Changing your shopping style isn’t easy. You might want to invest on more durable pieces but you are lacking some wardrobe essentials while your budget is tight. Let’s face it, these are hard times budget-wise. Luckily there are a few tips I can share with you, to help you make the most of fast fashion and your budget. These tips will also take you a few steps closer to having the wardrobe that perfectly reflects your personal style.
Know your wardrobe
Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately the case often is that people have no idea what their closet has swallowed. I am currently in the lucky position that I only have a certain amount of clothes in my closet: the clothes I brought from Finland and the clothes I have bought since so it was very easy for me to sort out the contents of my wardrobe. (although my project is only half-way done, my wardrobe in Finland still awaits me)
But for those who haven’t quite gotten there yet I recommend cleaning out your closet. Make a list of what you have, take pictures of everything and sort out the clothes you like. Pay attention to the clothes you love, how do they look, how do they feel, what kind of clothes fit your style and body etc. Donate away the clothes you don’t want to see in your closet, or if you are blessed with enough storage space, store them away. In a few years those clothes might be the ‘it’ thing once again.
This is the fun part. I currently have an inspiration folder on my computer, and as I browse blogs and websites, I gather pictures there. Pinterest is also a valuable tool for this.
Pay attention to what catches your eye. Colors, shapes, combinations etc. This should help you to figure out your own personal style, as long as you concentrate on the things you would wear yourself on everyday basis.
Make a shopping list
If you made a list (and took pictures) of the contents of your closet, this list will be a lot easier to make. What clothes do you already have? What clothes do you still need to finish off your perfect wardrobe? List them.
Note that this list isn’t the “groceries for the week” kind of shopping list. This is a long-term shopping list, unless you are lucky enough to have a limitless budget.
Figure out your budget
On which items are you going to skimp and which are investments? My advice is to invest on timeless classics that fit your style and skimp on the things that update your style to the latest trends. This is also a good time to consider where you are going to go shopping. Does it have to be a fast fashion store? Are you feeling up to some second-hand shopping? Do you have any friends in your size with the perfect sense of style? They might be interest in cleaning out their closets as well. Or do you have to buy it pre-made at all? Maybe your DIY-skills are good enough for making it yourself...
Do your research
Instead of rushing into the closest Zara or H&M, I advice you to take a look around, online or in person. See if anything catches your eye and see if that something is on your list. (don’t add it to your list, as tempting as that might be)
Also, pay attention to materials (wearability, it’s important to be able to wash the clothes in normal temperatures!) and country of origin. Search for possible customer reviews. Fit the clothes if possible, and/or return badly fitting clothes. Taking these steps will help you to figure out if it’s really worth the purchase. You don’t want to end up filling your closet with clothes you won’t wear or that are of lousy quality.
Usually it’s a good idea to sleep on it, and see if you still want the item the next day, or week. Good things come to those who wait, although in the world of fast fashion, the item you might want to purchase could be sold-out the next day. Still, this shouldn’t drive you to handing out your money immediately, it’s good to remember that there will be something similar in the next store. If not, too bad, it wasn’t meant to be. The disappointment will only last for so long, and soon you will be drooling over something else.
Take proper care of your wardrobe
So you found the things you wanted? Good, but that’s only the beginning. Now it’s your job to make the clothes (and shoes etc) last.
Every fashion-loving person should learn to do the laundry. I personally enjoy doing my own laundry, and so should you, if you want your clothes to last. Follow the instructions. Wash with similar colors. Don’t leave the clothes wet in the laundry machine and so on. If you wear the clothes for one day only and there are no obvious smells or stains, no need to throw it in the laundry bin. Hang the clothes on the balcony or outside, or indoors and open the window and brush them with a clothing brush. Personally I’d also advice to avoid perfumes and smoking, your clothes will stay fresh a lot longer without strong scents lingering on them. Washing puts a strain on the fabrics and less strain obviously results in clothes staying good for a longer time.
Laundry is one thing, storage is just as important. Don’t throw your clothes on the floor (so guilty of doing this!) and keep them folded or hanged neatly in your closet. Clean your closet regularly, you don’t want any dust or mould gathering in there with your clothes.
This was only a quick look into the matter, and I will be writing more posts about the subject. Hope these tips will be useful to you!