I love fashion but I’m NOT a fashionista. Investing in key pieces interests me much more than buying into the trends of fast fashion and is also much kinder to our planet. Nevertheless I feel I’m in the minority and fast fashion is almost running away with us. With the rise of Instagram and its social media counterparts it seems everyone is afraid to be seen in the same outfit they wore last week, which is quite frankly ridiculous! Just because I love fashion does that mean I have to ignore common sense and all of the other pieces in my wardrobe just to be ‘seen’ to be ‘bang on trend’! For fear of sounding archaic I almost long for the days where beautiful garments were made, worn and then eventually handed down in an almost prize like fashion, when clothes were exquisitely crafted not only to be paraded but to be preserved. Not slung in the back of a closet whilst newer wears take pride of place on just bought hangers in the front because god forbid you should even entertain the idea that you might be seen twice in the same outfit on Instagram! I completely believe it’s much more sensible and in the long run economical to invest in a capsule wardrobe which can be re invented season after season with trend led accessories or statement key pieces. I remember learning the importance of this whilst working for Hobbs. It was one of my very first jobs and I absolutely loved it! As a 17 year old school girl still living at home with my parents everything in the store seemed incredibly expensive to me, I was much more used to spending £10 at Miss Selfridge and Topshop on basically bits of Lycra and cotton, (it was the late 90’s and handkerchief tops and spice girl inspired elasticated co-ords were all the rage!) that was until my store manager began mentoring me on the Hobbs way. She introduced me to the notion that yes a camel coloured cashmere coat was expensive but it wasn’t made to be worn once, it was made to be worn for a lifetime and so the hefty price tag soon began to seem good value. I was taught that a beautiful pair of leather court shoes (pumps) with just the right heel height and cut across the front of the foot would always make your legs look long, your feet slender and your taste impeccable and thus again were worth every penny. These pieces were meant to be kept well and in turn would wear well season after season. It amuses me that Ive clung on to cami tops and denim shorts that made their first outings in the late 90’s but with the cyclic rotation of the fashion merry go round bringing these pieces back to the fore I am now in possession of this seasons ‘must haves’. The classics have stood the test of time and they always will. It’s believed that we now buy 60% more clothing than we did 16 years ago with 80 billion pieces currently being purchased globally every year. That number is staggering to me, however the 235 million tonnes being sent to landfills in the U.K. scares me even more. The actress Anne Reid was given a wonderful monologue in the series finale of Russell T. Davies’ hit dystopian drama, Years & Years, in which she said “This is all your fault…..you bought a £1 T-Shirt” in reference to the terrifying state of society depicted as the series concluded. She was right. Our current obsession with fast fashion is leading us to a very hostile place both socially and environmentally. Polyester alone can take up to 200 years to break down, which considering the amount that’s used in many fast fashion items and therefore the amount going into landfills year on year it’s a worrying amount of pressure being put on our planet to dispose of it! However all is not lost! With more and more fashion brands and designers taking responsibility for their part in this global trend, fibres such as cotton are again becoming much more popular. Yes they have a higher price tag but with clever marketing and pressure to be environmentally conscious coming from all areas of society the price seems little in comparison to the damaging effects caused by the £1 T-Shirt. For myself I intend to be much more mindful of where I put my money and invest in quality garments that can be worn time and time again and dare I say it pop up more than once on my Instagram feed. It would be amazing if you can join me in this and use the hashtags #rewear #restyle #recycle and perhaps collectively we can make it Insta-Fabulous to see how many different ways we can style our new favourite dress rather than replacing it with something supposedly sassier!
Wear it and wear it again!! My favourite Topshop Unique dress from 2017 still going strong.