Sure, it’s a no-brainer that shopping second-hand and renting clothing cuts down on unnecessary fashion waste. What’s not so intuitive? How to style what you already own and know what holes your wardrobe has, so you’ll never feel like you have nothing to wear ever again. How many times has this happened? You score a sick vintage find, only to get it home and realize literally nothing in your closet goes with it. You buy a staple to go with it. The snowball effect begins. As a virtual stylist, I’ve seen this happen to every single one of my clients. The good news? You can take the power back. In this week’s article, I’m going to break down the most important rules to follow to make sure that never happens again. These sustainable wardrobe-building tips will help you reimagine your closet, and shop smarter moving forward.
Sustainable Wardrobe Building Tips
Take full account of your current wardrobe.
Before we get into the purchasing tips, it’s important to start at the beginning: shopping your own wardrobe first. Take full account of the pieces you wear the most each week and write down the styles of each of them. What colors are they? What materials are they? Take full account. These are considered the anchors of your wardrobe, and ones you will look to when making sustainable purchases in the future. If you don’t have these on lock, going shopping is basically like drunk driving. Not cool in real life, and definitely not cool for your wardrobe/wallet/the environment. Common examples of these types of items are leather goods, outerwear, dresses, and knit basics.
Search for wardrobe anchors in other colors/colors that compliment your current accessories.
Do you wear a ton of neutral colors or black? Opt to purchase styles you love in colors that match some of your current accessories. It gives you that feeling of safety when choosing an outfit on the fly, but gives you some diversity from your regular choices. It will be less of a chore to pair since you’ll already have a colorful handbag or pair of sneakers to match them with. My favorite anchor to do this with is blazers. When I go to thrift shops or clothing swaps, I always look for anchors. It will get worn by me, and allow me to break away from the all-black outfit once in a while. I also look for black staples, like this skirt I’m wearing. It was a piece that a friend brought to our last clothing swap!
Leave the trendy items to rentals.
Good luck finding a trending item in a thrift store or at a clothing swap. Especially nowadays with professional thrifters scooping all the good stuff and flipping them. If you’ve been to a clothing swap, you KNOW that it’s almost always where bad trends go to die. All that’s left in the end are the ghosts of trends past, and less common sizes. You can sometimes find the rare unicorn in the mix, but it’s few and far between. The sustainable solution? Opt for a rental subscription. When you do the math over the course of a year, you’ll notice it’s WAY cheaper to spend around $75 a month renting high-end pieces than it is to buy/sell later. You’ll always experience a monetary loss unless you’re selling timeless Chanel or Hermes, or another item that holds its value. The moral of the story? Trends will always lose you money long-term. Take this $400 trendy top I’m wearing in this post as an example! It’s edgy but likely to go out of style in a few years. If I bought it, fat chance of me recouping even $200 in a year or so. Borrow the trends, and send them back. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.
Need some extra help? I gotchu.
Fashion is a constant learning experience, and it can be extremely tricky to get the hang of it on your own. As a virtual stylist, I’m here to help. Whether it’s learning how to pair new items with your current wardrobe or a full closet audit, I can assist! Book a session with me, and we can get your current situation under control, and help you take the training wheels off so you’re riding successfully on your own out shopping in the future! In the meantime, head to the fashion page for more style tips like these.
Shop My Look