This blog was born with a single core value: to be honest with my readers at all times.
As you may or may not have noticed, that’s why the site’s motto is The Honest Fashionista Diaries, why I chose to publish this as my first post ever, and why there is an entire category called The Honest Fashionista Series. Openness is important to me and that (plus a pinch of humour) cannot harm the Blogosphere.
With that said, I believe there is a big difference between being sincere and blatantly regurgitating my unsolicited opinions at the earliest opportunity. After all, we have the right to hold off-record thoughts which we’d better keep for ourselves. As my grandmother taught me when I was very young: if you have nothing pleasant to say, it is better to say nothing. In other words, you don’t need to fight every battle or give your opinion about every topic on earth.
By nature, I am a peacemaker—one of my sisters refers to me as the O.N.U. family negotiator which never fails to make everyone laugh—and I try to avoid conflict when I see no good can be done. Summing up, I might be honest but I also know when to shut my mouth.
When the capsule wardrobe philosophy became a trend, I patiently read as many articles and blog posts as I could to have an informed opinion on the subject. What I found out though, didn’t resonate with me at any level, so I took a step back and kept my opinion to myself. Usually, this would be the end of the story—and it was for a couple of years—but a few weeks ago, I received an unnerving message via Instagram. The person who sent it was reacting to one of my outfit photos and felt the need to rave about how terrible I was as a person for posting pictures of me wearing my clothes, and what an awful example I was for every young impressionable person out there. People like me were, in her own words, a total disgrace and I should be ashamed for not promoting capsule wardrobes and sustainable fashion.
You can believe me when I say my first reaction was nothing but confusion. Mainly because:
A. My Instagram is a small account that (luckily) receives zero hate.
B. I don’t consider my content to be exclusively focused on outfits.
C. You can easily see I wear my clothes more than once and I am very far from a serial shopper.
Once the original feeling of astonishment left me, it was replaced by disbelief and finally, an increasing outrage. However, I blocked the person and forget about the whole thing as soon as possible. Three days ago though, I received a new DM via Instagram which contained almost the same message, sent from a sister account. Again, she seemed disgusted by the fact I kept posting my “non-sustainable” outfits and NOT EMBRACING THE CAPSULE WARDROBE TREND.
If that person would have spent a single moment to visit this blog by clicking in the link on the bio, she’d have probably learned a thing or two about my style perception and the sustainability topic.
For starts, the main reason why I’ve never written about the capsule wardrobe philosophy before is that, from my point of view, it suffers from some serious inconsistency on its base principles. The main target is reducing waste and using the whole contents of your wardrobe, which can only be a positive thing per se. However, reducing to thirty-three pieces your existing closet makes no sense from a logistic perspective.
First, the continuous rotation of the same pieces will inevitably damage even the best-quality pieces, leaving you with the urgent need to replace them at the end of the season at the latest. Potentially, this means money and waste. Second, thirty-three pieces may help you to survive for a season if the given items are high-quality but you will need to add a new set when the season changes and pack away (or dispose of) the used stuff. This means buying four new capsule wardrobes a year which depending on your budget and previous shopping habits might not be that good all things considered.
After second thoughts, there is yet another aspect holding me back: the deep existent association between capsule wardrobes and uniformity. One of the main ideas, you see, it to achieve a very defined style, with all the pieces working together. Pretty much, like a uniform.
One of the things you don’t know about me is that I studied at a religious private school for a couple of years. I could write an interesting (and probably juicy) list of the lessons I learned over there but the main and most important one was uniformity is rarely a good thing. When you make people wearing the same neutral colours every day, looking alike, there is a certain point in which they start thinking and acting alike. And I have read enough dystopian fiction to be afraid of any form of hive mind (thank you very much for the nightmares, Mrs. Atwood).
To me, fashion is all about individual expression and I think that’s something wonderful.
So, am I openly admitting I don’t give a s@#€ about sustainability? As a matter of fact, nothing is further of the truth. Adopting a capsule wardrobe is not the only way you can contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. Instead, I prefer to explore other paths including but not limited to:
Taking good care of your existing pieces, so their lifespan is extended
Cutting down on your shopping habits and getting only the things you love
Choosing clothes that are better quality and more durable
Shopping second hand or vintage
Supporting ethical brands of your choice
These might not look like life-changing rules but once you have been practicing for a while, you will realize they are. I have been shopping vintage, second hand and being more selective with my shopping habits for a while now (I think about five years and counting) and in the long run, you feel nothing but satisfaction and relief. Satisfaction because you love everything on your wardrobe. Relief because you can walk outside a shop with empty hands and feel good about it, anyway.
So, the next time anyone feels tempted to judge me for posting outfit photos online, please make me a favour and just unfollow…