Autumn so far has been an interesting one for me style wise. I have been busier than ever with new clients and returning clients, helping people with their wardrobes, online shops, personal shopping and colour analysis consultations. Now that it is starting to feel more like Autumn weather wise, the knitwear is coming out of hibernation and coats are coming out of the wardrobes - next it will be hats & scarves! But my style this season has not been updated, I have yet to buy anything new for the season which is very unlike me.
This is down to a number of reasons; being too busy and focused on clients needs to think about shopping for myself; we are just finishing a house renovation so my head is focused on the new kitchen and extension; and I have been thinking about the impact that fashion has on the environment.
You may have watched Stacey Dooley’s eye opening documentary last week called Fashion’s dirty secret and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you find it on iPlayer to gain an insight into the reality of fast fashion and over consumption and the devastation it’s causing the environment. It’s pretty tough going and not an easy watch, but a worthwhile one no less.
I love clothes and fashion and I have always worked in fashion. Going to factories in china, India and Europe were a big part of my life as a buyer for over 15 years. I have thankfully never seen such a massive environmental impact that the factories that were shown on the documentary, but of course that doens’t mean that it wasn’t going on then and is still going on now. But now working as a personal stylist I have been thinking about the impact that I am having but I honestly believe that using the services of a good stylist is not only beneficial to you but also the environment.
How can WE play our parts in helping the cause but yet still be able to enjoy fashion and style?
Before you go shopping just because you fancy something new, ask yourself do you really need it or can you wear something you already own yet hasn’t seen the light of day for a while? Can you style it up differently or even take it to your local tailor and make it into something else ie a dress into a top, a maxi dress into a skirt?
Assess what is in your wardrobe already and look at what gaps you have rather than duplicating something you already own because let’s face it, you really don’t need another stripey top! Invest in a piece that is going to enhance your collection and won’t end up months later wasting away in your wardrobe with the labels still on or worn once and never again.
Instead of heading straight to the nearest shopping centre or high street, check out your local charity shops, they are treasure troves of amazing pieces at great prices.
Don’t let your heart take over your head when shopping, if you find something you like, ask yourself, how many outfits can I make from this one new item. If it doesn’t create at least 3 new outfits from your existing wardrobe don’t buy it otherwise you’ll find yourself on the financial merry go round of having to spend more and more money on new pieces to go with the other items in your wardrobe and needlessly consuming. Remember “less is more”. More clothes doesn’t create more choice, it just makes it harder to see what you already have which more often than not means you reach for the same few pieces again and again.
Be mindful of where you spend your money. If you can, invest in quality timeless pieces that will stand the test of time and please look after them. Get to know your local independent shops where more often than not the items are not mass produced but manufactured in smaller quantities and always ask yourself “do I really need this and why am I buying it”.
Over the course of these past few weeks I have been celebrating the fact that I haven’t brought anything new for the season and it’s been spurring me on to style up my existing pieces in different ways. This has been a great challenge for me to use pieces in my wardrobe i different outfits I haven’t worn before and I have loved doing it. It’s also given me time to think about what I really NEED this season in my wardrobe and so far I have come up with only 3 things from my normal 5 wish-list I do every season.
How asking a personal stylist to help you with your wardrobe has a positive environmental impact
I do believe that by hiring a personal stylist like me you can have a positive affect on the environment. Firstly I aim to get you making the most of your current wardrobe and showing you how to wear more of your clothes more of the time by combining existing pieces in new and exciting ways. If I do take you shopping , it’s usually with a focused shopping list and mindful of the choices we are making for you and don’t suggest buying in vast quantities just for the sake of it regardless of the cost.
As your stylist I don’t making buying decisions based on the heart, I will only suggest something for you if it truly enhances your wardrobe, flatters your figure and is something you will wear time and time again. My aim is to get you to a place where you have a smaller capsule collection of clothes that all co-ordinate and work together everyday. My priority is to eliminate the need for you to constantly drip feed your wardrobe and ideally I’d like you to only shop twice a year, for autumn/winter and spring/summer.
If we all made small changes to our shopping habits and became more mindful of what our spending is supporting, together we can make a positive difference and stop the mass consumerism that is destroying our planet and peoples lives.