Hitting The Breaks on Fast Fashion: Going on a Clothing “Low-Buy” in 2019

I’m no Carrie Bradshaw, but I own a lot of clothing.


Of course, giving into the typical cliche, I also hate wearing a lot of what I own. It sits in a drawer year after year, but whenever I do a clothing clear out, there are always those pieces that despite never being worn, make their way back into my dresser. Because of my constant state of underwhelmed, I buy a lot of clothing throughout the year. Much of it is fast fashion, which I am drawn to due to style, sizing, and of course: cost.

I’m not alone in this, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends roughly $1700 a year on clothing. Yikes! While, I don’t think that my spending is quite that high, it’s still more than I’m comfortable with it being. Especially because when it comes down to it, I feel like I’m still where I started: feeling like I don’t really have anything to wear.

Of course, I have some favorite pieces, but I also find myself frequently feeling like I just don’t have *the right* piece, or like I have nothing to wear, when in reality, I probably have plenty. Fast Fashion has sucked me in – and while I absolutely see why it’s a problematic industry (environmental concerns and issues in regard to labor being top areas of concern), I also know why it’s been largely where I’ve shopped my entire life.

When I first starting buying clothing for myself, I wanted as much as I could get for the little bit of money I had to work with. I used to love this show on TV where they’d give someone $100 to find an entire outfit from whatever stores were in the mall – only, I used to scoff thinking how I could have done the same – easily with a third of that. Now that I’m older, I’m open to spending more, but I still struggle with my need and desire to be frugal. It’s hard for me to dish out for a pricier item knowing I could likely find a cheaper alternative. I’ll say it: I love Target and Old Navy! I’m not a fancy person by any means, and generally my style is all about comfort, so these places are perfect for me.

There’s also the issue of sizing.A study in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education found that the average American woman is a size 16-18. This might be the only instance in which I can say that I’ve average. I actually do not find this statistic surprising at all. Real women are largely underrepresented in the world of fashion – that is if they’re represented at all. The issue for me, comes from the fact that despite this statistic, women of this size (and above) are largely still corralled to the back corners of the fashion world – that is, if stores carry our size at all. Often, we’re forced to shop online. There are plenty of stores that will take my money, but which would rather I didn’t come in and shop (but perhaps this is a rant for a different day).

 Between sizing and cost, I have come to appreciate fast fashion as a means of finding clothing that works for me and my budget. Fast fashion also feels more accessible. It’s everywhere. So I totally understand and get the appeal of fast fashion, and the desire to shop for clothing continually, despite whatever might be piling up in my wardrobe at home. We live in a society where we are meant to desire new and more on a constant basis, and I’m definitely guilty of this. I love shopping!! However, I’d be lying if I said that every new piece of clothing I brought home helped to fill some void. I find myself frequently justifying new purchases saying that I don’t have a shirt like that in that specific color, but then the reality is that I’ve got plenty of items which I’ve only worn once – or never at all.

Like many others, I often go through my clothing to weed out what I no longer want. Pieces become too big or too small, or perhaps are no longer our taste. We don’t like the way a particular piece looks on us, or the fabric texture drives us mad (looking at you LuLaRoe). According to The Atlantic, Americans send roughly 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills every year. I don’t know about you, but I find this statistic to be incredibly disturbing. Personally, I very rarely throw a piece of clothing away, but this statistic still stands out to me, and I know that despite my best efforts, that much of what I donate could still be ending up in a landfill at some point. Clothing wears out sometimes, or gets damaged beyond repair – but 10.5 million tons every single year?? I think that points to a much larger issue than durability.

As I sift through the emails for $5 Pajama pants, free shipping, and 60% entire stores – all telling me I NEED the clothing they’re selling, I’ve been thinking. Honestly, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of clothing that I have – particularly because I likely only have an interest in wearing half of it. I hoard things I feel attached to, but which I’ll likely never wear again. I buy clothing when I feel bummed, or like I need some sort of pick-me-up. Of course, sometimes its that I’m drawn to a style I don’t have, or an item that is limited edition. Whatever my reasons for shopping, it’s got me feeling guilty. On a micro level, at the end of the day, I just don’t feel satisfied with my spending habits when it comes to clothing. After all the shopping I do, I still find myself feeling unhappy with my wardrobe, or like I have “nothing to wear”. On a more larger level, I think its much more complicated – there are ethical, and environmental ramifications for this fast fashion industry, and I’m not sure I feel okay being a part of that.

Which is why I am going on a clothing “low buy” for 2019.

A LOW-BUY?? Why am I not going on a no-buy??

I don’t intend to stop clothing shopping 100%. I don’t see that as realistic or maintainable in the long run, and I feel that after a no-buy period, I may just continue my habits without any changes. A low buy however, means that I will still be buying clothing, but that I’m going to be drastically changing my clothing buying habits.

Here’s the plan:

  • I will not be shopping for new clothing online or in traditional stores*
  • I will only be shopping second hand for clothing.
  • I will do regular clothing inventories to see if I’ve got items I no longer want – which I can then resell or donate.
  • I will track my clothing spending for 2019.
  • If I deviate from this plan at all, I will disclose that here!

*The exception here would be for underwear, bras, socks, and leggings.

I hope that doing this is a learning experience for me. I want to be more conscious of my consumption, and try to make more mindful purchases! I will be documenting my journey in 2019 here on the blog as both a means of “checking in” on myself, as well as sharing my experience with others, so you can expect regular posts. If you have any ideas, questions, or suggestions, please leave a comment.


Advertisements

Is It TV, Or Is It Me?

I hear a lot of talk about how television as we know it is threatened or, “under attack”. Apparently people are leaving cable in droves and opting for streaming services. Ratings are down on many television programs/networks, and often, I hear that my generation is to blame (because Millennials ruin everything, duh). But I don’t think its as simple as blaming any particular demographic, or even finding fault in new technology. I think the problem is far more complex.

Read More »

The Four Best TV Shows of 2018*

*in my opinion anyway…

As I compulsively consume content, I’ve been having many feelings. Lots of nerdy happiness, and plenty of moments in which I thought of writing dedicated posts, but didn’t (because sometimes I struggle between wanting to over-analyze a show, and wanting to just enjoy it).

So I figured I could put together a post in which I could just generally ramble about the different shows I’ve been watching this season. More specifically, I want to talk about my favorites and the shows I think are the true winners of this season thus far.

 

Doctor Who

Holy shit have I fallen down the rabbit hole. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all the hoards of fans that I perhaps judged because for some reason I can be stupidly stubborn about popular shows and refusing to jump on bandwagons. Well, I started watching some older Doctor Who (David Tennant is an angel) this summer and fell quickly in love. I’ve been watching the new Doctor Who (I LOVE Jodie Whittaker) since it began, and holy Tardis it is in-fucking-credible!!!

To those who have been Doctor Who fans for years, I’m sure they understand how hard I’ve fallen for this show. It’s just incredible. I’m loving the adventures they go on, the humor, and the feeling of family between the Doctor and her companions (love the casting here!). It’s just excellent. The Rosa Parks episode was absolutely my favorite, and somehow I survived Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and a million giant fucking spiders.

Fairly certain you can catch up on previous episodes online / through the BBC America app – which you should.

Doctor Who airs on BBC America, Sundays @ 8pm.

 

 

The Neighborhood

I remember when Monday nights were a comedy heavy night for me… 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, TBBT… now there’s only one show that I watch on Mondays and it feels a little strange. The Neighborhood is a great new sitcom that delivers the comedy in that good comforting sitcom way. It’s great to see Beth Behrs on TV again, but I’ll be honest and say that the real gems on this show are Marcel Spears, Tichina Arnold, and of course Cedric the Entertainer! Marcel is easily my favorite – he’s always delivering the laughs and his body language always gets me!

If you’re looking for a feel good comedy to escape into, this is it. The Neighborhood airs on Monday’s at 8pm on CBS.

 

Young Sheldon

I’ve talked about this show briefly before – but I’ll say it again: I LOVE this show!! It’s such a good sitcom. It’s cute and so funny and just all around excellent. Even if you’ve never seen TBBT, I feel like this show could easily stand on its own. Meemaw is absolutely my favorite character and Annie Potts kills it every single episode. I feel like every time I watch, she tops the last episode. I could go on and on about Young Sheldon, but I’ll keep it brief and just say that it’s simply a wonderfully comforting and funny sitcom. If you’ve yet to see it – fix that immediately.

Young Sheldon airs on Thursdays @ 8:30pm on CBS.

 

The Cool Kids

I don’t think I’ve mentioned The Cool Kids yet, but I feel like its an underrated gem. It centers around four older people living in a retirement community and the adventures they get into. Trust me – they do! The casting is excellent – Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, and Vicki Lawrence (as well as excellent supporting cast and guests)! It sort of gives me Golden Girls vibes which is the highest of compliments, trust me. The snark level is high and I’m here for it. I also enjoy how the show focuses on an older age group which frequently is ignored (like The Golden Girls did). Of course the sociologist in me can’t help but analyze everything I watch. 😉

The Cool Kids airs @ 8:30pm on Fridays on FOX.

NCIS:LA Season 10 – The Prince – Recap & Review

We took last week off from recapping the show on here because we’re fans too and sometimes we just want to sit down and immerse ourselves in a show (or two…or three…or….)! BUT – if you’d like us to write about NCIS:LA weekly, please let us know in the comments because it’s definitely something we could try and do if its wanted! We might just do it anyways, you never know… 😉

Last week’s episode, Superhuman (S10,E2) was a damn good one full of all the intensity you’d expect from this show. The whole team (with the exception of Hetty – is she gone for good??) is back together and aside from working through the case, we were gifted some cute moments as well – like with Nell & Eric! I love them together so much!! Densi is great, but Neric??? Perfection!

Tonight’s episode, The Prince (S10, E3), has the team working together to try and protect a crown prince from assassins.

Spoilery Spoils past this point…

Read More »

NCIS:LA Season 10 Premiere – To Live and Die in Mexico – Review & Recap

So we’ve made it. Tonight, we finally got to see what happened to the team on NCIS:LA after last season’s two part cliff hanger finale. If you missed the finale, you can read a recap here. Tonight’s episode, To Live and Die in Mexico (S10,E1) opens up the spin offs tenth season with the team knocked out in their bombed out truck, where Deeks is having a dream/hallucination of him and Kensi in bed, with Kensi being pregnant (!!). Sam, Callen and Kensi come to, but Deeks is still knocked out, with his condition unknown.

Read More »

MOM Season 6 Premiere – Recap & Review

Tonight the sixth season of CBS’s MOM premiered. We’ve both been watching this show since the very beginning and it’s easily one of our top favorite sitcoms. Despite our love, we’ve never really talked about it all that much, so we felt it was time to change that!

Tonight’s premiere episode – Pre-Washed Lettuce and a Mime (S6, E1), starts off with Bonnie making Christie breakfast for her first day of law school (which made me hungry for pancakes). The show opening was also re-done with more of a focus on the adults rather than Christie’s kids which I absolutely love tbh.

At group, we learn that Bonnie’s wedding planning hasn’t been smooth sailing, that is, until she learns that she can literally turn it into a big day wrapped around her. Meanwhile, Christie’s first day of law school turns out to be harder than she thought (And that was before she has to take over for another sick waitress at work and forgets her backback full of books in the locked restaurant.) Bonnie dreams that Adam is cheating on a woman named Louise from Trader Joe’s who he thinks is cute. Christie’s troubles with law school get worse when she decides to quit law school, but advice from Marjorie and a woman’s speech at what is her first meeting spurns a flashback of her own first meeting that brought a change of heart. And of course we got Marjorie’s sage wisdom which the show would feel incomplete without (forget “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, I’m all for some Marjorie wisdom)!

Overall tonight’s episode reminded me why I love this show and I’m so glad that it’s back! The writing in combination with the cast is just the perfect combo, which was certainly evident in tonight’s episode. I was ammused by Bonnie’s fear of mimes, and her love for HGTV’s Property Brothers (And now I know what to call those windows above doors)! I’m absolutely looking forward to Bonnie and Adam’s wedding (I just hope that Adam’s handsome dog makes an appearance)! All in all, I liked the direction that tonight’s episode took the story in and it’s so good to have this comedy gem back for the season.

If you watched tonight’s premiere, please let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments!

 

The Big Bang Theory / Young Sheldon – Season Premiere Review & Recap

Tonight, the twelfth and final season of The Big Bang Theory premiered. I’ll be frank: this post isn’t for those who dislike the show and rage about it on social media. This is for those who are fans, because WE are fans. We’ve been watching the show basically since it began and I really don’t care what anyone says about it because we both really enjoy it. It’s a feel-good, cozy, funny sitcom and sometimes doesn’t everyone need that?? If you just don’t find it to be your cup of tea, well that’s fine! But we’re not here to bash on a show that has, for years, been one of our favorites. Personally, we’ve both pretty sad that the show is coming to an end. I suppose it’s better though when a show ends before it wears out its welcome and with the gang growing older and having their own families and all that, I could see that potentially happening. However, as a fan, I also don’t want it to end!!! TBBT has honestly been such a comfort to me when I’ve been feeling down, and I’ve actually found that when I’m feeling my anxiety is particularly high, watching the show could actually make me feel calmer and less frazzled. I know I can still get that feeling from re-runs (as I do with plenty of other programs), but it’s definitely the end of an era. Twelve years is definitely a good run!

Tonight’s episode, The Conjugal Configuration (S12,E1)

So the episode starts off with Sheldon and Amy on their honeymoon, in… Lego Land. I mean, that sounds awesome to me!! Of course, it’s also fitting for the newlyweds.

Meanwhile, Amy’s father is staying in their apartment to try and get away from her mother (Kathy Bates). It seems that some trouble is potentially on the horizon, which isn’t surprising because she’s a bit overbearing. This conflict leads to one between Penny and Leonard when he compares them to Amy’s parents – not going over well with Penny of course. Sometimes it seems that the guys on this show just need to learn to think before speaking. Obviously that’s definitely a component of the show – the guys are smart, but not always people smart! It seems that both couples mend fences (at least for now) before the show’s end.

Read More »