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How to shop for fashion mindfully


Street Style - New York Fashion Week SS19 
Day 2
Street Style - New York Fashion Week SS19 Day 2
Here's how to rethink your wardrobe with three tips from the fashion experts.

It’s never too late in the year to overhaul your wardrobe and get it ready for the season ahead.

Don’t be fooled by trends that come and go

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good fashion trend and we’re particularly excited about all the colour that is set to return to the fashion world in 2019.  But if you find yourself constantly scrolling through Instagram to try and keep up with all the trends street style stars are wearing, it might be time to take a step back and rethink your wardrobe. Trends do tend to come and go and circle back around again, so knowing how to cherry-pick trends that you’ll wear season after season is important. 

“Trends tend to homogenise fashion, demanding we all dress the same,” says Courtney Sanders, founder of Well Made Clothes. Sanders points to the Tumblr from last summer that was dedicated to hundreds of women wearing the same off-the-shoulder Zara dress.  “Before I was aware of any of these issues I felt the pressure to buy new clothes all the time, which meant I ended up with a closet full of clothes that weren’t me at all,” Sanders says. She says she would spend hours agonising over trends and working out how she could work it into her look – often she’d make the purchase and never wear it out of her bedroom. “When became more conscious of the impact my fashion purchases had I started to buy less and really think about whether I would wear it. It has meant my wardrobe is a lot more concise, a lot more me, and I would say a lot more stylish,” she laughs.

Avoid the urge to buy on-sale items just because they’re on sale

If you’ve ever purchased an item simply because it was on sale only to have it sit unworn at the back of your closet, you’re definitely not alone. The allure of shopping for a bargain can trick even the savviest shoppers into thinking that neon-coloured designer pencil skirt marked down by 70 per cent is too good of a deal to resist. But before rushing out to buy on-sale pieces, give overhaul your wardrobe and try and work out what you really need.

“The feeling of getting a bargain when shopping for new clothes is a very dominant factor, which can influence our decision to go shopping,” says University of Auckland PhD researcher, Miriam Seifert. As tempting as sales can be, they can trick us into thinking we’re not doing anything wrong by purchasing products on a whim because we’re not paying full ticket for the product. “We go shopping because we want to experience the joy of getting a bargain and saving money,” she explains.

Seifert says while it’s easy to fall for marketing campaigns peddling slashed sale prices, it’s important to try and avoid impulsive and emotional shopping. She suggests asking yourself: Do I really need it? Do I have something similar already in my closet that I use or haven’t been wearing at all? Will it make me happy to buy it? Walking away from a dramatically reduced item of clothing with a very compelling price but perhaps no foreseeable place in your wardrobe is often the best thing to do. Still thinking about the piece the next time? Then perhaps it’s meant to be.

Think about how your decisions impact the planet

“For me personally, mindfulness is about bringing consciousness to my everyday thoughts and actions,” explains AUT fashion lecture, Leica Johnson. She describes mindful fashion as bringing awareness to fashion purchases we make. “You can simply ask yourself how your purchase affects the planet and the people on it.” While the answer to that question isn’t always straightforward – issues of transparency are fraught in the fashion industry – just pausing to think about why you’re buying something is enough to prevent a regrettable purchase that may be flung to the back of the wardrobe after one wear. Johnson also says the questions tend to nudge the individual towards supporting brands that use social, ethical and environmentally sustainable practices.

Now that you’ve overhauled your wardrobe, here are the five fashion rules you should be breaking right now.



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