How To Curate An Investment Wardrobe by Cassandra Dittmer of CD Studio
We ask sustainable fashion stylist and new Founder of CD Studio, Cassandra Dittmer, to tell us how she avoids the temptation of fast fashion and has created an investment wardrobe for herself and her clients. This is ahead of our exclusive launch of her new sustainable fashion line coming to Rêve En Vert soon!
How do you stop buying fast fashion and curate an investment wardrobe?
This is a question I get asked a lot- by friends, family, clients and Instagram community, so I’m happy to tackle this head-on. With an estimated £30 billion worth of unworn clothing hanging in our wardrobes in the UK alone (according to the waste reduction charity WRAP), it’s clear the bad habits of impulse buying things we don’t really need is a nationwide, and even global problem. You are not alone!
For many of us, our relationship with fashion changed dramatically as we spent less time curating office-appropriate looks or attending social events – and maybe now need some guidance as postponed weddings and work events are now very much back on the agenda, but we are perhaps more cautious about what we buy, and need our new purchases to really stand the test of time.
Like most things, there is no one-solution fix, but here are a few tips if you are looking to reduce your consumption, but want to invest in quality pieces that you will love for seasons to come:
I heard campaigner Livia Firth and journalist Lucy Siegle share this great rule. When you go to buy something, ask yourself, “Will I wear this 30 times? If the answer is yes, go for it. But if the answer is no, don’t add to basket”. It’s such a simple rule, but it’s a great first step to help move away from impulse shopping.
Focus on foundations
A great way to curating a more wearable wardrobe is by investing in pieces that can form the basis of day to evening looks. Think black leather trousers that can be dressed up with a silk top or paired back with an oversized knit and chunky boots. Blazers that can be formal for work, or teamed with ripped jeans or thrown over floral dresses in the summer. If you are really selective with these key foundation pieces, it’s a great step to creating a wardrobe that gets maximum usage.
Trends in your own closet
Aka shop your own closet or do an edit before buying. Take some time to study what you love in your own wardrobe- a silhouette, colour or texture that you know works for you. Implement my “refresh system”, steps include separating clothing into piles, and re-trying on pieces to find what still works and what doesn’t. This allows you to really see what you have so you can decide what investment pieces are needed.
Does it work for YOU
Don’t buy an item because it looks great on someone you admire or follow on Instagram. Think about YOUR shape, size and whether their lifestyle relates to yours. When you are shopping it can be beneficial to establish and shop your values. Ask yourself, what sustainable or ethical attributes are most important to you? Your response could cater to core efforts supporting people, planet, and/or animals. Maybe it’s focusing on wearing natural organic fabrics, shopping from brands that produce locally, or focusing on vegan alternatives. Have fun and embrace shopping your values.
Cost per wear
Investing in quality pieces is more costly than fast fashion- there’s no getting away from that. However, shift your mindset to ‘cost per wear’, and you’ll soon realise the value that you can gain from investing in pieces that are well made, designed to last, and worth maintaining with repairs in years to come.
Who made my clothes
The above are all practical tips, but we should also be considering the ethical impacts that our fast fashion habits are having on people and planet. Let’s never forget this important question of WHO made my clothes. If you can, support brands that celebrate and highlight the people in their supply chain, and use your purchasing habits like a vote of what you believe in. Follow @fashionrevolution for more info and this question will become an integral part of your shopping process.