One Wear Rule: Part Three

Following a ‘one wear’ rule for my clothes, one week at a time

My wardrobe often gets the better of me: I’ll forget all about some pieces, while falling back on the same outfits time and time again. Other times I’ll search for ages for one piece I ‘absolutely have to wear’, only to try it and realise it doesn’t do what I want it to, and end up choosing something else entirely. In short, in spite of having taken on lots of clothing challenges before, I don’t have that good a handle on what clothes I own, and which of them I actually enjoy wearing.

This challenge is a way to push myself out of my comfort zone and undertake a bit of a wardrobe audit. I don’t think you can truly decide if you want to keep something or get rid of it without having worn it properly (throwing it on for a few minutes and looking in the mirror will just not do), so I’m making myself go the whole hog and try things out for a full, totally normal day before reaching a conclusion as to whether I love it enough to keep it, or loath it enough to pass it on. I’m hoping that over the course of however many weeks it takes me to run out of clothes, I’ll rediscover some pieces I’ve forgotten about, face the truth about others, and find new ways to wear things I’ve fallen out of love with. Essentially, I’m preventing myself from cycling through my normal five outfits, and pushing myself to try something new.

This post chronicles my third week of the challenge (check out Part One and Part Two to see which clothes I’ve already worn), and I can realistically say that things are starting to get a little harder. At the end of each post I’m totalling the number of clothes I worn in different categories, to see which I’m wearing the most and which I’m neglecting. So far dresses really seem to be coming out on top!

Day 15: Princess Highway Floral Jumpsuit

Full-length photo of Helen wearing a floral wide-leg, mid-length hump suit with a v-neck and short sleeves, with blue block-heel sandals.

This vibrant floral jumpsuit felt like starting the week on the right note. Something really peppy and cheerful to overcome the Monday blues. It’s a pretty thick fabric, but its loose fit and wide legs make it suitable for even the very hot weather we’ve been having in Melbourne recently. I often have problems with jumpsuits because I’m quite tall – they tend to not be long enough in the torso for me. However this one is just about perfect, which makes for a very comfortable wear.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever properly worn these shoes. They’re from Princess Highway and I bought them as a potential replacement for my standard black block-heeled sandals. I’m not sure they quite fit the bill, not least because they’re so bright, but I can see myself getting more wear out of them in the future.

Day 16: Princess Highway A-line print skirt

Full-length photo of Helen wearing an A-line short skirt printed with flowers, leaves, rabbits and sheep, and a black short-sleeved, scoop neck t-shirt. She also wears black block-heeled sandals.

Another Princess Highway piece – you can see I’ve really fallen for this brand! This skirt is one I didn’t really think I’d be up for wearing in the summer months – the print is so autumnal and the thicker fabric goes well with turtle necks and cosy tights. But I thought this was holding me back, and wanted to try to find a way to wear it despite the heat. So I threw it on with this black scoop-neck t-shirt, and my usual sandals. It worked surprisingly well – it really did feel like a pretty summery outfit, albeit perhaps with a bit of a workwear bent. This was a good example of this challenge forcing me to think about clothes differently. I’ve actually not worn many black t-shirts so far for this challenge, as I’ve not gone for all that many skirts. Taking a new approach to this one helped unlock a bit more of my wardrobe, so I’m pleased I gave it a try.

Day 17: Stripy Zara midi-dress

Full-length photo of Helen wearing a black dress with thin white horizontal stripes, a boat neck, and elbow length sleeves. She also wears black block-heeled sandals.

This dress is a really old piece (I think I bought it in undergrad) which doesn’t get much use. If I’m perfectly honest I don’t think I ever wore this very much – the skirt has a tendency to ride up awkwardly as I walk, and it’s supposed to be a little bit off the shoulder, so I always felt like I had to wear it with a strapless bra – easily enough to put me off wearing something! The dress seems to fit a bit better these days though, so it doesn’t ride up in the same way, and I’ve just accepted that it works better as a boat-neck, which also means I can get away with a ‘normal’ bra. So this is one I’ve been trying to reintroduce into regular rotation. It’s quite thick for the summer, and is not really made from very breathable fabric, so despite looking quite summery (and going much better with bare legs than with tights), it’s not the most comfortable for these hot days. But it’s definitely earning its place, for perhaps the first time in its life.

Day 18: Black, white and yellow floral print dress

Full-length photo of Helen wearing a round-neck midi dress with a side slit and short sleeves. It is black with daisy-like flowers with white petals and yellow centres printed on it. She also wears black, block-heeled sandals.

I’ve featured this dress in quite a few of my posts now – it’s just such an easy choice that I don’t really have to think about. This is maybe the first time in this challenge that I’d say I’ve used one of my ’emergency’ outfits. I actually tried on a different dress and wore it for about an hour, but in the end it just didn’t sit right with me that day, so I swapped into this one. We were going to watch the Women’s Semi-Finals at the Australian Open that evening; for the first time both the semi-finals were happening in the same evening, so I knew it would be a late night. I wrote in Part Two about the vibe I was aiming to hit with my outfits at the tennis, and this pretty much hit it. For the evening I swapped the heels for my Veja sneakers, which turned out to be a good idea because it chucked it down with rain on the way home.

Day 19: Uniqlo shorts and a cropped polo

I had been tempted to wear this outfit the day before, but was worried it would look a little too ‘tennis practice’, so decided to delay it. These Uniqlo shorts are an item I was kind of saving up, as I absolutely love them and wear them all the time. I have the same shorts in three different colours, and was kind of dreading having to take them out of the running for future wear. But this was a cute, comfy outfit to see out the last day of the working week. This polo doesn’t get much use because it’s quite cropped, and it really only works with very high-waisted bottoms. It’s also a little bit see-through, but I decided to just accept that and embrace the fact that I’m basically only seen from the shoulders up by anyone outside my house, now that we’re working from home. I ended up feeling really confident in this outfit, and it’s definitely one I’ll be trying again in the future, swapping the shorts for the different colours.

Day 20: Cheat day – gym kit and pyjamas

Ok, today I caved again, and didn’t wear a proper outfit. It often happens at the moment that my weekend days will be spent in relative seclusion, so can get away with spending most of it in my summer pyjamas (shorts and an old t-shirt). I’ll potter about the house after a slow breakfast, doing bits and bobs of cleaning, reading a book, or watering the plants. Then I’ll change into gym kit and get a longer session in than I’d manage on a weekday, before showering and swapping back into my pyjamas. I’m sure that sounds pretty lazy to some of you, but I’m embracing the freedom while it lasts, and doing whatever it takes to make me feel at ease and rested over the weekends. No pictures, for obvious reasons, but it was definitely a nice day for me!

Day 21: FatFace Liberty William Morris print dress

If I’m honest this day looked remarkably similar to Saturday, with the exception that I got my workout in a bit earlier, and therefore changed into ‘real’ clothes afterwards, instead of getting straight back into PJs. This dress is really pretty – I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and knew I had to get my hands on it. Slightly awkwardly my sister also has this dress, but with her back in the UK I don’t think there’s much risk of us being seen together wearing it! (And yes, I’ll admit that she managed to buy it first!) I went through a phase of wearing it all the time a few years ago, but it actually hasn’t seen the light of day very often recently. I wore it for one of my vintage inspired outfit posts, pairing it with a white shirt, but given the heat I decided to keep it simple and just wear the dress. I seem to have become a little self-conscious about my shoulder/upper arms over the last year (even though they’re probably as toned as they’ve ever been), so feel a bit weird about having this much skin on show. But it was probably helpful to use the weekend to get used to it a little, and I enjoyed the sense of freedom it gave me. Plus I just love that this dress has pockets – perfectly sized for me phone!


So there we have it – my third week of the One Wear Rule! Once again I didn’t manage to ‘get dressed’ every day of the week, but that’s not that unusual. At the weekend I often spend most of the day either in my pyjamas as we have a slow start to the day, or/and in my gym kit, as I try to get a longer workout in while I have time to do it during the week. Aside from that, this week is bizarrely similar to Part 2! Weirdly, my clothing totals are actually exactly the same! It’ll be funny to see if I manage a third week of wearing basically exactly the same things, albeit of course with some variation on that theme. I definitely made use in Part Three of some pieces I don’t normally wear – the jumpsuit and the Liberty print dress for instance. So it’s good to see that even three weeks in I’m still managing to resist the urge to fall back on the ‘usual’ items, and keep exploring beyond my comfort zone a bit. It was starting to feel a bit like I was running out of obvious outfits though, so I think we’ll see a bit more variation and more unusual outfits in the weeks to come. In spite of this, the challenge seems to still be going strong!

Pie chart with entries for 4 dresses, 2 tops/shirts, 1 skirt and 1 trousers/jeans/shorts, each slice in a different colour.

Thank you so much for following my progress through this challenge! I hope it’s inspired you to give your wardrobe a bit of an audit – I’d love to hear about your experiences clearing out your wardrobe, and how you choose what to keep and what to say goodbye to. Please do share in a comment!

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