israel. No money there. Farmers generally wore only the necessary clothes to get through the week. Then there was Sabboth! Clothes were simple, but dressed up for the celebration of weekly observance.
Finally, back to the States. Before leaving, I did have an art teaching job in NJ. I still didn't have my collection, but started with a low budget and bought some dresses and skirts and blouses. I pretty much wore the same clothes every week. One day, one of the students asked, "Why do you always wear the same dress when you come to teach?" I must say, that was one of the few most embarrassing moments of my career.
Through the years, I noticed just how much people's closets were stuffed with clothes. Take my mom. When she went to assisted living, we had to pare down her possessions. I couldn't believe it. She had enough clothes to open a store!
I'm a minimalist. Though not Chinese, I celebrated Spring Festival and cleaned my house. Anything not worn, broken or just not needed had to go. I filled 12 large kitchen garbage bags and one with clothes for charity. I Kirbyed the apartment. Now my house is clean, practically empty, but spacious and peaceful. No clutter. No unnecessary extras. Ready for a fresh start for the new year.
My mind is a busy mind, a creative mind. I can't think if I am surrounded by too many things. A room is an enclosed space. It's the space that is important for me. Other minimalists recommend having no more than one hundred items. I haven't quite reached that point, but I can move my entire apartment in about an hour.
When appropriate, I'll wear the 'right' clothes for the 'right' occasion and keep in mind Louis XIV's point that it is appearance which creates the 'right' impression. Otherwise, I'll stick to being light. Light in possessions. It is the outward manifestation of my inner lightness. I refuse to be buried and weighed down; no dust collecting! You may call me a lightweight! Others have. You're welcome!