I’ve looked into a few box services, but by and large the clothing is pretty expensive for (usually) sweatshop made goods and/or has other ethical snafus (as does most clothing these days). I’ve researched my brands fairly well to avoid the mass majority of brands that sell the products of created in an unethical manner.
For better economy (the box services send some pretty expensive brands, despite price range options) or for ethical reasons, I use two different methods for clothing shopping/fashion inspiration.
Method 1 - Try All the Things: If I need multiple new outfits/pieces, I either wait for a sale at a preferred store/brand then try on (in store or via ordering) anything I even remotely like that would be within my budget and suit my needs. Even if it is a silhouette or style that hasn’t been completely flattering in the past because 1) women’s clothing varies so widely in size and shape from brand to brand and 2) what it looks like on the hanger/screen is no indication of how it will look in person so it is best to cast a wide net. Once I’ve tried on everything, I pick the pieces/outfits that work the best and then, if ordered online, return the rest.
Method 2 - Find Your Fashion Guru: Find a fashion blogger (or two or three) whose style you admire and who has a similar body shape as you. Their style doesn’t have to be a complete match with yours, remember - this is inspiration, not necessarily copying (though it’s really easy and fun to copy if the blogger posts a 100% spot on with a look you’d love to rock). Peruse their blog(s) as needed and make note of any pieces or outfits you particularly like. These bloggers often provide information as to where to buy the exact pieces they are wearing, but you can also just search online for similar pieces (from your preferred brands or for less expensive pieces).
- Ask yourself if you really need a whole outfit or just a few new pieces/accessories to revamp an outfit. Sometimes a new jacket/sweater a new belt/hat/scarf, and new shoes can give your wardrobe the fresh look it needed.
- Learn to do some basic sewing, find a decent tailor, or ask around your friend group to find someone who would be willing to make alterations/repairs (and offer to pay them for their services). If nothing else, find some fusibles, “hacks”, and styling tricks to change up or repair clothing.
- Is something faded or stained, but otherwise still usable? Consider dying it! Black clothes often fade, even when washed and cared for appropriately, so re-blacken them every now and again. Clothing gets irrevocably stained, so pre-treat the item appropriately to prepare it for dying, and then change up the color to something that will hide the stain. There are many “How to dye clothing/fabric” guides online. The process is usually easier than you might think.
- Switch things up! It is easy to wear the same outfit the same way repeatedly, but try switching things up to wear pieces a different way, with different pieces, or with different accessories. For inspiration, click here and here.
- Thrift and vintage stores are great ways to buy clothing while avoiding economic, environmental, and ethical pitfalls.
- If you absolutely must buy new clothing think about how it was made in terms of ethical production and environmental impact, if the price matches the quality of the item, and how many years wear you expect to get out of the item.
Info about clothing waste and ethical production:
Visit the Ethical Fashion Forum for a multitude of resources and a wealth of information!