Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cleaning Out my Closet: The Becky Challenge

This was me this past weekend:

My bedroom was in horrid need of an update, and my closet was in quite a state. I'm not as bad as Becky Bloomwood, but close! Dutifully, I dug through my belongings, creating piles of clothes to either save/donate/sell on e-bay. It was a lot of work! But I'm trying to be more of a minimalist (ha), and have heard stylists say that it's better to have a small wardrobe full of pieces you love than a massive one full of stuff you never wear. It's overwhelming! Besides, I'd rather save up for one chic piece I love and know I'll wear forever than go crazy at budget stores, and wind up with too many trendy pieces that will just fall apart next season. If this is your guilty pleasure, too, no judgment; as an entry-level employee, I understand how tempting it is to stick with the cheap stuff, simply because it's affordable. And don't get me wrong, I can't resist popping into Urban Outfitters and H&M from time to time! But I'm trying to browse more, buy less, and overall become a more cautious, responsible consumer.

And, oh, the eco-guilt! As a writer who usually covers environmental topics, I have to wonder wear my clothes and accessories come from, exactly what they're made of, who made them, and whether or not the maker(s) earn a decent living. The sad truth is, they probably don't. It's my personal goal to frequent mass market retailers less and less, and support independent eco-fashion designers and fair trade companies as much as possible! Will you help keep me accountable?

Inspired by Becky's challenge in the latest Shopaholic novel, I want to wear every item in my wardrobe at least once before I buy anything new*. Sounds crazy, right? I admit, I have a lot of clothing. Who knows, if I take this challenge literally, I might not have to do any shopping for over a year! (Which, sickeningly enough, makes me kind of sad! I'll have to get over that!)

After completing this challenge, I want to take the money I've saved and invest in an eco-fashion item, whether it's a pair of ultra-chic Olsen Haus shoes, a compassionate coat by Vaute Couture or a gorgeous piece by Stewart + Brown. And, yes, I'll be sure to bank my money, too! In general, I need to cut back all my spending... in this economy, I'm sure we all do. Right?

In keeping with my new pledge, I will attempt to document my progress by creating an inventory of every clothing item owned and keeping track of when it's worn. Naturally, I'll be documenting the entire challenge here. This will mean regular outfit posts, which I will try to adhere to on a daily basis! It will be fun to come up with new outfits using old favorites. Time to reduce, reuse, remix and restyle!

So check back to see if I can survive the Becky Challenge! Want to participate? Drop me an line!

Happy styling!

*I'm not counting thrift/vintage! That would hardly be fair. Besides, shopping for used goods is green! :)


Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I commend you, dear friend! I'll gladly help keep you accountable. In time, I'd like for most of my purchases to be in support of independent designers too, but, like you said, that can be tricky these days. And while I'm not always thrilled with the history that comes with the garments I purchase from budget stores, I wear and wash them with the utmost care to prolong their lives so I don't have to rush back out and buy buy buy.

I'm looking forward to your remix/restyle documentation. Good luck with it and if you need support, to vent, or a sympathetic ear you know where to find me :)

Lexie, Little Boat said...

I went through this same guilt when I decided to carry out my New Year's Resolution! Good luck, girly!

Raquel said...

oh my I wish I could have a third of your will! I can never throw away my precious clothes (of course except when they are ruined or I am really sure I will never ever use them). though I am following the "less but better" resolution! a while ago, if I saw something cheap I would buy it alsmost instantly, now I try to look more for stuff that I really need or love and look mainly at its quality!

I am looking forward to see your daily outfits diaries! good luck!!

kristen said...

ithat's awesome and i went through the same exact thing this weekend too. i took all of my winter clothes out of the boxes they were in and realized i have a ton of clothes! so like you, i'm trying to wear most everything (i can't promise all) before buying something new. great idea reinvesting your saved money in an eco-friendly line. vaute couture and stewart + brown are great picks! i also recommend nixxi and elroy apparel.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Right on! I generally try to follow the "better not more" mantra, (not really evidenced by some of this summer's buys, but anyway) and I think your additional aim of wanting to buy from eco designers is a good one. I'm going to go check out those links now...

Oh, and I'll likely be joining you on the "wear everything at least once" part of the challenge. But this isn't very unusual, since me and the suitcase only own about fifty items of clothing between us!

Jenna said...

I definitely need to do this as well. I have so much clothing that I keep around for "emergencies" (which really means I keep them to wear around the house on days when I have no plans so I don't have to do laundry so much).

I also like the idea of selling the gently used and slightly pricier stuff on e-bay. Have you done that before, or are you starting now?

Another suggestion: a clothing swap. I have a few friends in my size that I like to trade with after we're tired of certain pieces. That way you get new clothes AND it's free.

Lovely post!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

Wow good for you- GOOD LUCK! :)

Sarah said...

Such a great idea! I need to give my closet a good clean out and attempt the same thing!