Shopping my shipping: Shop your closet challenge, Part 4

Reduce your consumption by rediscovering what you already own

I didn’t think I’d say this, but this challenge has been pretty mindblowing! Moving from England to Australia, and all the packing and unpacking that involved, has given me a real change to evaluate my wardrobe. So far I’m discovering that I basically have far too many clothes (not that this is a real surprise!). It’s also making me take a fresh look at what I do own, and see how I can use things from my own closet rather than going out and buying new things. Some items I thought I loved have revealed themselves to be not all that great, and some I was sure I would part with have established themselves as new favourites. I think it’s incredibly important to reduce our consumption of clothes, and do what we can to step away from fast fashion. So it’s been really exciting to explore these ideas in my own wardrobe.

H&M printed spaghetti strap dress

Full length photo of Helen wearing a blue dress with white netting-print, with pockets.

So far dresses are really dominating these posts, and this is one that has dominated my wardrobe for several years. It’s got pockets, hurrah! Not quite big enough to be very practical, but enough to give my awkward hands somewhere to hide. I like how easy and casual this dress is. It’s a good length for me, and the waist pretty much sits in the right place. It’s a classic, simple summer dress, and when I want to mix it up a bit I can roll it and tuck it into a skirt, transforming it into a fun top. Super comfortable, and surprisingly versatile, this dress remains a firm favourite.

Bershka orange peplum top

Helen wearing a dark orange and thin white striped peplum top with short sleeves and a tie at the waist.

I don’t own that many, but I actually really like peplum tops. The problem is that I am relatively tall, and have quite a high natural waist, so though I love them, they don’t always love me. Combine this with another instance of that questionable orange, and an awkwardly plunging neckline, and this one won’t be a keeper. I wore it with some high-waisted culottes and it worked all right, but I just don’t think I’ll get enough use out of it to justify keeping it. Someone a bit shorter will make a far better go of it.

Thrifted embroidered top

Helen wearing a baggy white tip with half-length sleeves and red and yellow floral embroidery around the collar and on the sleeves.

This is another style that came and went when I was at uni. I was really drawn to the accents of colour, and the lovely detailing on the sleeve hems. I think this is actually handmade. But something about it feels a little bit culturally appropriative, and as you can see the material is very sheer. I don’t actually know what culture it is referencing, but as I’m pretty sure it’s not mine, it’s one perhaps best left aside. I tried to deal with the bagginess and make it look a bit more standard by knotting it at the back, but it didn’t quite worked. So generally I think that, as much as I like certain details, this is a top better left to someone who would genuinely appreciate it.

Missguided jacquard skort

Helen wearing a black vest top and jackquard shorts, which are cream with a red floral pattern.

Another ‘what was I thinking?’ moment. I was probably drawn to these by their high waistline, and the interesting pattern. But the appeal really stops there. They are scandalously short and tight at the back, so I would never feel comfortable wearing them out of the house. Bought with good intentions, but sadly ones that will remain unfulfilled. Off to the thrift store they go!

H&M navy vest dress

Helen wearing a long navy dress top, with yellow strappy sandals.

This is almost too bland to function. I think the proportions make my hips look incredibly wide, and the material is a bit too thin for comfort (although it is very soft). I very nearly passed on this, but actually I find a couple of long vests quite a handy addition to my closet, and as this is a colour I’d otherwise be missing, I decided to keep it. Here’s hoping I actually get some use out of it!

Thanks for joining me for another quest into the depths of my wardrobe! Have you tried shopping your closet? What do you think of the idea? Do you think it would help you reduce your consumption, or just make you realise how many gaps there are in your wardrobe? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

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