Wardrobe Story: Today's interview is with Lauren, who crochets the most wonderful items, and really values the stories behind the clothes she wears.
What is your favourite item in your wardrobe, and why?
It definitely changes but something that I love is a one sleeved grey top with a print of a woman's face on the front that an old friend from school made, who goes to fashion school. It gets me through a lot of the seasons too and goes with everything. I love it because no one else has it, and I think it’s really special. I like that I got to be part of designing it as well. I don’t mind if someone else has the same outfit, but if I’ve found something that’s a bit quirky or you know that not everyone would like it, I like that.
How often do you buy new clothes?
I buy something once every three months so not that often. But then I do end up wearing it to death. I also hold onto a lot of my clothes. There’s been loads of items that I’d bought and not liked that much at the time but years later it’s exactly what I want. I’d bought some brown levis ages ago, and suddenly were perfect when brown trousers were in style. I think I’ve gone through different styles. There are clothes that my mum wore when she was 16 that I used to think weren’t my style, but now think are really cool. I don’t often get rid of clothes; I always have a pile of stuff that needs to be repaired or embroidered or a top I can cut and turn into a crop top.
How do you decide whether to buy something? What’s the process?
I go off my gut feeling. I normally use the website good on you to check the sustainability rating of the company before buying. If it’s in a charity shop, I’m pretty impulsive because it feels like guilt free shopping. I didn’t used to do this though. Every weekend, I used to go to Topshop and find something to buy. But once you decide you want to get more worthwhile pieces; I’ve ended up buying less.
a granny square crochet crop top (made by Lauren)
Is it important to you where you buy your clothes?
I honestly used to be Miss Guided biggest buyer at school. But it changed when I got to university and was around my friends. I became very food conscious early on at uni, and I’ve been swinging back on forth about veganism, and what’s the best way to lower my consumption. I guess it’s all connected to the same system. Everyone around me was doing similar things. We are contributing in every act we do, and what we are wearing is part of that. If you own what you like and you feel good in it, then you are cool. You don’t need to keep buying clothes. My flatmate a while ago noticed that I’d worn the same outfit for about 5 days and asked me why. I told him that the most sustainable outfit is the same outfit, and he conceded that it was true. But I really don’t think that anyone’s got it completely down.
Has your relationship changed as you’ve started crocheting?
Yes, especially with knitwear, because I can probably somehow make it. So, if I really want it, I’ll have a go. If I can create a story with your clothes, like it used to be my mum’s or it's inspired by something in particular, it helps create a nice relationship with my wardrobe.
I’m not very good at letting go off old clothes; I like keeping them as a time capsule.
Where do you get your wardrobe inspiration?
There are a few shops I really like, like the Parisian brand, Rouje, so I try and find clothes in their style in other places. I think that your clothes represent how you want to live your life, and that your clothes are an expression of yourself. I feel like clothes used to be an indication of your music taste, like if you liked punk you’d dress in a certain way. But maybe now it’s become an indication of what you see online and outside. What I choose to see are like bread Instagram accounts. I think it’s really important to say that you can still really love fashion and not consume and purchase that much.