Elle-Canada---October-2014-(dragged)-8

No New Clothes For 100 Days

No New Clothes For 100 Days

It’s actually my one and only New Year’s resolution. And it also includes accessories, shoes and frivolous lipstick (e.g. my 79th purple lipstick, not my boring £4 powder). Yep, I am GIVING UP shopping for 100 days. Which, if you are a friend of mine or an Instagram follower, you will know is utterly converse to my usual approach to shopping.

I frequent the phrase “you don’t want to be the richest girl in the graveyard” and I rack up copious debt. I spend hours tracking down archive Louise Gray pieces and obsessing over the/a dress on Depop. Yes, I buy drunk, I buy depressed, I buy happy. I treat myself after work, I treat myself when I feel lonely, I treat myself because it might sell out. In fact, I live so much in fear of things I covet selling out that I would say it’s one of my primary reasons for buying so many clothes. Let it be known here – I am a fiend.

However, don’t be tricked into thinking I’m a mindless millennial spender who values consumerism more than cash. It’s an easy mistake to make, granted. I undoubtedly am a consumer, but I am by no means consumerist. I believe truly and purely that the things we buy to adorn our body are how we express ourselves in the most immediate and visual form. The clothes, jewellery, headpieces, hats, shoes, hosiery, bags and belts are how we say who we are without having to write out our bio every time we meet someone. They’re completely representative of our life, how we feel, and who we want to be. It’s a beautiful thing.

 

7a7cb6f7579c464bdb7365b2478f3ed4f56d8d0a6da5-ZNcmXz_fw658

Even those people that don’t feel they consider what they wear have chosen to put the clothes they’re wearing on. People in uniform still have their own hairstyles, makeup, facial hair, underwear. Even if the clothes are chosen for practical reasons, that is still a choice representative of who they are. Of course, it is a privileged position to think of clothes this way and I am CHECKING MY PRIVILEGE. I wish it were one everyone could enjoy.

Believing the above so genuinely puts me in an interesting position regarding not purchasing any new things. Will this prove my theory more or will it show me up to be an absolute 21st Century hot mess? So far (that’s about 30 days in), I am pining when I walk past my favourite vintage shops. I delete ‘new in’ emails as soon as they’re received. But I am also feeling a tiny little rebellious niggle in the back of my brain. As I typed about ‘the/a dress on Depop’ just now, the niggle gave a faint shout: I kind of feel a bit free.

Oversized coat

Now I promise, I’m not trying to preach to you. As I have stated, I believe in clothes and visual expression deeply. But I did feel kind of relieved that I’m not currently trawling through eBay, page after page after page after page, searching for something that might only exist in my imagination. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pursuit I love. But it can also be an exhausting one. And the niggle reminded me it feels kind of good to not even be allowed to consider new clothes right now.

Watch this space.

 

Written by Elle Shoel,

Contributor

Visuals not owned by XXY Magazine LTD

david-hockney-photocollagec2297c13063395.5627070316bbd