Continuing from my last post about what I have learnt about fashion so far in 2019, I wanted to share with you my fashion and style resolutions for 2019. These are changes I decided to make to my shopping habits, and my reasons behind them.
I’m hoping that these resolutions will help me save some money, or at least spend my money in a wiser way. I also hope that it will help me do my bit in terms of raising awareness about fast fashion and the impact it is having on our mentality, our bank accounts and the environment. A few of these steps I have already been practicing for the last year or so, but I thought I should include them all as I have had some questions about how I shop my style.
The Capsule Wardrobe theory
I am a firm believer in the capsule wardrobe and I have tried this out for the last year so I know it works for me. I got rid of a lot of my old clothes and kept the items I really truly loved. From there, I thought about how I could reduce the amount of clothes I need: I decided on a few skirts, a few dresses, and few pairs of trousers, a few coats and any tops I would purchase would have to match well with at least 3 “bottom items” such as trousers or skirt.
Basically, using a capsule wardrobe you make sure most of your clothes can be paired together so you can create hundreds of outfits using a small amount of items. It saves storage space, it saves money, it saves thinking too hard about what you’re going to wear.
Stick to your colour scheme
In line with the capsule wardrobe idea, I came up with a colour scheme for my wardrobe. I picked 5 colours that all match well together and decided to only wear those. I found this step probably the easiest because I picked colours I liked, so only buying clothes in these colours didn’t seem restrictive. These are my wardrobe colours:
Black, white, grey, tan and burnt orange.
There are currently a few exceptions to my colour scheme: I have a coral colour coat which I have owned for years and I still love it so I didn’t want to get rid of it, I have a dusty pink shirt that matches well with different trousers/skirts I have, and I have a blue and orange shirt that does the same.
Pairing the capsule wardrobe and colour scheme ideas together has been one of the best things for my style. It means I think more carefully before buying something just because I like the look of it. I think about what I can pair it with, how many times I’m likely to wear it and whether I really need it or I have similar items already. This has saved me spending money on duplicate items or similar items, or clothing that I couldn’t pair with anything else in my wardrobe.
Forget trends – timeless is everything
Since “growing up” a bit in the last year or so, I have felt very drawn to timeless, classic looks rather than what was trendy or in fashion. I’ve never really been into the latest trends and I’ve felt like I didn’t fit in many times because of this. Feeling more confident in myself, I now feel able to dress how I like without caring too much and it ended up being a very positive experience. I personally feel that a more elegant but feminine style is a lot more appealing and that’s what I strive for when I choose my clothing.
I love classic outfits and items like a little black dress, a silk scarf, leopard print shoes, and a pair of good quality tailored black trousers. I find my inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, and I started following brands that produce clothes in this style – one I really love at the moment is Excess Only who use off cuts from designer brand factories and turn them into timeless pieces (you get very good quality materials, beautiful style, rare pieces as they can only make a limited number from off cuts, and everything is eco friendly).
Invest your money
I’m making a big change this year. I used to buy my clothes from high-street shops and brands, but this will now be replaced with new spending rules:
- Invest in good quality items – they will cost more but cost-per-wear will be much lower as they’ll last much longer.
- If I buy anything from any fast fashion brand I will only buy it on Vinted, and I will limit this to items that I really need
- I will buy less but buy better – to avoid the temptation to spend money I have deleted all apps from my phone that I previously used for shopping.
Quality before everything else
The biggest change I have started making is putting quality before everything else. I’ve started comparing some items of clothing I have from brands like Max Mara and Yves Saint Laurent, to some I purchased in “highstreet” stores, and the quality difference is incredible. When calculating cost-per-wear, those designer items last years, even decades but the longest I’ve managed to make a pair of “highstreet” trousers last is 6 months – sorry, I know it’s not great to name and shame but it’s true.
The reality is that fast fashion brands just don’t produce quality products – it’s all about producing clothes fast, and producing lots of them. Quality goes out the window when you choose this sort of process, and when you compare two items next to each other, you don’t have to be a fashion expert by any means to notice the difference. I’ve been guilty of buying cheap clothes for many years, because quality wasn’t important to me then. But my attitude towards myself has changed, and since loving myself and my body a lot more, I started asking myself if the items I put on my body are the quality I deserve – not just in terms of clothing but skincare too.
I own a vintage Yves Saint Laurent skirt that is made from 100% wool and looks impeccable despite being over 30 years old. So above all else, my style mission for 2019 will be to avoid plastic based materials and stick to high quality – wool, silk, cotton and cashmere, and where possible try to make sure they’re sourced well.
I hope that these steps will help you in some way on your own fashion journey, especially in terms of choosing what you deserve: cheap factory produced plastic, or high quality 100% natural handmade goodness? Yes, one is a lot more expensive than the other but when you invest in a few good staple pieces rather than buy lots, it’ll be worth it. People notice, even if they know nothing about fashion, when something is good quality – test it out if you don’t believe me.
I know the prices can be very off putting, I’ve been there! But I now see them as a way of helping me not spend so much – if I can’t afford it, I won’t buy it and I can live without it so my bank account is thanking me. But when I can afford it and I do buy something, I enjoy it a lot more and feel much better in it – my money feels better invested that way.
I understand this way of shopping isn’t for everyone, so as a parting thought, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you buy an item of clothing, that will hopefully help you invest your money better:
- Do I have a similar item already?
- Is this the quality I deserve?
- What sort of brand am I supporting by paying for this?
- Do I really need it?
- How much is this item’s cost-per-wear?
- Does it fit me well and do I feel good in it?
Until next time xo