Are you wanting to reduce your ‘clothing consumerism’? Oxfam has the answer, by launching their ‘Second Hand September’ campaign. It’s a pledge, a challenge to only buy second hand for 30 days. And the reason why? Throwaway fashion is posing a real impact on our environment – every week, 13 million items of clothing ends up in UK landfill.
I love this campaign and there are ways to make second hand shopping as smooth as possible, it just involves a bit more thought. I’m no expert, but I’ve got some inspiration for you.
So, it’s safe to say that a pretty big talking point over the last couple of months is how we are consuming fast fashion. Just a little disclaimer that I am in no way an expert in avoiding fast fashion but I have found that by streamlining my wardrobe has been really useful. I know exactly what is in my wardrobe, know which items are best paired together and have found some hidden gems in the process of streamlining!
Over the years, I have always tended to do a summer and winter edit in my wardrobe, making sure that I’m not sifting through huge jumpers in my wardrobe to find what I want to wear when we’re in the 30 degree summer weather.
The idea of a capsule wardrobe has always intrigued me, (tends to be around 30 different items of clothing that can work in all sorts of different outfits) and although the structure of items can be flexible, I’ve actually never got round to quantifying my clothes into that format structure. Through looking at my wardrobe, I’ve decided it’s all about the balance, and if you’ve made it through this long-winded intro, that’s what I’m going to talk about!!
If streamlining your wardrobe seems like the biggest task in the world, then the simplest way to start is to just get it all out. Sort it all into piles, try on items you haven’t worn in ages and definitely take the KonMari approach to looking at whether your clothing ‘sparks joy’. If that all sounds way too overwhelming, then I would definitely watch Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, as it’s actually kind of soothing to watch whilst giving me all the motivation to sort out my belongings at the same time!
The best bit about streamlining your wardrobe is finding those hidden gems, I’ve found that I’ve kept items that I adored to wear as instead of actually getting rid of them. Why not dig them out of the wardrobe if they’ve been there for so long eh? I’ve always had a black polo neck in the back of my wardrobe for years to use as an under-layer in super cold weather in the UK. But finding it through my summer/winter wardrobe switch up this year, has meant that I’ve worn it pretty much all season. Paired with some blue mom jeans, fake gucci belt, pair of converse, and I’m good to go.
It’s also a lot easier to find where the gaps exist within your wardrobe through streamlining, and where you may need to invest in a new item. The basics are key for a capsule wardrobe, being the core item for your outfit. For me, when sorting through my winter jumpers, I found I had plenty that were patterned or striped but was missing a plain jumper in a neutral colour to be able to fit with the majority of outfits.
From finding the gaps in my wardrobe, it’s easier for me to piece outfits together and if you’re maybe not so fashion conscious (like myself), this is probably the biggest benefit. Knowing what’s in your wardrobe and what works well together, makes it so much easier to look put together in the mornings, especially if you’re limited on time!
Making the most of your wardrobe
Once you’ve streamlined your wardrobe, it’s the fun part now (technically, I probably enjoyed organising a bit too much!). Working out where the gaps are in your wardrobe can make it easier to piece outfits together in the long run, and if you’re a bit like me & not so fashion conscious, this is probably the biggest benefit of making the most of your wardobe!
Here’s a few of my ‘go-to’ outfits at the moment
Coloured blazers or jackets can make all the difference to a simple outfit of jeans, jumper & boots which is my standard autumn and winter uniform to be honest.
Pairing a patterned skirt with a black shirt, tights and boots fits the ‘smart-casual’ dress code pretty well, I’ve worn this to numerous occasions. The black blouse being a staple item all year round.
Finding the ‘jeans & a nice top’ dress code pretty easily with this striped blouse from Hollister (absolute bargain in the sale – £40 to £13!!). (shown on the right)
Hopefully I’ve given a bit of insight as to how easy it can be to make the ‘capsule wardrobe’ process work for you, by focusing on making on the most of your wardrobes, and in turn can reduce consumerism (and our bank balances!) in the process.