Live more with less: Shopping with intention

Around 6 months ago, I read a book called ‘The art of simplicity’. It was written by a French woman who moved to japan, Dominique Loreau. One of the biggest things that I took away from the book was to do with my personal style and the way that I shop.

I’ve always been someone that enjoys fashion, trends, learning about designers, hearing about what’s in and what’s out and seeing the way that things have changed over time. 

However, as I got older I became more interested in my own personal style. I liked putting outfits together that made me look interesting and there wasn’t much emphasis on being fashionable. Now that I’m in my early 20s, I dress mostly for comfort and convenience. 

I used to be someone that was really into buying clothes that looked nice and were cheap. In fact, sometimes I used to buy things specifically because they were a bargain, ‘a whole top for just 2.99 on sale, how could I refuse?’. There was often little to no consideration for how I’d style the items or if the quality was particularly good.

After reading ‘The art of simplicity’ (which funnily enough was around the same time I bought a disastrous stripy dress that lasted 2 washes), I started thinking about making changes to the way I shop and doing things with a little more intention.

One of the main things that I noticed is that my closet didn’t suit my lifestyle. As someone who spends 5 days a week in an office and overall dresses quite casually my clothing and shopping purchases did not reflect that.

When it comes to my personal style I like simple and I like comfortable, but I also like details. I rarely wear items made up of more than 2 or 3 colours, I like geometric patterns and mixing smart with casual. I like wearing bold colours sometimes, but my most worn colours are black, white, grey and blue. You’ll regularly find me wearing wide leg trousers, cropped blue jeans or cropped smart trousers, button down shirts/blouses, trainers, boots and long coats.

It doesn’t really make sense for me to buy items outside of the description above, aside from occasion ware.

Something that really stuck with me was when Sara Crampton (the woman behind the blog Harper and Harley) who has a very distinct personal style replied to a question on her Instagram about buying clothes she likes that are outside of her personal style. She responded saying that just because you like something doesn’t mean that you should buy it.

Saras words really resonated with me, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on things you won’t wear just because you like the way they look.

So, I’ve taken a vow to make changes to the way I shop and to fully embrace my personal style.

Step 1 is to go through my whole closet and get rid of the things I haven’t worn/don’t plan to wear again and anything in poor condition.

Step 2 is make a list of closet basics (no need to be generic here, write it to suit you e.g. if you don’t wear/like blazers don’t include them!) and a list of things missing from my closet that I’ll need to purchase.

Step 3 is to not don’t shop for fun. When making any purchases have a shopping list at hand to avoid wasting money on things you might like but don’t need.

Step 4 is pay attention to fabrics, finishes and stitching. This will often mean being willing to spend more but it’s worth it in the long run.

I’m not becoming a minimalist or creating a capsule wardrobe, but after looking at what I was doing over the past few years, I realised that I needed to make some changes.

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