During the glow of new year optimism I managed to finally wash everything in my clothes hamper. Those pesky whites, the lace skirts…even the dress with the sequins that legitimately needs to be hand washed (not my makeshift hand washing consisting of individual bra bags on the gentle cycle). I then ironed everything and put it away.

…Well, I attempted to – except I ran out of coat hangers. Some tops, dresses and skirts were already sharing!  I had a problem and it was time to do something.

First week back, 3rd of January, I walked into work and pledged to the ladies at work I would not repeat an item until March. I had to collect their jaws from the floor on the way to the next meeting. How would I keep track? Everything was now ironed!

And now here I am in March. How did I go? What did I learn from my 8 week challenge?

  1. I have waayyy too many clothes.
  2. I really missed wearing my favourites and my Christmas presents from my sister.
  3. Even an 8 week challenge couldn’t stop me from buying a cute Marcs skirt on sale! Eeekkk.
  4. The black business skirt I bought in August 2012 for my first ‘office job’ still fits and it’s actually great.
  5. I rediscovered a bunch of things I had totally forgotten I owned.
  6. The slightly too tight size 6 Review dress I bought on sale for $99 2 years ago is now definitely zipper-likely-to-bust tight now and its cost per wear is still very hiiiiigh.
  7. I really did not miss ironing my week’s worth of work clothes on a Sunday night.
  8. I lost a lot of time during the mornings lying in my towel on my bed overwhelmed by the decision.
  9. A staple style makes for easy outfits. Choosing a new outfit was exhausting…particularly with slimmer pickings in Week 6-8.
  10. Making it ‘dress week’ or ‘skirt week’ made it soo much easier. A uniform of sorts!
  11. I love dresses and skirts, but with only 3 pairs of cropped pants, despite it being 80%+ humidity, I missed wearing pants. I foolishly found myself in jeans on a 30 degree, 85% humid day just because…pants.
  12. I loved being asked if an old dress was new…particularly when I avoided it because it was frumpy / tight / pink etc.
  13. I really don’t like pink.
  14. I realised my old favourite dress didn’t bring the same joy as it used to. And I longed to wear my new favourite.
  15. Guys have it soo much easier, particularly when I see them wander through the city with their 5 dry-cleaned shirts for the week. Could I get away with only 5 dresses? Hmmm.
  16. I need more shoes to go with all my dresses. #kidding. But seriously I think I wore about 6 pairs over the 8 weeks, with 1 pair of summer sandals at least 3 days each week.
  17. I could have gone at least another 2 weeks. Not.Even.Kidding.        which led me too… 
  18. Looking past the token Charity ‘bin’ option into more sustainable clothing recycling options.

After 8 weeks I was left pretty embarrassed and confused. How did I get here?

I have a dozen dresses and skirts I have made myself. I fix items that break. I avoid buying from H&M, Cotton On, Zara and other retailers providing the means for the never-stopping fast fashion treadmill (Although frustratingly those same brands have actually some of the best ethical production ratings in Australia…although output volume, item life and environmental toll isn’t factored into the mix).

But in reality, I’m the same as everyone else. I get bored easily, I struggle to let go and I really love Marcs (and their sales).

And so with another move on the horizon, this past weekend I decided to clear things out. I took a bag to church on Sunday (*only half pictured) and many found lovely new homes. The dozen work tops I seldom wear. Gone. My old favourite dress. Gone. The crop pants that had been collecting dust. Gone. One of the ladies is off to India in a couple of weeks, so I’ll give a few items to her.

But what about the rest? How do I avoid my carelessness + frivolous spending ending up costing the environment more? I did some research and worked out a plan.

I now have 2 bags in my car. The few items left that are work environment friendly and good quality I’ll drop off for Suited to Success, and the rest will go to H&M.

As for my sanity, I’m feeling much better post-wardrobe cleanout. Everyone has their own individual hanger, it’s not a battle to put things away and I have a dozen hangers spare!

– – –

And if you made it all the way down here, past all my self-talk to convince myself I need to do a Phase 2…
What did I wear today? My new favourite dress of course. I call it my Queensland dress. 🙂

 

 

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