Let’s take it slow.
This isn’t relationship advice. Though it could be if you wanted it to be.
Let’s take it slow in fashion.
I’m going to start by admitting that I’ve shopped and hoarded more than I needed in the name of fashion. I have stood in lines from 5 am for sales and hesitated to wear the same dress again because I had pictures in them. I have stood in front of a cupboard full of clothes and cried, “I have nothing to wear!” I nodded my head in agreement to Carrie Bradshaw saying “I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet” and eased my guilt with ‘Life is short. Buy the damn shoes.”
We shop when we’re sad and when we’re happy. We shop so we don’t have to repeat clothes. We shop because we have to own the latest trends. We tell ourselves a little shopping never hurt anybody, but you know it does. Brands feed on this obsessive need to shop and push factory workers to work god-knows-how-many-hours on meager salaries and unsafe working conditions to make all of this available to us. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I love fashion but I don’t want it to come at the cost of people or the environment. So I’ve decided to take it slow with fashion.
No, I’m not going to ask you to shop only organic clothes and go off fast fashion brands. I love me my occasional Zara and F21 dresses. What I’m saying is shop less, organic or not and when you have a choice between a sustainable brand and a fast fashion one, choose sustainability. Be accountable for what you buy. Shop Responsibly. Don’t buy something because it’s a huge trend. Buy it because it makes your heart skip a beat and because it fits your style. So basically choosing your clothes is the same as choosing a partner: invest in forevers or at least close to forevers for clothes.
Shop local. Support local designers and tailors. You’re less likely to see the entire womankind walk around in that dress you got from your local designer and your local designer is more likely to make clothes in ethical working conditions. Get your clothes stitched by a local tailor. It may be tedious and time-consuming: hunting for fabric, explaining the design to the tailor and then waiting days before you get to wear it. But a custom-made dress is worth the effort. Celebrate your personal style.
Also, please please please don’t be ashamed to repeat your outfits. Style it differently or wear it the same. Repeat. Rewear. It’s stupidity not to. Clothes aren’t meant to be worn just once! Don’t buy something because it’s on sale, buy it because you absolutely love it and you won’t mind repeating them. When you tire of your old clothes, give them away to someone who needs it or sell them. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!
And the next time you’re tempted to be Carrie Bradshaw with all your money hanging in your closet, fast forward to the time when she had to give up her house after her break up with Aidan because all her money was in her closet.
I got this maxi dress stitched by a local tailor in Calcutta. There is so much joy in getting a custom made dress. Being involved in the process of picking out fabric, deciding on a design and getting it stitched to fit your style makes it so special. If you’re looking for a good tailor in Calcutta, you have to go to Pakeeza in New Market. It is run by a very sweet Bablu Master who never forgets to offer you tea and water. I’ve got a few dresses stitched by him and I absolutely love them. Just be sure to explain your design to him well. He’s an old man and can be very forgetful. If you have trouble locating him, I’d be glad to share his number with you. You can message me on Instagram.