Monday, 15 May 2017

Does a minimalist need a coat?

I have a minimalist wardrobe question.

Does a person really need a coat?

As you know if you read here often, because I have hyper-mobility issues my body doesn’t fight back easily. If I have heavy or constricting clothes in woven not stretchy fabric, I quickly grow tired and uncomfortable. All my garments have to be light, soft and unconstricting.

I have a very small wardrobe too – as in the item of furniture, I mean, rather than the clothes in it. This is it. 

Coats tend to be bulky, and grab a generous percentage of space.

I get cold (like everyone) but if I get hot I can’t think, and feel suffocated. In general, I’d rather be too cold than too hot. In chilly weather, stores and churches and people’s homes usually have the heating on – we often don’t, we just layer up – so when I go indoors on a cold day I often feel stiflingly hot.

I can decide my own schedule. I don’t have to fit in with any kind of fixed timetable. So if it rains I can decide to go out later. I often take the car to pick up household members at their workplace at the end of the day if it’s raining – but I personally don’t get wet. It’s just a quick dash to the car parked at the roadside near our house. I keep an umbrella in the car in case it's pouring outside and I'm caught unawares – but you know, I never bother using it because here on the coast if it rains it's usually windy too, making a complete nightmare out of fighting an umbrella.

So I don’t see why I need a coat. If I have a warm woolly sweater, I can increase the layers under it, adding a scarf and mittens if it’s really cold.

I do have a cagoule, but I was thinking of getting rid of it because I hate it. I don’t like how it rustles and has tight grippy elasticated wrists. I don’t usually wear it even if it’s raining because frankly I’d rather get wet. But as it packs down very small it seems incautious to pass it on.

I tried looking at advice on the websites of other minimalists, and was rather surprised by what I read. One said “I have a ton of coats,” and went on to describe them. What? How is it minimalist to have a ton of anything, especially coats which are bulky and take up lots of room? All the ones I read thought a coat is absolutely imperative, but don’t really say why.

What do you think? Does a person really need a coat?