Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Size matters (2)

An over stacked wardrobe, is a size issue of a different sort. Now I know that for some having lots and lots of clothes neatly hung, stacked and looked after or organised in all manner of solutions is perfectly fine. But...for lots of people there is an endless spend, wear, unworn, sell on ebay, take to charity shop cycle due to flights of fashion fancy, boredom, retail therapy and general overs spending. Consumption is part and parcel of our lives but I'm returning to the idea of slow fashion, the idea that despite the buzz of a new season, the desire created by the editorial in magazines and the newness of clothes in the stores, you need to really think before you buy - the concept of stop, look and listen.

The STOP element is the bit where you check out everything in your wardrobe and have a good look at what you wear, like and want to have. Sort and hang everything in items - i.e. trousers, skirts, cardigans, dresses, shirts - same with folding items. Don't buy anything for a couple of weeks and see how you get on with what you have. Think about your own style, how you like to look and what works for you.

Have a good LOOK at what you have examine its potential - can it be altered? Does it really work for your life. Take a look at what you spend on clothes, how much has been bought on credit. Really evaluate what you spend and why. Again the looking involves how you look in what you have and how you can make sure you are not getting yourself into debt over a fashion fix.

Then LISTEN to the voices in your head that tell you not to buy when you do! Okay, I'm kidding but there is enough noise here on the blogosphere to make you re-evaluate what you spend, buy and why.

I do think that less is more, I'm more of a fan of the capsule wardrobe but like everyone else I'm guilty of overstocking my wardrobe and often on repeats - how many stripy tees does a gal need!
It is really hard when you love fashion not to get sucked into the endless cycle (and recycling of looks) of buying whether its over or under the budget.

I also like the idea often muted as the French approach to fashion which basically translates as a few key quality pieces of fashion purchased per season. It is another less is more but less items for more money provide quality. It was when I started clearing out peoples wardrobes and found mounds of clothes and accessories that I got turned off having too much. Even though I recently cleared my wardrobe out I still feel I have too much. I'm hoping that my shop day (all saved up for) in September will last through until March. I know I'll get tempted along the way but I'm determined to be the person that only buys a few key pieces per season and that means a smaller but beautiful wardrobe.
Updated PS: I've realised I've forgotten to add that your lifestyle and income is the key determinate of what you spend and buy. I know this is stating the obvious but my views and decisions reflect where I am now, not my misspent youth and party animal days of yore. I need to have less as I don't go out as much, because thanks to Mr MDS I've just signed for a delivery of a new 42" HD telly and he's upgrading our Sky box to HD! This does not make for an uber stylish wardrobe to wear out. Geez thanks goodness I've got friends to meet and a new job to secure otherwise I'd have no justification for a single item due to my MA lifestyle. Mind you can't wait to see Mad Men in HD.


  1. I know you talk sense but there is some sort of emotional adrenalin thing that kicks in once you're (I'm) in the store when all logic just vanishes from the brain. Hence how I came to buy a Maje coat at Selfridges yesterday when I have a still-going-strong ten-year old APC one that does exactly the same job. Doh!

  2. Hi there-I love posts like this, well put my dear! Seriously, I really buy into this way of thinking-I'm pleased with myself in that I've stopped a 'buy on ebay when I'm bored' habit. Last year, I bought a lot of things on there which were mistake buys and I've either resold them back on ebay or passed some of it to the charity shop. The only ebay purchase this year was my Chanel Bag which came out of items I sold. I'm now just thrifting, but still only want what I truly love and feel I need in my wardrobe. For me, less is definitely more, I hate to be inundated with multitudes of pieces, it's just not me.

  3. You'll love HD, although for me it's more about the novelty of being able to pause and rewind live TV. It's great, especially if like me you are always trying to do more than one thing at once and constantly missing bits of your favourite programmes! Can't wait for Mad Men to start again, will probably be January now :(

  4. Interesting post!

    I think as you say it depends on what stage of life you are in too...and shopping is a great hobby too! :-) (but not if it's on credit, live within your means, I say!)

    I also wouldn't change my teenage years where I always bought one or two new items a week - you learn your style and enjoy it!

    I've getting HDsky+ tomorrow! Yippee!

  5. "Capsule wardrobe" -- the idea makes me shudder. Where would my new-old dollar dress fit in? Would a stranger on the street say, "Wear it in good health!" to a plain sheath? Would nice bloggers have any bows to tie on me? All the clothing fun would drain right out of my life.

  6. So interesting post, darling!


  7. Oh, Kate. I totally hear you, but I just don't function this way.

    Since dressing is my main creative expression (aside from writing), nothing makes me happier than having a wide array of stylistic tools at my disposal. I LOVE having a wide (and I mean wide) variety of shoes, so that I can create a giant array of looks. Love my vintage accessories, arsenal of colored tees, love my ever-expanding dress collection, love it ALL.

    I've recently taken to poring over my closet's contents and concocting outfit ideas. I jot down notes, often picking underutilized items as the jumping-off point. This makes me feel like I'm getting the most out of what I already own. But it doesn't stop me from wanting to add more ... I feel like my style is evolving, and I don't want to quash that, ya know?

  8. I don't have loads of clothes and I turn them over all the time fairly ruthlessly, but I mostly buy "vintage" so it doesn't represent a vast outlay of money or much buying into the fast fashion universe. Over winter I've bought nothing. I'm not exaggerating, I haven't bought anything, not even secondhand for about 2 months. Not on purpose, just didn't need any more clothes!

  9. I think I am fairly uncreative with clothes. I like basics, classics and I adore the idea of a capsule wardrobe. The more I have the less I seem to wear. Small and beautiful and a few pieces I love each season is music to my ears.

  10. What an interesting post... I do like the idea of a capsule wardrobe, though i don't think pared down has to mean bland. I recently spent a lot of time editing down my wardrobe, and it's saved lots of fretful mornings. rather than get rid of everything straight away i've stored all the stuff i'm not sure about in an ikea underbed bag... i reckon if i don't fish it out in a couple of months then it's good to go! that way i should retreive all the wacky stuff i love and actually wear...

  11. Love this post :)


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