The Fashion Advice I No Longer Follow
Like most teenage girls I grew up reading and obtaining fashion advice from magazines. They were the Bible. The golden standard of what was in, hot and fashionable at the moment. Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour were the guidebooks of my teen years.
I lived and breathed their advice
I lived and breathed their fashion advice. They put together the cutest outfits and I longed to look like those girls in the glossy pages. I stuck to every rule they dished out; no black and brown, no clashing prints, and if you haven’t worn something in 6 months throw it away.
For most of my adult life, I honoured the six-month rule religiously. I believed as the magazines said, that keeping something in my closet that was older than 6 months was a waste of space. And a waste of fashionable space. If you haven’t worn something in 6 months then surely it must be out of fashion?
But to my surprise, I have discovered the 6-month rule is wrong.
Why 6-months? It seems like an arbitrary number. Why not a year or longer. I have thrown things away that I regret and I miss them now.
“I am sorry, dear black knitted jersey, I would have worn you again! I miss you now and I regret my haste in getting rid of you!”
I don’t believe or follow the 6-month rule anymore.
I used to throw clothes away after 6 months that still had life in them, that still had many wears in them. I used to buy and give new clothes away far too frequently. I would wear something for a bit and then not wear it for a couple of months and only because I forgot about it not because it was worn through with use. It wasn’t featured near the top of the clothes pile. I had too many clothes to count. Too many to realistically wear.
I miss all the clothes I threw away.
I threw them away even though they were still in great condition and still wearable.
It’s fast fashion! Fast fashion wants you to wear something for a couple of times or only one season and then replace it. Its how the industry makes money. Imagine if you bought one pair of jeans and it lasted a couple of years and not only a couple of months. There would less clothes shopping. Less replacing. Less harm to the environment.
I feel sad about all the clothes I threw away. And even sadder because when I replaced something its replacement was almost identical to their previous unlucky ancestor. What is the point of replacing clothes that are still in great condition with something identical? Its a waste of money and time.
I used to have so many more clothes. It’s weird, now I only have 3 super warm jerseys, two cardigans, and 3 long sleeve tops and it is more than enough for our mild South African winter. I don’t want to add anything more to my wardrobe. I love having fewer clothes because that means I actually wear all the clothes in my cupboard. It makes dressing in the morning easier.
Life is so much less complicated when you have less. Less stuff. Less things to distract you from living life.
I used to continuously add to my wardrobe. I used to believe that every season I needed a new pair of sandals, a new pair of jeans, new dresses, and a new bikini. And when winter came around I bought new boots and new jerseys.
I no longer add to my wardrobe every season. Its a waste of money. And its not fashion suicide to wear the same clothes you did last season.
I don’t need a new top every time the weather changes or every time there is a new sale on at H & M.
It's more fun to give old clothes a new life than buy something new all the time. I know the rush and feeling of something new. How you feel extra pretty and attractive in a new dress. You feel seen and beautiful. But then the newness wears off and you have to buy something new again. It’s an endless cycle that never stops especially if you are trying to be fashionable.
I no longer care about looking in vogue. I care about looking good, feeling comfortable, and wearing clothes that are flattering to my figure.
I love having less. It’s better for the environment. It’s better for my bank balance. It’s better for my self-esteem.
Magazines taught us that we needed the latest outfit to be pretty and attractive. The fashion world would have us believe that we need new clothes all the time. And yet it is impossible to wear every item of clothing in your wardrobe especially if you keep on adding to it.
We don’t need new clothes. We need less.