Ever since I started the idea of Sonderlier, I've given a lot of thoughts to how to make fashion better. After chewing on this question for months, I realized that the answer has everything to do with mindfulness.
Our relationship with fashion hasn't always been mindful. Just think how we buy clothes for example. Is it seeing an Instagram ad and immediately click on the buying link? Is it adding item after item to the shopping cart during a sale because it's the "savvy" thing to do? Or is it buying a dress because you would look fabulous in it at the New Year's Eve party that you were never going to attend? We've all been there.
But fear not, there are a lot we can borrow from mindfulness practice to let our clothes better serve us.
1. Sit on your buying decision
The worst enemy of being mindful is not having time to think. That's why impulse decisions are often regretted. So before clicking the order button, let it sit for a day or two at the back or your mind. You will often come back to it realizing that it's not as cute as you thought, or that you don't really need it. This works wonders if you are shopping because of a sale or that you are stressed. Practice this tip, and then sit back and watch your savings grow!
2. Think outside of special occasions
We tend to save our best selves for special occasions, how we dress included. But the thing about special occasions is that they are RARE. This is why our closets are full of clothes that we only wear a handful of times a year. But our daily wear leaves us feeling "meh". Being mindful about how we dress needs to be practiced everyday. Instead of putting the majority of our money and energy into special occasions, we can allocate more of those resources into how we dress daily.
3. Pay attention to why you like it
Mindfulness goes beyond buying decisions. It also means being aware of how clothes make us feel. If you wear a piece often, ask yourself why. Is it because you like it or because you are in a rut? If you like it, then what do you like about it? Is it the color, the fit, the fabric, or something else? Similarly, why do you dislike a piece of clothing? Write these thoughts down. After a while, you will understand what serves you better and why. You will even get to know yourself better.
4. think in $/wear, not $/item
Part of the reason why our "price savvy" decisions does not serve us is the misunderstanding of cost. Which is more expensive: a $200 item that you wear all the time, or a $20 piece that you never wear? In reality, many of us would choose the $20 item. This type of thinking leads to the shocking fact that we don't wear over 70% of our clothes in a whole year. That's not only a waste of money, but also a substantial compromise on style, and a huge burden for the environment (clothes often end up in the landfill).
5. Shop sustainable
Our shopping choices, like any other decision, convey the type of relationship we have with ourselves and the world. Do you buy an item following a current trend without further considerations? Or is your decision helping the world become a little better? You recycle, you eat organic, so why leave fashion out? The truth is, if we are wearing a piece that shows our love for the world, it's also an act of self-love.
6. Create a fashion board
If you see something that inspires you, save it to a fashion board or mood board. Use it as a strong filter for only pieces you love. If it can't make it to the board, it's not worth investing in. Gradually, you will see your personal style emerge and evolve.
7. Have fun with it
Don't forget to have fun with it! You can't truly enjoy something if it's not fun. And part of being mindful is having an open mind. So make it fun by trying on new silhouettes or joyful colors. Strip away your own stereotypes and explore all the amazing designs out there!