Following a ‘one wear’ rule for my clothes, one week at a time
Well, it’s been quite a while since my last ‘One Wear Rule’ post, but rest assured, I did continue my rule, into it’s sixth week! The photos have been sat on my phone awaiting review, and here they are now!
The aim of this challenge is to force myself to try new outfits, and not fall back on the same old pieces time and time again. It is certainly doing just that! I found I was really taking the time to just give things a go, and see how I feel. I think it’s easy to over-egg the importance of one’s outfit in some respects – if it the day progresses and it turns out you don’t like it, you can switch out of it or simply choose not to wear it that way again. But taking the risk to give it a go can help you make some interesting discoveries!
Day 36: Black mini skirt with simple green t-shirt
This is an outfit I really wouldn’t have tried without this challenge. The t-shirt is an old men’s one from H&M, brought many summers ago when I was frustrated by the lack of pure cotton women’s t-shirts. The skirt is a more recent purchase, made in 2021. But a slight oddness of sizing (really I think it’s just a little bit too big for me) has meant I haven’t really got it out very often. I put them together in an attempt to continue my ‘minimalist’ streak that I had been trying the previous week, and I think it works pretty well. I think in future I would probably pair it with a slightly more formal shoe – either black boots or my block-heeled sandals (which any regular reader will now be very familiar with!). But overall it was a look I felt pretty confident and comfortable in, so I’m sure it will be making another appearance.
Day 37: Witchery shirt with jeans
Like pretty much everyone else in the world, I really fell for Edwardian style shirts in 2021. When I was a child I basically wanted to live in a swashbuckling movie – and this gets pretty close to it. This shirt just ticks all the boxes, with the big sleeves, soft material, and ruffled neck. It harks back to more eras than simply Edwardian, but I think still manages to look fairly modern. To keep it from veering into the realms of costume, I’ve opted for a simple pair of blue jeans, with black accessories. This is fairly standard 2021 fair, and I’m sure it will look dated a few years down the line. The only real downside is that the shirt repeats one of my clothing mistakes: it is decidedly see-through. For this one day I didn’t mind (being a work from home day it was likely no-one would notice!), but in future I’d pair it with a tank-top underneath.
Day 38: French Connection skirt with black top
Yet another French Connection piece – a brand that is becoming an unexpected favourite of mine. This is another slightly vintage feeling outfit, and another skirt that doesn’t quite fit how I want it to. I think the problem is both a matter of sizing and fit – although this is a smaller size than my usual, it is cut to sit just a bit lower than I would prefer. Hence the slightly weird bulging where the top pokes out of the waistband.
Slight issues aside, this was another outfit that I basically felt pretty good in. The black shirt keeps it looking quite contemporary, and I really like how the length of the skirt looks with the sandals. So in total a nice, simple spring/summer outfit.
Day 39: All black: wide-leg jeans with silky black shirt
It’s hard to go wrong with an all-black outfit. These wide-leg jeans have fast become a wardrobe staple (although they are slightly challenging to get in and out of!), and work well with pretty much any style of top. Going for entirely black makes choosing items really simple, but I’ve played with texture a little bit to keep things interesting, with this silky long-sleeved shirt. Definitely a winner, and one I’ll be going to time and time again when I can’t be bothered to put much effort into a look, but still want to feel chic.
Day 40: Polka-dots skirt and black top
Sticking with the black, but adding in my beloved polka dots (I’m a little bit obsessed), this is a kind of modernised New Look outfit, pairing this gorgeous polka dot skirt with a simple black top and sandals. This skirt is fairly old, and another piece from H&M, in a lovely thick cotton which gives it some nice structure. The only downside is that it really could but does not have pockets. If I didn’t love it so much I’d be tempted to have a go at adding them in myself, but I wouldn’t want to risk ruining a piece I’m so fond of. It’s just another really easy look to throw together. I used to be quite picky about pairing different blacks, but I’m starting to get over that and see that I’m really the only person who notices. So I can just pick out any of my black t-shirts, pull on the skirt, and I’m good to go. It has a nice wide waistband which means it’s super comfy, and is long and heavy enough that I don’t have to worry if I wear it on windy days. I’m surprised I got this far through the challenge without wearing it, because it really is a staple for me, easy to dress up or down depending on what I’ve got planned and my mood.
Day 41: Black gym legging and Levi t-shirt
Ok so this isn’t really much of an outfit today, because it’s based on my gym kit, but I’m going to let it slide because it is what I wore for most of the day. We went on a bike ride into the city to the Botanic Gardens (‘The Tan’), so I wanted something sporty and comfortable, but still with enough ‘style’ to feel ok in the city. Basically, I didn’t want to wear my oldest, sweatiest gym clothes! So I went for this gorgeously soft Levi’s t-shirt, with my 3/4 length black gym leggings. These are from CottonOn Body, and their primary plus point is the two deep pockets – just the right size for holding my phone, even when cycling! They’re also made from recycled materials (I believe old water bottles), so that’s a bonus. All in all it was a really comfortable outfit which kept me happy for the 40km or so bike ride, and which I felt happy wandering around town in on a fairly warm and sunny day.
Day 42: Polka dot puff-sleeved dress
So this is a little bit of a cheat, because for most of this day I was just wearing my pyjamas. But we had dinner booked at a fairly fancy restaurant to celebrate my partner’s birthday, so I thought come the evening I should make a little bit of an effort. Out came the hair straighteners, the eye-lash curlers, and the make-up. This dress was almost the only choice for me – it is a perfect balance between dressy and casual, and I feel really good in it. The puff sleeves are a really flattering length, and the slit keeps the skirt from looking too formal. The usual sandals got a bit of a dressing up, and for an extra layer (always necessary in Melbourne), I wore the black &Other Stories top from the previous week as a ‘shacket’, leaving it open. I don’t get to ‘dress up’ all that often (at least not compared to the endless formal dinners of my Oxford days!), so it was nice to make some effort for a change and be a little bit ‘extra’.
So that was Week 6 of the One Wear Rule Challenge. Looking back through what I wore I don’t think it’s obvious that I’d been doing the challenge for so long – there are lots of my staples in there, peppered with some more unusual pieces I’m trying in different ways. Looking at the chart, skirts definitely made a comeback, and dresses dropped off almost entirely. Perhaps you can tell that I’m not ‘saving up’ pieces as much now, and I’m more going with what I feel like that worrying about how long I’ll have to make the challenge last. Certainly still learning a lot from the challenge though!
Thank you for reading this latest One Wear Rule post, and following along with my clothing challenge. I’m really finding it a useful way of evaluating my wardrobe, and coming up with some new approaches to pieces I never think to wear. The one thing that it is really driving home for me though is just what a huge quantity of clothes I have. I’ve done six weeks and still not had to repeat anything beyond a few weekend cheat-days. And I’m not finished yet! I’m not quite sure how I feel about this: on the one hand, I think ‘that’s way too many clothes, you should get rid of a load!’, but on the other hand I think ‘when you wear them you like them, so why bother saying goodbye to them?’ What do you think I should do? There’s a lot to be said for having a small, capsule style wardrobe in terms of reducing decision fatigue and knowing you’ve always got things that will match. But on the other hand, passing on clothes before I’ve made use of them and when I’m not sure anyone else will want to buy them risks feeding the rampant consumerism and unnecessary wastage of clothes that many of us are now trying to break out of. Decisions, decisions! Let me know what you think in the comments, and please share any advice or tips you’ve learnt from your own wardrobe experiences.