Speaking after her Fashion Show at the German Gymnasium in North London yesterday, Dame Vivienne Westwood said:
'Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.
'I mean, I know I’m lucky, I can just take things and borrow them and I’m just okay, but I hate having too many clothes. And I think that poor people should be even more careful.
'It doesn’t mean therefore you have to just buy anything cheap. Instead of buying six things, buy one thing that you really like. Don’t keep buying just for the sake of it.
'I just think people should invest in the world. Don’t invest in fashion, but invest in the world.'
These contraversial comments were widely reported in the press including the Daily Mail and on the surface seem quite harsh.
On reflection however the remarks may be quite sensible advice. I remember in my teens that our family had a very limited amount of money to spend on clothes - there were so many other pressing and important priorities. My mother gave me some advice which have remained with me ever since my youth and ties in very well with Westwood's comments.
Mum said to buy one good quality item and use as a base to dress up or down with accessories. In many respects this was her take on a "capsule wardrobe". I followed what she said and bought a black jersey suit in the sale. I chose the suit very carefully to flatter my figure or lack of.......
At 5 ft 8'' and weighing less than 8 stones it was a challenge. The suit however had a lined pencil skirt which hung beautifully as it had sufficient "body" with the two layers of material. The peplum jacket nipped in the waist with a belt and gave the impression of a curvy shape. I had 2/3 tops which reflected casual or more dressy. It is surprising how versatile these few items came to be and stood me in good stead for quite a long time.
These days youngsters seem to place a lot of emphasis on buying from the cheaper high street stores. This may seem like fun but I have heard people say some things you can only wear once or twice and then have to throw them away.
When you are young you could wear a bin liner and still look good! You have youth on your side and don't have to waste money, and often money you don't have, on inferior goods. It is surprising how creative you can be if you want to be.
Of course as you get older with perhaps more disposable income you can extend your wardrobe and indulge yourselves - and certainly I am guilty of that. I am however always mindful of buying quality and shopping around for the best price. Old habits die hard!
Maybe the fashion designers should think a little more about this lucrative silver market. It doesn't mean to say that clothes have to be "old" but maybe think about the length of garments and also consider dresses with sleeves which are important considerations when looking to flatter this audience.
Being relatively tall I am often attracted to items only to find that they are far too short - such a shame!!
However I digress.........getting back to Dame Vivienne .....................she may sometimes court controversy but she may be worth a listen!