The keynote speaker was fashion psychologist, Professor Carolyn Mair PhD who discussed the relationship between what we wear and our well-being. Another speaker, Tara Button, Founder and CEO of BuyMeOnce described how she has created a website selling “the most durable products on the planet” with a view to combatting our throwaway culture. What both of these speakers said really chimed with me.
Whilst I would never under-estimate the joy a new outfit can bring (after all, I love clothes!), I do think there is a strong case for mindful shopping not in some hippy dippy way (goodness knows, I’m definitely the practical type!) but purely in terms of thinking more about what we’re buying and why.
Clothes are our second skin
Clothes are the most personal items we own; a second skin if you will. They can express who we are or who we want to be seen as; we can use them to change and negotiate our identity. We make judgments based on appearance in under a second and we then seek evidence to support that initial opinion and tend to ignore anything that contradicts it. Furthermore, the “halo effect” means that if we form a favourable opinion of someone, we will even imbue them with characteristics and virtues we cannot possibly know from their appearance such as intelligence, kindness, trustworthiness etc. So what we wear really matters.
Depending on the strength of your commitment, you may decide that you’re only going to purchase sustainable and ethical clothing brands.
In any event, let’s stop purchasing on a whim and over-stuffing our wardrobes with things we’ll rarely, if ever, wear and instead focus on investing in clothes that make us look fabulous and feel confident. Rather than throwaway fashion, let’s invest in fewer pieces that we love and take care of. Let’s give thought to what we buy and how we’re going to wear it. If we do make a mistake, let’s make sure the offending item doesn’t languish unworn in our wardrobe but instead donate it to charity or someone we know will appreciate it.
If you find yourself wasting money on clothes you don’t feel good in or don’t even wear; or feel that your clothes aren’t saying what you want them to, why not book in for a style consultation or come along to my next capsule wardrobe workshop ?