16 November 2016
Nothing to wear. Side Effects of (wrong) shopping.
“I have nothing to wear”, said Every Girl opening her closet. While in most cases it is quite full of clothes. The reason of the problem comes before. That shopping that made you jump with joy and pumped with adrenaline often turns out as a fail: we do not wear the clothes we bought. Why? I have collected five reasons and tips to build a better wardrobe. And to live a happier life, of course.
1 | CINDERELLA EFFECT
Until our twenties we usually have two wardrobes: one for “everyday” and one for the evening, for special occasions, for super parties. The problem is that we do not all belong to the Kardashians and if we invest 400€ for a pair of shoes we wear two times a year for weddings, or buy a mini clutch so small that we have to borrow space for our phone, we are building our”special” wardrobe, yes, but what with the remaining THREE HUNDRED days of the year? The budget is unfortunately going to be very modest. And the cost per wear of special occasions wardrobe very high. I’m in my thirties and I definitely don’t need “a party wardrobe” anymore. Besides the fact that I don’t think that we need different clothes from everyday. In Japan, for example, “evening dressing” is a concept that does not even exist.
Neutralize the effect: Most of your clothing budget should be invested in your everyday closet. And it should fit your actual lifestyle. Not the other way round: purchasing outfits for your ideal life. Maybe you are going to be invited to MET Gala one day, but probably not yet. So stick to more practical clothing. Even if you bought 20 pairs of shorts and 30 bikinis and you live in Birmigham and not in Malibu something in your Wardrobe Project it is not working. If you still are a party girl then go for more colorful and eccentric clothes, but if you like to spend the evenings with tea and Netflix, you won’t need four pair of leather skinnies. So it would be smarter to invest in comfortable homewear (and in stylish one!).
2 | I LOVE SHOPPING EFFECT
“I’m not really convinced of this dress but it’s on sale!”, “There is a sellout!”, “There is a 30% discount”, “It’s the Black Friday”, “Free shipping!”. Marketing knows how to create a shopping desire. But lower price should not be the first reason to buy clothing. In particular when you are not sure you really like/need the item. You won’t be wearing that item because of the low price.
Neutralizing the effect: Stick to your wishlist and when you really need something and then buy when it’s on sale. Not the other way round.
3 | NOT IN MY SIZE EFFECT
On depop a girl once asked me: “Your shoes are a 38 I wear a 36, do you think they fit me?” True story and absolute nonsense. Uncomfortable or tight shoes, pulling clothes, itching sweaters, too tight jeans. “Couldn’t find it in my size, but I took it anyway because I liked it sooo much.” NO! Just hit your fingers when you are clicking “buy”. You are not going to wear it if it does not fit properly.
Neutralize the effect: Clothes should make us feel at ease and be comfortable. And should be the right size. Always. “Buy it only if you can run in it,” says the Wise Old Man. Everything else… it’s none of your business. Exceptions are allowed if you want a different fit, oversized for example. Then you can choose a different size but not because “it was the only option available”.
4 | LOST IN DRAWER EFFECT
The Kondo technique has changed my closet organization and improved it. Order is really essential to create good styling. Months ago I would need help with even knowing what was inside my closet. Now everything is perfectly visible. If you do not even know where it is, you won’t wear it first thing in the morning when you’re in a hurry. That’s for sure.
Neutralize the effect: It’s good to know what’s inside closet. And not more or less. Every single item. Owning too much won’t help you, I assure you. order, a cohesive palette, that will help you.
Other side effects are “everyone has one, I want it too“. Or “I buy it because I want to look like someone else who is not me” .” But that’s another story. While the last effect is crucial.
5 | THE CHEAP EFFECT
If you decide to build a wardrobe spending as little as possible or to only buy fast fashion it is not going to work. Of course we don’t have illimitate budget to buy all clothes we would love to buy. But if you only buy crap you’re going to be trapped in frustration. “I have nothing to wear” often means: I don’t like anything I own. So you will be looking for something else to please that need. If you buy cheap and bad quality clothing again it’s going to be an endless circle. And you will be still frustrated while you could own two cashmere sweaters in the meantime. Quality instead of quantity is always the key and it will make you happier, trust me. It will take more time and patience to perfect your wardrobe but by carefully choosing and avoiding unnecessary purchases you will understand what you really like to wear. Who you are and what you want to communicate with what you wear. And from then on it’s all downhill.
Cover photo via Lula Magazine, “Things I wish I’d said” editorial.