You feel guilt about:
- wasting money on clothes you're not happy with
- the physical waste of the clothes and its impact on the earth
- being unable to wear clothes you think you should because your size or body shape has changed.
Consider Your Expectations
Be aware that the industry designs for failure to increase sales. This Huffington Post article explains more.
Appreciate that maintaining clothes by dry cleaning or using a dryer also gradually wears them out.
Your style and needs will change over time. So what you might buy in your 20s is not the same as what you'd buy in your 40s or what you'd buy in your 60s.
Your body will change over time. Anyone here had a baby? That's a big change over a relatively short period. You will have noticed changes too if you've had an illness or injury, or are in physical training. In the shorter term, many women experience tummy bloating or size fluctations depending on the time of the month. That's pretty common.
Your obligation is to your body first, not to your clothes. What I mean by this is that dressing for how your body is now is more important than the history of your clothes.
So what can you do?
Once you have this part down, it is easier to shop for what you do need and what you do love, and realise when you actually don't need to shop, because you have what you need and it makes you feel good. If you need more help with this, there are wardrobe consultants and stylists who can teach you about what will work for you.
4. Recycle clothes. Go op shopping and find gently used clothes that won't hurt your purse. After you've asked yourself the questions above and for example, embraced your love of 1950s style, go hunting for vintage clothes. Experienced op shoppers have their own strategies and tips for shopping this way.
6. Buy quality less often. This goes back to the question I asked about how long you expect your clothes to last. Look for quality and it'll be less expensive to you over time.
7. Find a small local business to take care of your alterations. You'll find you need this when you buy something new, like a pair of pants that are too long, or when you need to maintain what you already have, like a jacket has the hem come down.
8. Learn how to sew or alter your own clothes. Is this something you always had a secret hankering for? Look for a workshop hosted by Spotlight, or find a group on Facebook or Meetups that will help you grow your skills. Check out Refashionista for ideas on how to transform op shop clothes using these skills.
9. Keep in mind the tailoring of your clothes. Personally I love this option as it's adaptable to your size (within limits), and you can introduce variety through your accessories.
You can use loose fabrics that drape and give shape using belts and brooches. See the example images below.
You can add flexibility through corsetry (not waist training) such as in this wedding dress, or less formally as side ties in this dress. Emma Watson wears a dress with ties like this as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
10. Go bespoke. There are tailoring services online that will create clothes to your measurements, meaning clothes that fit beautifully. I have seen this one, and let me know if you've tried any yourself.