Livia Firth, a sustainable fashion champion and founder of Eco-Age, has asked us to consider this when shopping: If you're not going to wear the item more than 30 times, then don't buy it. Like most people who love fashion, I've had to think a lot about how I shop and wear my clothes. This shift is, of course, due to the climate crisis and how the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. That's quite the sobering thought when considering purchasing a new top or pair of shoes.
That said, people will still buy and wear new clothes. But taking steps towards being much more sustainable is imperative for us all. I've personally always been a fan of hanging onto pieces for a long time (for example, I just recently donated a 20-year-old Topshop jumper to charity, as it no longer fits). That's not to say that I have kept every item of clothing I own for two decades, however, I am now ensuring that I wear my pieces as recommended by Livia. This, of course, means repeating outfits a lot.
I decided to put myself to the test and see if I'd be happy wearing the same items of clothing for a week. I wore five pieces every day: a black roll-neck, black trousers, black boots, a leather jacket and a hoodie.
Spoiler: Turns out that it was actually pretty easy. Now, before the eye-rolls start, it's particularly difficult when my job entails needing to be both smart for the office and an added pressure of feeling like I need to look different every day. Throw into the mix a toddler who quite often leaves smudges of yoghurt on my clothes, and there's also a slight danger of dirt aspect added to this challenge. I imagine it's probably tricky for plenty of other professions too. At the end of the week, I came up with a few rules that are worth sticking to. Keep scrolling to see how to do it without getting bored…
Look, there's no way of getting around it: A base of black will just work for everyone. It looks smart, no matter what you're wearing and looks great.
Outfit: Black roll-neck, black trousers, black boots
Accessories: Black belt bag, gold earrings
Arket Sheer Merino Wool Roll-Neck (£45)
Topshop Black Tapered Suit Trousers (£30)
Russell & Bromley 8 Eyelet Combat Boot (£225)
ASOS Leather Bum Bag (£18)
This is where I felt I could be the most creative. Sure, the pieces I wore were very standout, but there's no point in wearing something you feel "meh" in. I liked that I could just wear the hoodie by itself, layer it under the green faux-leather jacket or just wear the jacket by itself over the roll-neck. There are options here, people!
Outfit: Black roll-neck, black trousers, black boots, tie-dye hoodie, green faux-leather jacket
Kitri Victoria Green Faux Leather Jacket (£89)
& Other Stories Belted Workwear Leather Jacket (£299)
Ninety Percent Tie-Dyed Organic Cotton-Terry Hoodie (£135)
H&M Hooded Top (£18)
As mentioned above, the point about selecting so many layers (roll-neck, hoodie and jacket) means that you can wear them in different ways. I found that a decently thick jumper means you can get away without wearing a jacket on some days. And then if you need to be smarter, ditch the hoodie and just wear the jacket. The black trousers never draw attention to you, so no one would even realise that you've worn the same item on repeat. Ditto for the black boots.
Outfit: Black roll-neck, black trousers, black boots, tie-dye hoodie
Yes, this is quite the cheat, but accessories don't count. I wore these gold hoops on and off during the week with hair down or hair up and honestly it really did make a difference. A different choice of bags is good for switching it up too.
Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Clip Earrings (£25)
Alighieri Gold-Plated The Water Bearer Baroque Pearl Hoop Earrings (£300)
Liars & Lovers Gold Mini Twisted Gold Hoop Earrings (£9)
Chloé Darcy Gold-Tone Swarovski Pearl Earrings (£200)
Finally, at the end of the week, when I felt like I really wanted to change my outfit, I turned to red lipstick to give my outfit a boost. And you know what? I think it worked.
Outfit: Black roll-neck, black trousers, black boots, green faux-leather jacket
Accessories: Red lipstick
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Water Glossy Lip Stain in Rouge Deluge (£29)
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (£22)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution (£25)
Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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