What Effects is Social Media Having on Wardrobes?


Social media, Instagram in particular, is changing the way many women consume clothing.  This is the topic of discussion with Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe in our video.

The ubiquitous outfit photo that is posted daily on Instagram creates a pressure to turn over your wardrobe, or just acquire more and more new items to create new outfits for social media.

Fast Fashion vs Slow Style

Social media can drive feelings that make you think you’re being constantly assessed by those who follow you (particularly if you have a large social following).  Social media can also make us feel like we’re failing in the style stakes. If “everyone else” is looking great and different every day, we can think that by purchasing those pieces, this will fix our own style issues, when in fact we haven’t figured out what it is we need in our wardrobes and how we want to really express our personal style.

Jill believes that in the fast fashion world there is no underlying foundation for style, no silhouette, colour scheme or basis for building a sustainable wardrobe over time.  Instead, it’s basis constant consumption that in the long term is unsustainable, both for the environment and also financially (unless you are super rich).

When you are learning about your style there is an element of delayed gratification (rather than jumping on board of the buy the latest fashion for the sake of having it), as it takes time (and a little effort) to really nail down what is your style and therefore what you really need in your wardrobe.  It takes time to find great pieces that will really make your wardrobe work well and that are truly representative of your style as what you’re after, what suits your body, colouring and personality will appear here and there, over time.

How Instagram is influencing our consumption of fast fashion instead of helping us become more sustainable and how you can think about the impact it may have on your wardrobe - watch the video here
From 2015 – 2017 this kimono has been appearing on the blog and on my instagram feed

Fashion FOMO

FOMO – the fear of missing out also pushes out ‘buying’ buttons as we worry that if we don’t get the newest, latest and ‘greatest’ fashion pieces right now, we will be missing out on something fabulous. Yet retailers are manufacturing this FOMO to keep us buying (and keep sales turning over), rather than helping us develop our personal style.

Both Jill and I believe you should shop your wardrobe first, and start thinking about curating your own style that makes you look and feel great, as well as help to ease your pathway through life.  Clothing is one of the things most linked to self-worth and identity.  It has enormous power to give us confidence (or take it away if we don’t feel good about what we’re wearing.

Studies on enclothed cognition have shown that what you wear does matter, so much so, just by wearing what you’d perceive to be an intelligent person’s garment, you can actually score higher on an intelligence test!

Next time you’re looking at an Instagram feed (or other social platforms, or mass media) that makes you feel like you “should” be owning something new, take a step back and pause a moment and reflect on whether this is true. Social media just like shopping environments are controlled and very contrived, and it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions that they produce and make poor decisions that are not reflective of your personal values or personal style.

Discover Your Style

The more you know about what suits you, your unique body, colouring, values, lifestyle and personality, the easier it is to resist FOMO and the lure of the social media led fashion fix.  This is why my Steps to Style program is so powerful, as it empowers you to make choices that are in line with your values and helps you discover what really works.

Find out more about the program here.

Further Reading

10 Rules to Transform Your Personal Style

8 Easy Ways to Update Your Wardrobe

Shop Your Wardrobe First

How to Love Everything in Your Wardrobe More

Tips for Building a Functional and Fabulous Wardrobe

and from Jill

*How to Stop Buying Junk Clothes*

*What Are We Waiting For?*

*Devious Devices To Make Us Buy*

*Would You Buy It Again?*

*Liberating Your Style Insight*

Linking Up to High Latitude Style,  Currently Wearing,  Not Dressed as LambStyle NudgeStyle with a Smile


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Fantastic post and wonderful video! I love the intelligence and practicality of your chats with Jill. Retail therapy! Don’t know where to start. I realised I was buying too much as it was cheap but now I am so selective in what I buy. Knowing your colours, personality style, body, lifestyle etc. means that you know what will suit you. So I am kind of funneling my wardrobe by buying what I think suits me and not throwing clothes out. Imogen’s ebook ‘Your 5 step formula for a fabulous wardrobe’ has been a great start to sorting my brain out. I don’t have many light warm neutrals in my wardrobe so I tend to think of these as staples and am happy to buy them.
    I have seen many Instagrams which continually keep wearing new clothes and outfits. I am retired and the Instagrams that I look at tend to be business orientated. My relaxed style personality doesn’t like many of the classic blazerish looks. The lovely Pattern Whisperer, Anne Whalley has a great Instagram page and wears lots of new clothes. I understand she is busy at her sewing machine a lot, sewing up inspiration.

  • Anne Whalley is a graduate of my Image Consultant training program and loves sewing and makes new things all the time (she often sells off her other pieces at 2nd hand markets too!). It’s great that you’ve figured out what suits you as this makes the biggest difference to how much wastage you have in your wardrobe!

  • Great post and video, thanks Imogen and Jill. In the past few months I have done far more shopping of my own wardrobe and loved coming up with new combinations. I’ve also started sewing and knitting again so I am making garments that suit my personality, body shape and colouring. I am determined that for at least the next year, I’m not going to buy any garments, I’m making everything I need to fill any gaps. I have quite a stash of fabrics and wool, that I’ve collected over the years, so I don’t even need to buy anything extra. It will include having to make myself a silk, formal gown for a function I’m attending next March!

  • Thanks for some great advice! A while back, I read an article that delved into the ‘truth’ behind some of the most popular Instagrammers; or ‘influencers’, as they’re often called in the marketing realm. Many, many of them, especially in the fashion industry, are really just clothing models. Their sponsorships run deep, and they actually do not own the clothes they’re showing. Simply by the enormous follower feed numbers, retailers and designers are reaping the benefits of the exposure. Deceitful? I think so.

  • Thankyou so much for the videos you do with Jill. I find them so helpful to my thinking.
    Infact, thankyou for all the blogs you generously give.
    Hope you both have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
    I look forward to reading and thinking more in the new year.

  • A good thought provoking post, in my case I’ve finally come around the fast fashion mode. Now I am more into building a wardrobe… it does not happen overnight and you’ve got to have your head on your shoulders 😉

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