our close closet companions


photo: kami rowe

What is your favorite piece of clothing? Was it a generous long-awaited Christmas gift? A lucky thrift store snag? A sweater left behind by your friend or your sibling? Maybe a late-night impulse buy that happened to be just as nice as you hoped? No matter the case, there is comfort or contentment associated with these objects. Our clothes are companions of each day of life. For many, an outfit goes beyond basic function and serves as an expression of confidence and individuality. 

photo: kami rowe

This can be seen to the fullest extent through social media, where every day entails a new outfit perfectly tailored to fit a curated aesthetic. And with fast-fashion companies advertising right below a perfected picture, confidence and individuality are not just aspirational but also cheap. While most of us purchase from fast fashion brands for the budget-friendliness, the expectation to keep up with every micro trend and hyper-curate a personal style in the name of individuality can turn a reasonable amount of purchases into excessivity. With influencers posting content showing off or recommending new clothing every day or in a unique act of ridiculousness, even reviewing $500 fast fashion hauls, it can be expected that we consume rather than enjoy. It’s normal that we want to express our confidence and individuality through our style, but the path to building more sustainable wardrobes entails restraint and the influencers that dominate our for-you-pages have styles that are rarely attainable. 

What we can do in the meantime, as we do with many unique, lovely and sometimes trivial things, is make our clothes special. To care for our clothes as things made valuable by our use of them and the choice that we make in wearing them over and over again. The worn-in sweatshirt between soft and dull that hugs you on a late-night, the sneakers that walked you through junior year of high school, the dress in a perfect shade of purple that isn’t quite lilac or periwinkle. When you hang up your coat, do you handle it with the same care that the person who made it did? When we recognize the work, resources and circumstances that create our style, the privilege of owning and choosing a wardrobe becomes apparent. To see our things with such regard is to slow down and think about what we appreciate in our clothing taste and what our needs truly are, so we can ultimately make our next purchase with intent and care. The conversation about sustainability does not always need to emphasize a loss of options as we try to move away from the fast fashion cycle, but instead the privilege of getting to make choices about our style. 

photo: kami rowe

Buying things according to our needs and the preferences we’re confident in empowers us to reduce our consumption and increases the longevity of the things we care about. There is no advertisement that can compete with the uniqueness that comes with a long-loved piece of clothing that has stories making up its closet life. Perhaps we can begin to build wardrobes that honor our clothing (our close closet companions) and in turn, ourselves. In honor of appreciating our shoes and sweaters, check out the words of Pat Schneider that helped inspire this article.


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Hi, I’m Grace Avery, the Editor In Chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.