what i wore / wardrobe cleanse

Hey, all! This is going to kind of a long post about a lot of things (there might be a list or two squeezed in here but who can say?). I noticed this weekend that in a lot of my blogs I mention comparison (and it’s something I deal with on a day to day basis, so I probably will mention it again in the future). As I was thinking about this, I wondered why I struggle with comparison so much. Often, I feel as though it is because I have my own personal struggle with being the best at or in anything, and that has seeped its awful way into many different facets of my life.

Beyond that, I’m a chick who is hoping to one day work with/start a non-governmental organization (NGO), so I really need to start being more socially conscious about my behaviors. It’s one thing to talk the talk, but I have got to walk the walk, too.

That made me think of materialism, which is incredibly intertwined to both of these issues (comparison/social consciousness). A big place those two intersect is in the world of fashion. Now, I’ll be the first one to say I’ve had a lot of Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters binges in my day, but in the past few months, that’s seemed very problematic to me, I just couldn’t put my finger on why. And then it hit me – it’s because I am a person who wants to help those who are exploited in the world, and I give my money to the companies and brands that hurt them more. Furthermore, I wanted to stop shopping so much, and feeling like I needed to own a million items of clothing in order to be stylish – which is false, by the way: quality > quantity.

Enter Hoda Katebi. I stumbled upon her blog via Pinterest when exploring the idea of doing a wardrobe capsule. Having a minimalist wardrobe (in quantity, not style) happens to be one of her focuses on her blog, Joo Joo Azad. Another is that of being an ethical consumer. She has a rad list of companies that you should probably boycott if you care about human beings being treated like, well, human beings. You can check that out here. Also, add H&M to that list, too (tragically, because I love them), because of their blatantly discriminatory statements that have caused an uproar in South Africa, as they insinuated that only white models portray a positive image. In south AFRICA. But I digress.

I used Katebi’s list for why you should minimize/the steps to minimizing here, and Un-Fancy’s steps to supplement that process, here. I thought it was going to be the hardest and worst thing ever to give away and sell so many of my “prized” items. BUT I found that I don’t wear 2/3 of the items I have anyway. I also made a few bucks (rad) from my higher-end pieces, and gave the rest to those who need them more than I do (rad-er).

My bed, piled high with stuff the beast of consumerism tells me I need need need.
1/2 of things I gave away. Embarrassing, I know.

The next day, I felt so happy/relieved that I could:

  • Actually find things in my tiny dorm closet, and,
  • Actually only wear items that I genuinely felt good in

That leads me to my wardrobe capsule, for 11.16! I have about 35 items in my wardrobe right now, and I’ll do shopping for the spring season beginning in March. So until then, I’m going to have to keep some of the items from brands that may not be the greatest – but hey, I’m trying. I’ll be using the rule of thumb of cycling out items with each new item I buy. This is my i-woke-up-for-class-late-in-early-autumn look!

WORN: Utility jacket: thrift purchase, similar here; top: Merona, similar here; scarf: hand-me-down; Jeans: Hollister; (too well loved) moccs: Minnetonka, sold out

I don’t know what I would title my style, but I love it a little extra now. I feel confident in my decision to only shop brands that are taking initiative to treat workers ethically, and give back. If that doesn’t put pep in your fashion step, I don’t know what will.

xo, Niara


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