Last week we discussed the ways in which the fashion industry uses enclothed cognition and our Insecurities against us. This week we will dive into the ways in which we can free ourselves from this cycle and claim power back over our self image.
Let's be honest, With ourselves on a day to day basis we do not view our wardrobe items as tools of manipulation. Before we jump into how we can free ourselves, Let's first breakdown the 3 wardrobe utilization perspectives to get a better understanding of the ways in which we view wardrobe. Wardrobe is commonly seen as necessities, collectibles, or comfort items to be used and replaced, shown off or coveted.
Those that view wardrobe as necessities are not that interested in style. They wear clothes merely because they have to and tend to store their items either very neatly or in a sloppy manner. Shopping is usually only influenced by a need to replace something and they may take wardrobe suggestions out of convenience rather than a desire to be trendy.
However, those on the other side of the need mindset use wardrobe as a way to connect or relate to others and tend to follow trends to do so. Their wardrobe storage does also fit the extreme model of being either neat or messy. Their wardrobe storage is either neat due to being a limited trendy selection that rotate seasonally or messy because they shop often to keep up with trends. They don't think of where those items will live in their home or create and maintain a home for all their wardrobe.
The population of those that are collectors consume wardrobe items predominantly as way to express their personal style. Their wardrobe items are stored either as displayed for visual consumption until use, in a way to maximize how much they can fit in their space or extremely disheveled and nit maintained. Their shopping habits are often not dictated by trends but can be dictated by specific designers or styles. They are not as open to suggestions and prefer to lead their shopping experiences.
Comfort consumers utilize wardrobe predominantly as a way to ease stress. They consume fashions that are soft and comfortable fitting whether it's stylish or not. Their wardrobe storage may vary as they could also fit the need or collector profile. With respect to trends comfort they may try a trend if it seems comfortable otherwise they will stick to the fabrics and styles that are soothing to them.
Now that we have have an understanding of these wardrobe utilization perspectives, here are 5 ways we can free ourselves of the fashion industries mentally manipluative practices. Please keep in mind that a messy home has different mental indicators than having a messy wardrobe area(s).
Figure out your wardrobe utilization perspective.
Which reading the wardrobe mindsets above have did you seem to identify with one over the others? If so that's great and you can now evaluate how you can make positive changes to have a wardrobe that is more of an asset than a liability to you. If not, start a wardrobe journal outlining how you feel when preparing to use your wardrobe, maintain your wardrobe, and purchasing new wardrobe for 3 to 6 months.
2. Detox your wardrobe
A healthy wardrobe mindset is one that allows you to have a neat wardrobe area in which 80% of your wardrobe items are used in a 365 days time period. If you notice you consistently look at your wardrobe and overlook items or avoid items because that inspire low vibrations, consider upcycling, gifting, or swapping.
3. Create an annual spending limit
This is pretty self explainitory but I'll suggest more than 5% of your annual discretionary income being allocated to new wardrobe items. This seems like a low number but if you think about the fact that many wardrobe items are charged or on a payment plan, you will quickly notice how much of a liability wardrobe has become. Creating a budget and sticking to it ensures your wardrobe is a tool to attract the energy you desire from yourself or others.
4. Unlearn fashion rules
Fashion have always been a way to socially control us more than a tool to highlight our best features. We need to unlearn these toxic "rules" in order to create personal styles that actually serve our better selves.
5. Do research
RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!
I can not say this enough. We should constantly be doing research on where our wardrobe items are made, the ethics of the companies involved with creating them, and where materials are sourced as a way of checks and balances. If we control where we spend our money we can regain control of the fashion industry. We could also research companies doing the work to recycle, upcycle, and reuse textiles to keep them out the landfills.
6. Ditch celebrities and fast fashion companies.
Unfollow celebrities on social media and enjoy their talents they their artistic outlet. Doing so shows what we really appreciate about them (which is their talent) and will strips the power of celebrity influence. Most celebrities have teams of people keeping them looking good including stylists and image architects who are often overlooked. Fast Fashion companies is have capitalized on offering cheap low quality fashions that actually have us spending more on wardrobe items and using them less. Unfollowing them helps the small businesses whose designs are getting ripped off and workers in manufacturing buildings such as Rana plaza which are deathly dangerous and mis managed.
This concludes the mental abuse of fashion series! If you have not already please read part 1. "Is the fashion industry mentally abusing us?" and be sure to check out next weeks blpg post to learn the difference between a fashion stylist, fashion psychologist, and wardrobe utilization specialist. New blog posts are currently posted every Thursday at 8:30 am.