I was seventeen when Mr. Big flew to Paris to get Carrie back from Alexandr Petrovsky. Sex and the City taught me all kinds of things about life and love and fashion. In my opinion Carrie made all the wrong choices when it came to men, I felt like she sabotaged all her relationships by creating drama where there wasn’t any and she spent way too much money on shoes. I loved that show. SATC ignited my love for style and fashion. The eighteen year old me didn’t have money for designer shoes and dresses, so my motto was ‘more is more’. My closet was immense and eclectic. Half the time I couldn’t find anything, I never ironed anything and I never went to the dry cleaner or have anything fixed. Clothes were thrown out or given away every season and I chose quantity over quality. O how much has changed since then.
The new generation of women grows up with ‘Girls’, not Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. A show that supposedly teaches us what ‘real’ women are like, what ‘real’ love feels like and ‘real’ sex looks like. I gave up after one episode. I prefer the dress with a thousand layers. To this day I get nostalgic whenever I hear Joe Jackson sing ‘won’t you be my number two’. But I am digressing.
A Brand New Wardrobe
Once I finished my studies and started making money my attitude towards clothes changed. I started to buy more consciously, buy less on a whim, actually learn about different fabrics and materials and take better care of my clothes. Over the years I have build a wardrobe I love, cherish and am proud of. Because of my ‘fashion philosophy’ I never stand in front of my closet thinking ‘Ugh, I have nothing to wear’. And there are a couple of reasons for this. I would like to share them with you so hopefully you will start enjoying your wardrobe more.
Trust Style above Fashion
Obviously your style and taste are going to change. Especially when you are seventeen years old and still pining for your own love story to unfold. But I guess as a twenty- or thirty something you know what you like. Stop buying things that are ‘in fashion’. Buy signature items that will never go out of style. Invest in shoes that will still carry you around ten years from now. Dresses that survive the seasons. Coats that will keep you warm in the years to come. Sweaters that are so soft and timeless you need only two, instead of ten. Fashion will fade. Style is what you bring to the table. It’s where you put your mark on the clothes and designs. Once you decide to only buy things that fit your style, your closet becomes more satisfying and sustainable.
Invest in Quality not Quantity
Less is truly more. Once you start investing in high quality pieces instead of as many clothes as possible you will start loving and appreciating your wardrobe way more. One cashmere sweater is so much more gratifying and sustainable than ten cheap ones. One terrific pair of leather boots, that you take to your shoemaker every two years, will last longer than four spur of the moment buys. The perfect black dress can be worn to countless parties, without anyone noticing it’s the same dress. It might feel like you can’t afford expensive shoes or clothes, but do the math. A coat that costs six hundred euro’s but will last you ten years, is so much cheaper than having to buy a new one every winter. It’s all about doing the research, start pining and saving up and then buying consciously. It’s like going to a nice restaurant instead of MacDonalds. Which of the two will leave you feeling more fulfilled?
If you buy (high quality) basics your ability to mix and match is endless. That way you will never feel like you have nothing to wear. The same sweater or trousers can be worn in ten or twenty different ways and combinations. If you use your imagination and start combining while you shop, your wardrobe will never feel boring.
Every two weeks my wife will tell me she has nothing to wear and her wardrobe is useless. This is my cue to organize her closet. I will put everything in nice piles and color coordinate everything else. When I am done she always retracts her statements. When you keep your closet neat and organized you will feel like it’s worth more. When you put colors together it will look nicer and you have a better overview of your wardrobe. I’m not saying become obsessive about this stuff, but it won’t hurt to go a little old on your closet.
Let the experts do their thing
I used to throw things out when they ripped, got stained or didn’t fit anymore. This is not only bad for the environment it also makes you feel like there is nothing special about your wardrobe. If you take your clothes to the dry cleaner and sower, your shoes to a shoemaker, your bags to a leather specialist, you invest in your wardrobe and that will make you feel like it’s worth it. Increase the sustainability of your clothes by taking care of them.
Take care of your babies
Because if you take care of something it will become valuable to you. Cherish your wardrobe and take care of your stuff. Use the dust bags your bags come in, buy dust covers for your nice dresses and blazers, wash delicate items by hand, don’t put everything in the dryer, iron your shirts and blouses, wear a cooking apron when you cook, put a napkin on your lap when you eat and have a couple of mom outfits ready for when you go out and have fun with your children. You don’t want to feel restricted by your wardrobe. It’s there to make you feel better.