And I’ve Always Said That #1

And I’ve Always Said That #1

Hannah here, co-founder of UMA Store and scribbler of our new monthly newsletter, And I've Always Said That.

Equal parts thoughtful, personal and frivolous (as all good things are), I'll be sharing some words on this thing that we call fashion - it's emotions, inspirations, people, conflict, trends, thoughts and ideas. Hope you enjoy.

And I’ve Always Said That: 
#1 Committing to Fashion

I never thought that I was commitment-phobic in my early 20s but I guess I was wrong. Not commitment-phobic in the Mr. Big kind of way, but commitment-phobic of my relationships with my clothes.

I’ve just finished reading Alex Leach’s pocket sized book The World Is On Fire But We’re Still Buying Shoes. It rocked me - in the best way possible. 

Leach discusses the idea that each new purchase is - well, should be -  the beginning of a new relationship. A forever relationship ideally. As Leech says, this idea of a new relationship is about “buying things that really mean something to us, and buying them for life. Being patient, because we're in it for the long haul.” 

I have been (as I’m sure you have too) guilty of professing that I’m so committed to my new dress or my new jacket, but not quite being able to see it through over the seasons. I think these purchases that have gone-awry go hand-in-hand with how easy it has become to be able to mindlessly justify a new piece.

We comfortably use words like 'investment’ or ‘high rotation’, but do we know what we really mean when we chat about this in the change-room? Of course we know these phrases to be about conscious consumption, but these words are also so deeply intertwined with green-washing that it's hard to tell what is useful knowledge here and what is…well, marketing. 

 

Re-framing these ideas as a two-way relationship allows us to think more deeply about longevity and our role as consumers. Committing to learning how to care for that item. Committing to having straps mended or seams let out. Committing to holding this piece with adoration and care. Re-styling and re-wearing till the cows come home. 

It also means buying what you really love and are emotionally connected to. Buying what makes you feel like the most authentic version of yourself. It’s choosing to own fashion versus choosing to consume fashion. Leach says “philosophically, viewing fashion as a relationship is about reevaluating what it is that we really want from our clothes.”

We all have those few items we’ve had for years and each time you pull them out you feel that joy. It might not be the same initial excitement but it is comfort and an inexplicable appeal.

Mine are a loose pair of black silk shorts with an elastic waist and lace trim. I got them from the first real fashion brand that I worked for more than a decade ago. They look a little like Victorian bloomers but I love them. They’ve been to a runway show in New York, they’ve been shoved in a backpack, traveling around Croatian beaches and everything in between. I’m happy to say that they are officially my longest lasting relationship.

Maybe I’m not as commitment-phobic as I thought.

I hope you can find a budding new long term relationship with each piece on UMA.

Hannah x

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