There’s less than a month to go until my fashion ban is over!!
My goodness how time has flown by. Uni is over, Christmas preparations are in full swing, and summer in Melbourne has arrived. I may have failed occasionally with the odd purchase of earrings, the dress for the wedding, aaaand the boots (as you will see below), but I don’t regret anything – least of all the things I have not purchased this year and the few things I did. I probably shouldn’t celebrate the fact that I’ll be able to buy a brand-spanking-new outfit (GUILT FREE!) when the clock strikes 2020, because I really don’t need anything. My wardrobe is still overflowing, and the combinations of outfits I’m able to create are seemingly endless. So we’ll see if the lifting of my self-imposed ban will actually make a difference to my sparse spending habits – I’m actually fairly certain that my growing dissatisfaction with raging consumption will curb any unnecessary buying.
So, to further exercise the depths of my wardrobe, I turned to this white button-up Witchery shirt that I haven’t worn in yonks. I’ve probably neglected it because it crushes so easily and is the biggest pain to iron. My schedule does not always take into account ironing time, so the clothes that need to be ironed usually remain far back in the wardrobe. But not this time – I am determined to wear EVERY SINGLE ITEM in my wardrobe this year.
I slapped on my corset-style belt and transformed it into a shirt-dress (with little black shorts underneath – don’t want to experience any mishaps) with a matching black felt hat from Blue Illusion.
The pièce de résistance is obviously the Tony Bianco boots, closely followed by my burgundy Prada bag. These boots are still everything to me. I am trying to to shake off the belief that clothes buy happiness, because I’m actively trying to stop myself from giving in to consumer culture. But for me, fashion is often the source of some kind of happiness, and it’s not fleeting or superficial.
This is the face of a gal who loves her boots like she loves her cat.
I love a white shirt dress. It’s a traditionally masculine item of clothing that has been transformed into a statement-making piece thanks to a few feminine touches. I’ve also worn this shirt with blue jeans, on top of bathers and with a pleated skirt. You can’t really go wrong with a long white shirt as it’s easy to coordinate and works well in both the summer and winter months. But before you buy, just make sure that you won’t have to drag your iron out before each wear.
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.
I took a few days off in July to travel to the beautiful Byron Bay with my man for Splendour in the Grass, renowned for being one of the biggest and best musical festivals in Australia. We were welcomed with a sunny 22 degree day, a perplexingly difficult tent to put up, and a confiscated bottle of vodka. Nonetheless, we persisted through the minor setbacks as we experienced non-stop musical acts and a plethora of food trucks, with the highlights undoubtedly being Childish Gambino, Foals, SZA and the chilly billy burger. I needed to have a couple of them over the weekend.
And how could I not mention the amazing fashion at Splendour? The opportunity for festival fashion almost supersedes the importance of the actual music. You could tell that people put months of thought into elaborately creating these impressive festival looks for each day of the festival. People were decked out head-to-toe in fully coordinated outfits, from their hair colour matching their shoes, to matching leopard-print boyfriend and girlfriend outfits. Dan and I missed an opportunity there.
It was wonderful to see such creativity and what is essentially art with some of these spectacular outfits. But it was a shame to think that quite a few of the clothes would have been sourced from fast-fashion brands and would be immediately discarded after the conclusion of the festival. Because realistically, you don’t walk around and see anyone typically flaunting the kind of clothes that were seen at Splendour. Furthermore, plenty of these clothes were made from environmentally-damaging materials such as sequins and synthetics, and some looked as though they would fall a part after a night spent in the mosh pit. So it is a bit of a problem that festivals are perpetuating the appeal of fast fashion when there is such a desire for inexpensive (and, often outrageous but fabulous) clothing at these events that can be used as once-offs. And since we have just passed Earth Overshoot Day on 29 July (being the date that humanity’s demand for earth’s resources exceeded what the earth can regenerate in a year), the need to curb our consumption of fast fashion has never been more urgent.
Rather than eliminating the show of fantastic fashion entirely, op shopping would be a more sustainable option for festival-goers who are looking to create unique and insta-worthy looks (because we can’t deny that part of the motivation to dress up is for the ‘gram). Alternatively, if you rummage through the wardrobes of your friends or family, you may find something super exciting like your dad’s lairy shirt from the 80’s. If this doesn’t satisfy your desire for something fabulous, then scope out businesses that provide outfit rental services and do some renting for the weekend, on the proviso that the clothes don’t undergo any damage, that is.
Ultimately, festival style doesn’t need to be purchased brand-new and festival-goers should refrain from doing so if the intention is to wear it for once and then to discard it once its purpose has been fulfilled. My pledge meant that I had to choose from what was already in my wardrobe, and my probably unnecessary concern for getting my clothes ruined did slightly inhibit my outfit choices. But it was pretty easy to find a few things to wear when I did some mix and matching. It just challenged me to be a bit more creative.
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.
An understated but utterly elegant outfit can be comprised of a pretty skirt and a plain t-shirt. Toss in some slides or boots plus a pair of killer earrings and that’s an outfit sorted – especially when that skirt is in teal and velvet. Readers of this blog are bound to know that I have an endless love affair with teal, which was why I ended up convincing myself to buy this Michael Kors skirt at a bargain sale price. It’s swishy, long and remarkably light, making it perfect to wear in winter with boots or slides and mules in summer.
I wore it for the first time with my Balmain x H&M t-shirt and a black belt I have had lying in my closet for years that I’m pretty sure previously belonged to my mum. Big belts are officially back, and look fabulous with long skirts or wide-leg pants. Op shops usually have a great selection of belts, so if your wardrobe lacks this accessory of the season, then don’t bother heading to buy new and consider your local op shop.
Finally, I finished off the outfit with my plastic mules from Midas and a silver bag from Nine West. Silver and teal are a match made in my personal heaven.
Skirt: Michael Kors
Top: Balmain x H&M
Bag: Nine West
This skirt is definitely my favourite purchase in a while. I just want to wear it all the time! It will also be my last purchase in a long time, because I have pledged to avoid buying fashion in 2019. After realising the destructive impact of fashion on our globe (and particularly fast-fashion), combined with the overwhelming feeling I experience when I peer into my wardrobe filled with stuff, I decided that I need to to take action on a personal level. I was inspired by Claire Goldsworthy from The Fashion Advocate (her story can be found here) who did not buy a single thing in 2018. This is going to be a challenge, as even op shops are a no-go. However, I truly believe that I have everything I need within my wardrobe and I certainly don’t need to add to my already burgeoning collection of belongings. Maybe I’ll even rediscover a few things I forgot about, and it will surely challenge my creative styling abilities! I plan on updating my progress (well, lack of purchases) on this blog, so look out for any frustrated or erratic ramblings (hopefully that is only a joke).
Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear what you think of my ambitious plan in the comments below! x
Ever since pouring over 2018 street style from the various fashion weeks, I noticed a specific trend: white boots. Why? Simply because they look great with anything and everything. They are possibly even more versatile than the black boot, if that’s even possible. Instantly I knew I wanted a pair in my life so I could trapeze around in white boots all day/everyday, just like those fabulous bloggers and fashion editors that would don the same pair with a different outfit all through fashion week. I did some exploring as you do, and found a pointy-toed pair from Midas that was well within my budget. These are going to last me all through the year AND they are fabulous enough to prevent me from desiring any more boots, as I have made a pact with myself to STOP BUYING FASHION because a) the environment, and b) I have so much stuff already (and who really needs that much stuff?).
I knew the boots would look effortless with a summer dress, so this week I wore them with a midnight green dress from Dissh, a white Furla wallet and some drop earrings from Witchery. Clearly they are not going to be my go-to shoe as the temperature creeps up to the blazing 40s, but I love the way they contrast against the green and make the outfit ‘pop’. Such popping good fun.
Thanks for stopping by! Check me out on Instagram @ilikeyourshirt_blog (in my popping white boots)!