30 Wears: Bia Mead – Gillian June

30 Wears: Bia Mead

30 Wears Interview: Fashion Revolution

My #30Wears garment is my first gypsy dress. I bought it from ASOS about 3 years ago. It was £95, which for me was a massive amount to spend but it was so worth it. I wouldn't have spent that much on something I would only wear a few times. And the embroidery has only just begun to come loose, 3 years later. If I had bought a cheaper version of it, it might have fallen to pieces ages ago. Plus I can pop on black tights to wear it all year round. I love it so much I bought 2 or 3 more like it. 


I will spend more on a pair of well-made leather boots for the winter than on a pair of summer pumps because I expect them to last. I think I just expect summer things to be flimsier and not survive more than one or two years so I'm less inclined to spend money on them.


I'm not trend led. If I am "on-trend" it's a coincidence- they just happen to be things I would have worn anyway. I won't buy into a trend that wouldn't suit me. For example, there are lots of tops at the moment that I love the shape of but there is a gingham thing going on that just doesn't work for me. In the past I might have ignored my instinct and bought them anyway but I know that it will look awful on me. 


My mum has a huge influence on what I wear. She is pretty brutal/great at saying I love that but not for you. I always raid her wardrobe and have loads of her old clothes. She shops in really great brands that some women her age might be afraid to try. She has made us all loads of clothes over the years so she knows what makes something good quality. She taught me and my sisters about how fabric works, what cuts work best for each of us; she taught me that a bias cut will flatter my figure more than something on the straight.


When I'm shopping I would first look at how it makes me look. Then at the cut and the quality of cloth. Is the style too trendy? Will I wear it a lot? Even if it costs £25 I want to get a lot of wear out of it. I think having less disposable income has turned me into a cleverer shopper. Cost effectiveness is definitely a factor for me. I'd rather have one thing I love for £70 than 2 mediocre things for £30.


I have quite a bohemian style. I have loads of hand-me downs from my mum and my aunts which I adore, even if I don't wear them every day. Most of them are more suitable for formal occasions. I'm going to a wedding soon and my sister keeps sending me pictures of things she thinks would suit me but I have all these beautiful dresses that I never get to wear so why would I buy something new. 


I'd love to see magazines and bloggers showing people how to style the same clothes in different ways rather than encouraging people to buy more. It should be about buying less but buying well. And getting creative.  Most people probably already have things that would fit certain trends but are encouraged by ads and social media to buy whole new wardrobes every season. I'd love to see a bit more imaginative styling.


I never leave the house without at least 3 red lipsticks. My day-to-day clothing may be quite simple but that's because I'd rather get adventurous with hair and makeup. I could wear the same jeans and top but with big loose curls and gold hoops it will look completely different to with a 50's up-do and bright red lips.


I think of ethical clothing as being either cool Scandi minimalism or People Tree/Coachella floatiness which only suits models/skinny people. But I think People Tree do a really great job of changing perceptions of ethical fashion, it shows that "ethical" doesn't have to mean grey, beige or shapeless. Conscientious collections for high street brands, like H&M or Mango, are good as well.

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