Imagine having one unified wardrobe that you can wear all year round. Imagine that you never have to use under-the-bed plastic bins or storage units filled with "out-of-season" clothing. Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? Sure, the Mari Kondo-reading minimalist inside each of us wants to believe that a chaos-free closet is an attainable reality — but we can't help but get a little nervous when we consider thinking about our clothes in a way that doesn't allow for quirky knits, printed duster coats, and colorful sandals.
If you ask designer Catherine Quin, though, a collection of always-relevant pieces isn't just for the KonMari fanatics of the world — and she's working to make this concept a reality, even for the most maximalist of sensibilities. Her line of black-only, atelier-produced items aims to help you create and maintain a versatile wardrobe that transcends occasion, climate, and culture.
Sure, the fashion industry (and common sense) has lead us to believe that each season has its own distinct trends and staples — and that makes sense, considering the time of year and weather patterns do have an undeniable impact on what we wear on any given day. But what if we took a step back from chasing these ever-changing "necessities" and looked for standout pieces that can be worn year-round? The first key to doing so is sticking with a single color palette — in Quin's case, all black — and narrowing in on core items that will get the most possible wear: "Modern classics serve as the foundation of a wardrobe, but can be quite versatile in their styling and translate beautifully across seasons," Quin tells Refinery29. "The monochromatic nature of the brand's mainstay offering, black, is truly a seasonless palette and one which will forever remain relevant." (Note: And now you can justify every black purchase you've ever made.)
Still, it's hard to imagine limiting the clothing in our wardrobe to an amount we can count on two hands — or to a single color. For some, part of what makes getting dressed in the morning exciting is the creativity that comes with mixing and matching unexpected items. But there's more to Quin's philosophy than simply wearing black all the time: "Minimalist pieces ensure that the woman remains the focal point," she says. "I believe that clothing should serve to enhance and complement a woman's natural beauty and personality." If you find this minimalist style philosophy convincing, shopping for the right staples is the best way to begin adopting it. And Quin recommends starting out with the following: a full-length black dress, a jumpsuit, a silk blouse, a pair of wide-leg trousers, cigarette pants, and a blazer. It's all about blurring the line between your "work" wardrobe and your "social" one, to result in a cohesive lineup of pieces that can be worn for both.
It's also important to keep in mind that Quin doesn't suggest eliminating trends from your life altogether. Instead, it's about getting inventive so you can wear certain pieces a variety of ways: "A minimalist approach encourages and embraces the opportunity for personal styling," she explains. "A look is entirely dependent on the wearer's interpretation. A minimal wardrobe allows the wearer to shift the focus to, say, their jewelry or shoes, or layer Catherine Quin pieces with colored and printed ones." Now she's speaking our language. So, is it actually possible to have a seasonless wardrobe? Yes, for the most part. Is it totally realistic for a variety of tastes and lifestyles? Probably not. But even just an effort to err on the side of timeless rather than transient and trendy while shopping can make getting dressed a whole lot less stressful — as an added bonus, it could make you (and the fashion industry in general) less wasteful, too.