Confession time: I have a cache of old outfit posts, just waiting in drafts to be published. The hitch? This year has been major in terms of style development and everything I was wearing just seems completely out of character at this point. I finally took the time to write a list of absolutes as far as my style goes. An all black ensemble definitely fits somewhere on that list, even in the spring and summer. The key for me is making sure that I have a variety of textures and fabrics to work with; that way, I don't ever get weighed down by the severe color in the warmer months.
Another interesting thing that came up while delving further into defining my personal aesthetic is whether or not I should hold onto things that were purchased from big chain retailers or weren't made in America. I think a lot of people face a similar problem when they have the ethical fashion wake up call: "Do I really have to get rid of everything in order to start fresh?" My answer to this question is absolutely not. I have lovely pieces purchased well before I became a more conscious consumer. While getting rid of them in order to have a fresh start sometimes seems massively appealing, in the end donating something or worse, throwing it out, just contributes the the consumption cycle in a negative way. Holding on to pieces that aren't torn or stained and that serve you well instead of buying new is a much better line of thought, even though I commiserate with the desire to have nothing but ethically made clothing.
This outfit, for example, is about half and half. Some of the pieces are secondhand, but some were just purchased as a bargain from stores like Target. More often than not, I'm dressing in all secondhand clothing these days as that has always been my preference; but I'm not going to toss my trousers from TJ Maxx just because they don't fit into that criteria. Maybe one day I will have nothing but clothing that is produced and sourced in a way that I am comfortable with. However, considering the stockpile I already have of previously purchased clothing, I will have to be content with attempting to buy less and appreciate what I have more.