We need more, want more and want to buy more often. As fast-fashion feeds our consumeristic habits, we load our wardrobes with rubbish and fuel the need to keep buying. It’s an endless cycle of poor quality purchases and owning clothes that don’t last. Buying clothes that endure starts with a mindset change.
Here are a few buying tips to get you going.
Start by ‘wanting’ to buy with quality and time in mind combined with a wardrobe review. Once you decide its time for a change, the rest is easy!
Next take a good hard look at what you wear most and love most. Divide your wardrobe into the clothes you wear most often, the clothes you wear sometimes and the clothes you wear on special occasions.
What styles do you tend to go for? What are your staples, basics and which items do you cherish? Pile up the clothes you haven’t worn in the last year and start looking closer at the clothes you’ve selected as your best.
It is important to settle on what you like and to know what you use your favourites for! You should be looking at occasion (work, evening, party, day) and season.
Now look at styles you like; the fits that suit you best; the fabrics you prefer; the details you like and your lifestyle in general. What kind of person are you? This helps you to understanding what clothes you need, even if the occasions brings out another ‘you’.
An understanding of who is making your clothes and the effort that has gone into making it matters next. Turn a few favourites inside out. Look at the stitching, the panelling and the care labels. How many hands do you think it took to make your items? This gives you an indication as to not only the conditions your garments were manufactured in, but also whether it’s been slapped together for fast fashion or tailored and tweaked for a quality finish.
What details are on the clothes you buy? Embroidery, buttons, collars, cuffs, special hems, fabric combinations? You should expect to pay a little more for quality, because if you want it to last longer, you will realise the manufacturing effort has taken longer, the fabrics are stronger and of a higher quality. Corners haven’t been cut and you can wear an honest garment that not only honours your values and fuels your confidence but should ultimately last longer.
Buying quality also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy clever, care clever and wear clever once home. Look to buy practical garments that mix and match well or statement pieces that stand out with basics.
Always read your care labels or learn about the fabrics you buy so you know how to nurture them for years to come. Above all, wear your clothes like it’s the first time you have them on every time.
Your love for your clothes will grow and you will appreciate everything gone into the craft behind them, the story within them and the decisions you have taken to own them.
Shopping for clothes that last a lifetime needn’t be hard work. Once you get to grips with what to look and feel for, your shop becomes more enjoyable and your wardrobe becomes healthier and happier, hopefully lasting the test of time.