Real talk. This conscious fashion thing is hard.
Well, it was always hard, but it’s a lot harder now that I’ve decided to write about my closet’s journey. It feels as though there is so much more pressure to always pick the right pieces and do the right thing.
There is a massive conscious style community online, and I’m feeling like a failure right now for Amazon Priming a pair of joggers over the weekend and buying a J.Crew peacoat for the winter (even though it fit me better and worked better than anything else I tried, and I really needed a coat.) because it seems like nobody else has this problem of picking the “wrong” things. I want to be authentic at this thoughtful fashion life, but it’s so hard to be perfect.
It’s also really difficult to avoid impulse purchases and over-consumption in the conscious fashion world. With so many beautiful ethical, sustainable, slow brands making clothing that supports causes I believe in, how can I not click “add to cart”? Not to mention, capsule wardrobes are incredibly popular right now, and the related small production runs create a sense of shopping urgency that isn’t always there with mass-market brands.
I posted on Instagram last night in the midst of these thoughts and summarized these feelings, asking my followers what questions they ask themselves in order to make more meaningful purchases. I got some great feedback from friends and other conscious fashion aficionados that I respect so much, so sharing it here.
- “I almost always ask myself “How many outfits can you wear with this?” or “How many outfits can you make out of this?” It helps me weed out the “one and done” items. – My friend Victoria. For her, two weekly outfits is the minimum requirement for making a piece work. I like that guideline, as someone who has owned so many one-and-done pieces.
- Elyse, of Elyse Clark Style Diary, said she uses #30wears as a benchmark. She tries to determine what she will love wearing at least 30 times. I think keeping track of what you wear most is not only a great way to discover your personal style, but also a great way to make better choices about what to buy in the future. P.S. – make sure to check out her blog! She’s starting a year of no fashion purchases soon – what an awesome fashion adventure!
- Stefanie, of stephaniemurrer.com, left me a comment that she has had a lot of the same thoughts lately, which was so reassuring because I’m really inspired by her sense of style. You can read her take on the challenges of conscious fashion here.
Ultimately, I think it’s important to confront that sometimes we’re going to make fashion choices that may not be perfect, or that other people don’t understand, and that’s because what we wear is deeply personal. It’s rooted not only in what believe about the world around us, but also in what we believe about ourselves. I think talking about the challenges we face in becoming thoughtful consumers also helps us support one another and make better choices. In the end, I may not always be perfect (and likely will never be perfect) with what I wear and what I buy, but at least I can always say I worked hard to be better, every day.
Anyways, that’s all for now.