Fashion Revolution: My Worst Purchases

Fashion Revolution: My Worst Purchases

Hi everyone, and welcome to Fashion Revolution Week.  It’s a magical time of year, but if your Instagram feed is anything like mine, it can start to feel like you live in a world of perfect humans who only buy sustainably and have owned the same dresses for 121 years.  So I thought: it’s confession time.  I’m a medium-good human most of the time, which means I definitely have made some SUPER dumb purchases.

We never learn so much as we do from our mistakes. 

This floral dress


I bought this floral dress from a local Asian supermarket, one hundred per cent on a whim.  I was in a bad mood (cannot remember why but the possibilities are myriad) and because buying things releases feel good chemicals into my brain I apparently thought “let’s buy a dress I will have barely any use for”.

I think this dress is really very pretty, and while not up to the construction standards I am used to (thanks to local designers and vintage clothing) it’s not bad.  It just proved to be really “not me”.  It has subsequently been clothing swapped and is now living a much happier life with someone else – who I’m sure appreciates the gift that was me spending money pointlessly on this dress.

Moral of the story: impulse purchases NEVER work out.  I should have just bought a can of iced coffee and some HiChew and called it a day. Also: you can’t fix an internal issue (mood) with something external (shopping).

These red pants


God, I love these Moschino Cheap and Chic trousers.  They’re the perfect red, they’re wide legged, they’re wool…I love them.  However, even when I first bought them (second hand) they were too tight in the waistband. Like, survivably tight, but as soon as I pudged up (aka got some back muscle) even in the slightest they became impossible to wear.

This also meant that before I pudged up I would avoid wearing them, essentially afraid of how tight I remembered them being.  Instead of being worn, say, 10 times in a quarter they were maybe worn 2-3 times.  This is a total waste of a sensational pair of pants…and of money.

Moral of the story: buy clothes that fit right, not that kinda fit right, or will fit if you just shift a kilo or two.  This also goes for clothes that are too big.

 These shorts


These aren’t a bad purchase, per se, since I like them and they are still pootling in my wardrobe and they still fit me after the Great Pudging of 2019 (even around my thighs, which is sensational).  However, in my blog post where I wore them I talked about how I thought I would wear them to work.

Surprise twist: I did not.

This summer was legitimately hot, so much so that I gave all the men in my team dispensation to wear shorts on Friday through to the end of February.  I wore these shorts once, despite the fact that I think I could have gotten away with wearing them on a non-Friday (I get a lot more flexibility in my work wardrobe than the men).  Looking at these pics, I was reminded of how much I loved these shorts, so I really do not know why this happened, but I have retained the shorts and will give it another go next summer. 

Moral of the story: I think these were really too expensive for me to be able to see them as casual shorts, so I narrowed down the contexts I would wear them (to work).  That is crazy times and instead I should have remembered my rule that things should be able to be worn in as many places as possible.  Next summer!

 These sheer floral trousers


Look, I bought these on TradeMe and didn’t appreciate they were sheer, but then I kept them for entirely too long - years, in fact.  I don’t like sheer things, this is what I know about myself, so I do not know why I thought I would get wear out of these.  Also, where did I think I was wearing them?  I hope the person who bought these at Recycle Boutique wore them to the kind of fabulous party I no longer attend.

Moral of the story: accept you’re a prude and don’t buy things you will not wear.

 This sweatshirt


This happened because I bought a cool sweatshirt from Federation and then one from Wilson Trollope and thought I’d suddenly become a person who regularly wears sweatshirts.  I am not.  Two was enough and this third one accordingly sat in a pile in my wardrobe and saw very little wear.

I kinda tried to make it part of my gym gear but realistically, my zip up hoodie that I bought in the boys’ department at the Warehouse is always going to be my first choice there.  Also I felt extremely self-conscious wearing such a trend driven item with my leggings etc – it was very “cool suburban Mum/teen girl” and I am not a Mum or teen girl, and am certainly not cool.  I ended up sacrificing this via Recycle Boutique.

Moral of the story: when you find something you like, you should not accumulate that item like a deranged, fashion-centric magpie. 

These shoes


I had this phenomenal pair of Carvela shoes in this colour that I absolutely thrashed, and when they had to go to the big shoe shop in the sky I immediately started looking for a replacement.  In the end, I bought these from ASOS.

The colour was great but everything else was bad.  The fabrication was bad, the construction was bad.  One slingback slid off my foot no matter what I did.  The toe box creased badly (because they weren’t leather) which immediately made them look shoddy.  The heel caps were so soft that they needed re-heeling immediately, which filled me with anger as I was now spending even more money on a pair of objectively average shoes. 

Moral of the story: don’t buy cheap shoes in a desperate attempt to replace a pair of fabulous shoes.  Sometimes you have to buy cheap shoes because it’s your first job out of Uni and you have $300 from WINZ to buy your entire work wardrobe (*points at 2005 Megan*) but in this case I should have waited and continued the search. 

Also that dress no longer fits me DAMMIT

Okay I think that’s quite enough self-shaming.  The point is, none of us are perfect and we’ve all made an occasional impulsive or fantasy-driven fashion mistake. 

The goal is to be always improving, and reflecting on my ridiculous buys means that when I’m charging back into the Asian supermarket after a shitty day, I will know to make a beeline to the HiChew and NOT the clothes. Maybe Fashion Revolution Week would also be a good opportunity for you to take a hard look at the things in your wardrobe that are, objectively, not getting good use and figure out the mistakes you made? If we all avoid a few of those purchases this year, we’re on an upward trajectory to a generally mores sustainable approach to fashion - and every little bit does count.