The start of the New Year is an excellent time to take stock of our wardrobes and filter out the pieces that we haven’t worn. Maybe you got new clothes over the holidays and need to make some space in your closet or maybe you haven’t worn anything other than athleisure attire since the pandemic, and pondering what to do with your fancy stuff. While I’ve been pretty good with regular closet purges, I got to thinking about why certain items just didn’t “wow” me anymore, or even why I purchased them in the first place. I know I’m not alone! “It was a good deal!” “I’ll wear it to a summer wedding!” “These fit me so well, I should stock up in all the colors.”
I’ve always enjoyed shopping and scoring a great deal, but sometimes those impulse purchases become a ‘one-hit wonder’ in the fashion sense, and it ends up in the donation pile. As I think about sustainability when it comes to clothing, several topics come to mind:
– Quality – Will the item hold up? Are the materials able to withstand your lifestyle? Don’t confuse higher prices with higher quality. Yes, sometimes higher quality items do cost more, but so do designer labels!
– Is it made sustainably – How does the company make its products and run its business? You may have heard of the term B Corps. B Corps like Athleta, Patagonia, and Eileen Fisher operate around strict social and environmental standards. Through certifications, they seek to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
– Fast fashion – Fast fashion is a term that describes mass producing clothing at a low price. Nowadays, designer looks from the runways can make their way into our physical and virtual shopping carts in record time. The result: a constant supply of trends moving through quickly through stores. Fast fashion negatively impacts the environment through production and disposal.
– Buying secondhand – Before purchasing something, consider if you might find a suitable option via a consignment store or a reseller. Help keep the product lifecycle going by shopping secondhand instead of buying new.
So, in order to have a more sustainable wardrobe, what else can we do to save money and look and feel our best? How can we make educated, one-time purchases?
I recently chatted with House of Colour Consultant, Marissa Ray, to learn more about her style and color analysis services. One of the reasons we get rid of clothing is that the color doesn’t go well with our skin tone. (Think of when you put on a top and it made you look ‘blah’, or made you look completely washed out.) Another reason is that we purchase clothes that don’t work with our body type. Marissa helps clients discover what colors make them shine through a Personal Color Consultation. She also educates clients with her Personal Style Consultation, which helps you understand your body type and how to dress to complement it. For a quick fix, Marissa and other House of Colour consultants lead virtual Closet Cleanses on Facebook. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?!
What exactly happens with a Color Consultation? The science behind it relates to color theory. Through the process of draping different colored scarves around your neck, Marissa will help you discover your ‘color season’ – colors that are best suited for your skin tone and features. Your color consultation also includes a makeup consultation. Marissa will also help match foundation, mascara, blush and lip stick to your color palette, which is known as the 90 Second Makeup miracle. At the end of the session, you will get a wallet containing 36 color swatches that fit within your season. This handy wallet will help guide your color purchases so that you never buy something that dulls your natural beauty again!
Length of time: 1.5-2 hours
The Style Consultation aims to help you learn what clothing style will naturally look better on your body type. Through two Zoom sessions, Marissa will lead you on an evolution as you discover your style identity. You’ll talk style theory, discuss your lifestyle and take personality assessments. You’ll take simple body measurements to figure out your body type. On your second call, Marissa will go over a Pinterest page created just for you filled with styling suggestions. Did you know certain stores are known for their cool or warm tones? Not every shade of navy blue is the same! End the cycle of buying clothes and only wearing a small percentage of them.
Length of time: 4-5 hours through two virtual sessions
If you are looking to jumpstart your closet organization, or wanting to take your color and style consultation to the next level, join the Closet Cleanse on Facebook. Marissa and other House of Colour Consultants will lead a group of participants through daily tasks. This private Facebook group of 30-40 people will complete tasks each day that take 15-20 minutes. It’s a great accountability group filled with people wanting to tackle their wardrobes like you. The event runs January 11, 2021 – January 25, 2021. Space is limited, so contact Marissa to get signed up!
Length of time: January 11, 2021 – January 25, 2021
To sign up: Contact Marissa at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve never really thought much about the impact of color and how it makes me look, but learning more about it from Marissa has helped put things in a new light (pun intended). Wouldn’t it be nice to know what colors instantly work for you, instead of spending all the time and money buying different outfits?
As some of us reevaluate our work attire, (whether it be because things no longer fit, or we haven’t worn them in over 10 months), Marissa recommends evaluating your clothing based on you, not what you think work attire trends might be. Her tip: “If it’s a 8, 9, or 10, it can stay in your closet. Get rid of it if it’s a 5 or a 6.” There’s no doubt comfort has been a priority the past 10 months. As workplaces become more accepting of the work from home culture, your work attire style will likely evolve just as well.
I will always have an interest in fashion and shopping, but I hope to make wiser choices about it. Will this item last? Does it allow the best version of me to shine? Does it work for my body type and coloring? Clothing, after all, it is a form of self-expression – so enjoy it! Hopefully you’ll find cause to reflect and be more intentional before making your next purchase!
Marissa Ray, House of Colour Consultant can be reached at: