Mindfulness Tips From A Maximalist Wardrobe
I'll be honest with you, minimalism? Not my thing. Don't get me wrong, I like a little bit of simplicity, but looking over at my clothes rack, you could put a flamingo in some cowboy boots and make it yell 'BOLD' over and over - that about sums me up. Thankfully, 90% of its contents is second hand.
I've been thrifting for years now, and I wouldn't change it. I shop often, I won't lie - whether it be local, at work or online. While I still complete seasonal closet purges to make space for 'new' purchases, I don't really consider myself a maximalist either, I just like stuff - and I don't think that's a bad thing.
I don't find it hard to marry a sustainable lifestyle to my spending tendencies. If I'm responsible with my purchases, and not hurting anyone [namely the planet, and then next - my wallet] I'll continue. But I have learnt to be mindful for the items that do make it into my life, and how they make it out, here's a few trade tips for shopping around, from a girl who likes a lot of stuff (me!).
Mindful Tip #1 Know What you Have
I like to know the contents of my wardrobe, and by keeping a mental count of what I own (clothing-wise) helps me when I'm out and about to figure what I want to be putting my money towards. But before spending money, it's tactical to look at what you can salvage - Can you stitch that hole to save the top? Add a new button to bring the pants back to life? Knowing I have three tops in my wardrobe currently that need minor adjustments and stitching to make them wearable - now that's cheaper than buying a full new top.
Mindful Tip #2 One in, One Out
Everyone has their own wardrobe staples right? Mine is pants. I own seventeen pairs of pants, It's an ugly number, I really like to get it to fifteen (listen to the maximalist in me talking!) After going through (many) stages of removing clothes from my life, these all play their part in my wardrobe and also what I buy. I take pant purchasing very seriously, and ensure that if one comes into my life, then one goes out. Working around second hand clothing for the past few years has made me accumulate a lot more, so I have adopted a much more stricter routine. If you've completed mindful tip #1 right by knowing what you have, then working what and when to responsibly recycle clothing (whether that be through donating, gifting to friends, or selling online) you have created limitations. Then, you can, in my case reward yourself (with more pants)
Mindful Tip #3 Learn Your Fabrics
Mindfulness and education go hand in hand! By taking the time to learn about the different blends of cotton and rayon, or vegan spider silk (I didn't even know this could exist?! Go forth, research!) The importance of understanding fabrics goes beyond what feels comfortable, but also how to extend your clothing's true lifespan. Knowing the micro plastics in my glitter flares clog waterways and hurt our fish friends with each washing machine cycle makes me feel like a meanie rather than a greenie. The difference of understanding man-made and natural materials helps when you're on a budget, and whether the item is worth it in the first place!
Mindful Tips #4 Do Your Research!
My personal consumerism goals this year are to be purchasing local or purchasing from companies that are sustainable and contribute consciously to the planet. Your values may be different to mine but you can sure as hell find a company that aligns well with your moral compass. Are your favourite brands or companies implementing sustainable practices? Are they ethical, paying a living wage, have good working conditions? What materials do they use? Are they using animal-derived materials? Can these be recycled? How does that make you feel?
Do your best, with what you have, and what’s accessible and available, but learn more about fashion brands and what they’re doing. It will shift your perspective when purchasing.
Mindful Tip #5 Question it
I am not a patient person. The "wait two weeks and if it's there it's yours" mantra didn't apply to me much before buying online. When thrifting, you don't often get that luxury. But equipped with what I know from my wardrobe, I can crouch in the corner of the changing room and really question the value of the item and what it will mean for my wardrobe - What is coming out of my cupboards for this to go in? This involves a lot of talking out loud, asking the girl in the changing room next to me, and shopping alone.
I really do bring my heart into the process of purchasing clothes. I make sure to really fall in love with what I have my eyes on. I imagine myself in that item, how I could style it with what is already in my wardrobe. I think long and hard about my mental list. Sometimes I forget half of the things on it, that’s when I know we were not meant to be. But the items that stick, the ones I reaaaaally think about, I know I can trust.
Mindful Tip #6 Enjoy it
It's yours! Now you can love, re-wear, repair, and consciously wash your item appropriately to your hearts content. These are just mindful practices from my pant-loving self to you, the reader, that I have learnt over the years. I am a firm believer of self expression, part of mine just happens to be on wearing what I love - Local, sustainable and second hand, and plenty of it!