Ashleigh Graham Personal Stylist

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Is it wrong to want new clothes?

Ashleigh Graham Personal Stylist

Is it wrong to want new clothes when you have a wardrobe full of perfectly good ones? I found myself in this dilemma recently. My clothes felt stale and boring even though they are all lovely and there's nothing actually wrong with them.

Over the past four years I'd been on a big clothing ban; not allowing myself to buy anything unless it was for work. I needed to save for study and travel so new clothes were out of the question. You can imagine how hard that was for someone who works with clothes for a living!

I actually surprised myself with how disciplined I became! I completely numbed myself to fashion, avoiding malls and op-shops like the plague! The result: it worked! I saved for three courses and went on holidays to Aus, the UK and Europe.

A lot can happen in four years and I know for sure that, after wearing the same clothes over and over again, I felt pretty un-inspired with my wardrobe! I had grown and changed as a person and it felt like my closet was stuck in the past. When I came to the realisation that I really needed to shake things up, I honestly felt guilty about buying new things that I didn't need. So how did I combat the guilt?

1. I donated and sold what I wasn't wearing. Spring cleaning is not only therapeutic but it also allows for new opportunities with the newfound space.

2. I began op-shopping again. Recycled clothing is not only cost affordable but good for our planet.

3. I looked for pieces that were a little more modern or had interesting prints and colours to pair with my current wardrobe. This was a way to integrate my core basics with new feature pieces that totally refreshed my outfits.

4. I reflected on my style over the years and looked online for new or vintage looks and outfits that, as Marie Kondo would say, “sparked joy" or interest. Getting a clear sense of what I liked helped lead me into a new era of my style and stopped me from buying the same old stuff within my “comfort zone”.

The reality is we live in a world where we have over consumed to the point where we have turned to extremes like minimalism. While minimalism works wonderfully for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes we need to have something new and, if approached with conscious thought, it can be achieved the right way.

As my mother would say: "It's all about balance".

Going forward I believe that it's okay to treat yourself with something new and fresh from time to time. You don't need a whole new wardrobe every season but you can add in a new piece with moderation.

When you feel like something new, ask yourself: is it really my clothes that are making me feel bad or is it something else? A lot of the time it’s something else! The buzz that you are craving from buying something can be eased with a nice walk in the park, a long bath or a good hearty talk over a cup of tea with a friend.

You'll know if it's your clothes because you will be able to gauge that they don't feel in alignment with who you are, and wearing them makes you feel low or frustrated. If this sounds like you, it might be time to consider changing up your wardrobe!

After all, is it wrong to want new clothes?

Ashleigh GrahamComment