After seven weeks of hard-hitting fashion journalism, the well has run a bit dry. There’s nothing else to report on, a lull as the seasons transition. So instead, I have constructed a guide based on learned and lived experience on how to survive wasting your money.
Step 1: Regret.
Everyone has their flaws. At one point in time, my flaw was an addiction to eBay. Email notifications of item price drops, new offers and items listed bombarded my phone. It was the rush of a good deal that got me hooked — twisted justifications in the urgency of a good deal. It got so deep that I would watch bidding wars for entertainment.
In that time, I accumulated a steady supply of black going-out tops, I.AM.GIA and graphic t-shirts. It was enough to outfit a mid-tier SEC sorority on a Saturday night.
After the haze of rush, the purchase and the honeymoon waiting period, the shine wears off. The top is so unique, it’s unwearable. Slowly the top buries deeper into my dresser, in lieu of the same sweater I’ve had for years. There comes the uncomfortable reality: It’s just not my style.
Step 2: Reform.
When I consider the pieces I don’t wear, they often come from a time of personal dissatisfaction, boredom or uncertainty. I’ve used clothing as a replacement for personal growth, defining my life through eras of dressing. If I dress differently, the change I need will inevitably come. I will treasure different values, have different goals or reach the satisfaction I’ve needed.
This misconception comes from years of conditioning from our corporate overlords echoing the postmodern consumerist mantra: “You are what you buy.” Advertisements and companies have assigned moral values to clothing. For example, the modern “it girl” is more so defined by her fashion choice rather than her actual lifestyle. And for a while, I bought into it.
Today, this consumerism is unavoidable. Even when consciously avoiding shopping platforms, you can find something for sale. Social media has transformed into one large shopping platform, marketing products in exchange for happiness. So, consider the human attributes tied to products, a boundary that has become so difficult to tell with social media.
Step 3: Repentance.
Now stuck with literal baggage, I try to right my wrongs. I try to lend out my clothing as much as possible, circulating trendy pieces to extend their lifetime because everyone likes something new and novel. Or swap clothing with friends, who I know would appreciate the pieces.
When worst comes to worst, there is the option of donation. I strongly advocate for donating to local hospitals or trusted charities rather than thrift stores. Savers and other thrift stores often run as for-profit businesses, prospering through selling donations back to the community. Their questionable practices include selling or donating unsold bulk clothing to impoverished countries, hindering local textile economies due to influxes of donations.
I.AM.GIA – 2/10 a temporary, poor-quality thrill