A little over a year ago I decided to stop buying clothes. As in, I decided to no longer buy more than is needed. My goal was to radically change my consuming behaviour, particularly concerning clothing. How many clothes does one need in the end? In order to make sure I’d stick to my resolution, I officially communicated it in my monthly blog for FoA; two pieces of clothing, including shoes, in one year. As a result I became even more aware of the sartorial language I use in order to communicate my identity through the way that I dress.
Awear, “a community of stylish changemakers”, asked me to present myself as one of their January 2014 contributors. Their goal is “to showcase conscious sustainable style on real people” in order to inspire others to become conscious changemakers as well. After being asked to present my outfit (brand names and production countries) in January, I decided to do it every month for the rest of the year. Besides drastically changing my consumption behaviour, I thus also became more aware(/awear) of my knowledge system, my corporeal self and the symbolic meanings I (try to) convey with my clothing. According to Fred Davis (1992) “dress, then, comes easily as a kind of visual metaphor for identity”.
But, one has to be cautious, because “what some combination of clothes or a certain style emphasis “means” will vary tremendously upon the identity of the wearer, the occasion, the place, the company, and even something as vague and transient as the wearer’s and viewers’ moods” (Davis 1992). In the end, what I noticed with the combination of the twelve monthly outfits is that I tried to show the coolest pieces from my wardrobe; the pieces that I’m proud of owning; the pieces that make me feel good because of my mood and/or also because of the stories, the places and people that I got my clothing from.
Images: twelve months in chronological order.