When it comes to resolutions, setting a high bar is admirable, but can have toxic consequences if you fall at the first hurdle. In order to get over that 4 January bump, resolutions need to be realistic. Let’s be kind to ourselves this year and set some 2021 fashion resolutions that are fun to focus on and do a little bit of good at the same time.
We’ve all known for some time that we should be shopping more sensibly, making the most of our wardrobe and truly considering the footprint and supply chain of our new purchases, but there is no time like the present to actually implement these shifts in mindset. Similarly, why not use 2021 to push yourself out of your comfort zone, sartorially speaking?
Here, Miss Vogue – and some special friends – share their top tips for resolutions to get started with for the year ahead.
Shop your own wardrobe
All of us will have pieces in our wardrobes that don’t see as much daylight as we had intended on purchase. There’s no time like the present to switch this up. Heading to the depths of your chest of drawers to find treasures that you’ve never worn or at least forgotten about is a refreshing, purse-friendly discovery that can prove surprisingly inspiring.
Someone who knows this all too well is Eshita Kabra, founder of fashion sharing app, By Rotation. Her app encourages users to share clothes by adding them to a rotation. Since founding her company last year, Eshita has learnt that working with her wardrobe in this way has afforded her the opportunity to be more experimental with her own style, too. “I’ve also fallen in love again — almost like FOMO — with all of my own items that get rented out by other people,” she told Miss Vogue. “It’s so cool to see different women styling them in various ways, and I’m always in awe!” Open up your wardrobe via the app, or work more locally by sharing with your mates and siblings. “It’s a great way to experiment with new styles without over-consuming as we are sharing what already belongs to someone else,” Eshita adds. “Or as we like to say over on the By Rotation community thread: ‘What’s mine is yours!’”
Buy less, buy better
We’ve all heard the phrase “buy better” – but what does it actually mean? Something of an umbrella term that can apply to many elements of the shopping process, put simply it definitely doesn’t mean spending more money, but it does mean spending more wisely. “Shopping doesn’t need to be about buying new,” Jeannie Lee, head of womenswear at Selfridges, shared with Miss Vogue. “This year at Selfridges we have launched our first ever rental service with our friends at HURR collective, opened a charity shop with Bay Garnett and launched a Beyond Retro vintage destination in our Oxford Street store.” This approach is only going to continue into 2021, with Jeannie and her team working to “expand our Resellfridges offering, and continue to find exciting brand partners to help us continue to reinvent retail.”
Buying better starts and ends with the individual wardrobe, but having stores on board is a big help. Consider only buying pieces that you know you can style into at least 10 outfit combinations, and will prove to be an item you find yourself returning to again and again. Nothing is as out of style this year as a one-wear buy.
Support young designers
This year, expand your horizons to discover new creatives pushing through in the fashion space. If you’re able to, buying from recent graduates or those with labels in their infancies is a great way to help get these young talents’ careers off to a head start. Plus, it can prove a lucrative decision for you in terms of reselling early collections when they inevitably hit the big time.
Central Saint Martins graduate Harris Reed explains that the impact of each and every sale made is a step towards growing their business and solidifying their place in the industry. “When people buy my pieces not only are they enabling me to continue my brand and what I love to do, but also they’re believing in the message,” they told Miss Vogue. “The impact felt is really multifaceted. There’s the impact as a designer and artist, where it feels like validation for my work, and, as someone who makes quite out-there clothes, every purchase is like someone joining the Harris Reed fluid army.”
That being said, supporting young design talent doesn’t only mean buying pieces. Harris shares that they love seeing people taking their designs and “re-imagining their own pieces into the Harris Reed style for themselves. When they tag me I feel so so happy.” Every platform matters, so sharing designers’ content, reposting imagery and liking their posts is also a way to support the next big thing.
Always read the label
It’s time to change it up and start to truly understand the origins of the pieces you’re adding to your wardrobe. The impact of this small change – reading a label properly – will prove instrumental in all of us becoming more clued-up consumers.
Someone who knows this all too well is Becky Hughes, aka sustainable influencer @TheNiftyThrifter on Instagram. “By making the pledge to be a more informed consumer you are making a pledge to care and do what you can, within your own circumstance, to make yourself aware of the environmental and social impact of your purchase,” she told Miss Vogue over email. “Ask yourself questions before you buy, such as, ‘Do I have clothes that will match this?’ or ‘Is the brand I am buying from transparent online?’, ‘Do I actually like this or am I buying it just because my friend has it?’. There’s a wonderful freedom in a considered approach to buying clothes you actually like, rather than buy on impulse because you have to keep up with every trend. It’s okay to be selective.”
Most crucially, however, she advises that “a way for people to understand the origins and ethical factors of the clothes is by delving into a brand’s website and investigating whether they evidence an ethical approach. Contacting brands online to ask them questions is also a good way to gauge how ethical a brand actually is, as is following @RememberWhoMadeThem, @LaourBehindTheLabel, @TheorIsPresent, @OhSoEthical, and @CleanClothesCampaign to help you understand ethical factors concerned with our clothes. It is important to remember that sustainability should be about how fashion affects people and the planet at all stages of the supply chain, including how they are made and where they end up.”
Finally, a little memo from Miss Vogue. Make 2021 the year you go bold with your wardrobe. Over the next 12 months, set yourself the task of really having fun with what you wear, experimenting with pieces that allow your inner self to shine. You don’t have to follow the crowd, but you can borrow styling tips and tricks from them. Look to the catwalk for pointers and then reinterpret the trend for yourself. Get researching and bookmark looks from 60 years ago or one Rihanna wore last week, understanding the elements of the outfit that you’ve just got to try for yourself. There are no rules other than simply wearing what feels right you at the right moment. It’s going to be so much fun.
More from British Vogue: