Ep 22 - Purchasing With Purpose For A Wardrobe You Love With Tara Castellan
Tara Castellan is a fashion educator and stylist with many years experience. I’m thrilled Tara is here to discuss why we need to purchase with purpose for a wardrobe we love – and how to do it.
Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and more.
Broadcast: July 16, 2021
Here is a snippit of our conversation…
Amy: I'm a bit excited to be chatting about something that really fuels my creativity - how to create a wardrobe we love - and wear - by purchasing with purpose. So Tara, what exactly is purchasing with purpose?
Tara: From working with a lot of women, I was seeing the same kinds of problems coming up when they wanted to either refresh their wardrobe or start over. Or simply just go shopping. And it led me to develop a few questions that are great to ask yourself so that it becomes a purposeful experience. So essentially it's being mindful about what you buy and how you spend your money. And it's always a great foundational way to create a wardrobe that you're going to wear, and one that you're going to wear for a long time.
Amy: What is the first step towards becoming more aware or intentional when adding items to our wardrobes?
Tara: To get really intentional, purchasing with purpose is a process. So it's like anything. When you're creating a foundation, you always start at the beginning, but I'll break it down for you now. There are three steps and then the questions come after that. The first step is to ask yourself conscious questions that mean something and are a little deeper than what you may have previously ever asked yourself in regards to your wardrobe. Because then you get empowered answers, being the second step. Empowered answers are always the honest ones, no matter how hard they are, whether it's a Yes or a No, it's always the honest ones that are most empowering. And then from there you take the third step which is inspired action. So you act on the answers you come up with from the questions that you asked yourself.
Conscious questions to ask yourself…
I'll give you two examples of really conscious questions that you can ask yourself when you’re out shopping.
So the first one is ‘Why am I really considering buying this?’ So, let's say you're in a change room. You've got a tonne of clothes in there with you, whether it's dresses, pants, tops, anything. Now, what led you there could have been a myriad of reasons - sometimes we go shopping and we could have been feeling happy or sad or hungry. You may have received some money. You might have received a raise and you may just have been paid. There are so many different reasons as to why you ended up in the change room, but any of those will probably not lead you to buying something you love, because it's more of a reactionary moment than a thoughtful moment. So when you get super truthful with yourself, you'll get an empowered answer.
What’s wrong with shopping out our feelings?
Amy: Ok, so just for clarity, what's the problem with purchasing a dress when you've had a shitty week at work?
Tara: Well, a lot of the time you're buying something as a knee-jerk reaction to something. You haven't really looked at your wardrobe or decided that you really want something because it's going to make you feel this, this, and this. It's not an empowered decision. It's a knee-jerk reaction to something that's happening to you emotionally and probably won't serve you down the road. When I've done wardrobe edits for women, there's a whole wardrobe full of stuff, but there's nothing to wear. And that comes from shopping on a whim.
Consider if you’ll wear it a year from now.
So on that, there's another question that you can ask which is 'Can I see myself wearing this in one year and beyond?' And this is such an amazing question for so many reasons. It's one that can really set yourself up for wardrobe Nirvana. So the example is like you're in a shop and you're trying on a couple of jackets. It could be pre-Winter or it's in Winter and as you're asking yourself this, your answers are either going to be Yes, and the reasoning behind the Yes, or No.
It could be that it fits really well, it could be perfect for your lifestyle, your career, where I go, what I do, all of those things. It looks great on me. It feels amazing. Now I use a jacket as an example because potentially that's an investment. And if you said yes, you could see yourself wearing this in a year and beyond.
Or you may say No, I couldn't. Now that could be led by the answers from the last question that we asked, or, you may not be ready to spend X amount of dollars if it's applicable on that particular piece. Or another thing that I see if you'd say no, is that you very well know it's a major trend and you can feel yourself wanting to wear it now, but you couldn't really foresee yourself wearing it next year or years beyond.
Amy: I have a girlfriend in fashion who is brilliant at maintaining a tiny wardrobe. She’ll come to Melbourne and she'll arrive with one gorgeous dress, a couple of different jackets and couple of pairs of shoes. And I will see her here multiple times in a week wearing variations of the same.
Tara: I love that example that you gave because essentially it is her as a person wearing those clothes, right. The clothes sound so simple and so beautiful, but it's her understanding and her story behind going and buying those clothes that creates that aura for want of a better word around her. Because she understands, she's probably asked empowered questions. She's probably gone into beautiful shops that mean something to her. She's potentially had an amazing service experience. So all of that creates your wardrobe as well.
Amy: So you've you’ve mentioned a couple of these questions. Why am I really considering buying this? Secondly, can I see myself wearing this one year and beyond? Why are these questions so crucial?
Dress with purpose and power.
Tara: I think if they're so crucial purely for ourselves to get really super honest with ourselves, no matter what the answer is because that creates a bit of ease around what we're trying to do. And it also opens you up energetically for all the other things to come in. When you delve deep, you ask the questions, you will allow other things to come through. And they're probably the things that you wanted to come through, but it's been blocked in some way.
And I always come back to the fact, we are adults. And I say 99% of us have to get dressed every day, so why not do it from a place of purposefulness and empowerment so that you can wake up every day and not just feel and look amazing, but like your true self, like what you really are, how you really want to look, how you really want to feel.
Amy: So, what else do you think women could do in line with purchasing with purpose? If they're reassessing or starting over their wardrobe?
Tara: So there are a couple of key things that you can do along with asking those questions. So purchasing with purpose to really help you get to that wardrobe Nirvana status that we all want to have. The first one is to start where you are. So starting where you are can sometimes be a little simple, but it can also be a little bit hard. So when you get into the full acceptance of where you are, and even though we're talking about wardrobe and clothing and how we feel, it peters out into all different parts of your life, and you can then step forward confidently. You can make great decisions and be happy with them because you aren't reminiscing about the past. And you aren't future tripping, which again, we all get stuck doing at some time in our life. So when we're looking at reassessing our wardrobe, the best thing to do is start where you are.
What does your present wardrobe look like?
Amy: So let's get some more clarity around that in terms of what you mean by we'll start where you are. So, you mean just assessing your wardrobe as it is today? Not where you've come from, not where you want to go, but where you are in this moment?
Tara: Yep. And where you are personally as well. So where you are right now, not in five months or like six years ago. Just bring yourself right to this moment. And this is what I do when I go to someone's house. If I work with a client one-on-one, I'm there and it's the present. I don't know the past. I don't know the future. This is where we are. And then we're going to map out where we're going to go from there and that's when you can step forward confidently.
Create a clear vision of how you want to FEEL.
And the second one is about getting a little bit creative and finding some inspiration around the wardrobe that you want to create. And once you get that mindset going you’ll literally see so many things in so many different ways. That can be from walking down the street, looking online, buying magazines. Having inspiration will help create a clear or clearer vision of what you actually want your wardrobe to look like, how you want it to feel.
Amy: Thank you so much for all of this wonderful creative inspiration. How can people work with you moving forward? Should they love some of your professional help and advice?
Tara: They can follow me on Insta and that is @edit.wear.love, or my website, which is editwearlove.com. And I have an eCourse which is super exciting called Inspire Your Style. It's self-paced. You can get it done quickly or you can take your time, but it's essentially for you to become your own stylist.