Photography by Otherwise Photography

To achieve sustainable style you don’t need to change all your wardrobe or the way you dress, but you will have to change the way you consume fashion! With every new season I get the same question from friends and from people I don’t even know:

“What garment or accessory should I invest in this season?”

The answer is, I don’t know! Because as much as I follow trends and inform myself about the new tendencies of the season, I don’t necessarily buy the trendiest pieces. I care way more about the cut, the fabric, and the mood than who wore it or if I should be wearing it right now. Fashion and the way I dress every day has way more meaning to me than just looking on-trend! That’s what sustainable style means for me. 

It may sound ironic, but I always shop and rarely purchase. And, because a new fashion season is coming soon, I decided to share with you the three style rules I live by.

green dress max mara fashionable mom

1. Authentic — The garment or accessory I go for needs to feel right for my style. Great style is all about self-expression — in other words, what you wear needs to truly express who you are. If I want to buy a new piece, I always ask myself, What would this piece communicate to the world about me?! 

I like clothes that represent everything I want to say without me needing to say it. Mimicking someone else’s look might be gratifying in the short-term, providing instant validation with minimal effort. But, over the long-term, comparing yourself to others can wreak havoc on your self-worth, not to mention the ability to create a signature and sustainable style that expresses your truest self. Remember, the easiest way to look and feel fabulous is by simply being yourself! 

I know sometimes being authentic is easier said than done, but here is what you can do. Before you swipe your card again, think twice: Is this dress something that feels right for you? Why are you buying it? Why do you want that dress? Usually a stylist would look at your wardrobe, your lifestyle, and your body shape, but for me what’s really important is to first think how this new piece represents your personality! #sustainablestyle

brown suit wool max mara fashionable mom

For example I am working at the moment with a Personal Stylist and Enneagram Coach with whom we are analysing my style and what does it say about who I am. That is one of the most interesting experiences I have ever done! I’ll keep you posted on more in the next days!

2. Timeless — Sustainability is now getting a lot of attention in the fashion industry. Both brands and consumers are trying their best to produce and consume fashion in a more sustainable way. However, there is not yet a clear and universal definition of the term sustainable style or even sustainable fashion, which means everyone is following their own idea of “sustainable consumption”. 

You may be asking yourself, What does sustainability have to do with timelessness? Bear with me. 

In a recent conversation I had with Christina Martynova, the Style Whisperer, we talked about what sustainability means for us. We both agreed that part of sustainability in fashion means consuming less and wearing our clothes longer, which, in turn, means investing in better quality and design that feels timeless. 

Costume designer and fashion journalist Filep Motwary claims that being timeless has nothing to do with fashion: “Timeless is anything with a strong appeal of its own, a strong voice that breaks through the years passing or even centuries. Timeless design is possible to achieve, whether through simple, easy pieces, or bold, unique and striking ones. The key is quality and meeting the emotional needs of customers“.

rotate birger christensen

So, every time I decide to buy something, I ask myself about my emotional needs and how this piece serves them (and I know it is not an easy one to answer; not always). And then: Would I pass it on to my daughter? 

I think that garments that utilise a craft, such as embroidery or embellishment, if they are made with integrity (and by this, I mean by hand, paying a fair wage) instantly they have more longevity and value beyond the retail price.

Richard Sorger, fashion designer

rotate birger christensen blue dress

3. Exciting — By the time you reach your 40s, you’ve got less and less time to devote to Fashion Week and the latest fashion trends. You’ve pretty much seen enough of trends that come and go and then return again. You already know which styles work for you, and no 20-something on a catwalk is likely to change that. 

But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to invest in your relationship with clothes and fashion! Just like your relationship with your partner, you are open to finding new ways to keep things exciting! You simply get more curious and experimental; you start asking yourself how to revamp the rules. 

Slowly, you start introducing your own rules to restyle your wardrobe without changing the fundamentals of your personal taste. I personally start paying more attention to details and looking for unexpected elements like a fun sleeve or neckline, a playful hue, or a bold shape that charges my imagination with excitement! 

Rodebjer dress fashionable mom

Keeping my wardrobe exciting is my way of not taking myself too seriously. I like pieces that leave something to the imagination. I like when a garment can tell a story; when it makes me dream and whispers promises in my ear…Such emotional connection with your clothes will create without a doubt consistent and sustainable style for sure.

TIP: If you’re still not sure about your authentic style, try this…

If you were stranded on a desert island, what single item could you not live without? A great read? Tinted mascara? Your yoga mat? Your answer to this simple question could help you hone in on your most basic values: a great foundation for creating an authentic personal style.

TIP: If you are still not sure how to achieve #sustainablestyle here’s an idea. When it comes to shopping, this system works well for me: I have a few favourite brands and a handful of sites that match my style sensibilities. I keep a seasonal wish list on each one and create a pinboard with my favourite looks. That way, if there’s a sale, I can shop with confidence and know I haven’t been swayed just because something is on offer!

Here is the list of all pieces that I am wearing: 

Green Dress Techno Cotton Fabric Max Mara Fall 2019

Wool Suit Max Mara coming soon Fall/Winter 2020

Blue Dress Rotate Birger Christensen, similar here

Black see through dress Rodebjer currently on SALE at Globus Zurich