Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fast Fashion, Fashion classics & Wardrobe Editing

I was over at Fashion Butter the other day and had a thought provoking moment when fashion classics (vs Disposable/Fast Fashion) were mentioned. If you've seen my other post about Stylish Wardrobe spaces, you'll realise that i've delved deep into mine this weekend, only to discover that my wardrobe is bursting at the seems with pieces of fast-fashion, sentimental fashion, fashion classics, dresses, coats, blazers, jeans, shirts I no longer wear and interesting wardrobe essentials.

Hands up if you've:

1) Bought cheap, throw-away, fast fashion? The kind that falls apart at the seams after 3 washes?

2) Really splurged on an item of clothing, then stashed it away in your closet for that 'special' event, or for fear of getting red wine down it or that it will inevitably get ruined on the 1st outing?

I'm guilty of both actually.

On fast-fashion:
One, insufficient funds-because back in the early days of my career, rent in London wasn't cheap (along with bills, cabs, University loans to pay back & extensive partying etc), oh and I never got that £???k salary increase I was promised by the boss in my annual performance reviews.

Two, when you work in fashion, it's kinda hard not to follow (to a certain extent) trends, put your own spin on it and look uber stylish & fabulous (all the time). I mean, have you ever walked into the elevators at the Arcadia Groups (who look after Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons etc) building or the Vogue building on Hanover Square and felt everyone eyeing you up from shoes upwards (even if it's to admire what you're wearing)-scary?! T
his was a long time ago though...

Plus, I've witnessed some hilarious competitive fast-fashion buying - "I got this from Primark, dress was 8 quid, yuh... they've sold out now (they're thinking: so you can't get one! Ha!)".

We all don't mean to follow fashion, i've bought pieces that have seen through time due to great care, good quality helps & although not necessarily a classic item, i'm glad i've kept some of those nostalgic pieces in my wardrobe from a decade ago, only to find them fashionably relevant for now... i love those trend cycles!

Something else. I wonder if people still pass on clothes they've grown out of? When i was a kid i had awesome hand-me downs (not that we didn't have any money or anything, this is just what we did back in the day) from my mother's friends daughter who was years older than myself. She had a lavish lifestyle and taste for shopping. My best hand me down item? A Prada shoulder bag. Yup, that was the only designer exception, everything else was good quality basics/wardrobe essentials.

fast fashion, I've tried to avoid items made from man-made materials, as once you ditch or dispose of those items, they do not recycle easily. Textile waste is on the rise in the UK for instance, so we should all probably exercise buying wisely. (Although, I know we're all guilty of wanting to buy into the latest styles or the ultimate designer bargain, it's essential to be environmentally responsible.)

On Splurges & Special items of clothing:
I've also made some indecent, unwise and rather pricey purchases in my life too, and have stashed gorgeous pieces away for that upcoming special event/date which it's perfect for. Having recently re-visited my wardrobe and what's in it, has got me thinking about those, 'special/saved' items.

Know what? Life's way too short to hold onto something pretty, fabulous or expensive, they soon become precious if they don't get an occasional outing. It's a complete waste letting something gather dust in your wardrobe, when it's beautiful life should be out there, being seen on someone. (Think pretty dresses, expensive/vintage handbags or shoes that have never seen the light of day). They're in there to make you look and feel good so surely one should wear them more often right?

I've only just started thinning & gutting out my wardrobe with some strict editing. I read somewhere that your closet should be filled only with the most amazing items ever. Why? So that you'll always have something fabulous to wear & also not have a problem in the morning when you stare at the inside of your wardrobe and scream "I have nothing to wear, aaaaaaghhh!". It'll make things a lot easier - decisions will be snappier too, especially when you see 5 awesome pieces than 25 so-so pieces. Right?

I've also asked myself some of these question to help make the 'Get-Rid' process easier (if it can't be revived in any way):
  • When did i last wear it? If it's more than 1 year ago, it ought to be put in the charity pile.
  • Does it look good on you? Hmmmm, something that looked good on me 5/10 yrs ago won't necessarily mean it'll look on me know. Our bodies change over time. Ditch! Was it expensive-Ouch!
  • Why am i still holding on to XYZ from year XXXX?
  • I've got lots of sentimental items floating around, which i simply cant bear to part with, so i'll put those into one of those airtight vacuum bags to re-visit another time.
To sum up this little wardrobe experience i'm having, i leave you with the words of Katherine Hepburn:

"I wear my sorts of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear"

If only it were that simple!

One more thing, does anyone know where the charity shops are in Athens?

images via: New Look, Net-a-porter, Fashion Pulse & Marie Claire UK
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