When I first decided to start a blog, I considered blogging as more of a hobby, a small personal side project if you will. It was certainly something I needed to distract myself with from the tedious and highly uncreative business reports and financial analyses I spent hours working on. I’m the last person you’d want to ask for help on accounting. For months I was itching for visual inspiration (can’t help it, I’m right-brained). Thank goodness I didn’t sign up for Pinterest just then – now, that’s a distraction, albeit a good one. Although I shared a few outfit posts and some pieces I had major crushes on, little did I know that I’d end up connecting with people who were doing the same thing. Sure, we like/comment/share/tweet each other’s looks, but after perusing thousands of blogs, how many of them do we actually remember? By them, I mean the blogger.
Part of the “who, what, where, why, and how” I get inspired is all because of a unique voice or perspective. I’m looking for something new, something that can get me excited or thinking. It has to stick in my mind or pinned on my boards.
Enter Everybody is Ugly – a great place where we can openly discuss and share whatever we’re focusing on at the moment. A few months ago, I wrote about Quality vs. Quantity and Retail Therapy, in which I emphasized the issues of constantly consuming without really giving it much thought. This is the type of behavior I used to be guilty of. I’ve been in a few positions where I needed to know garment construction, sourcing of materials, and understanding fabric type/content/origin (amongst other technical things), so there’s a lot of information to process before design can even begin. It could be quite overwhelming for someone who hasn’t studied the inner workings of the fashion industry. I’m not talking about the glitz and glamour we see in magazines and during fashion weeks, I’m talking about the nitty, gritty stuff. If Apple has their FoxConn issues, the fashion industry has their dirty secrets as well.
Like I said in my previous articles, I’ve become more aware of what I buy and how I buy. I might be wearing a sweater from Forever 21 I bought five years ago in an outfit post, but I haven’t shopped there for a couple years now. (I’m also really controlling when it comes to how my clothes are laundered, which is probably why that sweater has held up for this long.) Rather than throwing away old or unused clothing, bags, or shoes, I donate them. It’s a habit that my parents have taught me and my siblings. I’ve learned how things are made thanks to the design and apparel processing classes I took while at FIDM. Though I still need someone else to do my alterations and tailoring for me, I can fix a few buttons here and some rips there.
Before taking out my credit card, I do a ton of window shopping – both the actual window shopping and Internet browsing kind. I study the quality and ask myself if I really need it, what it is made of, where it is made, and where it originally came from. The latter three pieces of information are the most important. Think about the journey it took to make a silk shirt, for instance. Silk has to be harvested. It may have come from China, then later the fabric is shipped off to Vietnam or India to be sewn together, and shipped again to another country to be finished completely, then shipped again before it lands in the store where you’re purchasing it from. That’s a lot of oil, energy, and hands for one garment. A lot of waste involved too – extra fabrics, extra shirts that aren’t sold, more to be destroyed or dumped in landfills, the list goes on. This is an over-generalization, but it’s something just to help see the bigger picture.
Now, StyleNomad’s article, Compassion for Fashion, couldn’t have been written at a better time. I love clothes. I love seeing how designers express themselves and I absolutely loved every minute of seeing those expressions first-hand while at fashion week in New York (on behalf of Chictopia). I love creating new relationships with other bloggers because of our love for fashion – one of the great perks I’ve enjoyed since joining this community. These days, bloggers can change and affect the way the fashion industry works just by having that unique voice.
Cue the 15/30: The Capsule Wardrobe Project(March 15 – April 15, 2012). Fifteen pieces in thirty days. No shopping to expand your wardrobe at all for an entire month. None at all. If you’re constantly panicking about not having anything to wear, you might have too much not-so-great stuff. Remember, quality vs. quantity. I, along with other bloggers including StyleNomad, want to welcome you all to take on this wardrobe challenge and truly see for ourselves how much we think we need to fill this “void” of not having enough. The aim of this project is to get people to become more aware of their shopping habits and hopefully gain a better perspective on sustainable fashion.
So, get creative, have some fun, start pinning outfit and styling inspirations! Make a daily look book to document this challenge. Edit down your closet while you’re at it. We have a few wear it ‘x’ number of ways posts on EIU if you need help getting started. Besides, it’s been said we really only wear 80% of our wardrobe.
- ANY 15 pieces from your wardrobe for 30 days (example: 10 tops, 5 bottoms or 5 dresses, 5 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 jackets)
- Accessories (incl. hats, scarves) /gym clothes/pajamas/socks are not included in the 15 pieces