End of my six items challenge
I have finished my six items challenge! That’s right folks, forty-two days straight of wearing the same six items of clothing. I figured out during this time that my six items of clothing only made eight different outfits, in my head it should of made more than that! However, this did not deter me from making the most out of my clothing choices, no sir-ee! It may sound ridiculous but I never usually tuck my tops into my trousers, I’ve always been a ‘leave it hanging out’ kind of girl (doesn’t sound great does it…) but during the challenge one of my biggest changes was that I started wearing my shirts and t-shirt tucked into both the culottes and the skinny jeans. This may sound like a small thing to you but for me this was a development in my styling journey.
I learned a lot on this challenge and found it to be an eye opening experience, I'm sharing it with you all so that you can see what it was like for me and maybe it will inspire you to try the challenge yourself...
I definitely got more creative and outgoing with my styling during the challenge, and I actually had a lot of complements on my outfits over the six weeks. I was wearing jewellery I’d ignored for ages, wore some trainers I rarely wear and threw on an old army jacket with my t-shirt and it worked really well. I also decided to take a photo of my outfit every day of the challenge so I could see it all together at the end. Unfortunately, I didn’t always get to capture these styling moments as I often took the photo in a rush on my way out to work; sometimes it was even before I put my shoes on!
I didn’t buy any new clothes during the challenge, which is actually a long time for me to go without spending money on clothes – so yay me. The fact that I wasn’t going out looking for new clothes made me think even more about what clothes I really do want and why, not just an impulsive urge to spend money for clothes I think I want in that moment. The challenge also gave me a renewed appreciation for my clothes, I was already grateful for what I have but it made me realise just how many options I have and that those moments where I scream “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR” is just bullshit really.
The one thing that worried me during the six items challenge, was the amount of times I had to wash my clothes. I was doing a weekly load even though I only had these few items, it seemed bizarre to me. But then I realised I usually wear a top, put it away and then wear it again in like three weeks time, at which point I would probably wash it. Not only was it time consuming but the continual washing and drying of my six items was making me think about the environmental impact this lifestyle would have. I did a breakdown of what the fabric compositions were for all of my six items (nerd alert) have a look:
· T-shirt, white shirt + striped shirt - 100% cotton (t-shirt was organic, the shirts probably not)
· Black skinny jeans – 91% cotton (probably not organic), 6% polyester + 3% elastane
· Grey culottes – 63% polyester, 34% viscose + 3% elastane
· Black long-sleeved jumper – 35% viscose, 35% cotton + 30% polyester
I found it really interesting to look at what these clothes were made of, but it did make me think about microfibres and the pollution they cause in the oceans. Whenever you wash a piece of synthetic clothing, tiny bits of plastic (microfibres) get released into the water and end up going into the ocean where they’re eaten by fish which can kill them. It’s the same reason we banned microplastics, like the ones found in face scrubs, in the UK and other countries. I did a bit of research and found a brand called Guppyfriend that makes bags that you put your synthetic clothes into before putting in the washing machine, and it catches all the fibres released. Seems like a great way to be able to keep your old synthetic clothes and wash them without a worry!
Ok so I know you can never predict the weather in the UK, but seriously what the hell. When I picked my six items we had just gotten over the snow storms and it was still raining most days and generally cold. I thought I was playing the odds by picking two trousers and mostly long sleeved tops and shirts, I figured if it was cold I could layer my t-shirt under a shirt and if it was hot just have the t-shirt. Well, during the six weeks we went from snow, to rain, to thunder and lightning, to heat wave, to muggy sticky days where you just want to lie on the floor all day. I had to endure temperatures of around 26 degrees Celsius in my striped shirt, and then while it was in the washing process, I wore my t-shirt just to find out it was 11 degrees and raining!
By the beginning of week four I was craving my summer clothes so bad and wishing the challenge was over. One person commented that I had repeated outfits, but only after I told them about the challenge. Most people were shocked when I told them that I had been wearing the same six items for the past six weeks, and they commented on the fact that if they didn’t notice it probably meant that people don’t need the amount of clothes they think they do.
Tips if you’re thinking of doing the challenge...
1. Do the challenge in WINTER! If you live in the UK, you are guaranteed (at least) six weeks of cold and/or rain so you’ll be prepared for the weather.
2. Pick 3 bottoms and 3 tops. I underestimated the power of a fresh pair of jeans and these moments were few and far between for me.
3. Think about events or day trips planned during your six week challenge, be prepared for what you’ll need to wear on that day.
4. Wash your synthetic clothes with a Guppyfriend, it will catch any microfibres in the wash and stop them going into the ocean. Fish live in the ocean you know…
5. Pick at least one item of clothing that you never wear to be a part of your six items, it will force you to get some use out of it and at the end of the challenge you’ll either love it or hate it. If you love it then you’ve just learnt to appreciate that piece of clothing, if you hate it then at least you’ve got some good wear out of it and now you can donate it to a charity shop!