By now, many of us are aware of the reality of the garment industry: that it all seems to be about the money, having no regard for ethics. Many clothing companies manufacture in poorly developed countries, where workers work long hours and earn a fraction of the wage offered in developed countries. In addition, many companies use materials and methods of production that are harmful to the environment. Everyday consumers contribute to this problem: we purchase fast fashion items without acknowledging their origins. Clothing and fashion build our self-confidence, and, in our society, which focuses so much on climbing the corporate ladder and wearing our wealth, wearing outdated clothes is embarrassing: we must change up our style or become boring. But what about working with what you already have in your closet? Even old clothes can gain new life through creative outfit combinations. Here are four ways you can change your clothing style without changing your closet.
1. Pick One Item and Work With it
In 2009, the Uniform Project was launched to spread the word of sustainable fashion. The young lady featured wore the same dress for an entire year but changed her style each day to look unique. This was a fundraiser to help send underprivileged children living in poor conditions to school. By the end of the year, the Uniform Project had an audience of over 2 million and raised over $100,000. This is an extreme case, as many of us will not wear the same clothes every day for a year. Choosing one item from your closet and finding ways to wear it differently would allow you to mix up your style. For instance, dresses can be combined with sweaters and cardigans while skirts and pants can be worn with a variety of tops. This is an excellent method to experiment with your style using items you already own.
2. 30 in 30 Challenge
The 30 in 30 challenge is fairly simple: pick 30 articles of clothing from your closet and mix and match them for a month while taking photos each day. Planning is crucial as you may run out of combinations otherwise. The photos can be an excellent method of inspiration as you can look back and possibly repeat it in the future. This is a great way to find amazing styles while meeting others. Sharing your challenge photos on social media will allow you to connect with others where you can gain advice and create friendships.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Open your mind to things you would have never thought to wear before. Choosing what to wear may make you feel tired and stressed. You have looked through everything in your closet but do not feel motivated to wear it. You come across a shirt you bought once but didn’t like so you never wore it. Now is the time to wear it! Maybe wear khakis and a blazer instead of jeans and sweater. You would probably be surprised how great you can look on clothing that you once thought was not for you.
4. Make a Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a method to limit your clothing to a specific number of items. This has several benefits. For one, getting dressed in the morning is faster and less stressful without so many options. It also helps you keep your closet cleaner and better organized, which is a major draw for the people who have tried this method. Perhaps making a list of everything that is in your closet will help you plan multiple combinations for a fresh style.
These tips will hopefully inspire you to reduce your consumption of new clothes and to make the most out of your current closet. By doing so, you will be saving money and have a positive impact on the clothing industry as your actions will not put a strain on the manufacturing and development process. Just think about all the benefits and that feeling of doing something good!
About the Author
Vincent is an Urban Planning student at the University of Waterloo with a passion for environmental change. His interests are in land development and transportation planning to develop compact and high-density communities. Besides urban planning, he is an avid car enthusiast, particularly in performance vehicles.