Do Fashion Better: Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Shopping
Trying to shop more sustainably is hard: so where do we start? Trying to relearn shopping habits, discover new brands and educate yourself on the fashion industry can feel like a monumental task. There is sustainability, waste, human rights and, of course, style to consider. And sometimes you just need a new dress.
We understand. Here are five questions to ask yourself when shopping, whether it is at a big-box store (we get it, old habits die hard), at a thrift or vintage shop, or at your newly found sustainable style purveyor.
1. Does this piece excite me?
Would you wear it out of the store right now? Many times we consider it in the dressing room and make exceptions for it before the garment ever leaves the store. That's how people gather so many items, spend so much money and never end up taking the tags off. Your style should excite you.
2. How will this be incorporated into my overall wardrobe?
Make sure you have an idea how you can wear it 30 times or more and know how it will incorporate it into your overall style and needs. Try to avoid shopping for a one-time use piece and be honest with yourself if the article is going to be one you keep in your closet for a day that may never come (that day you fit back into your college jeans).
3. Does it fit me well and is it made well?
Don’t force it. It will never leave your closet if you are already making excuses for it. If there are custom adjustments you know can be made with a tailor, then invest. If not, then don't buy it. You have to feel comfortable and confident no matter what the item is. Bonus points if you are able to purchase a well made item, usually a more costly investment, but will ultimately save waste and your money over time.
4. Does it fit my budget?
We all have one.
5. Does this brand support my personal style values?
This one is the ultimate, but also the hardest to achieve. It's a privilege to be able to answer this question with both certainty and enthusiasm. When you can, ask yourself if supporting this brand/designer/local store is supporting a mission or company that aligns with what you want to see for the fashion industry. If you are buying re-commerce, renewed or up-cycled clothing, that's a win. If you are swapping with your friends, that's a win. If you can afford to buy that 100% recycled cashmere turtleneck from TheRealReal that we are always eyeing, also a win.
Do you have any other questions you ask yourself when shopping? Comment below. We're here for one another.