‘It’s not a fashion show’ is one of my favourite phrases. I use it to make my husband and kids stop and think if they’re being a bit silly about clothes. Because life isn’t a fashion show. School isn’t a fashion show, work isn’t a fashion and running most definitely isn’t a fashion show.
It doesn’t matter if your clothes don’t match 100% of the time.
Yes, you have to have a degree of smartness for work or school. But you don’t have to have the latest trends, the most expensive brands and a perfectly co-ordinated outfit all the time.
I’m going to stick my neck out and say that CLOTHES DON’T REALLY MATTER. Not as much as a lot of people think they matter, anyway. I know clothes can make you feel good about yourself blah blah blah. I get that (kind of). But there is more to life than clothes and it’s about time we all started realising that, for the good of the environment.
You don’t need me to tell you that clothes and fast fashion are really bad for the environment and are contributing to climate change. That has been well documented. So if you buy the latest trends, if your outfits always have to match 100%, if you buy something for one occasion and never wear it again, you are contributing to climate change in a bigger way than someone like me – for whom life isn’t a fashion show.
Of course, I don’t go out to work and that makes life easier for me. I live in black jeans and a variety of coloured Tshirts and hoodies from Superdry. I have hoodies in grey, pink, blue, red and green. I have Tshirts in the same colours. Usually the Tshirts will pretty much match the hoodies, but not always. I wear my newer clothes at the weekend and my older clothes during the week.
If my jeans got holes in them, I keep wearing them. Because I still can. I don’t actually need new ones until they’re falling off me. When my Tshirts and hoodies fade, they get relegated from ‘weekend’ clothes to ‘weekday’ clothes. And I keep wearing them. I have Tshirts and hoodies which I’ve had for three years and still wear weekly, or even several times a week.
The good thing about Superdry clothes, which I wear pretty much all of the time, (apart from that they’re comfortable and I like the way they look) is that they are built to last. Superdry isn’t fast fashion and it doesn’t follow the latest trends. With Superdry, you don’t have to get rid of your clothes at the end of the season because the fashions have changed. Clearly, you NEVER have to get rid of your clothes at the end of the season because the fashions have changed, but sadly a lot of people do.
I’m a fan of bright colours, which inevitably means that sometimes my clothes don’t match in the way society says they should match. And guess how many sh*ts I give about that?!
I have a winter coat which is bright pink and a spring/ autumn/ showerproof coat which is raspberry pink. We’ve now reached the time of year where I need to wear a coat. If I put my raspberry coat on with my green hoodie, do I panic and think I should change? No, because life isn’t a fashion show. And if anyone is judging me for my raspberry coat with my green hoodie (not to mention my ever-present blue Converse), they really want to get a life.
There is a push at the moment for buying more secondhand clothes. That is clearly a good thing. But I have a friend who buys five or six items of secondhand clothing every single week. Is that a good thing?! I don’t think it is. How about just not buying clothes at all, secondhand or otherwise, unless you actually need them?
People set themselves challenges of not buying clothes for a whole month. A MONTH?! I can easily go six months without buying clothes. I will replace my jeans when they are falling off me and usually buy a couple of hoodies a year in the sale – I don’t actively look for a particular colour or style, I just see what is available in my size and I buy it.
I can see that there has been a small step in the right direction, but this is still being drowned out by thousands of influencers on Youtube and Instagram sharing their fashion ‘hauls’ and their freebies (sorry, gifted items). They don’t NEED that many clothes! What happens to them afterwards? It is such a waste and it is doing serious, possibly irreversible damage to our planet.
So next time you think you need the latest trends or you need something new to match with something else, stop and think for a moment. Remember – life isn’t a fashion show.