Style, Wardrobe

Form vs. Function

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the assumption that form and function are, in many cases, mutually exclusive. I don’t think that’s the case at all; I think that the ideal item of clothing is one that combines both.

I think that’s what’s been guiding this search for an ideal wardrobe. The pieces that I gravitate to again and again–my Belgians, my tweed jackets, my jewelry–all combine both form and function, making them pleasurable to wear and a good investment. It’s great to buy something for life and know I’ll be just as happy with it twenty years from now.

That being said, I’m noticing how many of the things I cherish for their functionality and appearance are 1) vintage items, 2) items whose appearance and materials haven’t changed for the past few decades, and 3) are made by small companies in small batches. Perhaps that’s why form and function seem to be dialectical contradictions—that which is functional isn’t pleasing, and that which is pleasing isn’t functional. Of course there are the exceptions I’ve noted, but in the whole, it’s true.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing my “Fewer & Better-approved” items here on the blog too, as well as on Instagram. I have posted a few product reviews, but I’m going to start a running page of items I love that are “evergreen”—not in stock for a season, but those that are always, or at least often, available.

What are the items in your wardrobe that do the best job of combining form and function?

2 thoughts on “Form vs. Function

  1. Khakis and button downs have been a staple of my wardrobe for nearly 30 years now. They can be dressed up or down, eventually get rotated to weekend wear, then gardening wear, then the rag bin. I would be hard pressed to think of anything so versatile and long lived in my closet!

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