Functional or Fashionable? Why not both?

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Oct 14 2016

{Architect Louis Sullivan said, “Form follows function.” But why can’t we have it both ways?}

I have a friend who won’t stop talking about his new Dyson vacuum cleaner. “It runs so smoothly, Megan!” he enthuses. “Look at that ball joint. This thing turns on a dime!” “I don’t even need to put it in a broom closet, it’s so sleek!” He speaks his praise in reverent tones usually reserved for a Monet painting or $1,000 bottle of wine.

While I may tease my friend for his unbridled cleaning product passion, I certainly share his appreciation for that elusive balance of a thing looking good and working well. This balance especially excites me when it comes to clothes. There’s nothing better than finding a shirt, suit, shoes, or more that fits perfectly, lasts forever, and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Last week, I talked about form•function•form, and owner Shawn Reed’s assertion that “something within us loves, even needs, beautiful things in our lives.” I wholeheartedly agree.

Wouldn’t we’d all be happier with our appearance if we applied this attitude to our closet? Clothes are about so much more than basic utility – which is to say, if you’re not naked, they’re doing their job. Our clothes help us tell the world about ourselves without having to say a word.

So why not wear things that make you feel good, about yourself and about the message you’re sending? Like the softest t-shirt you can find? Shoes that take on a beautiful patina as they age? A parka in the brightest color of the rainbow to make wearing it in sub-zero winter weather a little more bearable?

The clothes in your closet should do more than just keep you from getting thrown in jail for indecent exposure. They should make you throw your shoulders back, puff your chest out, and stand a little taller. They should express something about your personality to the world. They should make you – ideally – feel more like you when you wear them. A balance of function and “Eff yeah, I love putting this on.” Can you say that about the contents of your closet? If not, it might be time to go shopping.