Some of you might remember that, about two years ago, I took on a self-assigned challenge to wear the same sweater every day for a week. The sweater in question was a cheap acrylic piece made by a popular Spanish company. I had bought it on impulse and almost instantly regretted the purchase.
So I decided to turn my mistake into a style challenge. How many different ways could I wear the sweater? It turned out, more ways than I had previously thought. The experience forced me to look at my wardrobe with new eyes, and helped me get more wears out of something that I hadn’t wanted to wear at all.
I’m an advocate of buying the best quality garments you can afford (or using the best fabric). Rampant fast fashion is taking its toll on the people who produce it as well as on the planet.
There’s been some effort in the sewing community to focus on slow fashion, but there can also be pressure to keep churning out garment after garment. I like to focus on replacing pieces that wear out with classic, high-quality garments that last. This means that, outside of product samples, I focus on sewing items for myself that I know I’ll wear for many years into the future.
With all of this in mind, I propose a challenge that anyone can participate in. You don’t have to sew anything.
In fact, you don’t have to even know how to sew to participate in this one.
The Ways to Wear It Challenge is just what it sounds like. How many ways can you think of to wear one garment that is already in your wardrobe? It does not have to be handmade. It just has to be something you already own.
Use this as a chance to get creative and figure out how to integrate a lesser-worn piece into your daily wardrobe. Or use it to just enjoy wearing one of your favorites. Maybe you can find a new way to style it.
The “rules” are simple. Just wear something as many ways as you can. You don’t have to do it on consecutive days. You don’t have to commit to wearing it a certain number of times a week or month (though if you want to, you certainly can). And you don’t have to take daily photos. If and when you feel like it, snap a photo of a new outfit pairing, or get crazy and make a collage. Post it on Instagram with the hashtag #waystowearitchallenge.
I know the online sewing community is flooded with challenges. This one is easy to participate in. I hope that you’ll join in, and encourage your friends to play along! The planet will be all the better if we focus on wearing what we already own rather than on consuming more and more.
We’ll start this challenge tomorrow, September 10 and it will run until the end of November. At the end of each month, we’ll draw random winners from the hashtag pool. Each winner will receive a PDF pattern from the Liesl + Co., Oliver + S, or Straight Stitch Society lines.
But you don’t have to stop posting after November! This challenge can continue going as long as you like.
In fact, we hope you’ll keep it going and will encourage even your non-sewing friends to play along.
Because the more frequently we wear what we have, the less we need to buy or send to a landfill. Let’s make wearing a garment multiple times a trend that everyone supports!