Friday, September 25, 2009

Sustainable Shopping

I came across the Uniform Project recently and thought it was a pretty interesting idea. I'm not really that fashionable but I try to look nice. I definitely admire people who have a strong sense of style and are willing to take risks (and not look like a total idiot in the process). In the Uniform Project the creator is wearing the same dress (she has 7 identical dresses) everyday but styling it completely differently using accessories and other clothing pieces. If you click on the monthly viewing of the blog you can see how successful she is. It's astonishing how different she looks each day!

This reminded me of the Little Brown dress (that I once featured on my Little Brown Blog) although that woman actually wore only one dress for the entire year (and did add a few things to it but just for warmth purposes). Both these women are doing/did similar projects with different purposes. The former is trying to raise money for children in India and the latter is trying to raise environmental/anti-materialism awareness. I think both are worthy causes.

It makes me think of a post made by my lovely friend Simone, at her fabulous blog Skinny Dip, on how she is striving to makeunder her life and wardrobe. I have to admit that I am a serial shopper- I especially love things on sale and often buy them without thinking about if they are worth any money at all or if I really like or need them. This bad habit has meant that my drawers and closet are bursting. Living in Korea was a nice exercise in sustainable shopping since I literally couldn't wear 95% of the garments they sold there (I talk about their "free size" over here). This really cut down on what I bought and it made me learn to be creative and to choose wisely when I was purchasing a new piece.

Needless to say, once I returned to Canada my bad habits have reared their ugly heads and I find myself shopping just because I can. I am doing a bit better I suppose because I do think twice before buying something and I am much better at purging my closet. I should probably purge again soon but maybe I will do that once the cold weather sets in and I can gauge what I am wearing a little better. Does anyone else have trouble letting go of clothes? Is your closet minimalistic or out of control? What's your biggest shopping weakness?


Carole said...

Hello Amber,

I think you are aware of my shopping habits. I usually have a hard time buying things especially if they are non essential items (though sometimes this extends into food, which is why my meal ideas are sub par and usually involve bread with something between two slices). Anyway, usually I ask if I really need an item, and usually the answer is no... BUT recently in the last 6 months, with the knowledge that my frugalness would have led me to right now, with no student loan, and the fact that I am employed and not on the pogey, I have been spending. Mostly I buy the occassional shirt so I can have nice clothes and maybe even be fashionable. Though I just bought an awesome dress. It is sitting in my closet and I will wear it. But I really want to buy household things!!! Though the fact that I move around and my mother dislikes storing my items I can't buy that kind of thing.
Anyway, good luck! Maybe you shoud watch confessions of a shopaholic.. I liked it!


Bybee said...

My closets and shelves are bursting but I only wear the same few things. My mom will order for me off of the home shopping channel and send it then often, it's disheartening because it'll be slightly too small, so it gets shoved back. I wish she wouldn't send anything. I love the idea of the uniform project.

ambearo said...

I want to see pictures of you in your awesome dress Carole!! And I have seen that movie. I thought it was really cute!

Ugh, Susan that is the worst! Slightly too small? Maddening! Does your Mom at least have good taste?

Simone said...

I'm trying to reform my serial shopping habits! I used to buy a lot of random stuff because it was on sale. I still love a good bargain, however when I'm cruising the sales rack I'll ask myself "do I want to buy a couple of $5-$20 items, that are "OK" or do I maybe want to wait, save my money and buy something for $50 that I really, really love?". Usually I end up waiting & its always worth it. I don't get that instant gratification feeling that I used to be really addicted to but in the end I'll eventually end up with a better item that may cost more initially, but its something that will go with tons of stuff I already have (like a great black skirt, or a good blazer) and I'll enjoy wearing for a long time. Another shopping rule of mine is that I'm trying to only buy stuff that mixes and matches with stuff I already have. If I see a shirt or something and think "This would look great, if I just get shoes to match" then I WALK AWAY!!!

Good luck with your wardrobe makeunder & closet purge!!!