Style Resolutions: 2016 Part 2
Now that we have established the outlines of my style resolutions for the year in Part 1, I am ready to tackle the specifics. Some of these are very specific to me and my own individual style. I had to think hard about my lifestyle, aesthetics, spending patterns and physical body type before I came up with this list. I plan on revisiting and adding to this list when needed.
- ‘Expensive’ doesn’t mean better quality: High-end brands are filled with a myriad of juxtapositions. The most common one? – They produce cheap c**p and don’t think twice before pricing it exorbitantly. The fabric is bad, the fit is not great, the styles are too ‘bling-bling’ and too trendy . Ultimately, the brand name means nothing at all. PR and marketing teams of these brands go to great lengths to convince you that they are the best, telling a wonderful story of how beautiful / fashion forward / interesting / timeless their pieces are – through social media, bloggers, PR ‘video-stories’, celebrity style shoots that get made every day! All of a sudden, every fashion blogger and celebrity is wearing the same skirt or carrying the latest ‘It-Bag’. Bottom line, it is very hard not to fall for all of this. I am really tired of being a consumer of endless ad campaigns and stupid trends. From now on, before buying anything, I want to spend some time doing this – Touch the fabric, read the fabric label, see the stitching quality, check if it fills a gap in your closet, mull over it for a week, do you still like it? Will you wear it enough times to justify the cost? If the items in question are bags or shoes – will they last for a few years? Is this a style that you will always love, no matter what the current trend? These are some of the questions that I should ask myself before buying.
- Stop paying for returns: This is one of my many fashion kryptonites. I end up wasting at least $150 to $200 dollars a year due to this. Here is the dirty secret folks! – Though many retailers may offer ‘promotional free shipping’, not everyone of them offer free returns. Example: The Outnet, The RealReal etc. Shopbop and Bergdorf charge you a shipping fee if the return package doesn’t reach them within 15 days! (WHAAAATTTT?). All those $6.95s and $9.95s add up. I do 90% of my shopping online like most millennials. It’s better to stick with retailers that offer free shipping AND free returns. Period!
- Rotate shoes and bags: This is one thing I am really bad at. I must have at least 10 pairs of high quality shoes and I end up using only 2 or 3. I am always in a rush to get out of the door and slide on the same pair that is out there! Uh!.. This goes back to the ‘buy less, wear more’ rule I have in Part 1. What is the point of having such a wonderful collection if I don’t take advantage of it?
- Identify and control your triggers: In my case, nothing gives me a swoon-inducing ‘fashion high’ like an expensive, gorgeous, totally impractical dress that can only be worn on vacations or to weddings (Sadly, I don’t attend many of those!). I love buying these dresses and let them chill in my closet, which is utterly stupid! I even call it collecting ‘wearable art’ (that I really don’t wear in the first place. Ouch! Kinda of defeats the purpose). It is one of those bad buying habits I need to break if I plan on sticking to the ‘5% rule’ that I discussed in Part 1
- Figure out your basic colors (and revisit them if necessary): Black was my go to color for the last 3 to 4 years. But, I moved to Arizona a while ago and it gets pretty hot in summer. I am starting to pan out into navy, white and even brown/beige for work and basics. Once you have your basic colors down, it is easier to add ‘fluff’. Shades or green and pink look fantastic with navy or brown. Brown goes wonderfully well with white! The possibilities are endless.
- Accessorize: This is one department I need to focus on. I need a few more bracelets or cuffs. Now, by no means do I want an arm-party! I have had this on my wishlist for a while. Here is another more affordable version of it. I am also learning how to mix metals (silver & gold) without them clashing. I have been looking for versatile necklace/ chain to add to my collection this year. There is such a big choice of gold over silver and 14k gold ones these days, I am not sure which one I want! I might have to go over and make a list and pick one. This, this, this and this look dainty and chic.
- Let it go!: Let go of that wishlist with 100 items. Let go of that exorbitantly priced shell top that you added to your online shopping bag two weeks ago. Let go of those beautiful clothes that are too tight or too loose or cannot be altered or no longer suit your lifestyle. A big part of editing is to give away items that you no longer wear or use. I am very prompt at donating my old clothes. But I recently realized that I cannot wash my hands off by just donating clothes to Goodwill or the local second hand store. This article got me thinking. According to the author, half of all donated clothes end up in landfills. Looks like clothes are the ‘new plastic’. Don’t forget the resources spent to manufacture them in the first place! I should make an effort to list all those good clothes that I haven’t worn in 1.5 years on Ebay or Tradesy. They deserve to find a new home. The rest of them? I need to find a organization that recycles in a more environment-friendly manner. I am sure a little bit of research will help me find the right organization.
- 24 pieces for 2016: This is the last of my resolutions and I already know I will fail at it. But, I thought I will give it a try inspired by all the minimalists and ‘real style’ bloggers. A ‘capsule wardrobe’ of just 10 or 12 items would be too hard and extreme for me. So, this year I decided to pick a number that was right for me and try not to buy anymore than that! 24 pieces for an year gives me a chance to buy 2 items a month. That should be good enough!! This challenge will also make me think hard about what I really want to add to my in closet. Let us see if I succeed.
What do you think of my style resolutions? Are you making any this year?