Fashion is a funny word. I think I’ve always misunderstood it. What is the difference between fashion and style? I’ve always felt pretty unfashionable because I’m never quite on top of the current trends. But I really enjoy clothes. I enjoy putting outfits together and I feel more confident when I’m dressed well.
In this blogging/social media filled world it’s easy to feel like you’re always playing catch up. Constantly trying to live up to the standards of the latest super intense cleaning craze, to be wearing the must have leopard print dress or to be eating a diet of Instagram’s most popular vegan foodies and currently, if you’re not folding your knickers like Marie Kondo then who even are you.
I think with the pressures of social media we can feel like we have to keep up with a ridiculously high paced, high budget, quick turn over wardrobe. Always buying the latest fad dress which will then be long forgotten a few months, if not weeks, down the line.
I can’t afford to do that. That is the simple reality. I can’t afford to buy what the world is telling me I need. And so maybe I can’t afford to be an Instagrammer?!
It’s easy to be drawn in though, when you see people constantly posting new dress after new dress. £20 here, £30 there. It’s easy to always want something new, to always be looking for the next thing. But actually there’s a lot of gold sat in your wardrobe, never being given the time of day. After all, you buy clothes to wear them. So don’t be afraid of wearing them. And wearing them. And wearing them.
When I try on a new item in the changing room I ask myself 3 questions:
Where will I wear it
When will I wear it
Do I want to put it on right now
For me, if it doesn’t tick all three boxes then I leave it behind. I dread to think the money that I’ve spent in the past on t shirts that don’t quite fit right, shirts that are dry clean only and dresses that don’t work with any of my shoes and so stay, gathering dust, in my wardrobe.
So firstly, I need to know where I will wear it. I need to know that it has a place in my every day, use and re use wardrobe. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stay safe. If you know you’ll wear a pink velvet Co ord on the school run and out for dinner with friends then go ahead and buy it. Definitely. But I need to know I will definitely do that and not have it hanging in my wardrobe waiting for the day I feel bold enough.
Next up, when will I wear it. I tried on these three tops (above) in Cos last week and loved them all. But the far right velvet one was dry clean only and the middle one was a teeny bit itchy. Both were reasons that I kind of wanted to ignore but I knew, for those reasons, I wouldn’t want to wear either of them enough to make them a worthwhile purchase. The far left wrap round cardigan though I did buy and I’ve worn it a LOT since.
I bought a pink and leopard print coat a few years ago. I loved it and still do love it. But the when will I wear it is pretty weak. Its an odd length and so only goes with very certain outfits and so the when is very rare. For that reason, I decided to sell it. I love it and it’s a gorgeous coat but I’m not getting the use out of it that someone else might. I want to really wear my clothes.
And lastly, do I want to put it on right now? Pretty self explanatory. Do you love it, does the purchase excite you. Does it spark joy (as our friend Marie would say)? If you get home and hang it up in your wardrobe, not excited to wear it, why did you buy it? If you’re not quite sure how you’ll wear it or what you’ll wear it with is it worth it? This one can also fall in to the category of seeing someone else rock something and so you go ahead and buy it but know that it doesn’t sit in your wardrobe as well as it did theirs.
Embrace your style. I love short, smock dresses. But with my height they’re always too short. I’ve bought them over and over again over the years and every time I realise that it’s just not practical, not something I can wear every day (and definitely not something I can bend over in to pick up a child!) And so with lots of cute new smock dresses coming in this season, I’m not being drawn in. I’ve accepted that I’m a midi dress kinda gal. (Unless you know any nice short smock dresses for 5’11”s?!)
Don’t be scared to outfit repeat. I think if you make sure you are always buying pieces that fit you well, last well and aren’t too much of the moment, then you can get away with bringing out the same few looks time and time again (Please tell me I’m right, because this is what I’m always doing 😅). All the photos in this blog feature just two jumpers, a skirt, a dress and a pair of jeans. A few of my most staple pieces that I wear all the time, pairing them with different things.
The whole Fast Fashion topic is hot at the moment. Thanks to Stacey Dooley’s documentary (girl crush) people have started talking more about the affects the fashion industry is having on our world. But I’m worried that, just like that M&S bodycon star dress of early 2018, its just another pasing craze. A craze to appear ethically conscious while still trawling ASOS for more Polyester dresses.
This is not a rant. I promise. I’ve got my fair share of Polyester. But what I’m slowly trying to instil into my purchases is quality over quantity. I need to love the piece, it needs to be practical, seasonally transitional and well made. And if I’m not sure then I leave it and see if I’m still thinking about it a few days later.
I use instagram these days as a magazine. Flicking through images of homes and outfits that I like. But I think it’s so important to not get sucked into thinking you need to look or be a certain way to have value in this social media world. And to remember that often the outfits you see online are people in dressing rooms, they haven’t even necessarily bought the outfit themselves. The lifestyles you’re looking at aren’t real. And it isn’t attainable. So just wear and re wear with pride.
Basically, just do you, Boo boo.
Big love x