Things to Buy to Refresh Your Wardrobe

Things to Buy to Refresh Your Wardrobe

There seems to be a new microtrend every day, but I’ve decided I’ll leave the chasing to fashion students on TikTok. Instead, I’m working on refreshing the items I already have.

Common culture dictates that each new year equals a new wardrobe. However, having spent the past few years in a pandemic, the clothes already in your closet could probably use a bit more wear.

This year, I’m resisting that omnipresent consumerist rhetoric that pushes me to buy into every popular trend and cram my closet with the latest styles. Obviously, this is an endless cycle that will only leave me chasing trendier and more expensive pieces forever. And who wants that?

With the advent of social media, life moves incomprehensibly faster and we’re accustomed to it. In fact, we expect it. We’re bored by the simple life, we constantly chase those shiny objects that immediately capture our attention. This attitude has influenced the Trend Cycle.

There’s a famous scene in The Devil Wears Prada when Meryl Streep — as the iconic fashion editor Anna Wintour-type — explains to a gullible Anne Hathaway that every innocuous fashion choice she makes is dictated by the arbiters of high fashion.

Streep’s character insists that trends are preordained by designers, editors, and fashion elites’ runway shows months before they make it to luxury retailers. And then a number of more months before they hit department stores.

"You think this has nothing to do with you," Streep says to Hathaway, "You go to your closet and you select that lumpy, loose sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back, but … [it] represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think you made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff."

This iconic scene illustrates the power that fashion elites have on every trend — and even in the lives of people disinterested in the whole industry. But is that a bygone era? Rewatching The Devil Wears Prada reveals how outdated some of the outfits are. But it also reveals how outdated the entire premise is.

These days, fashion seems more reactionary than influential. The disappointing parade of post-pandemic fashion events proves that too many designers are scrambling to meet the demands of social media-influenced consumers addicted to instant gratification. They won’t wait to buy a collection, they want what they want when they want it — and that time is now.

With the rise of fast fashion, brands like SheIn and FashionNova don’t need months to analyze and translate what the runways produce. They do it at record speed. In fact, with TikTok and Instagram at the helm, consumers are dictating trends and they’re doing it faster than ever before. So they want brands that can keep up with their desires.

According to Pavement Pieces, “The grasp that social media apps – such as TikTok and Instagram – have on the fashion industry has become increasingly unavoidable as micro-trends continue to gain traction among Gen Z and millennials. Micro-trends are cheap, stylish fashion items designed to last until the end of the current season. And are often born from the screens of social media. These looks tend to disappear from storefronts as quickly as they entered, resulting in consumers constantly turning to their feeds in search of the newest designs.”

There seems to be a new microtrend every day, but I’ve decided I’ll leave the chasing to fashion students on TikTok. Instead, I’m working on refreshing the items I already have.

Consumerism has even co-opted rhetoric of mindfulness and sustainable shopping to entice us to buy-buy-buy and buy some more, just at different retailers. But real sustainable shopping means taking care of the items you already have so you don’t need to constantly replace them.

By augmenting the shelf-life of your clothes, small investments can save you money, closet space, and hassle in the long run. Here are some of our favorites:

The Laundress - Sweater Comb

Using tools to take care of your clothes is one of the most worthwhile things you can do. Sure it’s easier to throw everything in the same wash cycle, but taking the time to care for your clothes not only makes them last longer, they look better whenever you wear them. The Laundress Sweater Comb keeps your outerwear from pilling, so every time looks like the first time.

The Laundress - Sport Detergent

For all preventative care, The Laundress is my go-to brand. Proper washing will go a long way. Rather than using any old detergent, you need to use what’s made specifically for your garments. The Laundress Sport Detergent keeps my athletic clothes fresh without compromising their elasticity.

Wool Dryer Ball

A major part of sustainability is reducing waste. For instance, dryer sheets are one massive waste of resources — not to mention money — that you can do without. These Wool Dryer Ball separate your clothes as they spin and make for an overall even dry. They keep you from having to run the dryer twice or use single-use sheets, while speeding up the dry cycle and your clothes will have far less static.

Foldable Drying Rack

For items that don’t go in the tumble dryer, a Foldable Drying Rack is a must-have. Simply take it out to dry your delicates and luxe items in the old-fashioned way — also gentler and more eco-friendly. Then fold it right back up again and put it away — perfect for apartments or saving space.

Conair Turbo Extreme Steam Hand Held Fabric Steamer

Here’s a trick: if you hang your clothes up while you’re showering, the steam from a hot shower smooths out any wrinkles. However, I’ve aged out of this quaint method by investing in a Portable Steamer. My extra-nice shirts and dresses will thank me. Plus, I’ll always look effortlessly put together.

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