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How I Am Learning To Love The Clothes I Already Own

The clothes I buy have a pretty short life span. They start their lives hanging on a rail in Primark, have a few outings to fashion hot spots like the local soft play and Tesco, and then they retire to the back of wardrobe for a good 6-12 months before being shipped off to the charity shop. During that 6-12 month period, a whole lot of new clothes are inevitably purchased and endure the same fate. And I always thought that was ok. I mean, they end up in the charity shop, right? But it is only since light has been shone on the atrocities of fast fashion and the environmental impact of Western textile consumption (and the difficulty of actually recycling said textiles) that I paused for a minute and started to think of the impact of my actions. And it made me feel kinda shit.

There is no denying that I love buying clothes - I love the thrill of wearing something new - but that joy is so fleeting and I soon fall out of love with 90% of the things I buy. So, I have recently started being a bit more aware of my fashion choices and have tried to start making a few small changes where I can.

Build a versatile wardrobe
It was at uni that I was in the height of my spending. More money was coming into my account than ever before and, as it was my first time living in a city, I was able to access more shops than probably the whole of Devon could have ever offered me. But another big problem was that I wasn't being thoughtful in my purchases. I just bought whatever caught my eye - even if it went with absolutely nothing I owned. I had no basics or a main colour palette to work with so my wardrobe was complete chaos. So, that was the first thing I need I had to change if I wanted to shop less and rewear items I already owned time and again. I invested in more basics like plain roll necks in a few different colours and started to plan out what colours I wanted to be dominant in my wardrobe. At the moment, I would say that pinks, whites, and warm noted neutrals are king and they also work so well with pops of colour which means that I can invest in that slightly more out there piece without having to worry if it will go with anything I own.

Get inspired
When I buy something new, I usually have about two or three potential outfits in mind that would work with the item. One of those outfits usually makes it way into my weekly outfit rotation and, soon enough, I start getting bored. And then I start browsing ASOS. So, what I have started doing lately is scrolling through fashion hashtags to see how people are styling certain items. I love following instagrammers whose style is way more daring than mine as I get some of that second hand confidence and it has me looking at my wardrobe in a whole new light and coupling items I never would have thought to before. I only ever intended to pair this oversized pink shirt with jeans but now I am seeing so much more potential - tied up over dresses, open over tshirts, even underneath a fitted strappy dress. And I am having so much more fun playing around with what I already own.

Browse charity shops and online second hand shops
Yesterday, I was approached by a brand to work on a Valentines Day themed post and my mind naturally gravitated towards V-Day themed outfits. Before long, I was scouring through ASOS to find some heart shaped sunglasses. Then, as if an animated lightbulb illuminated above my head, I jumped ship and loaded up Depop - and found the most beautiful sunnies ever! And for much less than on ASOS.

Remember how that item once made you feel
We've all heard of Marie Kondo's 'spark joy' card but I want to raise you a 'remember joy' card. The feeling of joy that I get from items fades so fast but I have recently been trying to combat that by remembering why I loved a piece so much that I brought it home with me. Consumer culture wants us to constantly move onto the next big thing and constantly be chasing trends - and we need to try to fight against this a bit. I love looking at the clothes I have and remembering how I felt the first time I wore it out. And the memories I have made wearing that piece. And just how damn hot I felt in it. If I still can't summon any connection with the item, it is off to the charity shop/lucky ebay bidder.

I still have a long way to go with trying to make my wardrobe more ethical but I think that being aware of the impact of your choices really is the first step in the journey.


  1. You look lovely, carina, and your curls are beautiful. Love the jacket!

    The Flower Duet

  2. I feel like this is something that I really need to do!

    Danielle xx

  3. I'm exactly the same as you - I used to buy almost everything in sight, but over the past few years I've stopped buying new things. The last time I bought something was a couple of weeks ago but when it arrived I just didn't feel excited about it, so I sent it straight back. Now, whenever I buy things, it's either second-hand or I can style it in 5 different ways. So much easier that way!

    Lizzie Bee // Hello Lizzie Bee

  4. You look amazing Dear.


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