change your habits
Do you ever look through your wardrobe and think “there is definitely something missing here…”? I do. I can’t be the only one, I’m sure of it. No matter how much I have in my wardrobe I feel like it can (and should) always be added to. Before coming to Australia, I did do a whole “wardrobe detox” by getting rid of tons of the clothes that I didn’t wear or didn’t fit, or were basically hideous – I uttered the phrase “what the fuck was I thinking?” quite a lot during this process. I was trying to whittle my wardrobe down to the bare minimum of essential pieces that I could mix and match, like the way that Ivania Carpio of LOVE AESTHETICS does. I wanted to really pare it all back, and was hoping to base my new, minimal wardrobe on minimalist pieces (high street rip-offs of Céline and Calvin Klein, basically).
I was pretty brutal throughout my clothing cull, and tried to only hold on to the pieces that I really loved or would fit my sartorial change in direction. I felt pretty proud of myself, and now when I look at the clothes I brought with me to Australia, I can see a remarkable difference from the mess that was my wardrobe back in the UK. However, my new minimalist Phoebe Philo-inspired style didn’t really stick, and my wardrobe is definitely still a mish-mash of different things – there are dungaree dresses and charity shop jumpers hanging next to a vintage Pucci dress and band t-shirts, and a bum-bag and a Biba clutch living side by side. It is, at times, a weird mix of stuff.
Despite my best efforts, there are still a lot of clothes stuffed into my wardrobe – way more than I actually wanted to bring with me, even though I left more than half of my clothes at my boyfriend’s parent’s house before we left. Our chest of drawers is so packed that it becomes a daily mission to try to pry them open. I am definitely a clothes hoarder, I wish I wasn’t but I just don’t have the ability to ‘edit’ my wardrobe the way that some people do. I also don’t have the ability to stop shopping, apparently. I am a lot better since leaving the UK, just because clothes are so expensive here it’s a headache actually trying to shop for anything anyway, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have the shopping bug. One of my favourite hobbies (if you can really call it that) is going on to various websites and shopping as if money wasn’t an issue and I could buy everything that caught my eye, then going to the checkout and seeing how outrageously high the total price is. It might be a little bit masochistic of me, but I just can’t help myself.
I try not to buy into gimmicky trends too much, but, like most people, I can get sucked in – I would like to point out, with pride, that I have never purchased anything with a galaxy print on it, though – but what normally gets me is just one item, or a particular colour, that I convince myself that I need above everything else. For example, a few years ago, I became deeply obsessed with a particular shade of purple. It was ridiculous, but I bought everything I could find in that colour for a couple of months before checking myself and realising that what I was doing was extremely weird.
I’ve been thinking about my shopping behaviour a lot recently, as I’m reading “To Die For – Is fashion wearing out the world?” by Lucy Siegle at the moment. She basically suggests that consumers are out of control with the buying habits brought on by value fashion retailers, and the effect that this has on the environment, garment workers and the industry, and our wardrobes, as a whole. It’s a great book and I would definitely recommend it. I feel like I am trying to train myself to see shopping in a different way. I don’t mean that I only want to shop when I need to, because I enjoy shopping, but I want to retrain myself to only buy things that I really love, not things that I think I might love or things that are so cheap that I think “why not?”.
I don’t ever want to have to clear out my wardrobe again and find that I am cursing myself for buying every hideous second piece that I pull out. It is so easy to get pulled in by trends, or low prices, you can end up with so much stuff that you never, ever should have bought in the first place and that is a disappointing realisation for anyone to have. I feel like whether our wardrobes are minimal or huge, whether they have a strict style code or whether there a variety of different styles and inspirations, it is important to really love everything that’s in them, right? Otherwise, really, what’s the point?