Being a student you are often faced with the dilemma of what to wear, and the result of staring at the same clothes day-in-day-out nearly always leads to you getting stuck in a fashion rut. This is not always the case many people have the ability to just keep going in their familiar clothes complete with holes, and fading, but when I loose my fashion mojo everything goes down the toilet! So how do you pull yourself out of such a situation especially when there is no money for a closet makeover?
As well as being a creative writing student, I also work 40 hours a week in a publishing house. The office is very casual and I find myself wearing pretty much anything into work. I think that is where my problem begins. My inability to define work clothes from fun clothes! As Maria in The Sound of Music says “The Children Must Have Play Clothes!” (Even if they are made from drapes!) – There is also the idea of dressing for success – one can’t expect to get anywhere showing up in Mavi boyfriend Jeans and a Bazinga T-shirt! Plus on a low day the outfit defines my mood and productivity. You could say I have SAD but CAD (Clothes Affective Disorder).
Can I be cured on a non-existent budget, and a closet full of last seasons (and the season before) clothes? How can a fashionista find her mojo again?
Before anything is bought, exchange, or gifted there must be a closet cleanse. Holes that cannot be fixed discreetly and sweat patches are the worst. Not even Oxfam will want those. Then there is the random “trend pieces” that you bought on a whim last year – those will find a great home at the charity shop. What should remain are the essentials.
Next is the checklist. The list that every fashion guru declares one must own: the LBD, the white button down and the simple black pumps (you know the one). With just those the regular person can live happily. But, for the fashonista this is the bare essentials… bare being the emphasized word. The hunger to own something new and in style is just too much for me, and a season cannot pass without something new being introduced into my closet. This is where things get complicated and planning is needed!
As a foreign student, studying at Oxford, and funding herself funds are tight. When it comes to clothing allowance the funding is just non-existent. How can you buy on trend clothing without taking out of your food allowance for the month? You can’t! It’s as simple as that. What you need to do is invest in timeless pieces. Counting on endless Primark clothing that might seem cool this week but will either fall apart or be out of trend next month is not the way to go. You just end up spending more money, and not gaining anything from it. The same can be said for saving up and buying the latest Galliano skirt that is so hot right now. Living in a dorm with old washing machines is going to shorten the life-expectancy of the skirt. Plus are you really going to be wearing it to and from the Bodleian library, and back and forth to lectures, and riding your bike in between? What I am talking about is investing in the High Street Brands. The expensive but the sensible… Maybe living in the UK and in close proximity to Kate Middleton is rubbing off on me?! But she has the right idea – she is current but each outfit is suitable and relevant to what she is doing. When you are in John Lewis or walking along the high street that is what you need to ask yourself. What is relevant to my day, what is suitable, and what can I wear countless times and still look on trend? – Plus most of the high street brands wash and tumble dry!
So over the next few months (and probably beyond) I am going to start taking my own advice, and start on my own closet reinvention. With a budget I am happy to share, and a lifestyle you can sympathize with I will tell you what I am doing and why, even the outcome (bad or good) of my choices.
The reason is simply. I am no longer a full-time/ early twenties student – I am a graduate student on the brink of becoming a professional. What I wear is about to become as important as what I produce in my work. So here goes! Taking a deep breath we shall plunge into the pile of cotton together! What will we find?!