Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Make Do Life Laundry week - absolution

Okay may be absolution is a tad OTT but I'm so bored of writing back to basics, or basics or budget or starting point!

Henceforth I absolve you of all previous bad buys, pointless purchases and style shrieks... and I do the same for myself too.

New beginnings folks, new beginnings. I tackled the difficult subject of the female body yesterday and it was not intended to be a thesis or a definitive post. The purpose was to shake anyone out of the shackles of body watching, either theirs or anyone elses.

So now we all start again, fresh as daisies, happy with our lot and safe in the knowledge there are lots of bloggers out there to inspire us.

The point of a life laundry is to kick start a new phase, close a previous chapter and set yourself new challenges. I won't bore you with my hopes and desires but on the style stakes front I'm on my second week of a year long challenge.

Because of my work (stylist in case you don't know although I'm veering more to writing more now...) and because of my last two years spent doing an MA (I feel bereft these days after so much studying) at the London College of Fashion; I've analysed and pondered and deliberated fashion for what seems forever.

Tomorrow I do yet another interview which asks me my opinions on fashion. I talk a lot about fashion, I read a lot about fashion and yet sometimes it consumes me and I feel sick. Oh that was a bit dramatic but I do get too sucked in and insular.

My little project after only 2 weeks has been a really big help. I've extricated myself from the looking, buying cycle of the high st and apart from one shop for a client recently I've been freed from shopping. This has made me stop. I've re-evaluated my wardrobe and am in the process of an ebay sell marathon! It will take me weeks to complete and I've got to go and pick up some more stuff tomorrow I loaned to another stylist. I have no idea what!

My life laundry is about being on top of things going forward, which means I'm in the painful bit of updating stuff, clearing out crap and generally getting my act together.

On the style challenge front going forward I'm hopeful of being focused and eradicating my previous habits. My aim is to have a wardrobe of quality items which I will never part with because I love them so much. And I can wear them for years. If something wears out then ce la vie but I do look after things very well so barring accidents or some misfortune I should do well. We'll see.

Pearl of Fashion Pearls of Wisdom did a great post the other day about looking after your shoes. I've loved her shoe post and she is one of the many bloggers who've inspired me in some way. What or who is going to inspire you? Do you feel you need a life laundry? (I have a great visual in my head of WendyB rolling her eyes at this!)

Also I believe there is a sea change coming in how we live or approach our lifestyles. Call it my fashion bones (in the air and all that) but I watched this after the link was tweeted and just as I was finishing this post - it is interesting!

Our food system is not working - The Guardian

All images in post by Norman Parkinson (my favourite photographer)


  1. Another fascinating post, Kate.
    Since I ditched the continual high street buying cycle over four years ago my wardrobe is crammed with not particularly fashionable, but wonderfully ecclectic items I adore. Nothing dates or falls out of favour because I've bought things I've genuinely loved rather than been persuaded by the fashion pack that it's something I need.
    I needed a replacement bikini top yesterday and had to trawl the normal shops, they are so depressing, rack upon rack of the same old over-priced tat. I swear if I saw another shearling-inspired jacket I'd have chucked on the floor and set fire it it. I imagine ery charity shop in the land is going to be flooded with them come May next year. xxx
    PS Norman Parkinson is/was my favourite fashion photographer, too.

  2. Vix - you see I knew I was on the right track and you know you are one of the bloggers who have forced me to change my habits due to being inspired by you! xx

  3. I did this a few years ago, and haven't really looked back. I used to have a wardrobe full of things I didn't really care about, so I pared back, kept the things I loved, tried to replace cheap basics with better quality items, and now I only buy things I really love. Anything that doesn't make me feel fab gets ebayed, but now that I am more selective I really feel happy about most of what I own.

  4. Penny Dreadful - how come everyone else knew this not me!! Mind you the ebay listing is gruelling and I've got tons to go.

  5. Hi there,
    Great thought provoking post my dear.
    I believe whether we like to or not, we are all going to have to "wake up" to the reality of our unsustainable ways at some point. I think my own awakening came out of necessity as much as it did from a greater understanding of how our western capitalist society works.
    I've never been rolling in it and as such have always had to shop around for cheaper alternatives, I'm very thankful for this now cause I believe this practise now puts me in a better situation than those who are completely entrapped by the high street consumer agenda.
    Don't get me wrong I am as guilty of being a "weapon of massive consumption" as the next person but I refuse point blank to line the pockets of the likes of Philip Gree(d)n et al.
    I'd much rather put the money back in the pockets of the consumer or bolster funds for a charity.
    I consider what I do more of a 'hunting & gathering' excerise rather than just plain old shopping and when I am on one of many rummaging trips to markets, car boot sales & charity shops I buy not only for my self but for friends & family too.
    I believe that the only way for us to pull back from the inevitable brink is to stick two little sharp fingers up to the capitalists that on a daily basis shove their agenda further down our throats, telling us that happiness equals consumption, preferably lots of it!
    As regards to the unsustainable food system, this is something that I have been looking into for a few years now and one of the main factors to why decided to go vegan.
    There are so many issues that tie into this that many people are "blissfully" unaware of but should take time to find out about. After all it won't matter a jot how great you look in your new designer frock if the food you eat & the water you drink are tantamount to poison.
    Take care,

  6. Hi my dear-another insightful and thought provoking post, like you I'm not really a hoarder and like to shed pieces that are either worn out and are not good quality. Trying to live below my means and stay out of consumer debt is also important to me, I think thrifting is just a way of life and my lifestyle now.

  7. My-Style - well you are a wonder and an example to us all!! xx

  8. Calmity Jem -- thank you for your fab comments! So true and how I love your two fingers bit. I'm going to employ that from now on xx

  9. I'm really enjoying your life laundry posts so far and the one yesterday was a great message. I have realised since living from one suitcase for two months how little I need to get by on and am going to do another purge of my wardrobe. Since you came over and gave me back a lot of my dressing and body confidence I have really been looking at my wardrobe with a very different eye, one which really does understand quality and fit rather than like and misfit!

  10. I'm hoping to change my attitude to buying unnecessary fashion and look at revamping or creating new outfits from what I already own. I'm looking to be inspired by the Fashion/Stylist bloggers like you to think about fashion in a different way rather than a collection of shopping bags at the end of a long day at the high street. The other day I was in a blind panic out shopping and decided that I needed to buy a new top for a Christmas Do when really I have plenty of good clothes back at home to choose from. I really do want to consume less and use what I already have.

  11. Thanks for what you said about my posts Kate, I was worried people just thougth I was slightly insane with the shoe obsessivness.
    You inspired me to shop at Zara, I have to have Zara but otherwise I am with you on the high quality buying. That said for highstreet it is very good quality. I just had an ebay purge and am saving that money for a big shoe shaped treat.

  12. Hey Kate,
    Great post as always.. I think a change is good! We all get stuck in a rut and I think the testing times going forward are going to change the way buy and live. We are all so used to a throw away lifestyle and actually looking at things making them work 2nd time round or only investing in things that are really worth your hard earned money is the way forward!

    Your starting a revolution!

  13. Wow you're going to have a major purge and emerge as something new

  14. I am hard at work on my laundry list of essentials. As I am moving into a new size I need to start all over and I don't want to make the same mistakes again. It is a bit overwhelming to have to start all over again but with your posts and wise council. I think my first three buys will be: LBD, black skirt and black trousers. I hope I can be as disciplined in my wardrobe as I am with my diet.

  15. I actually felt relief when I read you were offering absolution for all bad purchases! I didn't realize they were weighing so heavily upon me.
    Another great post, you are on fire this week!!

  16. I think I'm slowly getting towards this way of thinking. Not that I ever spent that much on clothes in the first place, but I'm definitely questioning myself more now about what I buy and whether I actually need it and will wear it often enough for it to be worth buying.

  17. What a lovely Wednesday afternoon Norman Parkinson purge - definitely in my top 5 photographers :)

  18. Well, you take all the fun out of my eye-rolling if you're prepared for it!


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