I'm Giving Up Fashion, And Why You Should Too

by - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Contradicting enough, I took up Fine Arts and majored in Advertising in uni. We had fashion and makeup classes among many others. But while I lavishly spent money on cosmetics, printing, and painting, I've always felt different about fashion.

Warning: this won't be my typical image-text post. I will be talking a lot so expect heavy text ahead.  

Don't get me wrong, I love fashion too. I so look up to my friends who took fashion as their thesis topic. I marveled at how creative they were during our fashion shows. During some of my senior friends' thesis deliberation week, I would be asked to wear or model their designs for them and if not for my busy schedule (thesis prep subject and online store I was running), I would have probably worn one. Because again, I do love fashion and if I have all the money in the world, I'll probably buy Chanel flap bags without batting an eye. (Can't blame me, right? It's a classic.)

But somewhere in me, it felt wrong. I've always been the practical 'wais' kid they've been talking about. And I hate spending money on something that I knew I won't wear in the next year or so.

I've always been "quality" over quantity. I remember growing up being told, "It's wiser to buy something pricey and have it used for years than something so cheap you have to repurchase or repair in a regular basis." (as it gets even more spendy on the long term) And fast fashion kills that idea.

And that's why I'm ditching FAST FASHION.
And I hope I inspire you to consider it too.

But before we dig into that, let me tell you how I felt the need to "give up fashion". I consider two countries as my home and since I frequently go places both with different climates, I opt not to buy so many clothes from any these two. But what hit me the most is when we watched documentaries about CONSUMERISM. A.k.a  Materialism. An impulsive, unwise one. The documentary is so scary I still get the exact terrified feeling when I tried to watch it today.

The Trap of Materialism (youtube)

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need." (Flight Club, movie)

If you do further research about fashion, there's also a talk about fast fashion vs slow fashion / sustainable fashion. I still need to learn more about these things and it will take time to be fully committed. I won't push anyone to be environmentalists in a snap but I hope to spread awareness.

Don't you just feel guilty every time you buy clothes worth a thousand pesos and have it worn only for a couple of months? Trends in fashion go out of style rather quickly. Go figure how much you could've saved if you didn't buy that clothes just cause it looks cool, "everyone's wearing it! you belong!".

"Wait, but I got it on sale for 599."
"Excuse you, I got this for only 199-299 from online stores, it's pretty cheap."

Whatever its worth, if clothes come as disposable to you then it's not helping you save money. Also, be aware that cheap clothes come from cheap production that pays its labor force cheap too. (child labor, minimal salary, long job hours, minimal to zero benefits, etc) It's basically a bad industry we shouldn't support. Read more about it here: 5 Reasons You Should Consider Giving Up Fast Fashion

Well, of course, I still get weak sometimes and gave in to seasonal sales and rock-bottom prices but as much as possible I try to save money from not depending my happiness on shopping. Now that I'm here in Japan, I still wore the same clothes I wore here from 7 years ago. Those that no longer fit me were shipped and donated to a charity in Manila.

I also try to buy minimalist clothes, like t-shirts that either come in black or anything monotone in color with no other catchy designs. I usually buy the same kind of shirt but in different tones (think of Steve jobs who like wearing black and Mark Zuckerberg who wears grey). In that way, it's easier to pair up with any pants or shorts. I try to buy less and maximize what I have and will buy. If I have to buy something, it has to replace something totally worn out, if that thing is still in good condition then I keep reminding myself not to purchase (best examples, shoes and bags, and even makeup!).

So why am I saying this?
I've been living a good life but now that I'm working and paying my own bills, I realized how important it is to save and wisely spend one's hard-earned money. Lately, I've been buying less makeup. And by less, I meant buying only when I'm fully done with one product and literally running out of it.

The Bad
I became a major outfit repeater, some days I don't mind, some days I greatly do. But as I look closely, I realized it's more on thinking of how people will think of me rather than how I think of myself; which is obviously bad. So I try to comfort myself by thinking of my achievements because of my budgeting decisions.

The Good
Because I was able to cut my expenses, I was able to do, buy things, and go places I thought I won't be able to. It also feels good when people seem to appreciate it, especially when they take notice on how you do your budget. It feels very, very liberating.

"Buying a new pair of shoes might make you feel more confident in the short-term, but it will not enrich your life in the long-term." - Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day

The Advice
I still consider myself not fully committed to the fashion-less/minimalist/simple life but I'm slowly getting there. My ultimate goal is to be happy and contented without depriving myself but at the same time by not also enslaving myself by sneaky marketing and advertising tricks. I try to stick to my purchasing mantra "buy it because you need it, not because you were tricked to believe that you need it" which what happens nowadays.

I want to look at a certain clothes/shoes/makeup/gadget and still feel the exact ecstatic feeling the first time I bought it (cause if not, it's either it's not that valuable or that I really didn't need it in the first place). And if ever I need to reward myself, I see to it that I love the item so much, so much that I wouldn't mind splurging. I guess, that's the exemption I can make! Haha


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