I have to confess that I’m not quite at the point where I can come at near zero purchase of new clothes. But, the ratio of new to preloved is shifting steadily. Increasingly, my thinking includes a greater consideration of why I am buying, what I am buying, and how it fits with what I already have in my wardrobe.
Slow fashion, at it’s very simplest, is a deliberate choice to buy in a more considered way. So, how to slow it down? Here are a few questions I ask myself – with the caveat – the answers don’t entirely eliminate the frivolous, spontaneous or ‘you only live once’ kind of buys!
How often will I wear it? For the most part, only buy an item of clothing if you know you’ll wear it many times. In fact, Amanda Stavropoulos in the Rise and Rise of Slow Fashion in Australia says, at least thirty times. I expect most of us have items we wear much less often than that, but some certainly get a really good run. Those ‘go to’, throw-on-and-know-you’ll-feel-good pieces. So, next time you’re standing at a rack of new clothes, slow down, and ask yourself, will you wear this item thirty or more times?
Do I need it? A straightforward question. But often hard to answer when that item is just begging to be owned! There are many days when we ‘need’ a gorgeous dress or a sensational pair of boots! Chocolate can be the cheaper option, but sometimes that doesn’t quite cut it! The answer is to get to know what’s in your wardrobe. And once you know what’s hanging there, you’ll know where the gaps are, and what ‘needs’ will enhance what you already own.
How do you get to know what’s in your wardrobe? You declutter, and reduce down to what you know you’ll wear. Then, add in a few pieces of ‘special’. It is said that the average woman wears just a third of what’s in her wardrobe. I was certainly guilty of that. Then I discovered how much happier (and lighter) I was with the decluttered world of slow clothing – owning fewer, better-considered items, and reselling pieces to see them get a new lease of life in someone else’s wardrobe. That feels so good.
Will it bring me joy? Slow clothing is a philosophy says Jane Milburn of Textile Beat. A way of thinking about and choosing clothes to ensure they bring you joy. Everyone finds their own meaning of joy. For me this is, aka, feeling good and confident when wearing it. And, with particular pieces (especially the right footwear), it also means I feel like I can stride it out and ‘take on the world’!
It feels good to take charge of your wardrobe and/or dresser, and to know that when you wear any combination of your collection, it works for you and it brings out the very best in you. That it is uniquely you. Take up the challenge today and exclaim, ‘slow fashion; I can own it!’