Do you Shop till you drop?

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Being Mindful while shopping

My newly purchased “Cannon Power Shot A5” placed on self-timer mode to click perfect pictures of my recently bought clothes post a retail therapy session. Poly bags of different brands lay scattered across the room, as paper bags were not widespread used back then. This was one of the usual scenes of most weekends spend during the last decade.

Impulsive shopping, Emotional shopping, Window shopping, I had experienced them all. From buying expensive branded clothes to buying same t-shirts in different colors you name it, I have done it all. Mostly ended up buying things I don’t need.

Today when I look back and visualize myself roaming around in the malls of Bangalore all by myself, hopping from one shop to another, filling my hands with shopping bags, I feel sad as well as happy. Sad because I hardly did any savings at the end of the month. It was always hand to mouth situation. Happy because, had I not been the way I was back then, today I could not have appreciated and learned about slow fashion, minimal fashion, capsule wardrobe, sustainable fashion and clustering of clothes.

So what exactly are all these and who are they meant for? How is it related to Slow and Mindful living? You might be having lots of questions running in your mind by now. Let me explain each of them individually. Stick with me till the end as I will also share tips on how to implement these in your day to day life as well as I have shared a reference video of my journey.

What Is Slow Fashion?

Wikipedia defines slow fashion as “An Alternative to fast Fashion”. Fast fashions are generally fads, which comes for a very short stint and makes you feel as, if you don’t own it then you won’t fit in with the crowd.

Remember the “Cold Shoulders”, which was doing rounds around couple of years or so. Every outfit you picked Indian, western, kids wear, you name it, and all had those cold shoulder design. It never resonated with me and I was very conscious about not owning them. I remembered, when I was around ten or eleven years old, the same design was in and my dad got me a top with that design and I did not like it back then as well.

Slow fashion, unlike fast fashion, is long lasting. They mostly consists of the “Basics” and serves you for a very long time almost a life time in some cases. Take the pair of blue jeans and while T-Shirt for example, you can wear it from your childhood to adulthood. These are classics which does not age.

Slow fashion is not a trend. It’s a choice of lifestyle. A way of self-expression, where you do not need a wardrobe full of clothes to define who you actually are. Slow fashion is also environment friendly and a great way to start your journey towards leading a slow, minimal and mindful lifestyle.

What is capsule wardrobe / Minimal Fashion

The term “Capsule Wardrobe” was first coined by Susie Faux back in the 1970’s. It is basically a collection of few essential items of clothing that can be mixed and matched with seasonal clothing pieces. The aspect of interchangeability of the items in the wardrobe gives you the option to mix and match which eventually leads to lesser purchase over a period of time.

For example instead of owning four to five pairs of blue denims in different shade, you can have couple of them, may be one in a dark and another in a lighter shade. A Capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe which has clothes you wear frequently for a very long time. Clothes you truly love and don’t think twice before picking them up from your closet.

Building a capsule wardrobe can sometimes be challenging, as it requires careful evaluation of your personal style, your lifestyle and your budget. Expert advice from an Image consultant or fashion consultants to build your very own capsule wardrobe can come very handy. They also help you evaluate your wardrobe, help you identify your personal style that best suits your lifestyle and your body shape.

So does that mean, once you think of building your capsule wardrobe, you need to get rid of all your existing clothes. No, absolutely not. The whole idea is to lead a more sustainable life by following rules of slow fashion, sustainable fashion. Another interesting way of achieving it by clustering your Wardrobe.

What does clustering your Wardrobe means?

As the name suggests, clustering literally means “a small group”. By clustering your wardrobe, you basically create such small groups of clothes that are well coordinated in color, fabric and shape, all with exchangeable parts. Each cluster can range from as simple as five to as extravagant as twenty mix and match items.

Clustering of clothes are mainly done to allow versatility and flexibility to your wardrobe using minimum number of clothing items. A cluster is typically build around one costume piece while all other pieces simply well accompanied with the costume piece as well as with each other.

The best fabric to choose for building a cluster are typically natural materials like cotton, linen, silk, wool etc. Few pointers to keep in mind while developing your own cluster are your lifestyle, your current wardrobe, the color scheme you are looking for and of course you’re personal taste of clothing. Although it sounds overwhelming, but once done by an expert, you can reap the benefits of it for a very long time.

Clustering sure is one of the most viable option if you plan to re-use your existing clothing items which you often find hidden away at the back of your wardrobe. It not only makes your daily life simple by saving you the time and effort to think “What do I wear today?”, but it also saves you huge bucks from mindless purchases and those endless shopping hauls which does nothing but put a whole in your purse.

Actions for you to take

The first step towards following a minimalist wardrobe is by de cluttering. Below is a simple step by step method of how you can de clutter. In case you find yourself getting overwhelmed in the process, I have also recorded a de cluttering videos for you to have a look and plan yours.

Step for De cluttering

1. Take a close look at your wardrobe

2. Start small by picking up one shelve.

3. Empty all the items of that shelve

4. Now divide them into three categories

a. Recycle

b. Re-Use

c. Give away

5. In case you are not sure of certain items, pack them and keep them away from your eyes. If you dot use them in a months’ time, you will surely not use them in future away.

6. Repeat this for your entire wardrobe

“Fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.” – Livia Firth

If you have missed my previous two part from the Slow living series, don't forget to check them out as well.

1.How to Practice Slow & Mindful Living in your Daily Life – Part 1

2.Gardening your way to Happiness - How to practice Slow & mindful living in your daily life – Part 2

If you are looking for assistance to help you build you a sustainable wardrobe, check out the helps I offer here

About the Author :

Manisha is on a mission to inspire 1 Million Women. To prioritize themselves up in their priority list.

She realized it late, but like they say, “better late than never”.

With 15+ years in corporate experience, she is a trained Image Consultant, Practicing Soft Skill trainer and aspiring Life Coach. She empowers you to look good, feel good, be good.

Connect with her to:

🔹Create Positive First Impression 🔹Create Positive Lasting Impression 🔹Find True and Lasting happiness

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