Quantity over quality has become something of an enemy of bespoke fashion businesses. And it’s this that has put us in all sorts of awkward situations where our economy and shopping habits are concerned, not just in the fashion industry, but in retail in general.
And that’s why I was particularly interested in xojane’s recent article ‘I Have Only 33 Items Of Clothing: How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe‘. The article refers to Project 333 which describes itself as a ‘minimalist fashion challenge’. Some of you might be thinking this is just another squeeze on fashion businesses, but it’s a good idea that promotes quality over quantity and teaches us to value fashion.
Our modern ideal of having wardrobes and drawers full to bursting with throw away clothes (some of which will never be worn) is a very new concept. Not so many years ago, to have a smaller selection of high quality interchangable clothes was the norm. These days we are greedy for the latest fashion but we don’t want to pay the price. We have been conditioned by big high street retailers to expect fashion for very little but not expect much in return.
Instead of the bulk buy, lasts for 3 weeks type of clothing purchases many people are now used to, perhaps it’s time to go back to a minimalist wardrobe and take a leaf out of Project 333’s book. Downsize to key quality items that will last a season and far longer. That way you could afford that quality work dress which lasts a whole year rather than going through a new cheap one from Primark every couple of months because it falls to bits. The writer alludes to this: ‘Because I buy fewer items of clothing, I can put the money I would have spent on more items toward buying better quality pieces and getting things tailored.’ Bingo. Welcome to the answer to our problems.
Whilst the writers wardrobe selection seems restrictive, it depends entirely on your lifestyle. If you spend most of your time working in an office, then suitable work clothing and a few staples for the weekend is your main requirement. More importantly it’s changed the writer’s attitude towards clothes. And it could make you a more interesting, less lazy dresser if you have a habit of always plumping for the same pair of jeans on your day off.
I’ve developed a different approach. Because I have quite a lot of clothes but no money to buy any (I cut up my store card 10 months ago) I’m just going to keep wearing what I have until I get down to a manageable and interchangable number and then start replacing anything with homemade pieces (I have no excuse, right?). I don’t think my wardrobe is excessive, but there is always room for improvement and someone like me really doesn’t need so many clothes.
So maybe this is your perfect late new year resolution – downsize your wardrobe and save money at the same time whilst becoming a better dresser.