Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Shop Less. Buy Intentionally.

Over this past month I have joined Klara from the Robot That Had a Heart in not buying clothing. Klara set out with a mission that she would stop buying clothes for a year to make do with what she already has and sew anything else she needed or wanted. Since starting up my clothing blog I have found it a lot easier to spend money on clothing because it gives me something to post about. At the same time, I wanted to stand against consumerism. It’s a tricky juxtaposition I found myself in because even when I bought mostly secondhand, I still acquired things that I did not need. Through giving up shopping as a diversion, I have found that I am much more creative with both my time and my outfits. When I used to spend excess free time scrolling through online dress sales looking for the best deals and coveting what I couldn’t afford, I now get to fully appreciate the clothing that is already in my closet.

Taking a break from clothes shopping has also given me space to think about the kind of consumer I want to be and what I want to support with my purchases. Oftentimes clothing is made unethically overseas and sold for cheap at outlet and department stores. I want to slow down my purchases and buy more deliberately. Because of this new focus, I changed the subtitle of OutfitZest from “Staying Stylish on a Budget” to “Staying Unconventionally Stylish.” 
There were times I would ask to photograph people for my blog, and they would say “Oh I’d love to wear this dress but it was expensive so will that fit into your blog?” The answer is “Yes! Of course!” Staying stylish on a budget doesn’t mean buying a bunch of junk-clothes you don’t care about. Staying stylish on a budget means loving your style without breaking the bank and that looks different to different people. Some people thrift everything. Other people save for a select number of nicer things. This year I want to try out the latter. I believe that it is worthwhile to invest in quality clothing pieces, especially when you are supporting individual artists, designers, and small businesses. If I am not frittering money away on little purchases then I can actually afford the nicer stuff while giving to the economy for real people instead of corporations. The clothing that comes into the malls is often fabricated in unfair working conditions out of poor quality materials that rip and fall a part so the buyer has to come back for more. In this New Year, I want to make a point of buying well thought out purchases in unconventional places: small name designers, vintage shops, charity shops, and other small businesses. Often the overlooked shops have the most beautiful and unique pieces that stand out from the crowd and define style while staying friendly to the environment and human rights practices.

I also want to try my hand at making my own clothing and repurposing items that I’m tired of. Clothing trends are decided for us and will change next year so I want to make a point of wearing clothing that I love regardless of what is trending and be more self-sufficient in wardrobe choices by making things by myself. 

This philosophy can be applied to all areas of life but I'm starting with my wardrobe.

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