July 26, 2010

The Fashion Diet

Like many young women (in the first world, particularly in America), I have an insatiable appetite for fashion. I get a thrill in seeking out new designers, finding the best deals, scoring an item similar to something I've seen on the runway that actually works with my budget and body-type. I've become addicted to my daily ritual of checking Gilt Groupe at noon. Embarrassing as it is, there are times when I will receive packages at home, not even remembering that I had placed an online order the previous week. This is where I face step 1: admitting I have an addiction. I'm a compulsive shopper.

This isn't news to me, and frankly I've been trying to retool my buying philosophy and shopping approach for ages: only buy what I love, don't purchase pieces that are similar to things I already own, strive for statement and investment pieces rather than overtly trendy or throw-away pieces. And on top of that, I'm constantly thinking of the consequences of what I buy and how I purchase - down to the bag I take them home with.

That said, I've been somewhat inspired by the recent surge of fashion diets- especially 6 Items or Less and The Uniform Project. Is it at all possible for me to whittle down my expansive wardrobe to only 6 items? How? What makes the cut?

I'm not ready to commit myself to consumer abstinence, but for the hell of it I've picked 6 essential pieces that I couldn't live without.



1. Cheap Monday Dress. I've shared this dress before, but the amount of use I've gotten out of this dress in the relatively short amount of time that I've had it is pretty impressive. It transitions easily from day to night and still stands out on it's own. It's an everyday take on the LBD. Purchased via Convent NYC.

2. Jeans. This is probably super predictable. My favorite jeans of all time are black Levi's 531s, a jean so good I even turned my masculine partner onto them. They're insanely comfortable, and are even part of Levi's sustainable range of denim, (natural dyes and fiber). They've been so well worn and loved that they're ridden with holes. Lately, though, I've caught the "jegging" bug and have worn a pair from ASOS relentlessly.

3. American Apparel Sexuali-tee by Sebastian Tellier. This shirt is my uniform. It's super soft, lightweight, ridiculously oversized, and endlessly versatile. I have worn it as a dress, belted and flouncy with pants, over leggings, tucked in to a high-waisted skirt... It's a t-shirt, but maybe the perfect t-shirt for me. No longer available, but similar available here.

4. American Apparel Pencil Skirt. This one is self explanatory. This is one of those things I buy multiples of because it's just so easy. Even though it's made of thick jersey fabric, with the right shoes and accessories, it can pass for being surprisingly dressy. Available here.

5. Statement Jacket. I'm pretty big on having a finishing layer. Less so in this weather, but I can't tell you how anxious I am for the temperature to drop a bit so I can resume my usual outfitting. A great leather jacket is my true staple, but I'm ready to put this jersey blazer I picked up at Topshop into heavy rotation. Available here.

6. Something Sparkly. This Proenza Schouler Sequin top is one of my trophy items. I watched it from afar for months before finally buying it from Kirna Zabete when it hit their clearance sale AND I was able to redeem a $50 discount code. Even though it's bold, it's easy to pair with dark jeans or a skirt.

What 6 items would you pick? If you have a similar addiction, do you think you could put yourself on a highly restricted fashion diet?

19 comments:

  1. great picks, i like how you've chosen both simple and easy to wear items and some more fun ones (like the leopard print jacket!).

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  2. Good finds.
    What size does those jeans go up to?

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  3. Hmmmm I don't know if I could only pick 6. LOL. Love that sequin top!

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  4. Nice picks! I don't think I'd be able to actually do it :) Nice idea though!

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  5. I like this idea, and I love your pics. I actually do think about this, talking about shopping as getting a fix. I try to keep the balance by only getting what I truly love, get stuff that expands my wardrobe and reworking the stuff I already have. last night I didn`t sleep though, thinking about all the dresses I want to sew/rework/buy.

    So. Hi I`m Anika, I have a consumer/reworking addicition. And a lot of great dresses LOL. oh dear. :D

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  6. thanks guys! i love hearing your thoughts on the 6 items or less project.

    gazel - i believe they go up to a US 18, but it looks like they sell up to a 16 online.

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  7. ah the Sequin top is just so cool! i love it! and its colour is so pretty! great pick ;) xxx

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  8. Oh man, I used to compulsively buy new clothes, hundreds of dollars every week GONE! Since I started law school I haven't had the interest at ALL and it feels great. *Maybe* once a month I'll buy one item, but that's it.

    I love everything you posted, though, and you're 100% right about buying carefully and thoughtfully.

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  9. That's an interesting post! I think every year my buying habits change and improve a little. Slowly but surely, right? lol I still find it difficult sometimes not to buy on impulse because as a size 20/22 I find that it always sells out pretty quickly. Also the choice for plus-size women is awful in Belgium so there is lots of temptation online.

    Anyway to answer your question, I'd probably pick pieces from Carmakoma. I love these brand because everything goes well together and you can easily recreate casual as more sophisticated looks.

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  10. Van - thanks! I love the color too. It's interesting in that in some lights it looks almost black, in others a brilliant blue, in others a rich purple... ah, the nature of shiny, shiny things. It's my weakness.

    Sarah - I hear you. And worse, I think we used to enable each other! I'm trying.. trying. Keyword.

    Val - I agree with you! I always have the same impulse in terms of worrying that my size or a specific item I like will sell out quickly, and I think I tend to use that as a means to justify an otherwise unnecessary purchase. Being drawn to statement or special pieces, this makes it even harder for me. Carmakoma is new to me as of all the hype this past week, I'm excited to check it out!

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  11. Can we make it 7 items? I'm curious to see what one bag you would hang onto!

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  12. Oh.. phillip. Accessories don't count. That's actually part of the project - accessories, shoes, underwear are not included!

    But if I had to pick one - Chanel flap bag. Keeping it classy.

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  13. Good choices. I love when women are in love with clothes. It's just beautiful!

    Will definitely keep up with your blog.

    xo

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  14. i like the pieces you chose as they could be worn in so many different ways. i would need to take a long long time to choose my 6...

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  15. i started playing with these looks, i'm waiting for the right opportunity to pair the sequin top with the leopard blazer!

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  16. Can I borrow your leopard jacket for a few days? Thanks. This is one of my favorite posts, as I think that sometimes I get too caught up in buying more and more pieces. In truth, no matter how much I have in my closet, there are only a few things that I truly love to wear.

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  17. Melinda - totally. It's the whole, "I have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear" predicament. I'm in the process of weeding out the pieces that I don't need/love/can't live without. I see you're doing the same!!

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  18. Good choices. I love when women are in love with clothes. It's just beautiful!

    Will definitely keep up with your blog.

    xo

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  19. great picks, i like how you've chosen both simple and easy to wear items and some more fun ones (like the leopard print jacket!).

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