It’s 15 days into my #livingthegreen challenge and I have not bought any clothes, shoes or accessories. I did, however, buy some homewares for my bathroom, which is currently being renovated. That’s permissible!
Taking a photo of myself every day for the past 12 days has been interesting. It’s far more narcissistic than my personality type, but it has been empowering to make myself so visible. They aren’t actually selfies, a kind (and very talented) work colleague has taken most of the images. Somehow she made me look like a model in a couple of them! Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…
It hasn’t been hard to stop shopping
The times I’ve thought about shopping during the past two weeks are the times when I’ve felt lonely. It’s been useful to make the connection between my emotions and the act of shopping. Shopping gives me contact with other people and the feel-good factor, which provides an antidote to loneliness.
I also find buying clothes, shoes and accessories a sensual experience. I don’t buy clothes online because I want to touch the fabric, admire the cut, try a new dress on. I love beautiful things, whether they be a person, a thing or a place. Beauty inspires me. But having to simply feel lonely has forced me to grow and change. It’s been a positive experience.
I love Veronika Maine
Almost every outfit has a piece by Veronika Maine! Most of my work clothes are Veronika or Cue. Both are Australian brands owned by the same company. Cue opened in Sydney in 1968 to bring fast fashion to Australia and is targeted at a younger demographic. I like it, but the dresses are not quite the right cut for me. I’m usually in-between sizes. But the skirts and belts are great.
Veronika Maine was created in 1998 and is Cue’s older sister. It has become synonymous with technical innovation, exclusive prints and high-quality (often European) fabric. The brand is mostly corporate wear, but there are some good casual pieces too. It is classic with a twist, my signature style. I am a perfect size 10 in the label – even in dresses. I heart Veronika.
It’s been good for my body image
I’m prettier than I imagine. I’m thinner than I thought. My arms don’t look as flabby as I expected (it’s amazing what a good Instagram filter can do for a girl!). I really like my hair blonde. It’s been strange to look at some of the photos of myself and think, ‘wow, I actually look pretty good’.
It’s been positive for my self-esteem … but hopefully not too good for my ego! Oh, and the Instagram filters I used were Gingham and Reyes. My two new favourite filters.
I know my style and what flatters my body
I really know my style now. For corporate looks, I like classic with a twist. Something black, something unique. For casual outfits, I’m hippie chic. Jeans, neutrals, sandals and jewellery.
I have a rectangle body shape. It’s obvious from the images that form-fitting clothes work best for me. Although maybe not jeans? I was surprised to find that loose ones actually look better than slim leg. Clothes that don’t define my waist are not as flattering as clothes that accentuate my curves. I have a much better idea of what flatters my figure now.
So for the next 15 days, I’m taking a break from selfies. I’ll be raising awareness about the fashion supply chain and ethical sourcing. To get you started, check out The Ministry Consultants blog.