Kylie Jenner, queen of Balmain dresses, was spotted wearing a €43 gold dress from Pretty Little Thing at Coachella last year. It’s no secret that fashion today is becoming increasingly affected by social media; influencers on Instagram are greedy for endless style possibilities. Instead of buying better less often, they’re shopping high-street until they drop, everyday, and this has impacted on our own shopping choices. Should we really be buying a whole new wardrobe for each Instagram-able occasion?
During a recent wardrobe detox I found myself stuffing Oxfam bags full of nipple-tassel cropped tops and inappropriate playsuits with fallen hemlines. Although halfway through, I suddenly realised that these purchases weren’t even worthy of donation; nor relevant to this season’s festival trends. As I tried to remember buying these items, it got me thinking about festival fashion, and fast fashion even more so.
Today, millennials want fast, fast. For them, the Burberry trench coat is close to irrelevant, and the Chanel tweed suit has become much less of an aspiration, meanwhile the Chloé blouse replica in Zara is trending on Instagram. I’m not saying millennials are devoted to wearing dupes and knock-offs or that the high street doesn’t have some great pieces to offer; but there has been a shift. Social media has belittled the value of quality clothing as millennials manoeuvre toward cheap throwaway pieces. We feel less compelled to spend hundreds on a Dior Tutu when the pale pink clone can be had for a fraction of the price.
This fixation on low-cost fast fashion has developed because of pressure to keep up with influencers; we’re constantly in search of something new. As a recent college graduate and a new intern, designer clothing isn’t an option for me right now. So, what I’m going to do is simply buy less. Buy less, and wear more. I know it doesn’t exactly sound novel, but binning clothes a mere three days after I’ve bought them is not the way I want to go. Focusing on recreating and restyling “new” outfits with pieces I already have is so much more sustainable. The white embroidered maxi dress hanging in my closet could easily be reinvented several times over. Taking a more sustainable, yet satisfying, approach to dressing benefits both my wallet and the future of fashion.