For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Could YOU do it? No New Clothes for 3 Months

As the 'Second-hand September' initiative is coming to a close it seemed a great time to think about what's happening in the fashion world.
What is (realistically) out there for those of us who are getting a bit sick of fashion excess and crazy consumerism.

Recently I was listening to a friend's concerns about her teenage daughter's addiction to shopping.
She's not getting into debt or buying above her means (many people are though!) BUT she does NEED a new dress/outfit for every event she attends.
She enjoys buying new clothes and buys cheap and poorly made items to wear once then toss.
Not an expensive hobby in monetary terms but the environmental impact is certainly pricey.
As is feeling the emotional 'need' for something new every time you go anywhere.

Do you remember the days when we had 3 sets of clothes?
Back in the day, I had:

  • School uniform... a skirt, tights, blouse, jumper and tie) + sensible shoes (with segs) + duffle coat + canvas satchel.
  • Sunday best (or similar)... a hand-me-down outfit (usually a dress or skirt and top) plus the same shoes and coat as for school.
  • Play clothes... usually old Sunday best and/or a pair of dungarees + some plimsolls and a pack-a-mac.

Can you relate?

I'm in danger of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy here BUT I miss those days of really cherishing an item of clothing.

Yes, I own pieces that I LOVE today but that feeling is not even close to being the same.

It's great that we all have so much choice and availability BUT the 'wear once and cast-aside' mentality is not what I aspire to.

If you are a bit of a fashion addict (like me) but love the idea of...

  1. Saving some money.
  2. Getting your wardrobe more organised.
  3. Feeling more connected to your clothes.
  4. Honing your personal style.

How can we do our bit without being stylistically miserable?

First of all... second hand September is a great idea.
It makes us all think a little more about what we actually NEED... not just what we want.
It stops those impulsive shops (I'm guilty of those).
It supports local and global charities.
All good right?

BUT hang on a minute.

What if we just revert back to type after September, and maybe even go crazy in a strange... "Look how good I was in September, I deserve a treat" logic.
It's easy to do, isn't it?

We've done without for a while so we SPURGE.

So, I challenge you not to buy.

I don't mean don't buy ANYTHING at all, just try not to buy anything without giving it some serious thought.
And don't buy anything on impulse or a whim.

Maybe try not to buy anything NEW in that time?
Only buying pre-loved, recycled, upcycled, second-hand?
Can it be done?
Could you do it?

Read THIS POST which includes some tips to help you shop LESS.

There are loads of ways to jump on the second-hand bandwagon.
You can even get some high-end items if that's your bag... pardon the pun!

Save the planet?

Okay, we can't do that ourselves BUT every little bit helps doesn't it?

There is a quote that says...

"It's only ONE straw... said 6 billion people!"

Simple, modern and perfect.

If we all try to do our little bit maybe some of the horrific statistics you see might diminish slightly.

In the UK alone we buy over 1 million tons of clothing a year and over 2 thirds of it goes to landfill and incinerators.

And we're only a small county.

AND that doesn't take into account the production of the clothes.
The poor working conditions and crap pay of the garment workers.

The environmental cost of production and the ENORMOUS amounts of surplus/old stock that also goes to waste.
It makes me sick.
Especially as I am part of the problem.

What can we do to help?

1. Restyle.

The best/easiest/cheapest way to tackle the problem is to wear the clothes you already own.
Look online (Pinterest is great) for inspiration.
Try different colour and texture combinations.

Blogs are another great source of inspo!
{Try using the search box in the sidebar to search for the style or colour you want to rework.}

You could even get pieces changed by taking them to a tailor (or getting the machine out yourself).
Giving old clothes a new lease of life feels great.

Of course, there are always items that will need to be replaced as they wear out.
AND some items (like underwear) can't really be bought second hand, can they?

BUT making better choices does make a difference.

2. Buy Quality.

Making some better quality choices means your clothes will last longer and you won't need to buy as many.

Charity shopping is a great idea BUT not if your local shops are full of rubbish.
Finding a real charity shop gem can be hard these days.
Most of the items are cheap fast-fashion pieces.

Finding genuinely fabulous items is almost impossible.
It takes serious effort, TIME and a good dollop of luck.

You could try some of the great second-hand sites:

  • Obviously, there is good old eBay ( and approach with caution though, it's a minefield out there.
  • Charity shops... local and online like, Shelter, they need some work put in to find the good stuff!
  • Hewi ( Second-hand designer buys.
  • Vestiaire Collective ( French site full of luxury brands.

3. Get a Rental.

If you are serious about not buying anything new for 3 months BUT need a fantastic new frock for a special event then you can always try renting.

There are some amazing rental sites out there.

Could YOU avoid buying anything NEW for 3 months?
I'm giving it a go... wish me luck!



  1. All the best, Samantha! I'm sure it'll be easier for you than you thought!

    I used to be like your friend's daughter. And then I was exposed to the world of sustainable fashion and realised what an avalanche my cheap clothes had created, and the irresponsibility that came with it. I still buy from high-street stores so I can hardly brand myself as "sustainable" but choosing what I buy with more care has improved the state of my wardrobe a lot more (and hopefully lessening waste however minuscule). Your #1 and #2 tips are my go-to's!

    xo, Liyana | The Good Weekender

    1. It's too easy to do isn't it Liyana?
      We buy all of this stuff then realise we are ONE human with a pretty enormous footprint... times that by a few million likeminded women and ...oh dear, what have we done!?
      I'm glad you are feeling the same sustainable tickle in your life and making a few changes.

  2. I did a year of only thrift shopping, not just clothes but also household items/decor. I still do most of my shopping second-hand. Another plus for thrifting are finding one of a kind pieces, so I don’t look like everybody else.

    1. I like that part ... the originality of a second-hand look.
      I've bought a couple of household items too but I need to do more/better.Thanks for this comment and food for thought!

  3. Good luck with your plan! I prefer mainly plain-ish basics that last, so the next three months of your blog are going to be particularly interesting for me, looking forward to it! Su

    1. Thank you Su!
      I'm planning on re-styling lots of things and digging out some old (and neglected) pieces.

  4. I did a "No New Clothes" for a full year about a decade ago - I'm really happy to see people finally getting on board of not spending money on cheap, shoddily-made crap! I've been advocating for this for so long, that it all seems very obvious to me sometimes, ha! Some good tips for the newbies here, Samantha.

    1. This does not surprise me Sheila!
      I should have asked you for your top tips to finding those gems.
      Is it a good eye?
      Or a mixture of both?

  5. I have recently joined a ministry that runs as part of our church, called X-Change. The idea is people bring in good used clothes, and take some as well. Or either/or/both. It is all free and manned by volunteers like myself. I haven't bought anything new since I joined. there is a high end ladies consignment store nearby that give us their stuff when it changes season and is left over. Great clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and kids clothes; and we help the lower end neighbourhood women look and feel the best, all at no cost.

    1. That's brilliant Sharon.
      What a good idea.
      It's good to share!

  6. I know already that I can t do that! I am saying that wrong: I can do anything I want! I do buy a lot more concious! Good luck!

  7. My list of ideas for re-styling will last me till spring! I can't wait to try it... But here in Israel the weather isn't going to turn cooler for about two more months. :-\

  8. Totally love that you're sharing your ideas and resolutions, what an inspiring post!. I'm a believer, but anyway I appreciate all the good advice you've written on this and obviously you have my support!
    Looking forward to see your restylings and creativity!

  9. I like to have an occasional month without buying clothes and I am trying to buy more second hand lately. I still struggle with the easy buys on Amazon though!


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