Decluttering my closet

Tips for a reduced wardrobe

It’s a reoccurring phenomenon: Every spring people feel the urge to do a spring clean and free themselves from unwanted things that clutter their life. Just like many others, I felt the need to sort out my closet.

The problem with my closet

When I watch all the decluttering my closet videos on YouTube, I still feel quite sensible with my amount of clothes. Compared to those walk in closets, my wardrobe looks quite tiny. However, I just don’t need as many clothes and can’t even wear them all.

Why do I do this?

In my opinion, I do have a big closet and it is full. I even have troubles fitting everything in. During the past year, I discovered minimalism and it is something I want to incorporate more into my lifestyle. So far, I haven’t really minimalised my belongings and I don’t want to reduce them to a certain number. At this point, I want to reduce my clothes to the pieces I really wear, need and like. I don’t need five cream sweaters! So I came up with some tips to get a minimalised wardrobe that represents your style and makes you truly happy.

Does it still fit?

The best way to sort out your closet is by trying everything on and making sure that it still fits you. Do not keep those jeans that are way too tiny, but you keep them just in case you might lose weight again. Clothes that we don’t wear only takes up space in our closet which could otherwise be used better and filled with clothes that you really like and wear.

Does it suit you?

Does a piece of clothing suit you and do you feel comfortable in it? Does it complement your features? If something doesn’t suit me, I won’t wear it. I will only intend to wear it but then change into something else. You can easily throw these pieces out of your wardrobe.

Do you like it?

Do you even like everything that is in your closet? Are there some pieces that have negative connotations for you? If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it!

When have you last worn it?

This is a question that you have to be really honest with you. I own a lot of clothing pieces that I really like and think they are cool, but I have never or rarely worn it. Like that velvet jumper I never found the occasion to wear. I recommend to get rid of those pieces even if you like them. If you have never worn it there might be something wrong with it and there is no point of keeping it.

What to do with the clothes?

So, after you went through your whole closet piece by piece, you might end up with a huge pile of clothing. The next step is to get rid of these things. In my opinion there are two options. Donate or sell. Donating might be the easiest and quickest way. I try selling first but so far, I haven’t been really successful. Ripped or washed out clothes you could throw away or reuse as a cloth for cleaning.

What you shouldn’t do

I hate it when YouTubers upload a “decluttering my closet” video and two weeks later that upload a huge haul. If your reason for sorting out the closet is trying out a more minimal lifestyle, then don’t buy new things afterwards. Instead, enjoy the newly won space in your wardrobe and how easy it is to look through your beloved clothing pieces!

If you’re interested in general advice on how to reduce your fashion consumerism, you should check out this blog post!

#haulternative

Reconsidering fast fashion and setting an example

Most people know that cheap fast fashion is produced neither ethically nor fair. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, which led to the deaths of over 1000 people, demonstrated that in a most alarming way. For many people it was a sad wake-up call. It also marks the start of the Fashion Revolution. It’s a movement that fights against the bad working conditions in the fashion industry and also calls attention to the environmental consequences of that industry.

Low wages and bad working conditions for a 5€ t-shirt

To be honest, I never really thought about the consequences of my fashion consumerism until I came across the documentary “The True Cost”. Of course I knew, that a t-shirt for 5€ cannot be sustainable nor fair. We have all seen the devastating photos of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. It is not a secret that the wages of the workers are extremely low and the working conditions are extremely bad. But have I changed since? No, because it never affected me! That’s what “The True Cost” gets so damn right. It is moving and also educating. Afterwards, I really felt the need to change and was also kind of ashamed of my behaviour. That is why, I take part in the fashion revolution week. I want to draw attention to an important topic and maybe cause some people to reconsider the fashion industry.

On the website of the Fashion Revolution you can find a lot of different ways to take action and be a part of the movement. One of these possibilities is the #haulternative. As you might know when you’re a constant follower of mine, I’m currently on a shopping ban, so I do not shop anything at the moment. And you don’t need to buy new things to update your wardrobe.

Try second hand!

It is a great way to extend the life cycle of clothes and you can prevent them from landing in landfill. I haven’t bought anything second hand in a while, because I really don’t need anything, but I am a huge fan of charity shops and online platforms like Kleiderkreisel, or Kleiderkorb. These are German websites but I am sure there are similar websites in every country. Currently, I am sorting out my closet and selling the things online. So far I am not very successful but I hope that my unloved clothing pieces will make someone else happy soon.

Fall in love again

£285 of clothes. That’s the amount of clothes an average British woman hoards but will never wear. Before you buy something new think of this and look through your wardrobe. Maybe there are long forgotten treasures you might fall in love with. I am currently trying on all the unworn pieces and I try to figure out if I actually like them.

Bad working conditions don’t affect me, so why care?

Humans are supposed to be the superior species. So why is it, that we treat each other and our environment so horribly? Even if the bad working conditions don’t affect you specifically, shouldn’t we care for our fellow humans? Isn’t empathy what is supposedly differentiating us from animals? But even if you don’t reconsider the fashion industry for the sake of the workers in Bangladesh, you should change your behaviour for the sake of the planet, our home. Our earth is not made for the massive consumerism we are burdening it with. Much of the clothing we buy gets thrown away without being worn once. Pesticides used on cotton plantages are polluting our environment. 2720 litres of water are needed to make a t-shirt. Humans are destroying the only home they have and it is on us to take action now! Better late than never.

How can you do more?

  • Be curious! Inform yourself, check out Fashion Revolution and watch “The True Cost”. It’s so informative and shaking!
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about fashion revolution, but do not lecture them! In my opinion lecturing someone can often lead to the contrary effect.
  • Also, check out my blog post on how buy less and how to buy better! Reducing your consumerism and buying things that you will wear not just for one season also sets an example for ethical fashion and against the fast fashion industry!

 

7 easy steps to reduce your fashion consumerism

How to become a sensible shopper

Minimalism and capsule wardrobes are something you come across more and more often on the internet. I think it is inspiring and eye-opening, but so far I haven’t really changed my behaviours. Only recently I discovered the extent of my shopping behaviour and have since changed my habits.

Accept that you have a problem

The biggest problem for me was, that I didn’t really see the money I spent. Therefore, the first step should be to have a closer look on how much money you have actually spent in the past months on fashion. When I did this, it was disturbing. I bought so much stuff, even though I didn’t have the money to do so. I didn’t spend more than I have, but I definitely could have spent the money more sensible. That was probably a turning point in my life as a shopaholic. Since then, I felt bad about all my purchases and really questioned them. I also started a shopping ban, which you can read about here.

Easy steps to incorporate into your daily routine

By now, I have incorporated some simple steps into my life to reduce my fashion consumerism. Here are my 7 tips how you can change your shopping behaviour, too.

1. Unsubscribe from all fashion related newsletters. Asos, H&M, Zalando, … They all send you newsletters with the latest styles and sales and draw you to their online shops. Often you end up buying something you don’t really need or wanted in the first place. Without the newsletters you wouldn’t even know that there is a sale happening.

2. Delete shopping apps from your phone. I have experienced myself that if I’m bored I am likely to grab my phone to scroll through the apps of the shops. Then I discover all the dresses, skirts and jeans that I want but don’t need.

3. Avoid online shopping. From my own experience, I would say that I spend a lot more online than in a real store. The reason for this is probably that you are likely to order a lot more because you expect to return a lot of the stuff. Money that is disappearing online doesn’t hurt as much as cash you really see disappearing from your wallet.

4. Avoid going to the shops, or test yourself. Going shopping can be quite dangerous as you see all the new clothing pieces in store. But it can be a good way to test yourself. Look at the pieces and ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I even want this? Another phrase that I always keep in mind is: “If you don’t love it, don’t buy it.”

5. If you see something you want to buy, ask yourself if you need it and if you can see yourself wearing it still next year. Only if this applies you should be buying new things. The crucial purchase argument is often the price instead of the use value. Would you buy the piece if it wasn’t cheap or on sale?

6. If you still want to buy it, you shouldn’t buy it immediately. Sleep one or two nights over it and see if you can’t get it out of your head or if you forget it quickly.

7. Think in styles, not in pieces. Get an overview of what you have and what is missing in your wardrobe. I searched for styles on pinterest to see what I like and what I would like to dress like. Then I checked what was missing in my closet and looked online for these particular pieces. By only scrolling through the shops without looking for particular pieces you might end up buying things that are pretty, but you have no idea how to style them. Consequently, you will never wear them.

These are my 7 tips to change your fashion consumerism. I am still often tempted to buy new clothing and I often catch myself at saving jeans on my wish list – even though I have plenty of jeans. But I think I am on a good way to become a sensible shopper. I hope my seven steps can inspire you, too, to work on a healthier shopping behaviour (if you want to and don’t already have one).

5 tips to avoid fashion mispurchases

Easy questions you should ask yourself before buying new clothes

Probably everyone owns at least one piece of clothing that qualifies as a mispurchase. Once, it surprised me when people had clothing in their wardrobe which still had the price tag. They had never worn that piece of clothing. Nowadays, I do unfortunately own some pieces, too, which I have never worn. I wish I had put more contemplation in many of these purchases. I could have saved me a lot of money and space in my wardrobe.

So, I decided to look at these pieces I have never worn and consider why that is the case or how I could have avoided it. I came up with five question that I will ask myself every time from now on before buying something new. These five questions will also help you to avoid fashion mispurchases.

1. Does it fit?

The most important question you should always ask yourself before buying something is whether it fits properly or not. Roughly two year ago, I bought those jeans. I like them and they look cool and pretty but they are just incredibly tight. I bought them because I thought “Hey, I will do a lot of sports now and eat healthy, and then I will lose weight and then these jeans will fit properly. Result: I haven’t lost weight and the jeans are still very tight. Don’t buy things for the future. If they don’t fit now, they might not fit in the future or if they finally fit, you might not like them anymore.

2. Do I feel comfortable?

Feeling comfortable should be one of your priorities. No matter how pretty a piece of clothing might be: if you don’t feel comfortable in it, you won’t wear it. This nice bodycon dress that’s really sexy but is somehow to short or makes you feel well aware of every gram that you might have too much? Don’t buy these things. You probably won’t wear them at all and if you do, they will most likely make you feel very self-conscious.

3. Do I feel pretty?

I think this is a question that I have often forgotten when buying new clothing. When you buy something new, you should feel pretty in it no matter how shitty you look that day. I have that one sweater which I like that much that I know I will feel good about myself wearing it. Some days I look in the mirror and nothing looks right. My hair doesn’t sit right, I look really pale and tired and I don’t feel good in any of my clothes. On those days I am likely to wear that sweater and instantly things don’t look that bad anymore. On the other hand, I have a lot of clothing pieces which don’t give me that feeling. I have often bought something even though I didn’t feel pretty. Then, I persuaded myself that I will look good wearing it when I do my hair in a specific way and put on some make-up. Most of the times, that’s not the case.

4. Do I have something to wear it with?

Another question I should have asked myself more often. Once upon a time, I bought a trench coat. I have never worn it. I just don’t have a clue how to style it. Even though, I found some ways to wear it on pinterest, the outfit combinations feel very limited and I had to make a deliberate decision to wear the trench coat instead of just throwing it on with every of my outfits. It just doesn’t feel natural for me. However, that’s what I need in my clothes. I need things that are easy to combine and I don’t want to plan a lot.

5. Do I like the piece or just the idea of it?

I tend to forget about this question when I get inspired by fashion bloggers or on pinterest. Usually, I see how other people style something, I like it and I want to have it, too. A typical example would be a blazer. I do have a couple of rarely worn blazers in my wardrobe. I like the idea of them, I like how they look on others, but I don’t like me wearing a blazer. It just doesn’t feel like me. I think, it has to do a lot with finding your personal style and being honest to yourself. Of course, you can experiment with new styles and try out things you haven’t worn before. But in case with the blazers, I make the same mistake over and over again. I own about four blazers that I only wear to job interviews. Now, it’s time to be honest with myself and admit that blazers are just not my style and stop buying new ones. My advice for you: Don’t randomly buy the things your favourite fashion blogger wears. Reconsider if you really like it or if you just like it because he or she likes it.

I hope these tips can help you to avoid fashion mispurchases in the future. They do help me. Also, let me know in the comments if you have further ideas how you avoid fashion mispurchases!

The start of my 6 months shopping ban

I am a bit shopping addicted. I am completely aware of the fact that I shop too much and that I own too many things. Nonetheless, I still find myself scrolling through online shops longing for new pieces of clothing. But it is not only clothes but also beauty products that I constantly buy more and more.

Of course I feel not good about it. So I decided to change my consumerist behaviour this year. I have several reasons for that.

  • Firstly, I want to save money and spent it on travelling or none material things. When I think of all the money I wasted on clothes that I never wore, I am annoyed by myself. I could have spent that money so much better. However, it’s too late now and I can only learn from the past and change for the future.
  • Secondly, all that extensive consumerism is most likely to have a negative impact on our environment, too. Fast Fashion, plastic in oceans, … It’s so sad that our community is based on consumerism and materialism. Advertisings are suggesting that material products make us happy. But they don’t or only for a short period of time.
  • Last but not least: I simply have too much stuff… I noticed that I own way too many things when I moved in with my boyfriend last year and I had to move all that stuff from one place to another. Which is why, I want to declutter rather than accumulating more things. Minimalism is a very interesting topic to me and I want to explore it a bit more this year.

Which is why, I decided to drastically change my shopping behaviour and start a shopping ban. For me, it’s hard to just stop shopping. I need a challenge which will hopefully trigger my ambition and endurance. I was inspired to start the shopping ban by Mia from heylilahey – I can only recommend reading her blog!

The rules:

  1. The shopping ban last for 6 months starting from today, 14. February 2018.
  2. I am not allowed to buy any new clothes unless I really need it (that probably won’t happen.. I mean, when do we actually need new clothing?). Need is not to be confused with want.
  3. I am not allowed to buy any make up or beauty products unless I’ve used up something and don’t have anything similar anymore.
  4. I am allowed to sell my old clothes but I may not invest the money in new clothes that I don’t need.
  5. I will use the six months to use up old beauty products, declutter my wardrobe and find the items I love to wear.

These are the rules, so let’s start the challenge! I will keep you updated on twitter and give a feedback at the end of the shopping ban. Feel free to join and let me know if you do!

The Scentist Individual Perfume Review

Finally the perfect perfume?

I am a lover of perfume, but so far I have failed to find the perfect scent for me. Recently, I came across a website called “The Scentist” who create individual perfumes. They claim to create an individual scent that fits. I was immediately hooked by this statement as I am always standing in the perfume shop sniffing the different perfumes until I cannot smell any difference at all anymore and still I remain without the perfect scent. So, I was curious and had a closer look at the website, read some reviews and decided I would try it.

The procedure

To get your individual perfume, you have to fill out a personality test, which is quickly done. The questions are about things you like to do in your free time, where you prefer to eat or drink and general information about yourself.

The next day I received the results via e-mail. In the mail I got to know that my perfect scent belongs to the family of floral scents. The different scents of my individual perfume were also mentioned and overall it sounded interesting, but I wasn’t 100% persuaded. It contained a lot of fruity scents and not so many florals. But after considering it a bit longer, I ordered my individual scent.

Already two days later, my parcel arrived, so everything went really quickly. I was really excited and also a bit nervous whether I would like the scent or not. With pleasant anticipation, I opened the little parcel and it looked very high-quality: There was a nice card with the description of my scent, black tissue paper and a tin which contained the perfume. The perfume itself comes in a 100 ml glass bottle, which also appears to be good quality.

High-quality packaging of the Scentist individual perfume
High-quality packaging of the Scentist perfume

The scent: is it perfect?

Unfortunately, I have to say that I was not as impressed as others were in their reviews. The first impression is very fruity and not at all floral. I think it is black currant that is the most prominent but I am no expert. The scent reminds me a bit of Giorgio Armani Si or Kylie Minogue Showtime but more intense. After a while the intensity decreases but what is left is also not very appealing to me. All in all, the scent is very sweet and overpowering and not at all what I imagine my perfect perfume to be like.

Is it worth it?

Tough question. The whole presentation and packaging of the perfume is high-quality and premium. The outcome of the scent is probably dependent on luck and your own taste. Even though the price of 89€ for 100 ml is rather normal for a perfume, I think it is a bit risky to order 100 ml of a perfume without having a clue what it smells like. I think it would be good if it was possible to order smaller amounts, too. Now, I have 100 ml of a perfume that I don’t really like. So, I wouldn’t do it again. As my hunt for my perfect perfume goes on, I will probably keep sniffing perfumes until I finally find the perfect one for me.

An introduction to myself

How do you start blogging? Do you just start throwing content onto your blog or do you formally introduce yourself? I decided for the latter, so that is what this will be.

  • My name is Ulla, which is a very old-fashioned name in Germany, but was very popular in the 1920s. I used to have a problem with that but now I am ok with it.
  • I grew up close to the oldest city of Germany and after graduating from school I spent a year abroad in London doing a voluntary service. During that time my love for the UK and the English language began to grow which led to me studying English linguistics and business administration.
  • I had spent my fifth semester at the University of Bergen in Norway. During summer and early autumn I went hiking a lot. As I had no TV, I needed a hobby for the evenings. I did watch a lot of Netflix (which is somehow similar to TV but without the adverts), I knitted a lot and started painting with watercolours. The last two became real hobbies for me and I have improved my skills by now.
  • In my last semester, I finished my bachelor thesis, moved to Munich and worked as an intern at a tourism company, which I didn’t enjoy much. Afterwards, I was looking for a job which didn’t went as smoothly as I had expected. I was unemployed for three months, which felt like ages but also passed very quickly. As I got more and more desperate, I started working at a huge fashion retailer. It was not my dream, but at least I had something to do and earned a bit of money to pay my rent.
  • Soon after, I finally found a job in an online editorial office. So far, I still enjoy working there.
  • I am a massive cat lover. One day I will hopefully be a crazy cat lady.
  • I love photography.
  • I love travelling but I hate that it seems to be everyone’s hobby by now. Sometimes I think that everyone only loves to travel because that’s simply what our generation does. I don’t say travelling is my hobby because I unfortunately do not travel that often. But when I do, I love it.
  • I have unfortunately never been in a country outside of Europe.
  • I love tea, mostly green, black, peppermint, camomile, all sorts of tea except fruity teas basically.
  • I try to read as many books as possible and most favourably in English. I am a very slow reader, however, and I have other hobbies as well, so I don’t finish as many books as other people each year.
  • I like watching videos on YouTube, although I become more and more critical about the whole movement with all the influencers and product placements. We could probably be watching adverts instead.
  • I like knitting. I guess my biggest project so far has been a jumper with a complicated pattern.

Well, this is not a 50 facts about me tag but I think it gives you an impression of who I am. You will probably get to know me better in future blog posts.