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  • Writer's pictureInge Westerink

Sustainable Style & Fashion Trends: One-size-doesn't-fit-all

Having great style has nothing to do with following every fashion trend. It's about defining your personal style. This key realisation helped me create my Sustainable Style Wardrobe.

The last item I bought before I decided to go sustainable was a navy and white stripy top. This particular top was only available to buy in one size. As in one-size-fits-all… At the time I didn’t see this as a problem (silly me) but looking back at it now; I have a way too oversized top, in a colour that doesn't do much for me, that has now been demoted to pyjama. At least I'm still using it, but it made me realise that I had a problem. I had no idea what my style was because I was led to believe by the fashion industry that I needed to follow every trend and preferably update my wardrobe every season.

You might think that updating your wardrobe every season means four times a year. That already is a lot but looking back at my days working as a Visual Merchandiser it get's even crazier. At the store I used to work, we would receive new items twice a week! So rather than four seasons a year you’re subconsciously trying to keep up with 104 seasons a year. No wonder we all feel this FOMO when it comes to being 'fashionable'. Every time you walk into a shop you are presented with new items, even if you go to the same shop twice a week!

'But what makes a great fashion icon?' I started wondering. People I generally admire for their style, don't seem to follow all the trends. They carefully use the trends and colours that suit them best to create their own personal style. So I decided it is time for me to do the same. My main goal is to move my wardrobe from being full of 'nothing to wear' to only items I love. This way I will be able to be more sustainable in the future wearing and rewearing different combinations of all my items.

Reading the book, ‘the Curated Closet’ by Anuschka Rees has taught me to see my wardrobe as an exclusive place. Only the best items deserve a spot. Oversized stripy tops will no longer get into my wardrobe, that is for sure!

Finding personal gems in thrift stores and from brands that make a difference for the world have made the items in my wardrobe so much more valuable. For that reason I now love wearing them over and over again. A true sustainable thing, rewearing is caring for the planet and its inhibitors.

So let's have a look at how to pick the right items for a Sustainable Style Wardrobe.

We need to fit our wardrobe to our bodies instead of our bodies to the trends.

This is a change I would like to see in the world. We are all different and that is a wonderful thing. We all allow ourselves to have different hobbies and music styles, so why can't we do the same with fashion? Let's create wardrobes that suit our style rather then trying to squeeze ourselves into this one-size-fits-all idea. No matter what shape or size you are, you can find your personal style and look great in it.

How to get started:

1. Go through your wardrobe:

Yes all of it! To start this project you will need to identify exactly what you have, which items you love most and which items give you the most confidence. These are the items you want to focus on for the future. It's also good to identify what flatters you less. So spend a day on this project and try it all on. Having someone take pictures of you rather than looking into the mirror is a useful tool.

2. Find your own personal style:

Try defining your style in 3 words. Be creative, any combination works! Defining this will help you focus on only getting items that completely reflect you and your style. When you go thrifting/shopping be specific and only look out for the items that suit match your style completely.

Example: Elegant, Romantic, Comfortable, Urban, Punk, Fun, Timeless, Sporty, Casual, Vintage inspired, Bohemian, etc.

3. Know your colour pallet:

Only buy colour trends that suit you best and ignore the rest (yes I made that rhyme on purpose). Eye colour, hair colour and skin tone are important to keep in mind when choosing your colour pallet. Limit yourself to 3 highlight colours and balance the rest of your wardrobe with about 3 neutral colours. Over time you will create a wardrobe with items that all work together. This will make creating more combinations with less items a piece of cake.

4. Understand your body type:

Which items of clothing highlight your favourite features best? Answering this question will help you select items that will empower you and boost your confidence. Try and draw attention to your favourite features.

Example: If you like to accentuate your waist, go for something figure hugging in this area. Accessories like belts or scarfs can help with this if these fit in with your style.

5. Create a capsule wardrobe

If you're brave, you can consider creating a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe with a limited amount of items. Most people who do this advice to only have between 30-40 items in your wardrobe for Spring/Summer and then change over some items for Autumn/Winter. This will be my next step and I will update you on this in one of my next blogs.

Do you already have a sustainable wardrobe, are you in the process of creating one or is this all new to you? I'd love to hear all about it so please comment below!

If this whole process is something you would like more help with than please know I'm here to help you along the way. My inbox is always open.

Yours in Sustainability,


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