Now we know that even moderately fast fashion is unfriendly to the planet, either in its use of resources or its treatment of workers, I am increasingly looking for sustainable ways of enjoying what I wear and, when possible, advising clients accordingly. This is not a “hair shirt” approach but a matter of bringing consciousness into choices.
A key to finding pleasure in your wardrobe is to know your style. Style is not fashion. Style is personal to you and can express who you really are. Once you know your style – which involves your style personality, your taste, your colouring, your shape, your proportions, your scale and your lifestyle – you can be free to have fun with these various ways we can enjoy the lift and delight something new gives us without plundering the planet.
So what can we do and how can we have FUN?
I encourage clients to:
“Buy less, buy better and really wear it.” This is becoming quite a mantra and I am a fan. Value beautiful fabric and good workmanship and you will want to wear the item again and again because you paid a lot and you feel.... er.... worth it!
Buy from Stores which have a proven Ethical Policy. There are increasing numbers of such brands and I am compiling a list for clients.
Shop your wardrobe. In my experience of doing wardrobe edits for clients, I have lost count of the number of times when, although the pile of discarded clothes on the bed grows ever higher, there will be one or two gems lurking unnoticed. The forgotten dress, shirt or skirt turns out to be perfect and the client just needs maybe different shoes, new accessories – some hitherto unimagined way of creating an outfit and the forgotten garment becomes a new favourite. It is often the case that when a new pair of eyes sees the clothes in your wardrobe, you end up with something “new”!
Buy Vintage or Second Hand. When does second hand become Vintage? After 20 years apparently. Explore Charity Shops, Dress Agencies, Ebay; even the vintage rails of Liberty or Selfridges. Once you are sure of your colours and style, you can find wonderful pieces this way and your conscience will be clear!
Here am I in a sweater in my perfect red from “Mary’s Living and Giving” and a necklace which was a gift from a friend. It didn’t work for her but she guessed it would for me.
Giving away. I have been delighted in Colour Workshops when a participant who has brought a scarf which they now realise doesn’t suit them, gives it to another participant for whom it is just right. Maybe you have a neglected something in your wardrobe which doesn't work for you but which would be perfect for a friend?
Rent Such a good idea for a special occasion. Some rental companies operate a monthly subscription but for single rentals Rotaro come out top in a survey by The Independent. The company also supports climate projects so you can feel super-virtuous with your glamorous rental!
Contact Hilary for Wardrobe and Makeup Advice for Mature Women