How can we define classics in the name of sustainability?

Classics in my book

{ Black & white stripes and black skinny jeans = Classics }

On Friday I went to a talk about spacesuits – I know; odd topic, but it was actually really interesting! It is always great to hear people that are passionate about something talk about it, almost no matter the topic at hand. One of the speakers on Friday was fashion journalist Daryoush Haj-Najafi and he was talking about the influence, which space and spacesuits have had on fashion throughout history. At one point he touched upon how fashion constantly changes and said he remembered that during the last recession people started buying garments that were classics and would never go out of style – and by the end of the 1990’ies they looked horrifically dated. And that really made me think; how can we define classics in the name of sustainability and still be fashionable?

Whether we like it or not fashion is very much about change. I would love for this to be different, but the matter of fact is that the business model of most fashion companies is all about selling clothes. Few offer to repair and fewer still have other services imbedded in their business model. So until this changes; how can anything ever be a classic? I’m sure we can all agree that the Birkin bag (is it still called a Birkin bag or did Hermes actually have to change it?), the Burberry trench coat and a Rolex watch will not go out of style anytime soon. But the companies still change the design of the bag (colour), the trench (cut) and the watch (features) each season to match the latest trends.

So how can we invest in classics that will actually last a lifetime? Quality- AND fashion-wise…

I talked a bit about in my post “Five things to do before and while shopping”, but after the talk on Friday I realised that in order to define classics in my wardrobe, I need to focus on three things in particular; Cut, Colour and quality:

  • Cut: Find out what suits your body type. For example; I love a tight turtleneck, and I think it can look absolutely amazing, but I cannot for the life of me make it work. It just looks weird. Instead, I settle for the looser fitted ones, which is also amazing for the colder days where you kind of just wish you’d stayed in bed.
  • Colour: Choose colours that compliment your skin tone and remember black will always be the new black – in my opinion you can’t really go wrong with black! You can with lots of other colours though. Me for example, I’m quite pale so even though I love a subtle pink, I just get even paler when wearing it – even at my tannest it looks odd. A dark green on the other hand is one of my favourite colours to wear and it compliments my otherwise black, grey and white wardrobe perfectly.
  • Quality: Choose quality. Always! For years and years I’d buy my clothes at H&M because it was cheap, and I could afford to have my fashion fix often this way, but in later years I’ve hatted having to buy new clothes all the time, because the old ones just looks too worn out, even if they’ve only been worn a couple of times. So now I try to focus on quality instead of quantity. I still go to H&M from time to time, but I hardly buy anything there anymore, because their quality just does not meet my standards.

And last but not least, always remember to only buy something you really love or that has sentimental value to you. The only time I allow myself to get something that might not meet the above criteria 100% is if it has some sort of sentimental value, which probably shouldn’t be mirrored in things, but let’s be honest, quite often it is. A couple of months ago I bought a scuba blouse from & Other Stories, which can’t be particularly sustainable and it is not particularly practical to wear either, although it does look really cool! The reason I bought it anyway is that I know the designer that designed it, and I have the out most respect for her, so whenever I wear the blouse or see it hanging in my closet I think of her and the things she’s taught me. To me that’s important too.

What’s important to you? And how do you define classics in your wardrobe?

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