Last year I went the whole year without buying clothes.
My self-imposed ban included everything from shoes, underwear and accessories.
Why? Well, firstly to save money and secondly (and perhaps more importantly) to do my bit for the environment by embracing the slow fashion movement.
And finally, just to see if I could.
Regardless of the motivation, if you’re considering a reduction in your clothing expenditure, I’ve put together 10 tips for spending less on fashion.
1. Encourage friends to embrace a minimalist lifestyle
Let them know that they can drop off unwanted clothes at your place. Recycling clothes is cost effective and environmentally friendly!
2. Find a safe place
Discover retail-free environments like libraries, parks, beaches and public art galleries. You probably remember such places from your childhood, in the days before you owned credit cards. This way you can avoid temptation.
Sending someone else to gather life-sustaining necessities such as food is also a good option.
3. Reconnect with your long-lost loves
Reach back into the far recesses of your wardrobe and rediscover those once favourite pieces that you still can’t bear to part with.
Team them up with something more current or perhaps get them altered to suit the current season trend. Use it or lose it.
4. Take care of what you already have
Get your shoes re-soled so they last the distance. Fabric shoes will look new again after a quick turn in the washing machine.
To keep your clothes looking fresh, hang them up straight away, only wash them if needed and avoid using the clothes dryer. Attend to any small rips and stains before they become irreversible.
5. Beg, borrow and … swap
Do you have an upcoming important occasion and nothing to wear?
Borrow a dress from a friend or organise a clothes swap. One woman’s trash can be another woman’s treasure.
6. Find something worth saving for
Have you been yearning for a beautiful artwork, a designer couch or an expensive piece of jewellery?
Put aside the money you would usually spend on clothes and you’ll soon be able to reward yourself with something long lasting that will bring you joy for many years to come, rather than just one season.
7. Unsubscribe from high-end fashion retailers
If there’s a sale on, you don’t want to know about it. Sales don’t save you money if you end up buying things you don’t need. Unsubscribe now!
8. Sleep on it
This way you avoid impromptu spending and only buy things you love.
9. Buy the best quality you can afford
Invest in items that fit you perfectly or can be easily altered to fit you perfectly. Don’t settle for second best.
10. Finally, find inspiration
Inspiration can come in many forms including reading motivational books or joining the slow fashion movement.
Mine comes from the fashion icon, Franca Sozzani. As the editor of Italian Vogue she was known for purposely wearing things out of season and was famously quoted as saying:
I know a lot of people who buy fashion.
I know, perhaps, only two people who have style.