As 2020 has shaped up to be the year of change and reflection, I’ve learned a lot about my personal style and how fashion is part of my life. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve officially become “old” or that I’m just aware of how trends work and how I probably can’t pull off those tiny baby t-shirts and neon fishnets anymore. Or it might be the way my life has changed has made me reassess how fashion serves me. From planning my looks around taking the train downtown to an office and client meetings daily, now I have a bit more relaxed freedom. But with maturity and reflection on my new reality, these are my 2020 fashion resolutions or mantras as I move into a new decade of life and a new year of opportunity in 2021.
I think I’ve said this, but the fashion industry is one of the largest creators of waste. Fast Fashion not only ends up in landfills but producing clothes dump chemicals into water sources and utilizes a lot of water in production. With this knowledge, I’ve felt like I need to do my part in reducing waste and pollution and much as possible. This year I signed up for Rent the Runway’s unlimited program (now updated to a different program) and was able to rent clothes and add new and trendy pieces to my closet without committing to keeping them. It truly was the best decision I have ever made when it comes to my closet. I have LOVED being able to try new trends and wear higher-end items without the price tag. It not only has allowed me to try trends I wouldn’t usually try because I don’t like to invest in things that go out of style but it has also cut down on my clothing spending tremendously. I am a huge fan of coats in the winter (I do live in Chicago after all) and coats have been by far my favorite items to rent. It’s like having a closet filled with coats for every outfit without investing hundreds of dollars into each coat. What I also love about Rent the Runway is that there are even items for petite women to confidently wear. I’ve renting pants and sweaters, dresses and coats, and with the help of the amazing reviews and a bit of knowledge about my build, I haven’t found I have to return things unworn because they don’t fit.
Along with renting pieces, I really like buying my more timeless that I know will be staples for years to come I like to buy pre-loved higher end. Places like The Real Real and even Rent the Runway are great options to find beautiful designer pieces for cheap.
I have always been fascinated with minimalist fashion. But I do find that I love changing my style every day and when you are all over the place with your style it doesn’t often lend to a capsule wardrobe. But going into 2021, and leaning into renting much of my wardrobe I have found it to be easier to let go of the more trendy pieces in my closet and focus on high quality and versatile pieces I know I’ll wear and can be styled in many different ways. If you focus on collecting items that will last a long time and can be matched with many different items to create completely different looks it’s the best way to keep your closet timeless. When I go shopping and I like an item I will look at it and think about everything I have in my closet, if I can’t create at least three different outfits in my head right there with the time then I won’t buy it. Those would be items I look for similar options on Rent the Runway to have some fun with and then let go of.
One In One Out
The best rule if you’re living in a small apartment, you’re a clothing hoarder, or want to create a capsule wardrobe. If you’re adding a new bag to your collection, you need to say goodbye to one that doesn’t get as much love anymore. It keeps you focused on pieces you go back to time and time again and keeps your closet more streamlined.
Quality Over Quantity
I used to be a quantity over quality girl. I thought ‘if I’m a fashion blogger I can’t possibly repeat outfits or I can’t show the same items more than once in a post.’ but I’ve really that’s just not true and showing my community really good quality items helps everyone in the long run.
I’ve also learned a lot about fabric quality, the best way to wash higher-end items to protect them and extend their life, and what fabrics just all around feel better. Spending a little bit more on a Cashmere sweater (or buying it second hand for a little bit less) is well worth it to have a comfortable and quality fabric.
Tailoring is Key
Another thing I overlooked has always been tailoring. I would buy cheap clothes that didn’t really fit that well, wear them for a season and then lose them in the back of my closet. As soon as I started finding clothes that fit me better, or take the time to get things hemmed, and tailored to the way I wanted to fit I will wear the item ten times more times. When you spend a little bit more money on your clothes they should fit you right. I used to be against tailoring because I just saw it as another expense but when it comes to getting your use out of the clothes it’s well worth it to take the time and added attention to making it flattering so you want to wear it
Shop Your Closet Instead of Emotional Online Shopping
2020 has been a struggle emotionally, to say the least. Staying home all day every day for months on end can really weigh on you, and it’s so easy to just sit on the couch binge your favorite trash tv and online shop. I’m definitely guilty of some unnecessary shopping sprees. But Rent the Runway has helped quite a bit, getting to rent new pieces has been like my own little shopping spree. But another thing I want to try to focus on in 2021 is to shop my closet before I even think about visiting my favorite online stores. Going through and taking a little inventory before you hit checkout is a great way to make sure you don’t already have that in your closet. It also gives you a chance to rediscover items you haven’t tried on in a while and maybe challenge yourself to style it a new and unique way or maybe donate it
Factor in Price Per Wear
When I started changing my perspective on price was when I learned to factor in how often I would wear the item. I started thinking about how much the versatility or fit was worth when buying a new piece. I think that’s where my rule of thinking of three outfits I could create with things in my closet already came in to play. If I can create many different looks with this piece and it fills a hole in my closet then spending a little bit more if it fits better or is exactly what I’m looking for.
Take Better Care of My Favorites
Officially leaving my 20s behind has turned me into quite the adult. Going into 2021 I am also more focused on the washing instructions on my garments. I hate to say it but they are there for a reason. You need to hand wash certain fabrics because wash cycles can be very hard on them. Or if you throw something in a hot dryer it might not fit at all when it comes back out… following the instructions on those tags is just one more way to protect your clothes and the longevity of your closest
Make Every Day a Runway
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in 2020 is to wear the outfits you want and to make every day your runway. You don’t need an excuse to wear what you want. Especially when we’re home most days, there’s no better day than today to pull out those outfits you’ve been dying to wear. Being remote for work I found myself sticking to my comfortable sweats over getting dressed each day and in 2021 and since remote is now our reality trying to find some routine and getting myself dressed for work each day has been so helpful in changing my mindset. So wear those sequins, that ball gown, or your craziest outfits if it makes you happy
Make Your Own Fashion Rules
No white after labor day? Can mix metals? Leave all the traditional fashion rules in the past and make up your own. I’ve said this before, but what I love about fashion is that it’s a way to express your unique personality and creativity. Designers create seasonal collections and drive trends for the next year but if it doesn’t resonate with you there is nothing wrong with sticking with what you like. Break the rules, try new things, sometimes it will flop but other times you’ll create totally inspiring outfits. I think 2020 and as we move into 2021 still fighting this pandemic being home is the best opportunity to try new things and push the envelope of your style.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve moved into a new decade of life or if 2020 has just been a time of reflection but I’ve learned to care about quality, sustainability, and most importantly my happiness and becoming inspired by fashion again. Let 2021 be a refresh for you as well. What are your resolutions this year?