Slow Styling Style

What I’ve Learned In Trying to Be A More Conscious Shopper

November 12, 2019

One Woman’s Trash is Another Woman’s Treasure…

I have to admit, I wouldn’t call myself particularly trendy. When I’m talking about fashion, it’s more from a personal style point of view, as opposed to what’s “on trend.” A large part of that is because my attitude about fashion and clothing is changing. I’ve been trying to make more of a conscious effort to look at new ways to shop! You know, instead of just walking into any old high street store and buying whatever catches my fancy. It’s not easy, but as I move further away from fast fashion, I feel like I’m finding even more of my personal style.

If you’ve been hanging around the blog for a while, you might remember a little thing I did called the ‘Wear My Wardrobe‘ challenge. For the entire month of January, I wasn’t allowed to shop, and had to make outfits from clothing I already owned. While it was great in the sense that it made me think about the clothing I own, come February 1st I was straight back to old habits.

I used to do ASOS hauls and spend loads of money on clothes as soon as I got paid, but recently I’ve been trying to change that. It just felt very wasteful, especially as I didn’t wear half of it. These days, I’m making more of a conscious effort to change how I’m shopping…

For most of August and September of this year, I decided I wasn’t going to buy any new clothes. And since then, I can count on one hand what I’ve bought… and not all of it was brand new!

You read that right! Ya girl has been getting into some serious secondhand shopping vibes!

Outfit Details: Coat, Madewell (Bought secondhand) // Scarf, Asos (Old) // Jumper, Boden (secondhand) // Jeans, M+S (Old) // Bag, H&M (Bought secondhand) // Shoes, Office (Bought secondhand)

It takes a shift in mindset…

Usually, when I was in the mood for a little shopping, I would just head to my favorite shops, and see if there was anything I liked. These days, I’ve been thinking more about what I actually want in my wardrobe. Like a camel coat! That’s something I wanted for absolutely ages. So I started looking on eBay and on Depop, trying to see what I could find. Eventually I found this gorgeous camel coat from Madewell secondhand!

It extends the life of clothing…

There’s something kind of nice about giving an item an extended life, isn’t there? Both my engagement ring and wedding band are vintage finds. I’ve bought furniture secondhand before too. Why should clothing be any different? If someone no longer wants an item of clothing, what are they going to do with it? Throw it away? Try to sell it? Take it to a charity shop? I could certainly give it a good home! I’ve been spending lots of time on eBay and Depop, looking at things people are trying to sell. Not only that, it means you’re more likely to get a great bargain as well!

I’m getting more bang for my buck…

Just using my Madewell coat as an example, I was able to find a real bargain! Originally retailed at £191, I managed to find it in excellent condition for a mere £70. Such a good deal that I actually ended up buying a second winter coat on eBay as well! At full price, I would have had to save up and only buy the one. But now I have two wonderful coats that will last me even longer! As someone who isn’t on a huge salary, the money factor is definitely an appealing one when it comes to shopping!

It’s not a perfect system, but the effort is worth it…

Let’s be real for a second… I’m moving through the world in a bigger body. That means that there are fewer options available for me. That’s true on the high street and shopping second hand. Still though, it’s made the things I have bought all the more precious… which in turn has made me more conscious and invested in continuing this trend. I’ve now reached a point where every single item in my wardrobe is a piece that I love and have taken care over… and the things I could do without? Well, you might just see them on Depop!

This has only been an endeavour of the last few months, and I’m sure my feelings and attempts to shop more consciously will evolve with time. There are still some things that I don’t think I would buy secondhand, like underwear or pajamas, and I’m still trying to navigate this world in a bigger body. Sometimes buying things second hand won’t be an option, but the point is, I’m trying to make changes where I can. So far it’s been pretty great!

The thing that’s helped me the most? Talking about it! Every time I’ve shared something I bought on Instagram Stories, I’ve gotten such s great response. When I’ve chatted to people like Emma, or read content by folks like Nati and Bethany, it’s helped to clear the muddy waters.

I’m feeling pretty good about my shopping habits at the moment, though there is, of course, always room for improvement! Honestly, it’s felt pretty empowering to focus not on what makes me trendy, but what makes me happy!

Are you making changes to be a more conscious shopper? Share in the comments!

  • Reply
    Mani
    July 29, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Like you, I feel like I haven’t been buying as many clothes as I used to. With trends changing so quickly these days, it’s hard to keep up and I’d just rather spend my time and energy on other things… not to mention, I already have way too many items of clothing in wardrobe that I haven’t worn yet!

    • Reply
      Ghenet
      July 30, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Yeah, exactly! At least I’m now at the stage where I’m wearing everything in my wardrobe (just about) and I’m not buying things purely for the sake of it! Trends change quickly, and honestly, some of them don’t really suit me, so I’d rather focus on developing my personal style!

  • Reply
    Amélie
    November 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I definitely try to have a more conscious wardrobe! When I want to buy something, I try to ask myself: Can I find it secondhand or vintage before paying for a brand new piece? This really helped me to push through and act less impulsively when I see something that I like from a brand. Also, I really just try to buy less clothes in general, but this is not always easy since I like fashion very much! One step at the time right?
    I also liked when you said that buying what you really want influenced your personal style. Purposely buying a piece that you genuinely love and projected in your wardrobe is so much more rewarding too! I like to follow your effort toward a more sustainable wardrobe so keep the good work!

    • Reply
      Ghenet
      November 12, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      Yeah, one step at a time indeed! It would be so easy to say, ‘we need to do x,y,z right now!’ but it’s not always that easy is it? Making little changes and building up, you know?

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