As I progress through my thirties, something that has been on my mind when it comes to shopping is the phrase “disposable fashion.” The things we buy from H&M or Forever21 without much analysis and just say “whatever, I can wear it for a season and then get rid of it.” Fashion should be fun and there’s something nice about the idea of not needing every purchase be an investment or a big decision. But at the same time, to exercise this tactic all the time and buy in high quantities over quality is so wasteful. Those impossibly inexpensive things are made in sweatshops out of the cheapest materials, and most are very trendy and will possibly be irrelevant next year. The thought of spending $18 on a top that I’m literally going to toss into a Goodwill bag in a year is sort of unsettling. As I get older, I’m trying to think of shopping in a different way and bring things in my wardrobe that will become longtime favorites over quick trend-slave pieces. You know I’m a fan of Target and love a good find there (ie. this straw hat!) and I’m definitely not saying that I never buy cheap things because that’s so not the case. Hey, if you find something at Target that you feel connected to and LOVE then that’s a real win. I’m all for it! But these days I’m trying to challenge myself to balance my wardrobe a bit better than I have in the past, and not end up feeling annoyed by out-of-date cheap stuff crowding my closet. Things from small local shops, designed by local designers, and hopefully made in the US are getting a bit more of my shopping budget these days. I’m not on a high horse. Let me tell you that I do get a stingy attitude and roll my eyes sometimes when I look at the price tag and see that a cute pair of pants from a hipster store is $400. But I try to remind myself why cheap clothes are allowed to be cheap, and I spend more time thinking about purchases before making them. This leads to a much more curated, unique, and specific-to-you closet (same goes for purchases for the home as well). It’s just food for thought, and I think a balance between high and low is the ideal scenario, as long as you truly love everything in your wardrobe. What do you think? What’s your philosophy on investing in fashion pieces?
This Rachel Craven cocoon dress comes in a slew of colors but I fell in love with this one she created for Midland in the color “Midland green.” I am still coveting it in white because it’s so easy, comfortable, and everyday appropriate. I love the way the linen is dyed and gets a more worn look after washing. Here I’m wearing it with my favorite sandals of the summer which I also got at Midland and love so much that I preordered them in the lilac/blush color as well. I added a Crescioni necklace I bought in Austin 3 years ago and a classic straw hat I found at Target that I think was a really great find! I can already tell these are all pieces I’m going to love for years to come.
Photography by Ashley Burns