I can distinctly remember the moment in my life when I first desperately wanted an item of clothing so that I would fit in. Considering I often can’t remember where I have put my phone, or my keys, I would say this is obviously a pretty momentous moment in my life. It was the summer of 95 when denim shorts and little crop tops with collars were all the rage, thanks Tammy girl! And if you missed that era with heeled jelly shoes, I loved those things. Well, some of it was good, some not to be repeated.
There was a party we were going to and I knew some girls were going to be there from my class, which meant I just had to have a pair of denim shorts or I couldn’t possibly go! But why?! At 11 where had I got that idea from and why did I feel SO sure about it?
Fast forward 20+ years and I still have a toxic relationship with fashion. I’m ashamed to say that it wasn’t until watching recent documentaries and taking a good, long, hard look at myself that I realised. But not only that, I’ve been using this platform and my others to promote fast fashion. To perpetuate the feeling of needing to keep up, needing to have that item of clothing to fit in, to be liked.
A people pleaser that’s often what we want isn’t it? If I wear the right clothes, look a certain way then people will have to like me! The constant seeking validation of ourselves through our wardrobe!
And if I’m honest it’s exhausting!
I still always feel one step behind the newest trend, not quite able to keep up with those girls in the denim shorts. Yet I find myself creating fashion posts on instagram, never the same outfit more than once. The pressure we put on ourselves to present an image that isn’t necessarily real. We all know that Instagram is the best bits, but when do the best bits become toxic in our lives?
When I first watched and started researching I will admit my initial reaction was to bury my head. I like clothes, I like fashion, I didn’t want to stop the never ending buying cycle. And do you know what thoughts were running through my head? How would I fit in without the newest must have item? What was I going to talk about instead?
So I now find myself on this journey to redefine my mindset and it’s tough. I’m only a few weeks in and already I can occasionally feel my resolve waining.
‘No fast fashion, no fast fashion’ is the current mantra running through my head. Do I really NEED that pretty dress? Or do I want it for the instant gratification it will give me and that passing moment of pleasure I gain from wearing something new, that’s all to brief. A fleeting moment and then another item hanging unworn in my wardrobe.
I’ve gone through all of my clothes and donated items that I don’t love and I won’t wear, that are cluttering it, and my life up. Looking at items in a different way has really opened my eyes and the possibilities in my wardrobe.
But what about a new dress for Christmas? If I can’t reuse one of the many in my wardrobe, I will be buying vintage!
And as for that little voice in my head telling me that I need that newest must have item to fit in. I’m hoping it will get quiter. I’ve given it too much air time over the years and it hasn’t in any way made me any happier!