Mongolian stylist P.Oyuntugs, who runs a fashion blog under the name Oyu, delves into her approach to minimalism and minimalist fashion in the interview below.
What is minimalism and how can people change to a minimalist lifestyle?
Minimal indicates small and the least possible option. Sometimes, having a small quantity of something can be better than having a large quantity of that object or thing. Basically, having a minimalist lifestyle means keeping only the most essential things and ridding yourself of extravagance.
People with this type of lifestyle are called minimalists. Minimalism is aimed to remove all material things that distract us from the more important and valuable things in life.
The word “minimalism” might sound new or modern and give the impression that you have to have a modern and luxurious lifestyle, but in reality, it’s more to do with creating a simple, humble and peaceful lifestyle.
Minimalism is becoming popular in Japan and South Korea, right? When was this concept introduced to Mongolia?
Japan is one of the countries most influenced or being influenced by minimalism. However, Mongolians adopted this lifestyle and developed it considerably too. For example, Mongolian herder families used to move around with a single horse carriage. They were able to fit in all of their furniture and belongs inside the carriage. Nomadic Mongolians only needed a deel, the traditional Mongolian clothing, a blanket, and a mattress. What could be more minimalistic than this? Japanese researchers conducted a survey last year and made a list of countries that have the least valuables and needs. In the result, Mongolia came in first place, followed by Japan in second and Germany in third place. I consider this as a proof that Mongolians have engaged in minimalist lifestyle since a long time ago.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a minimalist lifestyle?
It’s actually really beneficial to lose one’s attachment to materialistic needs and reduce the frustration and distraction that come with it. However, I’m not sure if this can be considered as an advantage because everyone has a different view and attitude to things.
Overall, I think that the word “saving” best describes the benefits of having a minimalist lifestyle.
Minimalism influences fashion as well. Nowadays, more and more people, especially young people, are converting to minimalistic fashion. Can you tell us about this?
While reading about this, I figured that it would be most effective to start organizing your clothes and throwing away items you don’t need in order to adopt a simpler lifestyle.
Can you give a piece of advice to women and men who want to change into a minimalistic lifestyle and fashion but don’t know where to start?
I totally agree that minimalist fashion and style can be very boring. However, it’s a stylist’s job, more like duty, to make it more stylish and less boring. The key to minimalist fashion is to have very few clothes of high quality. It’s true that you will be able to buy numerous fashion items for the same price of a single high-quality item. However, you must remember that their values are completely different.
The trick to nailing the new minimalist fashion trend is to wear monochromatic colors. It costs less to have clothes of one particular color. For example, let’s say you buy a green dress. You will have to buy matching shoes and a bag to complete the outfit. But if you buy clothes of the same color, or maybe similar shades, then you will not have to spend more money on accessories or other fashion items.
An important rule for minimalist fashion is to wear simple clothes. Even so, we can’t forget to incorporate new fashion trends into our styles. I try to help people become stylish minimalists by organizing small meetings and writing articles.
There are countless people who have a wardrobe full of clothes but don’t know how to style them. Minimalist lifestyle encourages people to declutter their wardrobes and thin out the closet. But there are some clothes that we don’t wear but can’t throw away because they hold sentimental value. For example, they could be gifts. What must we do with these items?
The first thing you need to do is place all your clothes where you can see them and pick out the ones you haven’t worn in the past three months and put them away. If you don’t look for these clothes after another three months, then it simply means that you don’t need them.
There should be nothing stopping you from throwing away or donating these clothes that you haven’t worn for six months.
There are times when women go shopping on an impulse and end up with a bunch of clothes they can’t wear. What would you advise to women who shop impulsively?
Yes, there are women who do that. Your appearance tells a lot about you to others. People get a certain impression about you through your fashion before getting to actually know about you and your real personality. Therefore, it’s best to first set your own image before going shopping.
Ask yourself questions like “What kind of a person do I want to be seen as?” and “How do I want to look?” first. You can be the real “you” when you are wearing clothes that suit your body shape and fully express you, and when you have achieved your desired image.
If you have a particular style or image, you will know what you’re looking for, which means that you will no longer buy random things you don’t really need.
You mentioned that wearing monochromatic color schemes is the trick to nailing minimalist fashion. What kind of color schemes do minimalists wear?
Obviously, the basic colors like black, white, gray and brown are the most commonly used color schemes. However, it’s necessary to know which color suits you best.
For instance, people with olive or yellowish skin tone don’t look good in gray clothes. They look better in brown or white, which they can combine for an outfit.
Colors have the power to influence people’s mood and psychology. For example, people wearing brown give the impression that they are trustworthy and have a “solid” type of personality. In contrast, red can make you look aggressive and violent. But if you can style it well, you can look like a passionate person and give a good impression.
As you learn about color combinations and the colors you look good in, you will gradually craft your own image and style.
Women can’t help but buy bags, shoes and accessories. How much significance do minimalists give these items?
Like I said before, quality over quantity. Good shoes, bags and accessories can liven up the boring minimalist fashion and make you look more elegant.
What’s the most common fashion mistake that people make?
Clothes are produced in large quantity. Fashion is all about which items you pick out from all the options out there and how you style them together. People who come up with ideas for outfits are called stylists.
I can’t say that certain outfits and styling is a mistake because everyone dresses up in their own way based on their personality and economic capacity. However, there are a couple of rules that you should never break in the fashion world.
The most common fashion rules that are broken are showing your underwear or they are visible under clothes, struggling to keep your bra straps from slipping off, wearing sandals with socks, and wearing white heels with black tights.
You style people and help them form a new image. What are the most common fashion challenges your clients struggle with? Is it related to their body shape or lack of fashion knowledge?
Every client has a different problem. People’s body shape, skin tone, personality, occupation and everything else are important for creating a new image. I help clients de-clutter their wardrobe and organize the clothes they need for their new image, as well as give advice on what kinds of clothes they should look for while shopping. All these things are critical for creating a new image.
First of all, let’s learn to dress properly and the right way. Next, we can learn to combine your new style with the latest fashion trends. I immediately see changes in my clients’ confidence and happiness level after helping them form a new style and image.
Besides minimalist fashion, you give advice on formal wear. You also mentioned that fashion is the key to success in the past. Can you elaborate on this?
While promoting minimalist lifestyle and fashion, I encourage people to dress well. I usually write about this. I noticed that psychologist G.Naranbaatar dresses very well. He’s stylish while looking formal. I like that he pays attention to his fashion and gives advice to others.
Should people dress up to look good for others or wear comfortable clothes that suit their body shape?
I’m one of the people who strongly believe that you should wear clothes that you want to wear and feel comfortable in. Nevertheless, you should never forget the magical power clothes have as they impact your self-esteem and psychology. So, keep this in mind when choosing outfits.
This interview was originally published on Unuudur.mn