Opening up my wardrobe publicly for a week is admittedly daunting, and a pressure which I’m certain is familiar to most. No longer do we fear the eyes of others judging whether our outfit choices are trendy enough, expensive enough, fashionable enough – we now face ethical dilemmas.
It is so fitting that the first issue should focus on the current climate emergency, as the world of fashion seems to be held under a magnifying glass by a generation unhappy to accept anything below par regarding justice and consciousness.
The currently trending #SecondHandSeptember is testament to this as a whole generation utilise their connectivity to benefit an ethical agenda. However, as most of us know only too well, consuming fashion deemed as “conscious” can often bear a bigger price tag and leave some people being excluded due to factors like size, style, and accessibility. So, do we all just turn to the super cheap, quick, and enticing option of fast fashion websites and avail of stylish clothes plus free next day delivery? Truthfully, many of us do and I am not an exception to this. The things that we can do to step towards a more ethical wardrobe do not begin with punishing ourselves for our choices and binning all fast fashion. In fact, doing the complete opposite can be the best first step that we can take to making our wardrobes more ethical. Here’s how I have been trying.
Monday mornings are always my favourite outfit days! Having spent most of Sunday evening outfit planning and flipping through magazines for inspiration, I started the week off with a quintessentially autumnal vibe, selecting a draped cardigan secured with a belt, paired with recycled nylon black tights and knee high brown heeled boots. The entire outfit is actually Penney’s, but before you press the eject button for my fast fashion choice, everything excluding the tights are second hand, courtesy of my super stylish Aunt Pauline – #SecondHandSeptember off the ground while paying homage to the new season styles I coveted from the runway!
Tuesdays are the new Mondays and I took the executive decision to choose the extra five minutes in bed and opt for a “jeans and a nice top” day. The jeans are Levi’s and hold the position of one of my favourite wardrobe residents. The versatility of the perfect pair of jeans is unmatchable, and denim is something that I like to invest in as it literally lasts forever. This twinset sent me racing for my Visa card once I saw it online on my favourite resale shop, Cameo Resale in Midleton. The benefits of shopping resale are endless, from the fact that you are giving some gorgeous pieces a new home, supporting a local business, and finding complete gems that you will not find anywhere else.
Who is partial to an old-fashioned outfit change? Because I am in favour for certain. One crime I have admitted to and am trying desperately to make amends for is buying something to wear for a certain occasion and claiming that I can never wear it again. Wednesday’s jumpsuit was one of those pieces, originally worn alone paired with stilettos for a night out. Discovering its endless possibilities in the daytime has been a blessing. I wore it almost as a dungarees, popping a t-shirt underneath and pairing with a cosy cardigan while running to the charity shop to drop off my own bits and make sure the cycle goes around! In the evening, I swapped the t-shirt for a puff-sleeved shirt and added accessories and shoes to totally transform the look and bring it back to a casual evening wear look.
Thursdays are the days that I lock myself in my room to get through my writing for the week and generally just get stuff done. For this, I needed a super comfortable yet uplifting outfit to help get me in the spirits. Cue my favourite Depop outfit of the moment, pale pink Juicy Couture tracksuit bottoms and a cropped neon pink Barbie t-shirt. It may not be to everyone’s taste but this outfit gives me a little boost, not just because of how adorable I think it is but because of the knowledge that some nice person across the country opted to make some money from clothes they no longer wanted without being wasteful! Depop is like a sweetshop for fashion forward people looking to bag bargains while also being a more sustainable alternative to buying new.
Date night on Friday led me unintentionally to my favourite outfit of the week. In the middle of an “I have nothing to wear” (I absolutely did by the way) panic, I made a quick dash to my mother’s wardrobe and pulled out a blouse she wore to a wedding. I paired this with some leather trousers and a leather corset style top, both of which were given by a friend as she no longer wanted them. Finished off with a black leather beret picked up at a charity shop (which my friends assured me I would never wear and only kind of did to prove them wrong) and I was all set! My favourite look of the week and it truly did take a village to bring it together.
The utter inconsistency of my style in a period even as short as a week is testament to my belief when it comes to trying to make ethical wardrobe choices – trying is a good enough place to begin. Being cognisant of the current climate emergency and the steps needed to be taken by individuals to play our part is the first step, and following from this we can only attempt to adapt our lives in realistic ways in the hope of creating positive results. So, pop into your local charity and resale shops, buy from Depop or other online resale stores, get more uses from your own clothes, swap clothes with others and discover all the ways that you can create a positive impact on our lovely world!