I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few months. I was feeling really tired a lot of the time and had got into a rut with my eating so didn’t fancy doing my weekly updates on my food when I thought it was really boring and samey!

I think going forward I’ll only do food posts when I cook something special or different or if I’m eating out. I did find my weekly food posts a bit of a chore and that’s not what this blog is about!

So onto my clothes challenge. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to take on “No New Clothes for a Year”. I was inspired by Jen from My Make Do And Mend Life and joined her two Facebook groups (no new clothes and buy nothing new) to connect with others doing the same. You can set your own rules and mine were that I could only buy second-hand/vintage clothes and essentials.

At the beginning of the year I was buying a couple of second hand pieces a month but as the year went on I even cut down on that. I managed to go without buying any essentials thanks to my Mum donating me some of her tights as she doesn’t wear skirts/dresses very often, and as I started jogging in the summer I managed to get some second hand gym gear on ASOS marketplace and eBay. The only two new items I had in the year were T-shirts, one from my company for our London Pride event and one from St Francis Hospice when I took part in a charity walk. Both these have gone into my gym clothes which I use regulary.

So in a year I have bought 5 dresses, 2 tops, 1 gym outfit, 1 skirt, 1 coat and 1 pair of shoes – all second hand, which I don’t think is too bad. The only things I’m a bit unsure of were the pink t-shirt dress in the middle and the coat. I’ve still been wearing the dress but it doesn’t exactly “spark joy” which is a mantra of minimalist guru Marie Kondo. I will continue to wear it until I get bored and then it shall be re-donated to charity. I love the pattern of the coat but it didn’t fit perfectly so I bought it as a “target” item. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this but I did love it! Unfortunately I didn’t look at it carefully enough before I bought it as the lining needs a lot of stitching and the sleeve is moth-eaten so I think it will need to be recycled. A lesson learnt!

The only things I have really struggled with is tights and having a lack of options where I have gained weight. When I gain weight I don’t like to buy new clothes in a bigger size anyway so that hasn’t changed and am now back on a healthier lifestyle eating mindfully and doing exercise. I have already seen some rewards in having clothes fit more comfortably, my mental health is better and my skin is clearer!

So what does this mean going forward?

I plan to keep my clothes shopping to a minimum and buy vintage/second-hand where I can. I have asked for some vouchers for Christmas in order to buy some tights and bras and my Husband has bought me a new pair of everyday shoes as my current ones are falling apart. I don’t buy a lot of shoes and wear mine until they are completely worn out. I have struggled this year to find good quality, non-leather, second-hand shoes. I will continue my hunt but will buy new when I absolutely need to.

I had a clear out of my clothes throughout the year but I plan to do this again as I have some clothes I haven’t worn at all this year.

The only things I have really wanted to buy but have resisted are vegan/animal/charity/campaign t-shirts. I tend to wear dresses so I don’t have many bottoms to go with them. This is my logic for resisting temptation! Although I have bought a few slogan tote bags throughout the year (which I don’t count as clothes) although I do now need to cut down on these too!

I want to extend my reduced shopping to the rest of my life and have a good declutter. I live in a one bedroom flat with my Husband so I don’t have much space. I already minimise what I buy and I don’t like having too many things but I think there’s still room for improvement.

The area I think I can make the most impact in is my kitchen. I have a lot of cookbooks only a handful of which I use and I put myself on cookbook ban a long time ago, but I can clear out those I don’t use. I also need to clear out my cupboards of unused out of date food and use up what I do have in there. As my flat is small things just get bundled in the kitchen cupboards and I can’t actually see what I have to use. My fridge broke a few weeks ago and we had to get a new one which was a great opportunity to get rid of all the old jars in there. I also need to clear appliances. I have a dehydrator and an ice-cream maker boxed up in my living room for months that I still haven’t put on ebay/freecycle.

I’m hoping that decluttering the flat will also improve my mental health as I always feel happier when it is clearer and tidier. With less things I’ll have less to clean and will be less tired from chores and have more time for fun stuff!

I don’t think my Husband will be looking forward to this as he can be a bit of a collector. Our hallway is wall to wall shelving with games, books and films and the top of the shelves house his collection of video game memorabilia. I won’t insist on him decluttering but by getting rid of some of my things there will be more room for his so it will generally look tidier. We are also hoping to move in the not too distant future so decluttering will help when we need to get a few jobs done in the flat. It is so difficult in a small place as you don’t have any space to move anything if you need to do some plastering or decorating!

What is your style? Are you a minimalist or a hoarder? Do you have any plans to make any changes?

Let me know in the comments

Plumes x



I’m back! And end of No New Clothes challenge

First Charity Shopping Trip of the Year

Today Mum and I went round our local charity shops before our weekly swim. I do visit them occasionally but looked at today as a scouting mission for my year of no new clothes.

We went in 6 shops in total and I was impressed by how organised they were. There were lots of staples so I’m sure I’ll find something when I’m in need.

I tried on one skirt but unfortunately it didn’t fit. I’m also trying to mindful about my clothes shopping. There was a lovely dress, but I have lots of lovely dresses and a few which are a bit tight so thought I’m better off concentrating on getting into those then buying more. I also saw a lovely patterned skirt but as I love a pattern I don’t really have many plain things to wear with it so left it on the rail. I wanted some flat shoes but there weren’t many flats at all. Maybe people keep hold of them and just give away the heels that hurt their feet! Also most of the shoes seemed to be leather which I can understand when looking for good quality second hand but doesn’t help little old vegan me!

I didn’t leave empty handed though! I bought a salt shaker for 50p in the St Francis Hospice shop, as we only have our big container of salt which isn’t great when we have guests. I bought my husband a DVD game of the TV show “24” still in cellophane for £2.99 in British Heart Foundation. We love a board game and I always keep my eyes peeled for them in charity shops. He has looks at the reviews online which aren’t glowing but I’m sure if nothing else we’ll have a laugh playing it once and it might go back to the charity shop for someone else to give it a go! I also bought a book by Niger Slater on British food culture again in BHF for £1.75. I love watching Nigel make his simple suppers even if most of them aren’t vegan and really enjoyed reading his autobiography of his early years “Toast” (which I still need to lend to my Sister-in-law!) So hopefully I’ll enjoy this one too. I’ll have to watch buying second hand books as well as I have about 3 lined up on my Kindle I need to read and I have to study for my exam in April. I’m also trying to declutter the flat so definitely don’t need any more!

I joined a group on Facebook run by the lady who inspired me to do this challenge Jen Gale (@makedoandmendyear on twitter and blog here) which I hope will provide lots of helps and tips throughout the year.

Apparently most people give up on their new year resolutions by 10th January so I’m doing well not just with no new clothes but no clothes at all!

Plumes x


First Charity Shopping Trip of the Year