I’ve decided to stage a protest. It won’t be for anything particularly profound and it most certainly won’t make the headlines but it’s a campaign I must embark upon nonetheless. Even if for the very least, to rescue my bank balance.
Wedding season is well and truly underway and therefore mine and most of my friend’s weekends are largely booked up for the summer. I’m personally a big fan of weddings; the food, the booze, the dancing, sometimes starting an impromptu kids club on the grass outside (true story), what’s not to love? There is however, one snag to these glorious celebrations (I’m trying to write this without sounding like a person whose purse strings are tighter than Melania Trump’s facial expressions) and that’s the cost of it all. It could include accommodation for those full weekend knees ups (big fan BTW), transport, gifts, hair, makeup, nails, outfit, accessories to outfit, back up outfit, backup backup outfit….
I don’t begrudge paying for the essentials at all, it’s all part and parcel of being invited to share a lovely couple’s big day. What I do have an issue with is more a personal/societal pressure that I feel when it comes to weddings and other big events. Why is it that (bar last weekend at a 30th birthday) for the past 27485 occasions I have been to, I’ve never worn the same outfit twice? Oh yes, because there was a picture of me wearing it on social media or I knew the same people from one event would be at another. What madness!
Have you ever in your whole life felt the need to say to a girl in your close or wider social circles, ‘Surprised you decided to wear that white dress with black polka dots today Hannah, considering I know for a fact that you were pictured wearing it to your niece’s christening back in May 2016.’? I imagine not.
So why do I and so many of my friends feel the need to splurge on a new outfit for these bigger occasions then lock them away for the next wedding season only for them to probably be trumped by a new purchase anyway? This is about more than just a love of shopping which I’ll happily admit to. It’s about the illogical reasoning behind it, when in the grand scheme of things who bloody cares that you’ve worn that bonny green dress twice in one year? It’s ultimately down to pressures (imagined or not) to present yourself and your life in the most pristine and perfect way you can and I must tell you, I (and my debit card) are growing tired of it.
There are people who regularly pop up across my social media feeds who appear to have developed an amazing ability to pass money, as opposed to excrement from their bodies. But who’s to say those people aren’t up to their eyeballs in debt, faced with insurmountable bills on various credit and store cards, all because they succumbed to the exact pressure I’m referring to? Or they are just savvy shoppers, and in this instance I commend them. At the end of the day it’s social media, so we’re never getting the full picture.
Imagine how much money you could save if you simply recycled an outfit at least two or three times after its debut? Or staged a little occasion-wear swap shop with your pals? To give yourself a little beauty boost for the event you could use less than half of what you would have spent, hop on Groupon and get a voucher for a manicure. A wave of people have said that the millennial’s inability to get a foothold on the property ladder is due to our obsession with avocados, well I say nay good sirs! It is time to look more closely at the much pricier (and albeit much less tasty with a poached egg on toast) occasion-wear expenditure.
Why not keep your money and save it for something you really want to buy or experience this season or beyond? Invest in the things that won’t necessarily end up forgotten in the back of your wardrobe until your timehop reminds you it even exists. I have a wedding next week and I have decided to wear the dress from my graduation last October. Any pictures I upload will be accompanied with #myrecycledoutfit and I’ll just have to pray that no one lynches me for daring to wear the same clothes within a 12 month period.
So like the many people before me who have undertaken much braver, bolder and nobler missions in an attempt to better this world, I ask…
Will you stand with me?