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Confession: Consumerism

April 30, 2010

As the great Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is meant to become unfashionable.” While I only ever buy clothing I truly love and adore and want to wear forever, more often than not, that same clothing appears slightly stale and outdated just a few seasons later. While I had fallen completely in love with a pair of flat taupe oxfords last year, they have sat in my closet, only worn once since then. When whatever I had previously fallen in love with suddenly appears unfashionable, not “me” anymore, or simply old, I move onto the next trend, the next big “must-have” item of the season.

Confession: I have two closets and a bureau and still struggle to put away all my clothes. I shop more than anyone I know. I always have a reason to shop – “I need this,” “This doesn’t fit me well,” “I’m stressed out, let’s go do something fun,” – and yet, I somehow wind up with more than I actually need. Before I moved in January, I cleaned out two enormous trash bags worth of clothing and gave them to Goodwill; even so, I still have more than I need.

My own blatant consumerism and materialism makes me feel slightly sick. No matter how often I shop, there’s always something else I want. I just spent a week in New York, purchasing accessories and stacks of books, yet I’m craving all sorts of lovely wedges for summer and wouldn’t mind a pair of black denim leggings.

The solution is not to spend less money. Shopping at fast fashion stores like H&M or Forever 21 wouldn’t solve the problem; rather, by getting “more bang for the buck”, I would feel compelled to buy more while spending less. Shopping at Goodwill and the Garment District, while more environmentally and economically friendly, wouldn’t help, either. I would be useless at the $1 sales bins, buying up everything even remotely interesting simply because of the price. A total ban on shopping, although it would save time and money, seems unreasonable and unnecessary.

Rather, the solution is to retrain the way I think about fashion, the way I think about shopping. Yes, fashion is fun – my love for playing dress-up as a toddler hasn’t yet begun to fade – but ultimately, my budget and storage space are limited. Instead of rummaging through my closet, upset at having “nothing to wear”, I’ll remind myself of the gems in my closet, raid my mother’s closet for something new, or spice up an old outfit with accessories. It requires a certain amount of creativity to reinvigorate an old outfit, but isn’t that what makes fashion fun – creativity? Keep an eye out for recurring pieces every once in awhile in my lookbooks!

xoxo Hannah

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2010 10:28 am

    I agree with you! I’m donating ~3 trash bags’ worth of clothes/shoes to goodwill and I still have WAY TOO MUCH CLOTHES. I totally shop when I’m stressed out too!

    What helped me is this rule: only purchase something if I can instantly come up with 5 different outfits that I can wear the item in on a daily basis.

  2. May 1, 2010 12:04 pm

    i LOVE your blog! (:
    and I totally agree with you!
    It’s like, even I buy something I really like, by the next month, I’ll totally be over it & want to go shopping again!


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