This year, Fashion Revolution Week comes close on the heels of Earth Day and is pathing the way for the Slow Fashion Challenge month of May. What an ideal time to take a look for the small (or large…whatever takes your fancy!) part we can play to make a difference.
The first and easiest place to look is your own wardrobe. You probably already know some of the hacks—if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it, or turn all your hangers around and if, in 6 months, you’ve not turned them around once you’ve worn an item, toss it….and so on. But those suggestions don’t quite cut it for when you have, say, a classic vintage piece or a truly unique garment that you know you’ll wear (one day), but just don’t have regular use for.
Treat your wardrobe like a capsule collection. You may love the colourful array of clothes greeting you every time you open your wardrobe doors, but how often do you still wear that day-glow romper that you just had to have several years ago? Most of us have a signature look—essentially, a version of what they look good in and like to wear. But we tend to hang onto extra clothes for that fantasy self. Essentially, an ideal Capsule Wardrobe is 30-40 pieces of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create a feast of outfits. And those numbers include shoes. So, if that means more black, white, navy or other neutral tones than anything and accessorising with colour and classic textile patterns like polka-dots or stripes. That could be unique necklaces, scarves, bangles or earring, a great hairstyle, or a bold lipstick.
Are you holding onto things as representations of your fantasy self or is it really ‘you’?
Return on investment (ROI). Don’t wait for a great the ROI on investment pieces like that designer label piece you bought whilst interstate on a shopping spree….in the moment! Stop it collecting dust and having it collecting you some income.
Edit often. While most people tend to look at the new year to start afresh and par down, it’s easier to take a more fluid approach by editing down constantly. Maybe keep a donation bin close by so you can say Ciao Charlie to clothes when the mood strikes. That way, you get in the habit of paring down so it’s not a huge task to tackle when you finally get up the courage to do it.
Your collateral – the heirloom vintage or unique piece. Finally, we come to that ‘OMG, no way can I ever part with this’ piece. How about offering it up as collateral by sharing the love and lending it to a friend (in return for something you might like of theirs). The garments get the airplay they deserve, and they’re not left gathering dust and faded old memories in the dark.
Ask yourself some questions and be strong in your response to yourself!
- How did I feel the last time I wore this?
- Is upkeep for this piece a pain? i.e. do I have to iron this every time I wear it, does it easily show wear and tear, is it dry clean only? Is all of the hassle worth it?
- Is this a representation of my fantasy self? or will I actually wear it?
- Do I need to be a certain weight to wear this and feel good in it?