I saw this on a site called Fashion Cents and I thought that it really related to what we do.
The Zen of Fashion
Zen scholars proclaim the Middle Way, or moderation, in everything. This means not too much, and not too little.
Applied to fashion, it takes on new meaning. Not too much: who needs the same shirt in 10 different colors? Not too little: don’t suffer in the cold because you don’t have a warm coat.
Finding the perfect balance of simplicity and style can be a delicate issue. You want to balance the yin of being tasteful with the yang of being trendy. This is where the Middle Way can help you. Enlightened monks wear nearly identical robes, of which they have few. They wash them and wear them until they are worn thin. Their robes may have been handed down from other monks. They mend them by hand when they tear or do not fit.
At the same time, they always dress with care. None will be seen dressing sloppily or wearing the wrong type of clothing for the occasion. They have elegance and dignity. Everything always fits correctly. They even wear jewelry when appropriate.
And so, all of us can learn something from these brilliant Buddhists. Though we might not choose to wear their robes, we can choose their simple understated beauty of dress and appearance.
What advice would they give a fashion victim? Here are 10 precepts of Zen fashion:
1. Do not buy or have more clothing than you need. Getting rid of what you do not need is a good place to start. Resolve to toss or repurpose something whenever you buy something else new. A closet full of unworn, unappreciated clothing is like carrying your house in your purse.
2. Do not have too little clothing. Having too little is also unacceptable. You will be unhappy if you do not have clothing you can enjoy and appreciate. You need a few things of beauty to make you smile.
3. Have awareness of what you wear. Do not fall victim to trends – wear what suits your body and your temperament. A simple person does not need flashy clothing.
4. Have awareness of when you wear. Knowing what clothes to wear when is as important as what you actually wear. Wear clothes according to the weather, and when formal occasions are called for, have some clothing that is more than just your ordinary wear. It shows your consideration for the event or host.
5. Treat your clothing with respect. Wear your clothing carefully, wash it gently, and repair it yourself and learn how. It will last and become loved.
6. Do little harm. Be aware of where your clothing came from, and ensure that as few living beings as possible were harmed in its making. Look for clothes in natural materials and by companies who do not exploit workers.
7. Practice moderation in adornment. Don’t wear too much jewelry or makeup. Instead, keep your makeup minimal, and wear one or a few pieces of beautiful jewelry for special occasions. A little jewelry can give style to otherwise ordinary outfits.
8. Be frugal. Spending a lot of money is another way of causing harm and going against the belief in simplicity. Instead, create full outfits of secondhand clothes. With a little planning, they can be as beautiful.
9. Have a ritual. Whether it is placing what you will wear on your bed, or wearing your clothes in a certain order, dressing slowly and carefully, paying attention to getting dressed, puts you in the moment and helps you appreciate the clothing you have.
10. Carry yourself with elegance, but not vanity. Don’t stand there admiring yourself in the mirror. Wear what you will and check yourself front and back in a mirror to be sure you are dressed appropriately, then stand tall, be calm, and walk away. Confidence is vital to dignity.