Sunday, 7 April 2019

A Guide to a Sustainable Wardrobe Refresh for Spring 2019

Originally published in the March 2019 Issue of The Demon Magazine.

We’re almost on the brink of Springtime at last, and one of the best things about the changing seasons is an excuse to have a good ol’ reboot of your wardrobe. After a long winter hibernating in chunky knits and giant coats, we can finally start peeling back the layers and reaching out for some chiffon, so there’s never a better time for a cleanse and refresh. 


That’s right, we’re Marie Kondo-ing it up with everyone else at the moment. There’s no point attempting to freshen things up with old and unworn items cluttering your space. To ease the dread and avoid drowning in a mass pile of stuff I prefer to work section by section, emptying a drawer to a door at a time but you do you. Now, the difficult part of actually getting rid. Personally, I love a clear out and I’m not particularly sentimental, so I’ll let you into my ruthless rules for getting rid – pep talks included: 

Does it work for my style? We’ve all had a moment of madness and seen an incredible garish skirt and thought ‘challenge accepted’, but never actually mustered the courage to wear it. If I can’t wear it on at least a semi-regular basis, or realistically won’t miss it when it’s gone, out it goes. 

Have I worn it within the last 12 months? Now, don’t kid yourself that you’ll wear it at next year’s Christmas do, even though you didn’t this year because, let’s be real, you’re already eyeing up a new purchase anyway. I also go a pretty lenient 12 months as I tend to work in seasons, so if I know I didn’t wear that winter jumper last year, off with his head. 

Is it still in wearable condition? I know, you love that sentimental jumper from when you were 17 but it’s more holes and bobbles than actual material, it’s time to let go. 

Does it fit? Not will it fit in 2/4/6 months’ time. Even more so if it doesn’t pass rule 2. I won’t let my wardrobe make me feel bad about myself because I don’t fit some imposed ideal size. Thank u, next. 

Do I actually like wearing it? If it’s comfortable or you feel attractive AF in it, that’s fair game. But as with rule 1, mistakes happen. If I shove it on and feel like a pig in a straitjacket then there’s just no reason to keep it, no matter what it cost. Bin pls. Of course, the great thing about getting rid of clothes is you never need put them in the actual bin. If they’re still in a wearable condition donate them to charity, or if the item failed on account of rule 3, H&M’s sustainability campaign collects and recycles unwanted clothes and textiles in any condition and will give you a £5 voucher (you’re welcome), or you can just hit up your local recycling point! 


Right, you’ve made some space to organise your current collection properly, let’s start by rebooting the basics. With each season comes a set of core trends that roll around again each year; you know it’s Spring when stores pelt you with the pastel colour palette, chiffon, florals (groundbreaking) and light layers, such as trench coats and thin jumpers. Building your style takes time and having an entire overhaul of your wardrobe in one session is pretty unrealistic, but if with each year you gradually build a set of seasonal core items you love, you’ll save time, money and get excited about whipping them back out again at the beginning of the new season – I’m already daydreaming about a specific thin pale yellow jumper I bought three years ago (we’ll be together again soon, my love). 


Alright, so I guess it’s not a real refresh without something new. Is it overkill to plan those purchases or just good sense? I’m going with the latter. In our constantly consuming world, the dangers of fast fashion are becoming all too apparent – we’re buying too much and just being wasteful. But once you’ve got your basics down, it’s easier to see where things are missing or where you can have a simple refresh through your accessories. Throwing pennies away on a trendy item that’s only trendy for about a month is not the smartest move, especially as a student, so I plan ahead and make wishlists on my phone of things I’ve got my eye on – usually well in advance because the fashion industry works a little ahead. If a month or two passes and I’ve happily gone without or even forgotten about it, I’ll probably delete it off the list. The ones that survive earn the right to my pennies and their place in my collection. 

So, there you have it, a sustainable refresh of your wardrobe for Spring 2019.

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