Building a Wardrobe that Transcends Seasons
Ashlee Smale | On 29, May 2020
Getting started on curating a wardrobe that reflects your personal style, saves you money, and does minimal damage to the planet.
In 2015, I watched the documentary The True Cost, directed by Andrew Morgan. If you haven’t seen, is a must add to your isolation watch list. The documentary points out the passive mass consumerist behaviour the fashion industry encourages, and the detrimental impact this has on our planet.
As I watched the documentary wearing one of the 5 pairs of $20 jeans I owned, and a top that I had worn only once since purchasing 8 months earlier, I made a pact with myself… Our planet cannot sustain the way we use fashion, and I was going to become a conscious consumer.
When I speak about being a conscious consumer, I speak about purchasing in a way that does minimal damage to the planet. I purchase items of clothing that are well thought out, and that are purchased from brands that operate with the same mission.
The shift in shopping smarter, and investing in personal style over fashion trends has been a slow process for me. But one that has taken the exhaustion out of trend chasing, and made purchasing clothing seem far more purposeful.
The fact that the fashion industry is beginning to market themselves with their sustainable practices truly makes me excited for where we are heading. We are living in a time where consumers are purchasing clothes with higher standards in mind, and I believe we vote with our dollar.
In the last 5 years, my wardrobe has been dismantled, and now comprises classic staples that are an ode to my personal style. It is an accumulation of pieces that are constantly re-wearable. I spend more money on items, have a smaller wardrobe, take care of items and wear them time and time again.
Our tips for building a wardrobe that transcends seasons:
1. Don’t get overwhelmed.
You don’t have to be perfect, and every little part helps our planet. It can feel a little overwhelming to look through your wardrobe and see how far you have to go, but remember, you don’t have to throw out everything you own and start again. Making a commitment to begin from where you are now is enough.
2. Purchase with the ‘3 year rule’ in mind.
The ‘3 year rule’ is, if you won’t wear this in 3 years, do not buy it. Of course our style changes over time and our wardrobe will reflect that, but this unique collection will begin to reflect your personal style.
If you don’t know where to start try and stick to neutral colours. Stick with items such as blazers, classic cut shirts, basic t-shirts, denim, classic pants, staple skirts and coats. Avoid floral patterns as they will feel dated in years to come. Purchase tops and bottoms over dresses so that you can mix and match them later.
3. Make quality over quantity your new mantra.
When you purchase something, make it a requirement that it be good enough to one day become vintage.
4. Be patient and enjoy the slow process.
Curating a wardrobe that reflects your individual style takes time. When I first made the shift, I was in uni and couldn’t afford to purchase a multitude of items. I bought only 3 items that year. A blazer, a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. I still own and wear each of those items.
5. Do your research.
Begin to research the brands you invest your money in, and in turn support. Every single item of clothing has a carbon footprint attached to it. I believe in supporting brands that have a similar vision and are local. A few of my favourites are Camilla and Marc, Victoria and Woods, Ginger and Smart, Saroka, Vege Threads.
There is never a better time to start curating a wardrobe that reflects your personal style, promotes your values, and transcends seasons!
Our favourite sustainable living accounts for your journey @theminimalistwardrobe @love_aesthetics @alisa.koz @mirduma