Another year has passed, and not only are we making new year’s resolutions for the upcoming year, it is also a great opportunity to sit back and reflect on the decade we have just left behind. The 2010’s have been a decade full of change, turmoil, highs and lows and success. It feels like a great chance to look back on my last decade in fashion and see what lessons I have learned to carry on to the next one.
I have grown and changed a lot in that time; I graduated, emigrated, changed careers, built a family and really came into my own as a woman in her thirties. I am comfortable with where I am now in my life, in my fashion choices and my future. But it took a lot of fashion mistakes, lessons and experimentation to get to this point.
So, for this year, my fashion resolutions aren’t just about what I’d like to wear and do, but more about what I want to stop doing now that I am older and a little wiser. For the latter half of the last decade was all about becoming wiser and learning to change bad habits; whether it was fast fashion, bad diets, or bad environmental decisions. This was the decade, where we as a society opened our eyes to what we were doing and asked ourselves if this is still acceptable behaviour. It seems only fitting that the first of my new year’s fashion resolutions is to cut down on my carbon footprint when it comes to fashion.
Be more conscious of the planet – I want to slow down on how many clothes I buy, and instead create capsule wardrobes at the start of each season with items in my existing wardrobe and selected new pieces that will last over several seasons. By taking the time to figure out a capsule collection and shopping only for that, it means I buy things that I will love and wear for a long time, that are interchangeable with each other to get maximum wear out of them. In that way, I am no longer frivolously buying clothes to get that dopamine rush, but I’m making smart and conscious choices about what I buy, what I wear and what that is doing to the planet.
Stop buying cheap for the sake of cheap – Everyone loves a bargain, but as I get older it loses its appeal when the clothes inevitably fall apart after several washes. Instead, I want to shop more in the higher price point sections of brands, such as Zara Studio, H&M Trend or just the items made of a higher wool count, real leather and thicker cotton. I’ve also started to realise the benefits of buying higher quality wools like cashmere, merino and alpaca, because not only are the items softer, they wear better and last much longer if cared for properly. By making more careful decisions about the fabrics I’m buying for my clothes, it means that not only will my style be much more expensive-looking, but last much longer.
Buy investment shoes for the season – For last autumn/winter it was a quality pair of leather knee high black boots. By spending that little bit more on higher quality leather and a better cut, not only will it mean I’ll get more than one season’s wear out of them, they often become the statement shoe for my capsule collection.
Stick to jewellery pieces I love, irregardless of trends – This has been a big one for me to learn over the last decade. I have a couple of older designer bracelets that I purchased many years ago and stopped wearing because they weren’t in fashion anymore. Instead it was all about delicate pieces and I personally wasn’t a big fan of them. Now that I’m in my thirties, I realised how silly that was. I know what I love and what looks good on me, and investment jewellery pieces that stand the test of time because I love them should always trump what’s in fashion. That doesn’t mean I can’t partake in a trend item when I want to, but instead of trying to always stay up-to-date, I should stick that what I know looks great on me.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new designers and styles – While I was always willing to try on almost any trend around, my personal style wasn’t actually that experimental or changeable. I generally always wore a variation of feminine and sexy. While that looks great, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned the value in trying things you’d never have dreamed of wearing before. That goes to combat boots, oversized jackets and straight leg jeans. And ever since I became brave enough to try something outside my comfort zone, I realised I never wanted to go back.
Go for the unusual designer big-ticket items – In the past, if I went and splurged money on a designer big-ticket item I bought something safe, conservative and ridiculously popular. I purchased the classic Chanel bags, instead of something a little more controversial. While that’s a great idea if you want to purchase investment items that retain their value, it doesn’t make for very daring style choices. And I’ve realised over the last decade, I’d rather be risky than safe with my fashion. So my resolution for the new year and the new decade is when buying a big-ticket item don’t go for something safe; go for something a little more risky, from a more controversial or lesser known brand. It makes life and fashion just that bit more adventurous.