When we hear the phrase “quality over quantity” it’s usually in terms of the relationships we develop and surround ourselves with, thus encouraging us to choose meaningful relationships over superficial ones. I, for one, am an avid supporter of maintaining quality relationships over surface-level ones and even wrote about it here; yet, the phrase “quality over quantity” can be applied to many other things, including clothing. With the rise of both fast fashion and the contrasting concept of sustainable shopping, quality over quantity rings true when trying to find our personal style, reduce clutter in our wardrobe, and even help the environment in the process.
For some context, fast fashion encompasses the mass production of cheap, trendy clothing whereas sustainable fashion details the movement towards achieving a carbon-neutral fashion industry consisting of local production, environmentally-friendly raw materials, and fair wages and working conditions. We’ve all fallen victim to fast fashion and while this doesn’t make us terrible people — the clothes are very cheap — developing the mindset of quality over quantity in your wardrobe will help you realize the poor quality of fast fashion is not worth the space in your closet.
Fast fashion relies on the latest fashion trends that models and celebrities promote, but trends and love for these styles come and go, meaning these garments go with them. Instead of wasting space in your wardrobe on cheap, trendy clothing just to throw it away for spring cleaning, investing in smaller amounts of quality clothing proves to be much more worthwhile and helpful for figuring out your own personal style.
Many jump to equate quality to expensive, and by no means do I think designer clothing is necessary for obtaining quality clothing. Of course, investing in an expensive piece such as jeans or shoes is worth it, but truly one pair is all you need for a staple. A classic, timeless pair of jeans or boots will last you years of use and will prove to be a quality piece for as much as it costs. However, in terms of quality, the value of quality is entirely subjective and you can easily find something of great quality at a local thrift store. It’s the quality of the product that matters the most and you don’t have to break the bank looking for quality clothing when you can find really great products from second-hand retailers.
Valuing quality over quantity in your wardrobe grants you the opportunity to mess around with your style while also being able to rely on quality pieces. Finding your staples is key— allow yourself to invest in a nice pair of jeans, tanks, and a coat; they’ll last you so long in college you can consider them your lucky pieces. Thrift stores are great places to find new (technically old) clothing that can help you play around with new patterns, fabrics, and styles.