Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

You all know the old saying ‘less is more’. Basically, it means ‘don’t overdo it’. As in, for instance, don’t put on a gorgeous necklace and fantastic earrings, because it will be too much and could even clash. I used to completely agree with such an attitude. Well, now, I am not so sure. What has changed exactly? Well, lots of things.

For starters, the latest craze in London is the crop top. Basically, just like hot pants, the shorter, the better. Take a normal T-Shirt, cut it just under the breast and there you go, you have a crop top. Crop tops are everywhere, and Crop ! Crop! Crop! seems to be the new motto in London. This made me wonder: why does everything need to be in a lighter, shorter version?

I ordered a salad in a restaurant tonight. It was a bit disappointing because all I had was 4 leaves of endive topped by a spoonful of crab meat. Surely it was, once again, a minimalist version of a normal dish. I ended up ordering a big British cheese board to compensate, and immediately felt better.

Sometimes, you just need more and less is not more. Honestly, don’t you think that this minimalist fashion is, well, a bit boring? Where is the fun in this? Come on, it is perfectly ok to have a maxi dress, is it not? And to have a starter AND a dessert? And if I want to have three necklaces and earrings on top of it, so be it! After all, who cares?

In a professional environment, I was repeatedly told that I should not make my points too strongly, because, you see, you need to suggest and, in a British environment, less is more too. What a load of rubbish! At the end of the day the notes I was reading were so bland that I didn’t know what to think after reading them. Not helpful at all…

This minimalist mindset is starting to get on my nerves. Come on, why can’t we have full-length T-shirts ? Or large portions of food when we are hungry? And if I feel strongly about something, why can’t I tell it as it is?

How do you deal with it? Did you succumb to this minimalist mindset? I sometimes wonder where it will lead us: minuscule T-shirts and non-existent opinions?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Carolina HeartStrings

    Ah well as to fashion: less SHOWs more. Which around here is NOT a pretty picture. As to food: never LESS, lol. I love a British cheese board. Here in the Carolinas we have plenty of “all you can eat buffets”. It is nice once in a while but those that visit regularly probably account for our unhealthy statistics.

  • Carol Tomany

    Sorry I’m into de-cluttering these days – huge empty space, clean lines. Wish I could do that with my mind. Great post!

  • Of course, let us not forget the new use of the mantra- Less is More- as scolders choose to run other countries, or certain party (poopers) believe that what they have is grand and so sorry about yours.

  • SarahHague

    Less is more is only good in certain situations. Cropped tee shirts are history for me, after two kids, my stomach certainly cannot take the exposure. So more is more with regards to public decency in my case! Otherwise the other saying springs to mind – mutton dressed as lamb. So cruel. So no hot pants or cropped tops for moi, or indeed mini skirts. Those days are over.

    As for restaurants, if the portions are stingy and you leave hungry, that’s the last time I’d go there, and I’d leave a review on Trip Advisor to let the world know it too!

  • Ann Mullen

    Please, sir, may I have some more? Even Oliver Twist suffered from receiving a minimalist portion of breakfast. What is that all about?

  • Suerae Stein

    Here in the US they seem to like to SUPER-SIZE food portions, which may have something to do with our difficulties with diabetes and such. I feel there needs to be a middle ground for all these things. I understand that youth like to express their individuality through fashion, but I do think that has gone too far, verging on indecent exposure. They can tone it down (or add some cloth). I believe we can voice our strong opinions, yet keep it to a tone that invites other opinions as well, and debate, but not scream. I guess I am a little dull in my main stream thinking. I prefer a necklace with matching earrings, but often forget to wear any jewelry at all.

  • Joy

    For me it depends on what we’re dealing with. With clothes, I can’t imagine wearing or liking those cropped shirts you described. They happened in the 80s and I never went for it so why go for it now? As for food, I always prefer quality over quantity. HOWEVER, I don’t like miniscule servings. I don’t like supersizing either so I guess I’m in between. With make up, yes, less is more. With words/writing, I say what I need to say but now I’m more conscious about not repeating myself. In grad school one of my professors also trained us to be succinct without losing impact and effectiveness. Again, balance. It’s really all about balance isn’t it? 😉

  • OK, I saw crop underwear, (oops, this doesn’t sound like it’s supposed to) or should we call her a young girl wearing black tights (no underwear) with a jacket that only covered half her butt. I didn’t see her from the front, only the back, and she was shopping at my local supermarket at 5pm. Imagine how shocked I was in a country that won’t show nudity on regular TV, only “teasing” styles, and violence.

  • MuMuGB

    It is simply amazing, isn’t it? I would never wear something like this! How do they dare? Do they realise that you can literally see everything? I wonder…

  • MuMuGB

    You are so right, Joy. That said, balance seems to be a subjective concept right now. I think that I will never get it right. I know, I sound like an old bore now!

  • MuMuGB

    You are so right, it must be an habit coming from Victorian times. How come I hadn’t thought of this?

  • MuMuGB

    Just like you, I forget to wear any jewellery most of the time. Not enough time. I think that it is all about feeling at ease, really. That said, what some like might look dreadful through the eyes of others. It is a tough world, and I feel like an old bore!

  • MuMuGB

    Am I allowed to say that you have become French? I can tell you that crop tops are for everyone over here, bulging tummies and saggy stomachs included.

    As for restaurants, you are indeed very organised. I always mean to write a review but forget most of the time.

  • MuMuGB

    It is all about balance, isn’t it? And on top of this it is all so subjective!

  • MuMuGB

    i wish I could do this to my mind too. If only!

  • MuMuGB

    Less does indeed show more. But they don’t seem to care…That’s it, I have become an old bore…And I love British cheese too. I wish i were eating in an ‘all you can eat buffet in the Carolinas right now…if only!