It has been just over a year now since Megan@LiveKen and I completed our 20 Week No Shopping Challenge! While things have been bought since, many of the lessons learnt from that challenge have been part of my shopping decision making process. One of the key things learnt which has been at the forefront of my mind is how blessed we are living in a first world country where we read (and write) blogs about not buying so much, not eating so much, capsule wardrobes etc. We really have everything we need! This really made me evaluate and think about the ‘wants’ in our lives. How is this impacting our beautiful world which I enjoy travelling in? Are we being responsible stewards of our resources and God given blessings?
For me the answer is ‘getting there’. Part of the journey is to really think about and consider what I buy and these are the top 5 things I consider when shopping for ‘want’ items. (NB: I define ‘want’ items as things that are extra to our comfort and well being, more fashion type items e.g. non essential clothing, shoes, accessories, bags etc.)
Think about where can you wear it to? Is it something that you can only wear to the beach in summer on a 40 degree day? OR Is it something you can wear to lunch, work, movies, drinks, dinner etc.?
How many other items in your closet it will go with? I hear the magic number is 3 but I say aim for 5 with clothes and accessories and shoes aim for 10 outfits/clothing items! Chances are you will only match it with about 3 other things but increasing that number will increase your creativity!
Two of my most versatile pieces of clothing are my black leather jacket and my denim jacket. They go with almost everything I own and can be worn almost year round!
# SLOW FASHION
This has been a buzz word for a while in the fashion industry much like ‘fast fashion’. ‘Slow fashion’ are products that are made to stand the test of time; durable quality. These are kinder to our environment and workers who are involved in the production of these items.
Think ‘how many times am I going to wear this item?’ The rule of thirty times is mentioned by Who What Wear. This is something I know I struggle with. Much like everyone else I like new and fun. I have really had to change my mind set and get creative. I encourage you to open your mind and think about the different styles you can create! I can assure you that you will have a lot if not more fun creating different outfits.
My ‘slow fashion’ item which I get good mileage from is this leather handbag. It comes with a long strap so it can be worn cross body. I bought it mid last year while in America and I know that I have used it at least ten times in the last year.
Another couple of items which I consider ‘slow fashion’ is this classic Tommy Hilfiger jumper, red pleated skirt and grey leather booties. They are all classic items and made of good quality, not to mention very versatile for my style.
# SIMILARITY TO WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN
We are creatures of habit and we all have our own style. Therefore we do tend to gravitate to buy items of similar style. While this is not wrong, one does not need three shirts/T-shirts in different styles of white (speaking from personal experience here).
My weakness is I love dresses. So when I saw this abstract paint floral dress I had to think carefully if I already had something similar in my closet. While I had many floral dresses, it was the type of pattern and cut of the dresses which was the reason I decided it was different to other dresses in my closet.
The point is it will be different for everyone.
# COST ~ MONETARY & CLOSET SPACE
Always spend within your means! Budget how much you are going to spend on a certain item and stick to it. It also helps if you have a budget in general. Always also shop bearing in mind the space in your closet. I usually have a rule of one item in and one item out or doing a yearly clean out. This clean out and rule will become less used as you become more conscious about what you buy. Less is really more!
This dress is one which I stumbled on when shopping but was something I had been looking for. I was looking for a long/three quarter sleeved dress which was dressy for nice occassions. I found this dress and paid for it well and truly within my budget.
I acknowledge there are other costs too for example environmental and social/ethical but I believe they fall more under sustainability (point below).
# ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE
This is an area that is quite new (for me at least). I have really become very conscious of this aspect of fashion in the last year or so. Since then I have been trying to read more into it and re-purpose some items of clothing so they don’t go to waste. There is obviously the option of donating them to op shops but re-purposing is so much fun!
I re-purposed my pair of very flared old Levi’s jeans into skinny jeans and wore this to Giles Street Market.
My biggest struggle is knowing which main stream brands to buy from which are ethically, socially and environmentally sustainable. More recently I have been trying to only buy from op shops while researching sustainable brands that are stylish and on-trend. Watch this space as I aim to share more on this topic.
Are these things you consider when shopping for things you want?
What other considerations do you take into account when shopping for the things you want?