Featured Image: My Top 3 outfits
On the 21st May, I decided to start a 30 day / 30 items / 30 different outfits challenge.
The rules of the challenge: a fixed period of time with a pre-decided number of items which includes shoes but not other accessories. The aim; to style different outfits for each day of the challenge appropriate to the activities.
A 2018 study of households in twenty countries, by moving company Movinga, confirmed that 70% of the average wardrobe is going unworn.* Shocked by this fact, I started my 30/30/30 challenge. I regularly delve into other peoples wardrobes, seeking unworn and forgotten treasures and though I’d like to believe I wear more than 30% of the clothes I’ve invested in, the real possibility that I don’t is unacceptable to me. I hope to demonstrate via sharing this challenge, how much variety you can get mixing and matching a restricted number of items.
My lifestyle, like many working women, includes a diverse range of activities that require very different practical considerations. I chose a period of time when, I would travel and have the clear restraints of a suitcase and therefore less possibility to succumb to temptation! Over the past 30 days, I’ve held client meetings, cycled a lot (It’s my chosen form of transport around Berlin), gone on dates with my husband to dressy locations, been in the countryside, met friends in the cities of Berlin and Frankfurt and played messy games with the children (aged 3 and 5) at home, in the park, and in the garden. I do not dress to please others but to suit my mood and the circumstances.
I’ve not enjoyed being restricted! I realised by day 10, I primarily dress by mood and this is particularly associated for me by colour. In solidarity and response to the appalling scenes we’ve all witnessed in The USA, I really felt the need to grieve and wanted to wear all black, following that I desperately wanted to wear bright colour to help lift my mood.
Cycling so much also proved more of a challenge than I had originally thought. I generally wear dresses and skirts over trousers, which made for one flashy cycle into town that possibly made a few observers smile / blush!
The ever changing weather posed difficulties and restricted the amount of outfit options I had. With multiple cold days, I only wore the denim shorts once and sleeveless tops twice. Unsurprisingly the two cardigans were the most worn items.
3 Key Observations
- I’ve looked closer and paid more attention to the items I chose than I’ve done in a long time. Restricted by number, I’ve sat and carefully polished my shoes, sewn loose buttons back on and steamed and ironed and even hand washed certain items.
- At the start of the challenge I spent considerable time thinking about which items to include that were the most versatile, practical and co-ordinated for max usage. In essence the creation of a capsule wardrobe but with mass emphasis on not being boring!
As a personal stylist, I encourage clients to bare this in mind when they go shopping:
- Only add items to your daily wardrobe that you can style a minimum of 3 different ways.
Thank you to those who followed along! If you’re inspired to try something similar please tag me and use the #30wears30ways! I’ll definitely do another challenge later in the summer, perhaps over my upcoming holidays. For now I’m still down south in the beautiful Baden-Württemberg countryside and thereby still restricted to the items I packed, albeit with a couple of new items purchased over the past months. Please continue to follow my style over on Instagram.
I’m a fashion designer, personal stylist and a writer. Having worked in the industry for over 20 years, I’ve pivoted my career focus to vocally support diversity, inclusivity and sustainability whilst continuing to empower people to discover their most confident and authentic selves. Part of that journey is learning more about sustainable practices and challenging my own relationship with conscious consumerism and aligning ones values with the expression of personal style.
*Seventy percent (71.45%, to be exact) was arrived at by taking an average of all twenty countries’ percentages of wear. Marjorie van Elven, “People do not wear at least 50% of their wardrobes, says study.” FashionUnited, August 16, 2018, https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/people-do-not-wear-at-least-50-percent-of-their-wardrobes-according-to-study/2018081638356.