One dress, one week

Filed in Blog by on June 25, 2012 8 Comments
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A wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear?The ‘Use it up!’ challenge has been wildly successful. Around 50 of you joined in and we’re still munching our way through our freezer contents AND saving lots of money.

While I’m in the challenging mood I’ve got something new for you.

I’ve been on a decluttering mission this year for the past three years as you know. To be honest, I don’t feel like I’m getting very far, but perhaps I should stop and think what zero waste towers looked like at the beginning of the year.

Lots of things seem to have left the building, but I’m convinced ‘stuff’ breeds overnight too.

My wardrobe seems to be like that. I clear it out and more clothes appears. As if by magic (or perhaps by the call of the charity shop that lures me when I’m in town to buy a few potatoes and carrots).

Anyway, I’ve set myself a challenge.

I’ve been dreaming recently, not of a white Christmas, but of a capsule wardrobe.

The trouble is, me and ‘putting outfits together’ just don’t seem to gel. It’s more of a hit and miss affair.

While some people effortlessly put outfits together that scream STYLE I tend to pull out the same favourite items and suffer from ‘too much clothes but nothing to wear’ syndrome.

I go through phases of ‘I don’t care’, live in jeans and t-shirts for a week and throw things into the charity pile, but actually I DO care.

I’m craving a look and I don’t know what it is.

So I’m giving up my jeans for a week and swapping them for a dress.

One dress; for the entire week.

If I don’t want to look like I haven’t changed for seven days I’m going to have to get creative and start teaming the dress with other things in my wardrobe. I was inspired by the Uniform project last year. In this challenge, Sheena Matheiken wore the same dress (well she had 7 identical ones) for 365 days. She had to make it look unique every day and wasn’t allowed to buy anything new. She accesorised with clothing that was either vintage, handmade, reused or donated to the project.

The challenge was both an online fundraiser, raising money to send underprivileged kids to school through the Akanksha Foundation and a statement about responsible consumerism.

The thing is, when it comes to fashion, Sheena has more creativity in her little finger than I have in my entire being AND she is a lot more daring with her fashion choices than me.

I don’t suppose anyone wants to join me do they? You don’t have to wear a dress, it can be anything from your wardrobe that you’re not making enough of. (glad to hear that my dear male readers?)

Next week I’ll share more reasons WHY I want to do this challenge and then I’ll get on with doing the do.

The week after that I’ll share my results and you can tell me which outfits you like best and let me know how you’ve got on too.

Who’s ready to go shopping in their wardrobes?


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (8)

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  1. Paola says:

    I’m on a decluttering mission too (just started) and think your idea is great! So great I would like to copy it and start shopping in my wardrobe too. I’m more or less ready, just need some time to think about it (I was thinking of tackling wardrobes much later in my decluttering mission, they’re so difficult!).
    Good luck any way!

  2. sandy says:

    oh where to begin, I have the no cloths to wear but a full wardrobe. help and no style.. looking forward to seeing you everyday to help me pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  3. Oh this sounds like fun. I have clothes in my closet that haven’t seen the light of day in … well … too long. So perhaps I have to do a little “shopping” and see if I can jazz things up. What fun! Count me in! 🙂

  4. Julie Day says:

    I’ve been decluttering too. I decided ‘do I really want this or not’ or ‘does it fit me still?’. The answer was no, so I ended up giving a short coat and a posh velvety jacket to a charity shop.

  5. Sue C says:

    LOVED the video!!!! wish I had the amount of style that girl has in her little fingernail…… it’s more than I have in my whole body! Am sitting in my running gear…..

    Last week we had a go in the loft and decluttered half of it, husband has caught the bug and hopefully our wardrobes will be next!

  6. un-stuffing here, for –at least–3 years, more if you count moving across very long distances and continents–now i am serious…My Zero Waste eyes are on constant alert…here is the plan.

    instead of hoarding every scrap of good cloth for ‘the future’ ; i now select items which fit my personality and coloring best…next i fold, put in storage bin..for sewing/repairing/adjusting.

    then i make sure i only keep the 2 best fitting-best shape and quality items of each style and color scheme

    finally i keep only 2 of each items for each season…except coats which i need several of in my carless lifestyle..i wrote car-less, not careless…

    lately donated lots of quilting and rug making clothes to the Amish community nearby.
    thanks again dear traveler on my wasteless path, forever and again inspired (and quite happy to follow your lead..)

  7. Jane says:

    I’ve read/heard about the uniform project before. I think it is wonderful. I have tried to do something like that and in fact I think that many of us do do something like this with jeans. Dresses are more difficult and I think the trouble is that this sort of dress was always …a bit too like school uniform. Tunics don’t look good on everyone but the design of Sheena Matheiken’s dress is more interesting and can be worn in different ways eg back to front and open (as well as the fact that she has several dresses the same). I’ve always loved different coloured tights and different T-shirts with something plain.

    Love the 365 day video and how wonderful to have help with your accessories with people sending them in to you.

  8. Kay says:

    I have found something that works for me. Basic black and white. When I decluttered, I realized the only things that I really liked were my black tops. In the summer, I have several pairs of white pants, mostly capri style, and wear those with black tops. In the winter, I have jeans, black pants, and one pair of tan. Accessories are key here. Might not be for everyone, but I have been doing this for one year and am not tired of it. I always feel stylish in black and white. I am anticipating acquiring a skirt and top, probably out of the same lightweight fabric in a print, that I can layer with my black pieces and a black jacket.

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