Baby Steps to Ethical Fashion: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Taking the plunge into the ethical fashion world can be intimidating and overwhelming. I know this is something I want to pursue, but in all honesty, I’m scared to fully commit. To make it feel more manageable I’m taking baby steps to ethical fashion.

One thing I know I can do is to wear the heck out of the pieces I already own. Being ok with wearing the same pieces and same outfits over and over again makes it easier to buy less and reduce the demand for fast fashion. In all honestly, before I started capsuling, I would wear most of my tops once, maybe twice, per season before packing them up for the next year. And then when I pulled them out, I was kind of over them. I had a lot of pieces I liked, but didn’t love, and I was forcing myself to wear them because I felt obligated.

In an effort to slow down my fashion cycle, I’ve really been challenging myself to repeat items and learn to wear them in different ways. The key is to have a wardrobe full of pieces I LOVE so that I want to repeat them. If I put together an outfit that gets compliments and feels great, I want to wear it again. I’ve done a few mini capsule challenges where I’ve picked a small number of items and put together multiple looks. Here is an example where I wore only 20 items for 5 weeks:

20 items 20 ways

And another where I styled 10 items in 10 different ways

10 items 10 ways capsule

How to find new ways to wear your old items:

  • Get creative with layers. Wear two tees together, put a sweater over a dress, layer a long sleeve top under a short sleeve one, try a dress over skinny jeans. When I’ve done these smaller capsules I’ve found that layering in new (and unexpected) ways is a great way to switch up the look.
  • Find new ways to “style” your pieces. Try wearing a top backwards, try a different tuck, knot a tee, cross the front of your button-down shirts and tuck rather than button, or cuff your pants.
  • Change the arrangement of your clothes in your closet. I recently swapped where I stored my tops and bottoms in my closet and put them in order by color rather than by type and I found a few new combinations jump out at me.
  • Challenge yourself to a mini capsule challenge to force yourself to get creative. 
  • Find items you really love so that you’ll want to wear them and won’t feel the urge to go out and buy a new piece for every new occasion. Embrace finding an outfit that looks amazing on you and makes you feel like a million buck and wear it every chance you get!
  • And of course, accessorize. Use different shoes, scarves, and jewelry to completely change the feel of an outfit. Even the way you style your hair can make an outfit have a different vibe.

Here’s a week I wore the same long-sleeve striped tee every day:

Winter Capsule 5 ways to wear stripes

In terms of blogging, repeat outfits probably isn’t ideal. At the same time, I wouldn’t call myself a fashion blogger, so maybe I get a pass?! Instead I want this blog to inspire women to be content with their closets and to create wardrobes that they love and want to repeat.

One area of concern with repeating outfits and wearing the heck out of my items is that I’m horrible at laundry. Between work and the kids I’m bound to get spots on my clothes and I haven’t put a lot of effort into taking good care of my clothes (remember, I thought they were disposable). I’ve been a throw them in the washer and dryer and hope it all works out ok kind of gal.

I found this guide from Third Love really informative. Especially the part about caring for my denim. 

On a side note: Third Love is offering 15% off with code STAPLES. I have not tried their products, so I cannot speak to their comfort or quality, but I love their mission to get women in bras that truly fit.



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    1. I have been following your blog for a few months and find myself more inspired to take risk and simplify my closet. You really make it seem less intimidating Paige, so thanks! 🙂
      PS Recommendations on where to buy nice pair of leggings? Not to tight but comfortable?

      1. Hi Patty!
        Thank you for your kind words! I have really love my simplified closet more than I ever imagined. I truly thought I would get bored after a few short weeks, but here I am a year later and I’m inspired to go even smaller. As for leggings, my favorite pairs have always been a thicker ponte knit material. I got a pair last fall at Old Navy I liked, but they are looking pretty ragged and worn lately. I have seen a sneak peek from Brass Clothing and they’re coming out with some pants that look amazing – like leggings, but nicer and thicker. I’m not sure when they come out, but I’m hoping to get a pair to replace my cheap ones.

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