Simplicity in dress, architecture, and art was a natural expression of this fundamental philosophy that "less is more" and precision preferable to ambiguity and ambivalence. To say that Spartan dress and architecture were simpler than that of contemporary cities is not to say it was primitive, only that it was more precise and made more use of natural elements. The focus on the functional and the essential need not be associated with a disdain for beauty. Most modern observers admire the Parthenon in Athens today for the perfection of its proportions and would be irritated and distracted to see it painted brightly, as it was in ancient times. Likewise, modern architecture and design has rediscovered the Spartan love of the pure beauty of form and material.
The bonds of school, military, and club were designed to keep the society closely knit and not divided along family and clan lines. They did not, however, replace family ties, as some modern observers assume.