It’s not huge, and it’s not made of 300 pairs of shoes and 80 white shirts. It’s rather small and concise. Most importantly, it sparks joy. There was a time where my wardrobe was much bigger, a little because it was seen as “normal,” and probably a little bit because I was trying to fill an inner void with a closet ready to burst out.
I must also confess to you, having worked in the fashion world for multiple years and having seen with my own eyes the huge quantities of “fast fashion” clothes made for each piece of clothing that I designed, fast fashion traumatized me; it’s a movement I don’t want to take part of. I prefer “slow fashion”: having a few long-lasting clothing pieces that reflect my style and the well-being that they provide me.
I like to look at my wardrobe and see pieces that bring me joy, bring back memories and make me feel good. I had to work a lot on myself because God knows how our society is shaped by the goods we hold. I knew that it was not just a wardrobe cleaning that would allow me to achieve this well-being, but also a fundamental work.
But we have to start somewhere… So let’s start by buying consciously, and the rest will follow. To do so, here are my little tricks to get there.
RESPECT YOUR STYLE, NOT TRENDS
The expression “fast fashion” doesn’t come from anywhere. Trends change every 3 months, and some companies even change theirs every 4 weeks. Let me tell you that you will never keep up with Jones, unless you proclaim yourself a “fashion addict” … and fill the landfill sites every season. The wheel stops turning the day you buy pieces that simply reflect who you are. If you fall in love with a piece, following the latest trend or not, think twice.
In the cabin, I often ask myself these questions: “Will I still wear it next year,” “Will the fabric survive several washes? “Is it only following the current trend?”
The last one is really important because if it’s too trendy, chances are you won’t wear it next year. So why buy it?
DO NOT BUY IT FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION IF IT DOESN’T WORK FOR THE REST OF THE TIME
I know, this one hurts. It’s tempting to buy another dress for your cousin-not-so-cousin’s wedding. But here’s the problem: by purchasing a new dress for each of these occasions, you end up with five of them at the end of the year that will end up forgotten in your closet.
It can also be for your Christmas party or your aunt’s birthday dinner. I only allow myself a new item if I can see myself wearing it after the event. For example, I bought a dress for an event called Le Diner en Blanc, but only because I fell in love with it. And I’ve been wearing this dress every week since then.
INVEST IN FEW TIMELESS PIECES
Invest in pieces you fall in love with and that aren’t cheap. Think of the perfect little black dress, a good quality shirt, etc. Often, the investment is worth it, since your “cost per wear” becomes minimal because you are wearing the item often. For example, if you buy a $150 shirt (and you love it), you will keep it for 5 years and wear it on average once every two weeks, so you would wear it 130 times during its lifetime. So it would cost you $1.15 each time you wear it. If you buy a shirt for $45 at Forever 21 that lasts you 1 year, the cost per wear would be of $2 … that’s if it stays beautiful after a few washes…
DON’T SHOP WHEN YOU’RE FEELING DOWN
I know it feels good … and I regret to tell you this, but it won’t solve your problem. You will only get stuck in a vicious circle.
It’s better to live your moment, be depressed and move on when you feel ready to.
THE VICE OF ONLINE SHOPPING
My god, it’s fun to buy online in the comfort of your living room. And with one click, $350 is gone… Yay!!! Or not! My trick to making sure I buy the right item is to take my time, add the items in my shopping cart and turn off my computer. I then let time pass, analyze my real needs and end up buying what was really missing in my wardrobe!
Plus, returning online purchased items is so complicated that it’s easier to keep them. You want to avoid all those annoying steps: printing the right return slip, finding an envelope, driving to the post office. I know it’s easy to keep unwanted items, but if they are of no use, return them! Plus, to save money when shopping online, I used a tool called “Honey” it finds you all the promo codes to help you save even more on your order, you can check it out, here.
Perhaps I should’ve called this article “How to Save $1,000 This Year.” ?It’s not new, we all know that I’m “cheap,” but I prefer to say that I manage my money well instead so that I can invest it where it’s worth it! With all the money you will be saving (which comes with the happiness of a wardrobe that sparks joy) you will be able to escape somewhere … sunny!
This post was translated from French to English by:
My name is Aimy and I am a second year-student in translation studies. I discover my truths through my passion for literature, arts and culture. I have a keen eye for beauty, a lust for life. For me, every day is a chance to acquire knowledge and create. As Einstein once said, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”