These days, shopping with intention and spending money wisely has never been more important, especially when it comes to fashion. We should all feel empowered to know that what we purchase and who from can make a big difference and be a true reflection of our values. Stylist Mosha Lundström-Halbert has rules for investing that natural researchers and fact-finders can pride themselves in. Here are some rules that Mosha applies to guarantee you’ll pass the test of wise buys.
- WHO are you?
We are all inundated with options, ads, and mixed messages right now, which can easily cause decision fatigue. I find it really helpful to make a moodboard (using an app on my phone or pinterest) that best captures the look I am going for each season. Having all your visuals references brought together is a great exercise to zero in on your style and not get confused along the way. When you are considering a new buy, it becomes very clear if it belongs on your moodboard or not.
- WHAT do you actually need?
I keep an ever-evolving shopping list on me at all times, broken down by the following categories: Investments, Staples, Basics, Occasion, and Trend. Every time something catches my fancy, I add it to the list and also indicate my budget for that particular piece. As I am getting older, the trend list is getting shorter and the investment list is getting longer. I’m working towards a goal of buying less, but better each season so that my belongings retain their value and serve me well for years to come.
For example, this season I know what my total clothing budget is and I know that I would like to add the following to my wardrobe:
- Cozy coat
- Oversized blazer
- Transitional knit
- Chunky boots
- Riding pants
- Strong shouldered blouse
- Gold earrings
- Simple statement heels
- Black slip dress
By sticking to a focused list, it allows you to not get distracted and seek out the very best version of each of the things you are desiring. Hunting and gathering is the fun part.
- WHERE do you plan to wear it?
Another great test for any potential purchase is to ask yourself to come up with three solid outfits and occasions to wear it. If you can’t, skip it. For instance, with the slip dress I know I could wear it with a t-shirt underneath for zoom meetings, with a sweater overtop for daytime casual, and with lots of jewelry come evening.
- WHERE is it made? And by whom?
I have been trying to support local designers and makers as much as possible, especially women of colour, who’s businesses have been hard hit by the pandemic. Now is the time to shop for independents and express your values through your wardrobe. For example, I’ve recently discovered and fallen in love with a Canadian brand called Pretty Denim. Designer Tahnee has such an elevated way with jean tailoring and her structured pieces feel both casual and strong, which is very much my look right now. I love that everything is made around Toronto too. Forming a relationship with a designer or brand, which can easily be done via Instagram these days, is a great way to make meaningful purchases and get amazing service too.
- WHAT is it made of?
While we need some novelty in our closets to keep it interesting, these days we are all reaching for things that are easier and feel great on the body. Materials matter. I will say that not all synthetics are bad and there are some beautiful blends and performance fabrics on the market, but you do want to make sure you are getting what you pay for when it comes to fiber content. Natural organic cottons, breathable cashmere, leather, merino wools, and pure silks will never go out of style and age beautifully.
- FIT first:
I don’t know how much I weigh (ugh who cares!), but I know every measurement on my body to the ½ inch. This makes determining proper fit super simple and straightforward. When online shopping, my preferred tools are a glass of rosé and my matching blush measuring tape to verify. Also, I am a firm believer that we all have about three individual silhouettes that suit us best. So when shopping, it helps to cull through all the options by focusing on your signatures. For example, mine are a cinched waist and flowing hemline, an oversized top and a slim leg, and boxy tailoring paired with a shorter skirt. I have the best results when playing in this fashion sandbox.
- Be good to yourself
Before this all sounds a little too serious, let me just say that everything you bring into your world should make you smile. Life is too short to wear boring clothes and not embrace beauty. Any new considerations should delight your eye, feel amazing on your body, and make your heart pitter-patter. Pay attention to those signs and gut instincts, they will never lead you astray. There is nothing more compelling than when someone is owning their look and appears completely themselves. That’s the goal here.
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