Now that your capsule is in place it’s time to face the challenge of what to buy in the future!
It’s easy to get caught up in the “idea’’ of certain types of clothing. Before you know it that brightly patterned romper jumps into your cart only for you to get home and realize you can’t really wear it with a bra - and it’s way too short - so it hangs in your closet for months. Capsuling makes you think twice before impulse buying items like this because you now have higher standards!
Here are some responsible shopping tips to help you stick to your new conscientious wardrobe:
1. Invest in Pieces That Can be Worn Multiple Ways.
Once your wardrobe is narrowed down you may get tired of wearing the same things over and over. My favorite solution to this is investing in versatile clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways.
Before I purchase an item of clothing I ask myself if it could be styled to create at least 3 different outfits.
Simple styling techniques like knotting tees and button ups over dresses, or mixing up accessories to make a look more dressy or casual, can open up a whole new world of possibilities and will help you get the most out of your wardrobe
Here are three different ways I like to style my favorite striped midi dress:
I document my favorite outfit combinations in my phone by taking a photo and creating a capsule wardrobe album to help me remember an outfit I like. I am a very visual person and this helps me see my wardrobe as a whole and allows me to visualize new outfit combinations I had not thought of before!
Even though I am continually striving to be intentional with my purchases let’s face it: I still love to shop. When I feel that impulsive urge to open my wallet I head to the thrift shop instead of the mall. Shopping second-hand gives new life to clothing that has already been purchased from fast fashion industries without putting money into their pockets while preventing unwanted threads from ending up in a landfill.
I can honestly say that some of my favorite articles of clothing have been thrifted finds! I love the challenge of digging through rack after rack to find hidden little gems!
However, I urge you to keep the standards you learned through your capsule wardrobe. Do not purchase something just because it is affordable. Try it on, make sure it fits and falls in line with your uniform!
I realize that to have a 100% ethical wardrobe is challenging and not always realistic, so I ask that when you do purchase something new from a non-ethical brand, only buy that item if it is something that you will truly wear and get use out of.
Take time to consider if the piece fits your sense of style and is something that you will wear over and over. Avoid cheap fashion that will fall apart after a few washes. Instead, be intentional and invest in something that will last.
I saved the most obvious and my personal favorite for last!
Buying items that are not only high-quality but also created by makers who are being invested in through a fair living wage, safe working environment, and holistic care turns that item into a treasure!
If you are dissuaded by something ethical being more expensive, consider the work that went into the item. It costs a lot of time, labor, and raw materials to produce an article of clothing, pair of shoes, or a handbag. When fast-fashion companies sell a dress for less, it is not because the dress actually cost less to create. It is because the cost of that item has been externalized. Instead of the end consumer paying a higher price for the dress, it is the workers who grew the cotton, the weavers who loomed and dyed the cloth, the tailors who cut and stitched the piece, and the workers who ironed and packaged the end product who paid the price -- and most likely the environment did as well.
For further information on shopping Fair & Direct Trade, take a look at this extensive ethical shopping list by The Root Collective (their flats and boots are a staple in my wardrobe!) It puts responsible companies into helpful categories, making shopping ethically easy and accessible!
The next time you go to purchase a new article for your wardrobe, remember that clothing is a work of art, often produced by highly skilled individuals. It carries value and is something to invest in thoughtfully and intentionally. I hope that some of the tips shared in my story will inspire you and help you along in your journey toward a more responsible wardrobe!