I’ve been spring cleaning like a crazy person and it’s November. Since I started getting more interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle I’ve gotten allergic to stuff. An overflowing wardrobe was my normality and I didn’t feel anything in particular - not proud to have it and not fulfilled because of it. I didn’t even notice how much stuff I had moved from Milan to London and then accumulated in my three years here until now. About a month ago I dramatically pulled everything out of my closet and decided not to hang anything back in that I wasn’t still in love with. I think I had hoped to put back about 15 items and potentially for the rest to just disappear into thin air so I didn’t have to deal with it, but obviously that didn't happen. Th end scenario was me sitting in a pile of clothes 4 hours later eating a sad meal because I didn’t go grocery shopping that day.
The one realisation that I did have was that most of my clothes I had owned since I was 16 and I could not for the life of me see anymore, which to be fair is understandable. I have gone through A LOT of style changes as my Facebook memory’s keeps reminding me of on a daily basis, so it’s only natural that most of them just aren’t ‘me’ anymore. And some of the newer stuff seemed conflicted between two styles, like there was two people getting dressed from that closet. That made me wonder, who am I dressing for? Who or what ‘influences’ my decision to buy a piece these days? I think there are three categories of people you dress for:
Dressing for yourself… is probably what you’ve been told you should be doing. But lets be real if I dressed for myself I would wear sweatpants a white T and alternate cozy jumpers, sometimes I’d feel like being fancy I’d wear my favourite dress, red lipstick, jewellery and go. But I don’t (…always), so who the hell am I dressing for?
Ps: If I did this I would be so freaking sustainable though ;)
Dressing for the boy (or girl)
Haven’t we all been in the place where we change our styles thinking about what he would like and try to be his idea of the perfect girl? Occasionally even wear something we know he wouldn’t appreciate if we feel like we’re not being ourselves enough, ironically making it even more about him. As we mature we might not change our styles completely, but we might sometimes push certain items we’d normally wear to the back of the closet and pull out other ones we might not, possibly try them in combination we had never thought of. We justify the little indiscretion from our normal patterns as ‘exploring facets of our identity’, but that’s most probably just a pride thing as we actually do this specifically FOR that person. Is that so bad though? We could see it as an inspiration to creativeness, and we could all use more of that especially when you have a (semi-) minimalist closet (I didn’t want to use the word ‘sustainable’ but you all know that’s what I meant).
However, I am also no stranger to the good old man repeller clothing - I mean if he doesn’t like it, it’s probably AWESOME and different (and not sexy in the traditional sense which is a plus). Which brings me to my next point.
Dressing for other women
Some people might argue that when we are not dressing for a love interest we are dressing for other women. Quite frankly I think I do this a lot more than I care to admit, I have some items in my closet that I am positive most guys would hate and every woman (with a good taste obvs) would love. That often makes me feel more empowered than dressing for a man. Another woman’s validation, especially if you respect their aestethics is almost better than putting on pyjamas you left on the heater all day.
So, who do we dress for? Is dressing for other really so bad if you don’t completely neglect what you love as well? Could it be that we constantly try to juggle between those three categories and finding the balance is actually what makes finding your personal style so hard?
PS.: In case you were wondering (probably not) how my very interesting story about my autumnal spring cleaning ended: I tried selling some of the stuff (Miranda Priestly would kill me for calling it ‘stuff’) online, but none of that really worked, so today I brought a full blue ikea bag of clothes to the charity shop and walked out of there with a new £4 skirt that felt a lot more like me then anything in that bag. I hope one of my items can make someone else feel the same way (#cheesy)!
op: Thoreau Mia Top (I'm obsessed with it) | Pants: Vintage (these are total man repellers right?!) | Shoes: old #30wears ballerinas | Bag: old #30wears from a fast fashion brand I shall not name
THE SUSTAINABILITY FACTOR:
The top is by my favourite London-based brand Thoreau, think Reformation for Europe and you can explore the values below and see more items from this brand here. The pants are vintage (from Blitz, near Brick Lane) and the shoes/bag are all WAY beyond #30wears although I don't have photographic evidence from all of them, but you can find some below.