With the winter weather hopefully on the way out, I’ve been on a mission to wear every last piece of winter clothing in my wardrobe. Of course, I’ve been wearing a lot more of my wardrobe than previous years thanks to my fashion ban, but I know that I can go further. I’m aiming to counteract the statistic that on average we only wear 20% of the clothes in our wardrobes, and only wear each item of clothing about 7 times before they’re neglected or discarded. How crazy is that! The cost per wear is through the roof, and studies have also found that an item is deemed ‘old’ if it’s worn a few times. Our obsession for newness is wasteful and darn expensive.
Social media has a significant impact on this by creating a taboo in being photographed in the same outfit twice. And the proof of this ridiculous fascination over ‘outfit-repeating’ is evident by the controversy that occurs when Kate Middleton wears the same coat a couple of times in a year. How dare she pluck a coat out of her mountainous wardrobe that has already been photographed by the tabloids! It really is laughable.
So, everyday I’ve been digging through my wardrobe to find something that’s been somewhat neglected recently to wear. I picked out this lace Witchery top because I haven’t worn it in a while, and matched it with Witchery floral boots. I borrowed my mum’s new black coat which I LOVE as it’s so versatile and warm, and accessorised with silver jewellery and bag. The outfit is practically all Witchery, which is proof that my wardrobe has been lacking diversity in the last four years. You find that your disposable income decreases dramatically when you work for a fashion retail brand.
Coat, top, jeans and boots: Witchery
It’s been a refreshing exercise in repurposing old clothes to fit new trends, and sometimes we just need a reminder that we already own some pretty cool fashion. I still need to try out my Sportsgirl ponchos from 2010 that are kept in the back of my wardrobe, so that will be the next challenge. Stay tuned! x
I purchased this coat over a year ago from Asos – prior to my pledge to not buy clothing for 12 months. I get so many compliments on this coat and I truly cringe when people ask where it’s from. Considering I am trying to adopt the slow fashion lifestyle, wearing a brand that promotes the fast fashion ethos doesn’t present me as being too committed. But the truth is that I loved this coat when I saw it and it was delightfully affordable and affordability is still pretty important to a student like myself.
Despite the low prices, I no longer want to support these prominent fast-fashion brands. My shift to becoming a more sustainable shopper is a process that hasn’t immediately resulted in me shopping at exclusively certifiably ethical brands, and I recognise that this is the next step once I complete my pledge. But eliminating the option of surfing Asos, Missguided or Boohoo for cheap and cute outfits is a step in the right direction. A couple of my friends have expressed their frustration over the difficulty in cutting out those online stores from their lives despite knowing the impacts of fast fashion. These brands are a lot to give up considering you can find practically any item you could dream of for a cost that doesn’t break the bank. But as inconvenient as it is (and I mean that with the greatest understanding), the consumption of fast fashion cannot hold a place in our future.
Nevertheless, I don’t regret buying the not-so-sustainable articles of clothing currently in my wardrobe because I love them and know that I will continue to wear and appreciate them. Just hopefully they will stand the test of time.
So, back to that infamous Asos coat. I popped the coat over wide-leg jeans and a black skivvy (both from Witchery) and accessorised with a canvas tote bag and white ankle boots. I just love the colour it brings to my typical jeans and black top combo, and the length is long enough to keep me properly warm for cold mornings such as these.
Bag: Christian Dior (from the Dior exhibition)
Ultimately what I’m learning from this experience is that if you want to adopt a slow fashion approach, you should only buy what you absolutely love. And after taking some time to contemplate whether you should buy something, you may actually find that you didn’t really love it the first time.
But maybe that’s what I tell myself to squash the urges.
Over in England on our last day, we escaped to London just for the afternoon. I was so desperate to see the city again after spending just 14 hours there two years ago, which was clearly insufficient. I also had another motivation to go, being to visit the recently-refurbished Harrods and their *amazing* food hall. I couldn’t handle the thought of being near London and not seeing it for myself, as I had just watched Lydia Elise Millen’s vlog on her visit to Harrods and was completely transfixed. It features all the designer fashion and beauty brands all in one place, with delectable cakes as well as a wine bar – how can life be any more perfect?
It certainly did not disappoint, as Dan and I were wandering around in awe for a good couple of hours. It was practically heaven, besides the extortionate prices of food. I splurged regardless because HARRODS and because who knows when I’m going to visit London in the future? Unlikely to be anytime soon with my student budget.
After our Harrods adventure, we strolled around London and quickly visited some tourist sites. After that we enjoyed a couple of pints at the pub, because it would be rude not to. I wore mostly Witchery, and I just love wearing this paisley pleated skirt. I purchased this one recently for my work uniform (because I’m still banned from buying anything else!) and I will probably wear it everyday this spring.
Top, Skirt and Bag: Witchery
Until next time, London, when I can hopefully take the time to properly enjoy this exciting city. Thanks for stopping by! x
I went and did a bad thing. I bought a pair of boots.
I will admit wholeheartedly that I broke my pledge at the six month mark to not purchase any fashion for 2019, because I fell in love with a pair of Tony Bianco boots. I had been going so well for the past six months to the point that I haven’t even had an urge to buy a single thing – until these boots flashed up on my screen while I was scrolling through Facebook. I tried to switch the wanting off, and I tried to ignore it for a few weeks. I even re-read Every Women’s Guide To Saving The Planet as a last ditch attempt to curb my desire. But once I performed the dangerous act of trying the boots on (just to tryyyy), I was sold. I just love them so much.
So rather than dwell on my failures, I will accept that I caved and that it SHALL NOT happen again in 2019. I promise to do my best.
The other day I took the cheat boots out for a lovely lunch and matched them with my green ASOS coat, Witchery skirt and top and a red bag.
HOW NICE ARE THEY. They are faux snakeskin, knee-high and with a heel that doesn’t endanger the hips or knees. I will be wearing them plenty through out the winter, so close-ups will arriving on the blog eventually.
I also took some photos of the aesthetically-pleasing and delicious food consumed at Dinner by Heston that afternoon. There was even a dish with what appeared to be a plum, but it actually contained pâté. Surprises all around.
Just as I thought that I would have to pack away my summer dresses for good, the Easter break brought along some beautiful weather. For a Good Friday lunch, I brought out this multi-layered dress from Tree of Life that I purchased at the end of 2018 for a bargain and absolutely adore wearing. There’s just so much going on with the paisley print, the inconspicuous sequins that are dotted all over the fabric, and the pretty under layer that peeks out from the paisley. This dress can also be worn as a long skirt, which I have been matching with a white cotton t-shirt or bandeau top and some nude sandals. I think I’ll keep it in my winter wardrobe for some multi-seasonal use, because I have a feeling that it might look alright as a skirt with some boots and a leather jacket.
Dress: Tree of Life
Bag: Markets in Italy
Tree of Life was given a grade C ethical rating in the 2019 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide, which isn’t terrible, but there’s certainly room for improvement. This is particularly important in the face of the climate disaster we are facing, where the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries due to its excessive use of resources. And unless the fast fashion movement is halted, the fashion industry will continue to jeopardise the state of our climate.
This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which aims to highlight the social justice issues that are rife in the industry as well as the environmental consequences that are posed. Fashion Revolution Week is urging people to post on social media a photo of themselves in their clothes with the hashtag #whomademyclothes, directed at the brands they are wearing to encourage transparency in the supply chain. Maybe I’ll ask Tree of Life, or maybe I’ll ask some of the other brands that I love to wear. Either way, it’s important as consumers to recognise the power we hold and to use it to demand the production of clothing that doesn’t cost the earth or the rights of garment workers. And next time I love a dress like the one above, I first and foremost need to consider where it came from and what it’s made from before I hand my cash over.
It was clear to see that pink ruled the day on the 2019 Oscars red carpet, in possibly every bold and stimulating shade of pink there is. This sent a strong message there’s no better time than the present to be brave and splash on some of the divisive hue, as every celebrity who has sported pink this season has looked nothing less than glorious.
So, I have mentioned previously that the only exception to my pledge to not buy any clothes in 2019 is my uniform for work. And fortunately, Witchery decided to unleash a hot pink collection early in the year to which I squealed and exclaimed: “I NEED some pink in my life!”. Even though I haven’t worn any type of pink since the early days of galavanting in my fairy princess dresses, the fashion gods were sending a message that pink is strong, empowering and queenly. I decided that I wanted to be a part of this pink parade, so I bought this silky bright shirt (see pics below) and have been bombarded with compliments every time I have worn it to work. I matched it with my cream high-waisted shorts that I have worn all summer, and white Mimco sneakers which I LOVE due to the patterned detail. All round a vibrant and comfortable outfit for work – not to mention, on trend with the freshwater pearl hoops!
My modelling partner in crime, Sebastian.
After suggesting to some customers that they should try the pink shirt, they would hold their hands up and say, ‘Pink? No way, that is so not my colour!’ although I assured them it would most definitely become their colour. Maybe it’s the preconceptions of pink being associated with girlishness and children that makes it so divisive, though surely that’s no longer relevant. It may require some confidence to pull off, but there is no better time to seize the day and give it a try. And I am so delighted to finally have something hot pink inhabiting my wardrobe that’s not in the form of a Princess Aurora dress.
What’s your opinion on pink? Let me know in the comments below! x
Winter is coming and my favourite time of year has arrived: the introduction of autumn/winter fashion. I absolutely love it when new clothing collections are draped on mannequins in store windows and brands release photos of their autumn/winter campaigns on social media – it gets me so hyped for arguably the best season for fashion. This is the glorious time when I can begin preparations for my winter wardrobe by selecting new key items that will get me through the cold season that coincide with the current winter trends. What colour coat should I buy? Which style of boots should I invest in? And most importantly, what will be my winter colour scheme (almost always black)? But alas, this cannot be the case this year.
My 2019 resolution to not buy ANY clothing for the entire year has stopped that yearly activity in its tracks, and surprisingly I don’t even mind that much. I see you all shaking your heads in disbelief and cry ‘how?’ exasperatedly. The truth is that my attitude towards fashion has undergone a complete transformation ever since reading the book Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and becoming a subscriber to The Fashion Advocate (see relevant article here). As a lover of all things fashion, I felt an ethical obligation to educate myself on the impacts of one of the world’s most polluting industries and the accompanying social justice implications. When I realised the extent of the damage caused by fast fashion, overconsumption and the exploitation of human capital, I felt ashamed of my past spending habits. I have a wardrobe filled to the brim with clothes and shoes, and although I love every piece I own and have made great attempts to shop ethically in the last few years, why do I really need all of this stuff? Surely I don’t need to anything more and can survive on what I already own.
So, as inspired by The Fashion Advocate’s mission to not purchase any new clothes in 2018, I have decided to embark on the same mission. The only purchasing I have to allow is the mandatory buying of uniform for my fashion retail job (which I have tried to keep to a minimum). And I know that it’s only early days, but I am shocked at my lack of desire to buy anything at all. Becoming educated on the ethical and environmentally-conscious consumption of fashion has halted any inclination to go out and buy, and I hope that I can continue this momentum in three months time when winter officially hits. Of course, I anticipate that I will eventually enter struggletown and want to cave into my favourite act of therapy (shopping with my mum). I will have to continually force myself to re-read Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and The Fashion Advocate to curb any dangerous cravings. But during this journey, I will endeavour to educate others on becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion and the importance of shopping sustainably, because in the words of The Fashion Advocate, “It’s not about giving up fashion. It’s about making it better.“
So, when an urge kicks in to browse for a pair of black cowboy boots or a faux fur jacket “just for fun”, I will say NO – THIS IS UNNECESSARY, LAURA – and take a scan of my wardrobe to reinforce the fact that I absolutely don’t need any new clothing in my life. I will probably have a lot more spending money by the end of it, develop a greater creative styling ability, and hopefully raise awareness of the fact that we all have the power to minimise the damaging effects of the fashion industry through our consumption choices. Stay tuned!