I’ve had a very unhealthy habit of spending too much time to scroll through pages and pages, staring in awe at celebrities’ street styles. I know thanks to people like me that ferocious paparazzi thrive, yet I couldn’t stop it. Looking at those effortless beauties camoflaging in endless covers of tremendously overwhelming ranges of colors and textures usually brings me satisfaction – the eye-gasm should I call it?
I like Kristen Stewart – she’s so bad-ass-ly and effortlessly gorgeous!
I like Emma Stone – she’s such an American sweetheart!
Lily Aldridge is on the list, of course!
I’m also into the Gigi – Kendall fever.
What I don’t know is that the constant exposure to the dazzling and polished images of stars somehow unawarenessly makes me feel like I’m always in need of more clothes to see myself shining in a different spectrum of light.
For example, when I see some cool image like this on the magazine, I would be driven to go hunt for the look, expecting to be seen under the same glow:
Luckily, I ran into the 10-item wardrobe Ted-talk of Jennifer Scott where she introduced the idea of maintaining a wardrobe focusing more on quality rather than quantity (You can watch it here). I then decluttered my wardrobe, and ended up with 2 huge bags of unwanted, low quality and used-to-be-trendy clothing. Sitting among the mess in my crumpled pyjama, I looked through my huge piles of clothing, and examined my items one by one, scornfully reflecting all the horrible purchasing decisions I’ve made. This shirt looked nice, but I threw it away because of a missing button, deeming it too cheap to consider mending it. This pair of jeans was dumped ’cause I bought it out of a whimp, not noticing how uncomfortable it was. I never wear those dresses anymore because they shrunk noticeably after a few washes.
The list goes on.
Then it dawned on me. The ease of buying clothes for instant gratification often lead to the ease of dumping them irresponsibly. I seriously need to repel the fast fashion and abandon the consequential unhealthy consuming habit. Period.
First, slow down in making purchasing decisions.
I will stop buying clothes online. I gradually come to realize that only when trying something on, examining every seam and really feeling the texture will I know for sure if it will be my loyal and trust-worthy companion for the coming days. When I say companion, I really mean that I will stick with it day in, day out, dress it up, dress it down, everything.
I will stop buying clothes from stores who neither clarify the origins of their products nor take credit of the persons who make their clothes. That might mean from now on I can only afford 1 or 2 pieces of clothing per year, but I can definitely live with that.
I will stop buying trendy clothes which will go out of styles in months or even weeks. Investing in fewer clothes means choosing only high-quality, classic and versatile pieces which go well with one another and suit you well for different occasions. By the way, the seemingly limited choices will somehow spur my creativity in styling myself (I was so inspired by Chriselle Lim. You can check out her recommendation for 5 seasonless basics here).
Second, slow down in making dumping decisions.
Having a higher quality wardrobe (and of course, a significantly pricey one) will undoubtedly stretch the time it takes me to decide to throw something away, and will bug me constantly to take better care of my clothes.
Picture this, when you have to hand wash your clothes to make sure they remain in their prime, when you have to really mind where you sit and whether it is rainy that day to make sure your clothes won’t be stained or damaged, you will more than appreciate your clothes, and will take honor to mend them, tailor them, you name it, to make them last longer.
One benefit of buying clothes mindfully is that normally those kinds of stores will offer you free services of mending and tailoring.
One last word (song, actually)
“Slow down, you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvernile …”
It’s such a perfect theme song for my days these days. Picture me, in my simple white dress that you see me wear almost everywhere.