How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Hi Everyone,

Recently I found myself reflecting on the past, going back to the roots of my inner self,  (including a reinvented interest in making the garden pretty – haha). However back to clothes…

I have also been thinking back to what my wardrobe looked like in the late 80’s early 90’s. My daughter loves hearing the stories of the time before fast fashion.

Back then my wardrobe was never stuffed full – there was always plenty of room to move hangers backwards and forwards. Each piece was carefully selected and saved up for before purchasing or else it was hand made. I have memories of buying $2/meter calico fabric and hand dying it. Then I would sew something simple or draw what I wanted and a talented friend or my dear Mum would patiently make it.

Imagine I would spend 20% of my months salary on a blouse!!! Having said that, it was made out of high quality linen and lasted very many years. I had a real emotional attachment to every single piece in my wardrobe and every piece was worn extensively.

All this has found me longing for my wardrobe back then. Not the individual pieces necessarily. Simply a wardrobe that has been put together with the same care, where each and every piece is worn extensively. This is what a real conscious wardrobe is made up of!

Keep reading for more about how to cultivate a conscious wardrobe…

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 1: Eliminate

The first step to the conscious wardrobe is super simple… or is it? It means brutally going through your wardrobe and really getting rid of items you don’t wear. I confess to this being my hugest downfall. If something is still in perfect condition I tend to leave it and think I may wear it again… note to self must stop this!

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 2: Let your wardrobe breath

Before buying a single new piece make sure you have gotten your wardrobe to the state where it is possible to slide things along the rail. Each piece of clothing has a little breathing space.

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 3: Only buy what you love.

Before buying anything make sure you really love it. Always refrain from buying something because of it’s attractive price!  Unless of course it is something you have been wanting for awhile.

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 4: Only buy quality

Even if it is your basic white tee – always go for quality before quantity and price. Even more so, when buying basics make the effort to find out where and how it is produced.

You are better to buy less but spend a lot on an individual piece that will last than buy many pieces which never get worn.

This rule also applies to home wear. if you have good quality home wear you will also feel special wearing it.

Step 5: Where possible buy in complete looks

This way you always have one perfect outfit and if it is really a whole outfit you love the chances are very high that each piece will also go with other items in your wardrobe.

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 6: Sleep over it

Avoid wrong impulse buying by really taking the time to think a night about it. If you are still dreaming of it a few days later then it really is something that should be in your wardrobe.

How to Cultivate a Conscious Wardrobe

Step 7: Only buy what you will or can imagine wearing now

Often people buy something for when weather gets warmer or colder or they loose or gain weight. These items are in danger of being forgotten about and never being worn. Leave them for when the time comes!

Step 8: Find out more about what you are buying

Go beyond simply buying a piece of clothing. Ask about the story, where it is made. Is there a story about the designer or fabric. It’s a small step to take that will make a huge difference. Be conscious about the choices you make. Decide for yourself how much fast fashion you will buy and how much sustainable fashion you will buy.

Outfit details

All of todays outfits are from one of my favourite Zurich designers Paradis des Innocents, who now also has an online store – see here.

I have deliberately used these pieces for this article because each piece I own from this store has been carefully selected and I manage to wear them year after year. Each season I will combine them differently however because of the fabulous fabrics they continue to look crisp and new. The blue capri pants for example are already 3 years old.

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Time to Cultivate Your Conscious Wardrobe!


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Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this post and I often miss the pieces I donated from the 80’s and 90’s , they were some of my best wardrobe staples

  2. Great tips! I can’t move my hangers very much but I definitely don’t buy unless I absolutely love it! Great post xx

  3. Dear Yvonne I love your Idea of buying clothes only when you really love and need some otherwise you get to many clothes and don’t know if you ever will be wearing those again

  4. oh my goodness, I adore all these pieces. The colours aren’t my best ones but they look so good on you and you can vary endlessly with these pieces. As well the blue as the pink ones. They remind me of Victoria Beckham’s style. Love it.

  5. You look gorgeous! I absolutely love that shop! The colours reminded me of my first purchases with my first pay check, which was cash in a little envelope! I bought two little knit tops in blue and pink, a matching blue skirt, and a Dior scarf to match! I still have them! There was nothing left of the pay check either! I still love them! That was the mid ‘80’s!

  6. HI Yvonne,
    you are so right! This is exactly the way to treat your wardrobe. Though I will have a look at your favorite designer, cause the examples are just a dream!
    Happy weekend,

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