Friday, May 23, 2014

Frustrations with Fashion

It's a fact that our society is one that loves to consume. Every year we buy more and more, and the long list of luxury items that directly correlate to our (perceived) social status grows and grows. I'm not here to bash on this, in fact, I am probably a large part of it and a huge offender myself.

This blog started as a fashion blog and I've been slowly attempting to move into the more lifestyle/whatever may tickle my fancy domain. I'm not going to dump on the fashion industry, but I do feel the need to share my frustrations with the state of first world countries, and myself.

We are a society obsessed with consumption. We consume at ridiculous rates, yet produce very little. Its an infectious disease that just creates a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction. It constantly amazes me how back in the day people rarely used/bought more than they could consume for. If you were a farmer, anything that you might need that your crops didn't produce, you would quite literally use the fruits of your labour to trade for. You had to give something up to get something. Today we just get, get, get, but what do we give? What do we contribute to justify how much we expend beyond our means? Not much, if you ask me.

I'm as guilty as anyone. I love fashion, I love pretty things and I absolutely cannot refuse a good deal. Its actually a problem. I have so much stuff, yet time and time again face the age old dilemma of "I have nothing to wear'. Scoring a fantastic deal is a great feeling. You feel satisfied, like you somehow "won" against the system, and to boot you have a pretty new thing you didn't break the bank for. It all sounds rather lovely, right? Well it is, temporarily.

This sentiment of contentment is followed by one of contempt, for me at least. At least once a month I have a complete freak out and look at my closet with utter disgust. When experiencing one of said freak outs I just can't help but be disgusted with how much I actually own. How much stuff I have in my closet that I barely ever wear. Things with the tag still on them. The 10+ little black dresses I own. And so on, and so forth. These freak outs cause me to go through a complete closet purge. When this feeling fades, the pack rat in me surfaces and I cling on to unnecessary items that "I might just need one day". It usually takes about 3 separate attempts to actually make a dent in my daunting closet.

So, where am I going with all this? I've realized that it's a tad overzealous and unrealistic to passionately claim during my fits of frustration that "I'll never shop again!" Instead, I've decided to implement a few of my own rules to live (and shop) by, that will hopefully lead to a more balanced closet and lifestyle.

2 for 1
For every new item I buy, I have to head into my closet and get rid of two. This will really make me think twice when making purchases. 

Donate, Donate, Donate
I don't actually throw any items of clothing in the trash. One woman's trash is another's treasure, so everything that leaves my closet makes it's way into someone else's. 

Swap Shopping 
Luckily, swap parties are all the rage these days. Hosting or attending a swap party is a great way of not only getting rid of some of your old clothes, but getting some "new" stuff for yourself as well. 
P.S if you are in the Ottawa area check out this Spring Swap Shop event on Sunday, June 1st! I'll be there with a good chunk of my closet! 

Quality over Quantity 
When making new purchases, stick with quality over quantity. Quality items will a) last longer and b) be more expensive, therefore making you think twice before purchasing. 

Be Aware
Find out where your clothes are coming from. Try supporting local brands or vintage/consignment shopping instead of the cookie cutter stores that are all made in poverty ridden countries. It's a little daunting and frustrating, I know. One person's shopping habits will not change the world, but I'm a huge believer in the fact that every little bit counts, and the less we buy from those types of commercial giants, the less they will eventually have to produce. Not only that, you'll feel better about your lifestyle choices and chances are most of your pieces will be more unique and come with a story. 

What are your tips and tricks for remaining fashionable and sustainable in a society obsessed with consumption and the latest trends?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jewellery Organization for the Scrambled at Heart

I haven't posted in a while, and thought what a better way to start the new year off then with new ways to get organized? This new year I told myself (much like I have multiple other years) that this will be the year I get my shit together. Well, the difference this year is that I'm slowly, but surely, actually following through, starting with my jewellery. Perhaps not life shattering, but hey, you gotta start somewhere right?

So to start the new year right, I started by using a Christmas gift. If you're thinking "how efficient", you're thinking wrong. We're talking a Christmas gift not from this Christmas, but the one prior. Yes, Christmas of 2012. The fact that it took me a full year to make use of this should give you an indication to my level of organization. This gift was a hanger necklace/jewellery organizer. It's a hanger with various loops and pockets to keep you organized and tangle free. Another plus is that its already hanging in your closet, thus making outfit planning a breeze.

Alright, necklaces and bracelets down. Now onto earrings. I don't know about you, but my earrings are always a mess. First of all, they come in pairs, which complicates things off the bat. You have not one, but two things to try and keep track of. I have this box that I usually just throw all of my earrings in, but it is by no means a fast or efficient system. I travel a lot and therefore needed something that not only kept things organized, but was portable too. I bought these craft storage boxes at Dollarama and couldn't be more pleased with the results. I organized my earrings by categories, and through this process I was also able to pair them up and figure out who was missing their twin. Two birds, one stone. I even used one of the compartments specifically for ones that were missing their mates. It's not uncommon for me to find the missing earring weeks, or even months or years, later, only to find that I have then misplaced their previously "found" partner. Of course. I also used various compartments for earring backs, as well as safety pins. These craft storage boxes cost me only a dollar each and have saved me more than I'll ever know. Instead of constantly buying new earrings because I (permanently or temporarily) lost one, or worse, both, I now know where they all are, at all times.

As far as traveling goes, life has never been better. These small craft boxes take  up less space then my previous box and keep everything organized in the process. They also allow me to bring all of my earrings, instead of segregating the ones I think I'll wear (wrong choices are always made in such circumstances). Less space, more variety, plus travel friendly. Voila.

This is the best life hack I have seen for ladies in quite some time.

You're welcome.