The ‘Clothes But No Clothes’ Mentality

How many times do you find yourself looking at a wardrobe full of stuff yet saying ‘I have nothing to wear’?

I know I do.

And, I know that this is such a cliche. It’s something that other people like to make fun of people like us for, claiming we’re only pretending to see nothing for the want of another shopping trip.

However, when I decided to (massively) downsize my wardrobe in the winter months of last year, I realised that this is much more than about wanting a shopping trip for me. Rather, I literally look into a wardrobe full of lovely things and see absolutely nothing that I deem ‘worthy’.

I mean, who can blame us? We’re constantly being shown clothing adverts, reading about the ‘latest styles’, receiving emails with offers for that perfect ‘weekend outfit’, and scrolling through social feeds littered with ‘influencers’ who seem to have infinite closet space as they never ever seem to repeat an outfit.

We wear something once, on one night out, and we see that as the end of it’s life. Everyone that we are close to has already seen us in it. Sure, they said we looked nice but, if we ever repeat the outfit, they’re not gonna have the surprise of our choice next time.

However, we don’t throw these things away, that would be wasteful. We know that we really should donate them to the charity shop or sell them on, but nevertheless we keep them *just in case* even though we know that the case for rewearing that killer outfit is never gonna come.

And, when I considered just how expensive, wasteful and bad for the planet this cycle is, that’s when I decided to change it.

Now, I’m not writing this post to preach about how you should change up your life. You probably should if you are over buying for the sake of the planet as well as your bank balance, but I understand that that simply isn’t possible for everyone, which is why I wrote this post previously.

Rather, I want this post to just encourage you to be creative!

I’ve realised that it’s become so easy for us to hop onto asos and buy into the trends. Rather than looking at what we already have, we find a leopard print dress that we *simply* have to buy and, before we know it, we’ve already dropped a good £50 on a new item that we will probably wear three times, max.

Instead, we could appreciate the leopard print trend without having to go *quite* so extreme. We could have a look in our wardrobe, realise that we own no leopard print whatsoever and recognise that we think it would be a valuable addition to our wardrobe. So, we could hop onto asos (or an environmentally friendlier brand would be even better!) and order something like a leopard print silk scarf. This will last a while and can be paired with anything. We could wear it like a scarf with a jeans and tee combo, wear it like a belt with a pre-existing jumper dress, or wear it in our hair with a jumper and leggings for an extra cosy feel.

There’s plenty of opportunity, but we have become lazy.

Think about how some of the greatest fashions in history were created through spur of the moment ideas. Our not too distant relatives in the 60’s used to wear, rewear, recycle and reuse. A dress could become a top, a skirt could become a dress, and everything had an unlimited wardrobe lifetime because they made the most of everything.

The reason that we have to look to the past for our style icons is simply because they were creative. A dress turned into a top would be a completely new and unique item that no one else could possess. Whereas, we would all rather buy *that* topshop skirt that everyone and their nan seems to own in multiple different colours just because we know that it looks good on everyone.

It does, but it’s a rather lazy and wasteful attitude to have towards fashion. And, that comes from someone with no knowledge about sewing machines. However, I do wear a skirt as a dress and a top as a skirt regularly, so sometimes no alterations need to be made to the pre-existing item, it’s all in how you wear it!

So, if you really do need that leopard print dress or topshop skirt and it’s going to be a statement item in your wardrobe for a long time, then go for it. But, if you have things that you could already transform, then consider that option first. After all, who knows what you could come up with?

And, remember, there is no direct correlation between trend following and style.

Love,

H x

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3 Comments

  1. Bethany Jane 3rd February 2019 / 9:13 PM

    I love this post and agree with so much of what you’ve said. I’ve been feeling really demotivated with blogging and particularly Instagram because, frankly, I can’t afford to buy new clothes to take a few photos in, and my wardrobe is far from trendy or cool. It’s had me aimlessly scrolling ASOS looking for cheap solutions, but for who? Half the stuff I consider buying I don’t even really want, it’s just that it might look good in a photo. I love the idea of getting creative with your clothes and finding new ways to fashion things. I also really need to know how you manage to pull off wearing a top as a skirt haha!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  2. Gina | Steps to Self 4th February 2019 / 3:22 AM

    Such a good reminder! I have also gone through downsizing my wardrobe considerably and even thought about going with a “uniform” approach. Not sure if I’m ready for that yet, but I’m definitely trying to be more intentional and less wasteful with purchases. Overall shopping less and using my smaller closet more. Go you!

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