Kriti S. 16 yo, USA // I love clothes. I love fashion. I look at magazines and just relish the chic style, the edgy style, adorning the pages. I watch fashion shows online and am struck by the many different designs created. Over the past year I have taken up a passion of creating my own designs through digital art. Even though this love of mine might come as a surprise to some of my friends and peers who see me wear the same clothes everyday (usually blacked-out or in sports clothes), trust me, I can’t get enough of anything a la mode. But there is this part of me that kind of squirms at a certain side of fashion. Don’t get me wrong, all of the high end ateliers create stunning pieces, but I don't really get why people buy certain items of clothing to flaunt their wealth, status or money. For example sometimes people buy these clothes with just the brand name bold and emblazoned on say the shirt, and there really is just no character at all to that item. I have observed there is this phenomenon of wearing your wealth when it comes to fashion, but if we agree fashion to be an art form with your body the canvas and the clothes the medium, then wearing your wealth is similar to buying an artwork with nothing but the artist’s name on the canvas. Maybe some people would like to see a blank canvas with the words, “Claude Monet” or “Georgia O'keeffe”, but I kind of like to see the beautiful and distinctive flowers instead. I don’t know, this might seem rather confusing, but I guess those are some of my problems with the fashion sphere and money. Except, I have left out a rather big issue I personally have. I seem to soak up with guilt whenever I want to get clothes. Immediately if I like something, I look at the price tag and if it is too expensive I don’t buy it or I am extremely hesitant about buying it. Since I have started my financial literacy journey, I am certain that I haven't gotten as many clothes as I used to, and that of course is a good thing for saving money. But then again, I do love clothes and I love how fashion is a mode of expression. So as you can see I am in a bit of a conundrum. Often I resort to fast fashion (yikes), but I cannot help myself when I pop into Zara and see cheap but extremely snazzy and voguish clothes. If you want more information on fast fashion and how to refine your consumption habits, listen to my podcast episodes on Thrifting:
As I am writing this post, and trying to sort out the tricky situation I am getting myself into, I remember a piece of advice my mom uses and told me about- "The Capsule Wardrobe".
So some of you who might find yourself unable to compromise your financial literacy compass, the capsule wardrobe is a remedy for us. Not only will this help our pockets, our fashion sanity, and the environment, but if you are into the Marie Kondo method of organizing or want to slim down your closet, you will also find yourself with less clutter and only with clothes that spark joy. According to the website, Who What Where, the capsule wardrobe is “a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear.” And every season you will need to clear out your closet except for your basic pieces, and with every new season you can spend your money on buying quality pieces you know you will love. Everyone will have varying timeless pieces in their wardrobe, streamlined to their lifestyle, and capsule wardrobes are meant to be designed for you and your personality. For example if you are into sports, you will want probably one pair of leggings and one pair of sweatpants you know are high quality (not multiple pairs of them). The amount of pieces may vary but around 40 items of clothing is standard. Basics of course will make up most of your wardrobe (white shirt, pair of jeans, leather jacket, black dress etc). Of course you can spice things up by buying those specific pieces for each season, sort of like statement pieces, which you can pair to your basic pieces. Statement pieces could be a sparkly skirt, summer dress, bomber jacket, stilettos, etc, and it is important to have your basic pieces match a color scheme, allowing your statement pieces to really pop! Honestly it is kind of exciting to mix and match pieces and concoct new outfits all together from your standard essential clothes. If this sounds interesting to you, there are planners which you can search up that will offer more concrete guidance on how to create one, and there are also images of potential capsule wardrobes. I would say the overall outcome of having a capsule wardrobe is being able to express yourself, not to other people’s standard, but your own, and in doing so you can save money, buy clothes you really love, live clutter free and also save the planet!
Sounds like a good proposition to me...now I have to go clean out my closet (lol).