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Taking the Fashionably Numb Sustainable Challenge

Bronwen Stead

In the lead up to Fashionably Numb this weekend, I was given a challenge from stylist Sofia Polak.

What is Fashionably Numb? It’s a market and panel discussion with a focus on sustainability and ethical fashion, which Sofia is organising the PR for. In theme with the event and in thinking about our relationship with clothing, the challenge set was to wear one item for seven days in a row. 

Before we continue – I ask you to think: what would I wear for seven days in a row? How would I wear it? 

WHAT I CHOSE

At first, I had no idea what I was going to wear. With spring upon us, I didn’t think a coat was all that functional. Assessing my pants situation I had a few options that would be appropriate for both work and weekend but was yet to be inspired. But then I attended one of my favourite regular fashion events – a clothes swap organised by Gina Gbor.

Sometimes the universe delivers just what you need, right when you need it, and for me, this deliverance was in the form of a vintage Jacquie E (at the time Jaqueline Evans) skirt. The fabric is a lovely cotton which makes it really versatile, looking smart enough work yet also works for casual. To complement this item and play with it in some different ways, I visited Material Pleasures and picked up several items. 

MONDAY

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When it comes to my work wardrobe, I’m incorporating a few principles at the moment – the first being minimalism. I have reduced the number of items I have in my wardrobe and have decided that everything must work with everything else. To kick off the work week, I teamed my classic black skirt with a crisp white blouse (coincidentally also picked up at a previous swap), a black Oroton shoulder bag and some grey heels.

TUESDAY

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Today I wanted to play with prints. While sticking to a somewhat neutral tonal palette while I work out this whole minimalist/capsule wardrobe, I find that clashing print is a fun way to inject some personality into my outfit. Today I wore a print shirt from Material Pleasures, adding some fun with some brooches and clashing a leopard print clutch, and some black kitten heels from Nine West.

WEDNESDAY

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This stripe knit is another versatile piece that can easily be tucked into skirt or trousers for work, but could also be styled with jeans for the weekend. I also duplicated the clutch from yesterday because, why not? Not every item needs to change every day! These were teamed with my current favourite shoes in the world, the loafer – hello comfort! I am so glad I have discovered these. Having smaller feet, in the past I have felt like loafers looked like boats on my feet (yes, I have on overactive imagination). These are also from Nine West.

THURSDAY

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The greatest thing about a minimalist wardrobe is that everything just goes! Today I matched the skirt with a sleeveless Witchery blouse that I picked up at Material Pleasures – the top is in perfect condition and was such a reasonable (read: fraction of original) price. I teamed it with a Saba cream bag and cream heals.

FRIDAY

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The work week is finished and now we start to play around! For Friday night drinks I changed into thigh-high boots, a gorgeous bomber jacket and a mother of pearl clutch from Witchery that I haven’t reached for in ages. One of the great things about the challenge was that I find it made me think of some items I’ve had for ages and I love too dearly to throw away but haven’t thought to use.

SATURDAY

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Now, normally weekends see me in something fairly laid back – with a little one to run around after I don’t want to feel restricted. This usually sees me in jeans and a t-shirt, so rather than overthink it I just switched out the jeans for the skirt, added some vintage style boots and clutch, and voila! Weekend grunge gets a little more elevated. 

SUNDAY

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This is one my favourites from the week and one I can easily see being on high rotation. A basic cotton tee under a denim jacket, inject a bit of colour with a print scarf I picked up new from the GreenShed, a great shoulder bag my mum picked up for me on her travels through Florence, and those loafers yet again! Sundays for us are a day of running errands, seeing friends and grabbing flowers (these from The Floral Society). 

THE RESULT

Success! One item, worn seven different ways. I have already thought of a week’s more outfits that I could do with this skirt using the items I already own. This challenge made me appreciate the importance of good basics and those quality items you can use across different categories, such as work and casual. I challenge you to give this a go! Tag #fnsustainablechallenge on Instagram. 

If you are interested to learn more about sustainability and fashion, check out Sustainably Numb this Saturday. Click here for all the details.

Thanks to Sofia Polak for this challenge, Nina Gbor for hosting amazing swaps and Material Pleasures for some beautiful pieces.

Photography: Deejay at WeAreFound

Bronwen Stead

Bronwen loves to celebrate life and all things Canberra, which is why she is passionate about writing for HerCanberra and promoting the amazing people and activities that Canberra contains. She is a mother, wife and a creative with a passion for wellbeing and health. More about the Author