The era of multipurpose clothing, a sustainable fashion emerges
I don’t pack winter clothes away during spring/summer and I don’t pack spring/summer clothes away during the autumn/winter season.
I’ve been, for the past few years, creating a versatile wardrobe. The only thing I pack away it is the bulky winter coats (always leave one at hand, you never know with the British weather, you may need it in July!!), the rest of the wardrobe is mainly re-adapted, re-invented and edited for the new season.
I want my wardrobe to be fashionable (my idea of fashion, anyway) and functional where most pieces will work well whatever the season.
I do understand that certain pieces are seasonal i.e. your heavy winter coat may not work well in the summer (unless if you live in Britain) and your beach dress may not make the charts in the winter, but I'm talking about most pieces in your wardrobe.
This baby pink dress can be worn in the summer as a dress, in the spring with a floral grey top as a skirt or in the autumn/winter with boots, jumper and a coat. What a versatile piece!
There are few reasons why I adopted the seasonless wardrobe:
1. Sustainable fashion
The idea of season fashion is something made up by the fashion industry to instigate the consumerism of new pieces for every season. I do keep an eye on trends and adapt my wardrobe accordingly.
Think that your clothes are an investment! Buying well made pieces, classic and fun pieces will guarantee you a wardrobe that will last and be flexible to edit through the different seasons.
I, personally, don't like the job of packing clothes away and having to select certain pieces for that particular season. I like to open my wardrobe and have a view of all my clothes and be able to combine various season into one outfit.
Newness is about creativity.
If you're staring into your clothes and feeling uninspired, you might be stuck in a culture of buying new clothes at every season. Heading to the shops may be quite tempting but do some homework before you buy anything new! it is like kind of doing an inventory, what do you currently have, what colours, style of clothes, patterns etc. It is about knowing your wardrobe inside out and establishing how you can mix and match different pieces.
I will share few tips that work really well for me and helps me be more sustainable, slow down on the purchase front and enjoy a timeless wardrobe.
1. Colour / Accessories
Ah I also love to add a silk neckerchief to give that elegant classy look, it is all about the detail and one of my blogs I talk about how to accentuate your style with scarves and neckerchief. Experiment with new colour combinations. In a bang you make a very interesting spring outfit which can make them feel fresh and new.- I add colour to plain outfits by using colourful accessories, handbags and shoes. Accessorise and up your game, I say!
If you are stuck scroll Instagram for inspiration and find looks you could recreate. I get loads of ideas about outfits on Instagram from the people I follow. Sometimes, it is like a light bulb moment - I think to myself: Ohh, that's a good idea and I have not thought about this style before!
Do you have a dress that feels a bit too short or too tight at the bottom? Recreate into a blouse/top and wear it with skirts, trousers, shorts etc. As well as re-creating, a good seamstress can make minor adjustments that will modernise and give a new lease of life to your garments. Sometimes just changing the buttons bring a piece back to life. Alternatively, if it Is a button up dress wear it as a kimono. Kimonos are super fashionable and bring that Spring vibe to the outfit. In the winter I wear my maxi dresses with jumper and boots! It feels quite stylish.
You know that spring dress you have that makes you feel a bit frumpy!! Don’t throw it away, layer it with blouse on top or a spring jumper and you can wear it loose or with a belt for more shape. You instantly have a nice ‘skirt’ and top outfit that can be dressed down by wearing sandals, flats ballerina type of shoes shoes or even sneakers. The alternative is to dress it up by wearing heels with accessories. The good thing is that the creative doesn't need to stop, for the autumn and winter
5. Assort your clothes by colour Regardless of what season you think that piece belongs to start by assorting your clothes by colours. This will provide a good insight of what colours and styles you have to play with. You will find out if you have too much of a specific colour and if your wardrobe is dominated by specific pieces (i.e too many pants, too few skirts, too many dresses etc). Always start with the darkest moving to the lightest colour. If you have lots of prints, patterns etc establish what the dominant colour is and slot them with the other pieces in that colour. If the print or pattern does not show a specific dominating colour hang the prints together separately at the end of the rail. This approach worked so well for me! I realised there was a lack of balance of styles and colours in my wardrobe.
There was a time that repeating outfits too often was a no no, it was getting to a stage that a lot of women felt that there was a ‘need’ to buy a new outfit for every special occasion. The problem is you may end up with a number of occasional wear which you may have just worn once or twice. I went to 3 ‘special occasions’ last year, including graduation, wedding and a posh birthday where I used the same dress. I styled the dress differently for each occasion with accessories and shoes that would best represent the occasion. For the wedding I wore the dress with a fine silk shawl, for the graduation I wore it with a blazer and for the birthday I wore simply as a dress with no covers and sparkling accessories that upped the dress with a luxury hint. Ahhh let’s not forget that shoes and bags also changed introducing new colour scheme each time.
Quite frankly, if I invest in a nice and expensive dress I want to use as many occasions as possible so it is important that I am creative and find new possible styles.
Well, I think outfit repeating not only is a necessity as far as sustainability is concerned but it also has become glamorous considering that a number of celebrities are adopting this approach. Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton re-wears some of their outfits. If the Royals do it why not give it a go and get inspired?
7. Mix & Match
You know that pair of trousers that you only wear with a particular top? Well pair that pair of trousers with all tops/blouses, kimonos, dresses, spring sweaters etc and you are bound to find brand new outfits that you never thought it would be possible. Do the same with some of your key items i.e. skirts and dresses.
Basically, this wardrobe assessment, which I do every couple of years, stopped me from doing random purchases and helped me focusing on the pieces I needed to bring my wardrobe together. There were few purchases involved when I completed my 'wardrobe assessment' but I knew they would be pieces that not only would enable me to wear the existing pieces more often but would also be timeless additions that would be used throughout different seasons.
Take a picture of your favourite combinations and make a collection of outfits on your phone!
Now, going back to the sustainability, ethical and slow fashion, Spring provides the ideal opportunity to do this. Focus on the benefits of trying a season where you don’t purchase anything new, good for your purse, for the environment and you may end up with 50+ new outfits that you never thought possible.
Sustainable and ethical fashion is the way forward…..
In the meantime, I will leave you with a question:
Are you willing to go a whole season without a new purchase? What season would you choose?