Wardrobe update: I went shopping!

Denim blue dress by Zara made from lyocell

There have been a couple of changes to my wardrobe and I believe it’s time for a check-in. After going through a no-buy in March, I spend the rest of the season figuring out what spring/summer clothes would fit my current lifestyle. I also went to a swapping event and for the first time in months, I went shopping.

You’ll have to excuse the lack of pictures. I’ve been a bit under the weather lately, and don’t have the time to take some proper photos this week. I’ll add links to the bought items, so you can see them.

May outfit diary

In my last Track My Wardrobe post, I realized that my spring and summer clothes were not making me happy. To figure out what the wardrobe needs for my current lifestyle are, I tracked my outfits in May.

How did it go?

Compared to my February outfit diary, I found it harder to take daily notes. I even forgot some days and had to fill them in later. May was still quite cold, I only started to wear spring clothing halfway through the month. Subsequently, only the latter half of May has some usable notes for my spring/summer wardrobe.

What did I learn?

  • I’d like to look a bit more my ‘work professional’ and my current tops are just a little too casual or ‘young’.
  • The tops that I do enjoy wearing are often in a wide or boxy fit. But I don’t wear them right now because I have nothing to layer them with to combat the office aircon.
  • I only have raincoats. I would like a thin, classy summer coat or a nice blazer.
  • Since I don’t feel comfortable in shorts or skirts due to wearing compression socks, I need to find alternatives for warm weather. I need to experiment with different styles of loose fitting trousers and floor length dresses or skirts.
  • I need more neutral building blocks. Most of the bright coloured items that I own are not for me anymore. And the ones that I do like, are hard to pair with anything.
  • I culled my summer shoes and threw away the broken ones. I’m mostly in need work appropriate flats.
White blouse by WEEKDAY

Swapping event

A colleague of mine organized a swapping event at her place. I brought along everything that is in my donation bin. I also checked my wardrobe inventory for the items that I wouldn’t mind giving away.

What did I get?

I ended up taking only two new pieces home with me. Keeping track of my wardrobe has made me more critical of what I’d add to my wardrobe. I kept asking myself: Do I need this? Can I pair this with at least two more items in my wardrobe? Do I feel comfortable in it and does it suit me?

I went home with a khaki green sleeveless blouse, which fit perfectly within my current wardrobe needs (work appropriate summer top). And a wool jumper, which I didn’t really need but the fit was right. In hindsight, I probably should’ve only gotten the blouse.

Since all unwanted clothes went to the teenage cousins of my colleague, I left almost all my unwanted items at her place.

Shopping

By the 25th of May, I felt I was far enough in my outfit diary to know what I needed to look for. From my outfit diary, I also learned that I need to go and experiment with clothes I would normally not try on.

Considering this, I knew that I wouldn’t be getting all I needed or wanted in one shopping spree. So I wanted to ease myself into it by giving myself a no-pressure shopping day. The goal was to experiment, have a bit of fun and not adhere to my list of needs too strictly. I also gave myself a budget to spend.

My experience shopping for the first time this year

This is the first time this year, that I properly went shopping. The shopping trip I did in February was more of a practical shopping day to replace broken trousers and to buy items for our holiday abroad.

This time, I was more open to try new things and just look at what items that drew me in. Even though I was a bit reluctant to go shopping. On the one hand, I felt guilty for shopping fast fashion and on the other hand, I still remember how stressed out shopping can make me.

Why shop fast fashion?

Since keeping a budget, I’m more aware of how much I earn and spend per month. It became clear to me that, I am currently not in a position to buy sustainable brands all the time. Especially when I’m still not certain on what type of clothing are a sure winner for my wardrobe. I know most sustainable fashion bloggers tout that sustainable brands are not more expensive than other brands because of the cost per wear. But, pragmatically speaking, the direct cost IS more expensive.

Instead, I’ve decided to check the second hand shops first, and then go over to fast fashion stores. I believe that my wardrobe tracking is helping me to be more critical of my purchases and thus will help me to limit the amount of items I buy.

How did it go?

As expected, I was indeed more critical what I decided to try on. The first thing I did was check the fabric label. I avoid polyester and other synthetic fabrics as much as possible in favour of semi-synthetics (lyocell, viscose,…) and natural fabrics (cotton, linen,…).

I also inspected each item for loose threads and other signs that it was hastily stitched. If I can’t buy clothes of which I’m sure they’re made in the best circumstances, I at least want to make sure that I buy items that will last me a long while and won’t require a repurchase within the same season.

What did I buy?

I ended up buying 4 items + 4 staples (underwear). I ended up being slightly below my €200 budget.

Denim blue dress by Zara made from lyocell

Blue long dress and Brown cropped trousers – Zara (79,90)

I was surprised to see Zara had a nice range of natural and semi-synthetic fabrics on offer. Both the dress and trousers I bought are made of Lyocell (TENCEL).

The trousers (these) are a good addition to my wardrobe as a breathable, neutral type of trousers for summer. In the fitting room, the cropped fit looked like it wouldn’t emphasize my nude coloured compression socks. Let’s hope this is indeed the case.

The dress (similar in another colour) looks like a perfect summer item that would both give me breathability and hide the compression socks. Since it’s so long, I was afraid it would make me look small unless I wear heels. But I think the cleavage balances this out nicely. I’m looking forward to wearing this in summer.

White blouse – WEEKDAY (40,00)

WEEKDAY have opened up a shop in my city and I decided to have a look. Though I feel I’m not really their target audience, I did find a nice white blouse (this one). This could be a perfect staple top for my summer wardrobe. The cut is also right up my alley: boxy and loose fitting. The blouse is made of viscose.

Black trousers – Vero Moda (34,99)

Since my beloved skinny trousers from Uniqlo wear out so fast, I’ve been looking for another staple pair of black trousers (these). This pair of Vero Moda is not skinny but it has proven to be a great staple already, considering I’ve already worn it many times.

Unfortunately, the main fabric of this item is polyester. But after trying on so many different trousers, I sort of just gave in. In the end it was not a bad decision as this item has proven to be a true work horse in my wardrobe.

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