My wardrobe is a jungle. There. I said it! I’ll be first of many to admit the truth that is in the closet. Restrained between four walls, within wooden drawers, and hung on garment racks— I have a problem… a sustainable wardrobe is nowhere to be found and quite frankly, the thought of throwing out any of my clothes sends me into a slight grievance.
Photo Series Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations
The logical thing to do would be to address the five stages of this grief, right?
FIRST, I need acknowledge my denial of the obvious mounds of laundry
SECOND, I need to relinquish the strife of my anger from my constant trending desires
THIRD, I need to reduce my love of bargain shopping
FOURTH, I need to realize that looking at my bank statements after a spree will only bring depressions;
…and FINALLY, I need to accept that the damage has already been done.
See, this is where it’s hard. HOWEVER, there is hope.
Where there is acceptance, there must be a wardrobe clean out. I know I’m long overdue for one, but every article is just so important to keep. I’m the most notorious for hoarding slightly-worn souvenir tees and, even worse, completely unworn souvenir tees.
Yet, here I am STILL purchasing new clothes all the time. How tragic.
This needs to stop…indefinitely. If you’re like me, you’ve probably been looking for ways to end the piles of clothes and embrace a sustainable wardrobe.
A few techniques and thoughts to consider when building a sustainable wardrobe are:
The FIFO system (First IN First OUT)
This might be a tough one, but it will create discipline and force you to think about what would be next on the chopping block to get rid of.
Is your long-time favorite blouse ready to be thrown out?
Hmm…well I guess you better put that blue t-shirt back down in the store, my dear!
If it’s been unworn for over year— it’s time to donate or consign it!
This one is a total win-win! If you decide to donate your old clothes, they could go to somebody who’s in need of a new treasure. Or if you decide to consign your clothes you have the opportunity to make some of your coin back!
Consigning your clothes also works well with my last suggestion, which will allow you to free up space in your closet whilst exercising your creative style…
Mix and matching your pre-owned pieces (my personal favourite, might I add)
By doing this it will challenge your creativity by implementing a constraint. Whenever you put constraints on your creativity it will force you to think outside of your comfort zone.
The easy thing to do is to go to the store, which has endless options. But have you ever tried to force yourself to wear pieces you didn’t think matched? I challenge you to try this.
You’d be surprised how well the outcome may be. If not, this may be a test to your confident. You can make any outfit (or thing) look good if you choose to have the mindset to feel good.
Give your old clothes a chance to have that new look.
I can’t be all words and no show, so I put my last suggestion into play.
I’ve had these pieces in my jungle-of-a-wardrobe for quite some time and I’ve managed to style 1 dress into 3 different outfits. Suddenly these 3 random clothing pieces became entirely new looks:
The Basic Black Dress— Zara
The Covert Midi-Slay— Forever 21
I also styled this denim midi-skirt in another variation in my previous post:
The Casual Oversized Look— Thrifted
Never-mind the seasonal trends… I found that these staple pieces ended up pairing so well. Who would have thought wearing a dress and skirt at once would be comfortable let alone stylish! Tell me: which look would you wear?
…There’s a bigger picture to all of this.
Why striving for a sustainable wardrobe is so important
If you didn’t know, the fashion industry is one of the main leaders of waste. Sustainablilty in the fashion realm is so important and I couldn’t stress that enough. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy purchasing clothes, but this is also an important issue that’s overlooked.
But why is it overlooked?
Your average person or style blogger probably deals with fast fashion. Fast fashion, in the simplest of simple explanations, is quick and easy distribution of moderate quality clothes. It’s way deeper than that, but that’s a whole other subject to go into.
The stores you see at your average mall—they are contenders of fast fashion.
By no means am I putting this into a negative connotation, because who doesn’t like getting themselves an affordable outfit? But a lot of times, this type of distribution is the culprit of waste amongst other things.
I study logistics and supply chain management, and in part this may be why I have such an interest in this area, but we all buy clothes: so shouldn’t this be a concern we should ALL have?
There are days when I want to put together an outfit for a shoot or an event and, despite my overflowing closet, I will still feel uninspired by the pieces I already own.
I’m not going to be the one to tell you to completely stop buying new clothes, but taking the time to maintain a healthy balance will help both you and the world.
So…fight those urges every once and awhile! Even if it means just starting small with having a sustainable wardrobe. It’ll be tough at first. I totally get it and understand that convenience is a thing.
But in light over-consumption, waste, and trying to save money, let’s put our foot down.
I want to start a discussion. In what ways have you practiced managing a sustainable wardrobe? Or maybe you’re still learning to— I’d love to hear your thoughts!