Despite being from a generation that reportedly values sustainability and making “eco-conscious” choices, fashion influencer types often use social media to share their “hauls,” featuring merchandise from fast-fashion retailers worth hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars.
In the last month, however, there has been a growing trend on TikTok where self-described “financially responsible fashion girlies” have shared the ways they maintain a stellar collection of clothing without going into debt to acquire it. Karina Chan (@karinajchan) originated the trend on Aug. 26.
Jaz (@jazybdazy), a San Francisco-based creator, recently revealed her financially responsible ways to shop.
“I feel very qualified to speak on this because I’ve had a job since the age 15. In my early years I used to use all my paychecks toward my shopping budget,” she said on Sept. 24, before sharing her first tip, which is to keep a running list of items you want. “I let it sit there for a bit, because I want to make sure I’m not doing impulsive buying — that I’m genuinely, actually wanting these things. … When I go in stores, I do not veer from this list.”
And when you do shop in stores, trying everything on is key, according to Jaz.
“You need to take those clothes to the dressing room. Make sure they fit appropriately, and make sure you actually like them,” she said. “If I cannot immediately think of an outfit that already is in my closet that I could wear this piece with, I do not buy it. … Make sure you have things in your closet that you can pair with the items that you’re trying to buy.”
Jaz’s final tip is to refrain from making the purchase if you’re not completely sure you want the piece.
“As Oprah has once said, ‘Doubt means don’t.’ If you have any sort of inkling of ‘Do I really need this?’ ‘Am I actually gonna wear this?’ ‘How am I gonna wear this?’ A doubt is enough reason to put it back,” she said. “I’ve adhered to these rules the last couple of years when it comes to shopping, and I think it’s been especially helpful as we’re in this crazy TikTok trend cycle.”
Fellow financially responsible girlies have taken to Jaz’s comments to share their own tips and tricks for looking good without breaking the bank. Others have thanked Jaz for imparting her wisdom.
“The notes app thing is game changer,” @angel_mlj wrote in response to her first tip.
“Tbh i found that taking your time in a dressing room is 100% the way to save money and time,” @susiebby added.
“If i can’t think of 3 ways to style the item with things i already own while in the store it’s a no,” @elyssifer also revealed.
Another way to curate a closet that’s equal parts stylish as it is timeless — and financially friendly — is by cultivating what’s known as a capsule wardrobe. Described by Who What Wear as “the kind of compact closet that only held the minimum number of pieces that matched each other with great ease,” developing a capsule wardrobe could help prevent overconsumption in an age of fast-fashion and quick-turning trends.
On Sept. 16, Kyyah Abdul (@kyyahabdul) stitched her own response to Chan’s video. Conducting an annual closet clean out, generally shopping alone as to avoid being peer pressured into buying something, and only buying “everyday” clothes if they’re on sale or discounted are integral to her own process.
“Farfetch and Net-a-Porter have a bi annual, extra 25% sale sale,” she said. “I normally wait to do my really big clothing hauls or I keep a running list of things that I need in my closet. … I also love using Modesens because if I need something for an event or I’m just going somewhere, traveling, and I want a specific top or specific pair of pants, I can search for that item … and find it for the lowest possible price.”
In addition to giving herself a “two item maximum” when thrifting, Abdul makes sure to immediately return items she has purchased online if they don’t fit her. She also avoids subscribing to trends.
“I really try my best to avoid trends, and sometimes that means not following people who post a lot about trendy items,” she admitted. “And if I really, really do like something that’s trendy on the list of stuff that I say I need or want for my closet, it’ll sit on there. … If I don’t like it in six months to a year, it just falls off.”
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