How to Align Your Wardrobe with Your Lifestyle?
Author: Stephanie also known as Secondhand Steph from www.alizetigirl.com
Putting together a wardrobe that aligns with your lifestyle is no joke.
Every person has a different lifestyle, a way in which they live and look at the world. Our lifestyles can communicate our values to each other and can inform our decisions from everything from the food we eat to the careers we choose. Figuring out what clothing works for us, although I only recently came to believe this, can be a deeply personal and empowering process. It’s a privilege to be able to choose how and where we spend our money.
It can be overwhelming to navigate all our options though, especially in the ethical fashion community. Every sub community that’s a part of the greater fashion community has its own popular styles and influencers, and we have access to more niche content than we ever have before! In many ways that’s a good thing—we have options! Personally though, all the new brands and promotions that cross my feed everyday can over stimulate me, and some of the popular styles don’t actually work for my day-to-day life.
I’m still on my own personal learning curve about how I figure out what aligns with my lifestyle but here are a few tips that have helped me figure out how I want to build my wardrobe:
What Do I Want to Support?
Not everyone can afford to purchase from strictly ethical brands (I’m one of the people who can’t) but making sure my money isn’t going to support unsafe labor conditions or labor trafficking is incredible important to me. Since January of this year, I’ve exclusively thrifted my clothing. It’s within my budget, eliminates clothing waste and keeps me from supporting brands with sketchy practices. Are you passionate about sustainable fashion? Vegan leather? Inclusive sizing? Ethical working conditions and fair wages for textile workers? Do your research and try to make purchases that align with what is most important to you!
What is My Daily Routine Like?
It’s really easy to be swept up in trends or statement items that just seem “so cute” but straight up aren’t practical for your day-to-day life. Do you work in an office during the week? Do you spend most of your day in athletic wear? Do you prefer comfortable clothes with no fuss or adjusting? You’ve got to take into account before you fill a wardrobe with things that honestly won’t work for you. I had to take inventory of how and where I spend most of my time and stop buying a bunch of fun, halter-tops or bohemian dresses to wear when I work a business casual 9-5 job during the week and spend my weekends in sweats. There’s no harm in having a few fun pieces, but be honest with yourself about what you honestly reach for in a week!
How Much Time Can I Dedicate for Caring for my Wardrobe?
I’m still learning about this one---I want to buy high quality fabrics for pieces that last longer and that means paying attention to how to care for my clothing. For items that are dry clean only, are you able to take them to be cleaned? Are you prepared to hand wash silk in cold water? I’ve only recently learned how to not obsessively throw my clothes in the washing machine after a handful of wears, and to even make a trip to the dry cleaners every few weeks. There’s no shame in whatever stage your at, but again, being honest with yourself about your time will go a long way!
What Do You Feel the Most ‘You’ In?
For most of us, we spend hours each week at our day jobs (and or night jobs) and many of us have uniforms or certain expectations of how we need to conduct ourselves professionally. I never felt comfortable in business casual until recently when I took time to personalize it for myself. I didn’t like full pantsuits, but some cropped slacks and a fitted blouse? I could do that! I stopped putting myself into what I felt was expected of me, and slowly added items that felt more true to “me”. I’m very late to fashion party, but this has truly revolutionized the game for me!
There are so many different things we can do to align our wardrobe with our lifestyles! What do you do to re-evaluate your closet?
Stephanie is ethical fashion advocate who lives in Southwest Florida with her husband Eddy and little kitty son, Dusty. She has spent this year (so far) only purchasing secondhand clothes and shares her journey on Instagram at @secondhand.steph and blogs at www.alizetigirl.com , where she features other inspirational women in the ethical fashion community each week.