Over the last 2 to 3 years, my shopping habits have begun to really change. Looking back at a few years ago, I can remember a time when I was obsessed with fast fashion and would spend £100 every other week in Primark, coming home with hauls of new outfits, that I would inevitably wear once and then throw to the back of my wardrobe.
This came partly from an obsession with different trends and wanting to always be wearing the latest piece but also from a love of fashion and a desire to be creative with the way I dressed and expressed myself every day. However, over recent years I’ve started to think more consciously about my shopping habits and am (hopefully) making changes for the better.
I think naturally, our shopping habits tend to change as we get older anyway as we accrue more financial commitments such as a house, bills and other things to pay for so this definitely influences the way I shop now, but in addition to that I’ve come to know my own style a lot more which means I ‘experiment’ with new trends less and I’ve been considering sustainability and trying to be more conscious of this in my every day life, so I think these are the things that have had the biggest impact on my shopping habits to date.
Sustainability has been a huge driver for me in changing my shopping habits. I’ve really started to think about the impact fast fashion has on the planet and also the careless shopping habits that it breeds. I used to fall quite easily into the trap of buying pieces that I didn’t really love, just for the sake of buying them or because they were the next big trend and then either not wear them at all or wear them once before throwing them away; and not only is it a huge waste of money, but also, buying into this kind of cycle contributes to an industry that I truly believe needs to change. I’ve written about this a lot more in previous posts and I really think it’s something we should all start to be more conscious about.
Of course I’m not saying to never buy new clothes or to stop buying into trends – I still buy new things and big trend pieces quite often, but I do believe we should be more considerate about the items that we do buy and the brands that we are supporting. In regards to exactly how this has changed my shopping habits, I would say that I think a lot more about the reasons why I want to purchase something before I make the decision to add it to my basket. I’ll consider if it’s something I actually need or do I just want it as part of a spur of the moment desire? I’ll also think about how well it fits with existing pieces in my wardrobe and the kind of style I’m going for that season. In addition to this, I try to shop from specific sustainable ranges like the collections that H&M and Zara stock, or even make sure that the pieces include some more sustainable or recycled fabrics.
Over the last couple of months especially, I’ve really made an effort to step away from the really big fast fashion brands which stock bikinis for £2.99 and who don’t support their supply chains and warehouse workers in a way I’d expect to be treated. Ultimately, we as consumers have a big part to play in making a change; if we stop buying from these brands, sooner or later they will realise that the market is changing and they will be forced to make changes with it.
Knowing my own Style
Over the last 12 months, I feel like I’ve come to know my own style a lot more and am more aware of the shapes, styles and colours that suit me. This has stopped me buying so many things that I would usually splurge on because I don’t need to waste my time on trends that I know will be the wrong style or fit for me and I feel like I can build more of a capsule wardrobe of key, classic pieces that fit together but will also work for years to come; meaning that I don’t need to repeat buy year after year.
This change is definitely something that comes partly with age (for me it was anyway) and as much as I still like to experiment with fashion here and there, it feels so much better to know what suits me and have a personal sense of style to fall back on.
If you’re looking to build a more capsule style wardrobe, the best place to start is to think about how you feel when you wear certain clothes and which pieces you pull out of your wardrobe most often and end up wearing time and time again. Feeling comfortable and confident are two key drivers for me when shopping for new clothes so my advice would be to stick mainly to those styles and colours that give you that feeling and build yourself a collection of outfits around your favourite pieces. Something I also like to do is consider what colour palette suits me and the colours I like to wear, then I rarely stray from these. I know that if I try and throw on a top with a really bright, bold print I’m going to feel way out of my comfort zone and will more than likely throw it to the bottom of my drawer and not wear it again, so I just don’t buy anything like this now, whereas before if it was a trend piece I might have tried to fit it into an outfit just for the sake of it.
By following the above guidelines you’ll naturally find that you fall into a style of dressing that you like and you’ll get more out of your wardrobe, meaning that you buy less in the long run.
I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to shopping in a more considered way, but I’m finding ways to make small changes for the better. Let me know if it’s something you’re also becoming quite conscious of and in what ways you’re changing your own shopping habits.
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