In the past couple of months, I’ve purchased a lot of things to supplement my summer wardrobe. Bloggers love buying new stuff. It gives us something to talk about, helps fill our Insta feeds, and makes monetizing a lot easier. But all of this new clothing that we buy so that we have something to sell or talk about is not the greatest favor we could do for our planet. We wear it a few times, and it fills our closet for months. Eventually we donate or throw it out.
I like to think I do a pretty good job. I’ve given up on fast fashion brands for the most part (I’m not perfect), and I buy most things secondhand. I’ll admit, though, that I love shiny new things as much as the next girl, and the allure of inexpensive new clothing is so tempting.
But this month, I’m trying something a little bit different. I’m not buying any new clothes. None. No shoes, no swimsuits, no dresses - nothing. Instead, I’m digging deep into my closet and pulling out things that I haven’t worn in ages, and I’m re-imagining pieces that I wear the same way over and over again.
Take this dress for instance. I got it for Christmas one year all the way back in college. It was a big deal because it was from Topshop, which wasn’t a thing you could just buy in Nebraska (at least at the time). My mom had got it in Chicago, and I was pumped. There had also recently been an article that Kate Middleton still shopped there, so, you know, I was in love.
Because I got it in winter and wanted to wear it right away, that’s how I thought of that dress from there on out. I always paired it with tights and booties with a black sweater. It’s rare that I wear it in the summer, but I decided to give it a try. I threw on my favorite J.Crew chambray shirt, my favorite /giv/ earrings, and a pair of Target sandals that have lasted me a few years now. Boom. Summer ready.
As another example, yesterday, I found a dress in my closet that I hadn’t worn in ages. It’s a cute shirt dress that’s perfect for any occasion. I had no idea why I had been neglecting it, but pulling out something that I hadn’t worn in so long was like getting a new piece. It was perfect for a drink at a local brewery in town. Check it out here.
Not only is this an exercise in sustainability, it’s also going to be a wallet-friendly one. I generally spend about $100-$20 on clothes in a given month. I can’t help it - it’s a weakness of mine. We’re going on vacation this month, and it’ll be nice to have some extra cash for spending.
I don’t think this month will be a breeze by a long shot. I’ve already been eyeing a few pieces that I click into because other bloggers are advertising sales, and it’s only June 3. We’ll see how it goes, though! I’m hoping that this experiment will help me learn to both buy pieces that last, and are versatile enough to mix and match in hundreds of ways. I would love to get to the point of owning a capsule wardrobe one day, but I know I’m a long way from that yet.
What do you do to refresh your wardrobe without buying anything new? Let me know in the comments!
If you're not ready to join me on this journey of not shopping for a month, I have the perfect post for you. Last week, I did a compilation of great dresses for summer, all under $50. Check that post out here.