Are you already feeling what we call ‘summer wardrobe anxiety'? Have you spent every evening clambering through your wardrobe, wondering what to wear to the long list of events you’ve been invited to this summer?
The struggle is real.
The weather won’t make up its mind, but our sweat shirts and cardigans are definitely creeping into the back of our wardrobes, exposing our chaos of summer clothes and pushing us towards shopping malls.
After the shocking War on Waste episode in 2017 that exposed our fast fashion habits, it was announced Australia throws away 6 tonnes of textile waste every 10 minutes. Instead of giving into the urge to hit the mall and shop till you drop for a new summer wardrobe, approach this summer with the planet (and your bank account!) in mind.
Consider each item in your wardrobe as an investment, an asset, and a tool to express yourself and your feelings. If each item only has one purpose, your asset is worth much less. When shopping, analyse how many times you will wear an item (at least 30 times is a great marker), what you will wear it with, and what seasons it is relevant for. Buy summer dresses you can wear long sleeves under in winter, linen shirts to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, and shoes that ride solo or fit with stockings.
Don’t give into the statistic; avoid throwing away the approximate 23kgs of textile waste that the average Australian discards every year. Try your hand at using a needle and thread to fix simple rips and escapee buttons (YouTube is your friend). If a garment needs tailoring, or the repair is far beyond your capabilities, seek a local seamstress. Just because something is broken, doesn’t mean it’s destined for landfill!
There’s nothing like getting to summer time, unboxing your summer clothes, and feeling like it’s Christmas Day! Don’t leave your summer clothes lying around throughout winter. If you’re staring at them daily, chances are, you’ll be sick of them come summer time, even though you haven’t worn them.
Pack your ‘summer only’ clothes away when the time is right, and do the same with your winter outfits. If you are storage-cupboard-poor, push your summer clothes to the back of your wardrobe, or allocate a separate draw that you keep closed.
Moth balls, mice droppings, and mould are a few things you DON’T want to discover when you bring your summer clothes out for their turn in the spot light. Store your summer (and winter) wardrobe in a dry and safe place. Fold your clothes neatly to avoid a struggle with the iron, and invest in storage bags or second hand suitcases with strong zips to keep the critters at bay. Make sure you label the bags so you can find them when it’s their turn to shine.
Before you rush into building your summer wardrobe list, hang out with your wardrobe. This may sound idiotic, but when do we ever get the time to properly assess what we have, and the potentially fabulous outfits undiscovered? Spend a few hours of quality time with your wardrobe, try things on for fit, mix it up, and enjoy your wardrobe without the stresses of having to rush out the door. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with!
CHALLENGE: Find three new summer outfit combinations that you’ve never worn before.
Summer is for spending time with family and friends, enjoying the sunshine, picnicking by the water’s edge, and letting your hair down. Don’t let the weight of the ‘summer wardrobe anxiety’ get you down. Start by making multi-functional purchases, mend your clothes when they need some TLC, pack your winter clothes away to avoid confusion (do so properly so your clothes aren’t ruined!), and spend time with your wardrobe as if it were an old friend.
Are you a wardrobe expert and have a few more tips to share? Feel free to educate us in the comments below.