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August: How Emma kicked my ass in my own challenge

I broke. And now I’m broke again lol

Not shopping prove to be harder than I thought. I blame New York entirely. The two months I spent here in Capitalism nation, triggered an insatiable quench for retail therapy. It has been a tough year, so low meh nah.

Passing the baton over to Emma (right) Emma wears a white top from Meiling, Jeans: Miss Sixty, Bustier: Thrifted piece*

Luckily my friend and fellow fashion stylist, Emma Foster Hiscock from Racked Studios, has a bit more self control (and a closet full of amazing pieces) and since accepting my challenge to not shop for a year, Emma has been powering through like a champ. I asked her about her journey and her shopping habits. It’s interesting to see that we both shared similar revelations from not shopping.

Both Emma and I have found that this #NoNewClothes experience has given us an appreciation for classic wardrobe basics. But, not even just “Basics” but pieces that are truly meaningful, and that would travel with us over the years. That’s what style is; when we invest in clothing to reflect our style, the pieces should be special to us. It is truly a case of quality over quantity. This doesn’t mean flashy fashion pieces don’t have a place, but imagine that you only have space for 15 things- at least 12 of those should be well-made, versatile forever pieces.

NMFV: What’s the Hardest Part about not shopping?

Emma: I actually can’t remember anymore! I’ve internalized not buying anything so much now that it almost feels natural. I mean, I have bought 3 pairs of earrings for a shoot, and was sent a pair of shoes for my birthday, and Meiling graciously gifted me an ammaazing top so I think that helped with the cravings I’ve periodically experienced. You know I realized a long time ago that I mostly shopped when I was feeling low, almost as a means of filling some kind of void, and that awakening really helped me during this experience. I do also shop when I’m feeling creatively inspired but I just went into my wardrobe and tried wearing things in different ways.
The weirdest part about the experience is that I actually want to get rid of everything in my house, sell it, gift it. It’s made me acutely aware of all the STUFF I’m surrounded by. I’ve always thought of myself as a collector, I love buying handmade or thrifted pieces for my house too, but I’ve even gone off that. I think when I allow myself to start “collecting” again that I’ll have a “buy one thing, gift five things rule.”

NMFV: What would you spend the most money on.

Emma: Hmmm, shoes. As I’ve gotten older I really appreciate the value of a good pair of flat shoes both aesthetically and for longevity. I tend to wear things to death and walk a lot so shoes need to be able to withstand the wear and tear but also have the versatility to be worn with a lot of different outfits. I used to buy a lot of heels but I just don’t wear them because they are SO uncomfortable.

Even though we treat it in a disposable careless way, clothing comes to us through a long, heartfelt process. (Naturally we chose to take these pictures over at Meiling’s studio, because who better to feature if we’re talking about clothes being classic and timeless?)

NMFV: What’s your staple go-to piece?

Emma: My tie-dyed kimono. I wear it allll the time. In the house, casually, dressed up. It’s like a security blanket and I just feel at home in it. Whenever I don’t know what to wear … I put that on. It’s getting threadbare now so I’m going to have to recreate it.

NMFV: If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life what would it be?

Emma: I always imagined myself as an old lady with long grey hair and tonnes of bohemian jewellery in a long dresses and my kimono, sitting on a peacock chair in my tropical greenhouse stroking a black cat. SO I guess it might be that. (HAHA!!!!) OR a pair of slightly mad trousers and an off the shoulder top. Always been a go to for me as well. OR black skinnies, a black top and a black jacket on my shoulders. Yes maybe that.

NMFV: Thrifting Tips?

Emma: Well for this #NoNewClothes exercise I haven’t been thrifting either but I’ve been thrifting for years and actually found that I’ve ended up with LOADS of mismatched clothes that don’t quite fit me. Having said that I DO love thrifting and am a huge advocate for it so my main advice would be:

  1. Shop with intention. Know what you’re looking for beforehand and then go on the hunt, otherwise you’ll end up like me!
  2. Buy things that fit you well. Don’t think “I’ll alter that later” unless you regularly do that. Otherwise you never will and it will just sit taking up space in your wardrobe.
  3. Choose pieces you really love and would buy from a regular store so you know you’ll wear them.  
  4. Having said that I’d also say go a little wild, the prices are usually lower so you can afford to experiment and buy something slightly out of your comfort zone.
  5. Thrifting is an experience, and often it can take longer to locate what you’re looking for. Enjoy the process! It’s a much more creative and fun way to shop.

 

Shirt: Helmut Lang, Bustier: Zidelle Daniel, Pants: ONE by NoMoreFashionVictims, Shoes: BCBG

Hair and Makeup by Aneesa Haidarali

Special thank you to Meiling and her team for allowing us to use their work-space as an inspiring backdrop for these images. Thank you also to our visionary, Photographer Marlon James, for capturing beauty and a story in everything

 

 

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