A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond since 2011

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Labour Behind the Labels - Six Items Challenge - Part 3

There are only a few more days left of the Labour Behind the Label - Six Items Challenge 2020! In today's post we will take a look at the different styling combos, that I have worn over the past five weeks, using just six items of clothing; with a few tips, challenges and interactions that I have come across along the way. 

I have certainly had ups and downs, from thriving to the challenge, to getting a bit bored of the same six items, to feeling amazing that I have managed to completely cut down on the amount of clothes I wear and need; to thinking 'what's the point?' as the Coronavirus lock-down kicked in. It's been an emotional roller-coaster for sure!

The jumpsuit....

I introduced my sixth item (a Lucy & Yak jumpsuit) to the challenge on Day 8. 
Tip 5 - A jumpsuit can be worn on its own, with a top under or over it or even with the sleeves tied round your waist. 

Dressing like a man...

A week into the challenge I realised, I'd started dressing like a man. I don’t mean my style, I mean the way I get dressed....

I started putting on my under garments and socks first before collecting my outfit together! I seriously couldn’t understand why men (ie my husband ) did this so fluidly, until now.

Since my wardrobe is limited to six items, I have less choice to get overwhelmed about. I tend to pre-plan each day to make my limited outfits more varied.

I already know what I am going to wear, rather than thinking “What top am I wearing? Which bra goes best under it? Do I need tights or socks? Which socks?...This looks awful…I have nothing to wear…..waaaa!!!”

I envied men for getting up in the morning and just getting dressed, and mostly still looking good, with no effort or stress! Now, I get it and it’s been quite liberating, to not give a shit!

The bomber jacket...

"Separates make things a little more limited, there are not as many options as with dungarees or dresses. 
I'm also really appreciating being able to wear different coats, this changes up your look, keeping things fresh!" Day 7 


Please support the Labour Behind the Label Trust to support garments workers around the world in the fight against fast fashion.

Donate to Labour Behind the Label

The dungarees....

Tip 6 - Dungarees can provide many combos - wear tops over the top or underneath or wear the dungaree bib
 (or a single strap) down to create different style options. 

Keep it clean...

Two weeks in I started to struggle to keep my clothes washed/ in circulation, with an aim to keep things fresh (in both senses of the word!).I overcame this by throwing on whatever was clean or available, whenever I needed to. Trying to keep as much pressure off myself as possible to make the challenge more bearable. 

I'd agree that having to wash things more often doesn't have the greatest impact on the planet but since I have certainly reduced the amount of items I have to wash, it balances out. 

The Trousers....

"The challenge has become a way of life for me now, I'm shocked to say I am not looking at the rest of my wardrobe dreaming about when I can wear the rest of my clothes.
 I'm over it"  Day 17.

The accessories......

Keeping things bright, fun and unique in Emotional Waterfall prints & accessories


I have had lots of amazing encouragement, often from strangers, throughout the challenge which has been heartfelt, alongside a handful of nonchalant comments from people not understanding the importance of the challenge or even why it is called a challenge... 

The one thing all of the latter had in common was that they were not interested in fashion, so I understood their doubt, fast fashion is simply not something that enters their world, which in one way, is a good thing; however these people are not the ones I am trying to engage with. 

I really DO follow fashion and I AM part of the problem and I want others who ARE interested in fashion to SLOW DOWN on their consumption and to look into their existing wardrobe – rather than buying yet another new top – to see what new fashion combos they can create, in a bid to help save the planet and support garment workers.

I am doing this challenge and supporting slow fashion to end the fast fashion mindset, not to end fashion, style or creativity. 

Spreading the love of slow fashion is a challenge in itself. It’s really hard to get people to listen and even if they are listening….is it really going in?

All I can do is keep at it….

Thank you so much for your support, it means a great deal! xx

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Labour Behind the Labels - Six Items Challenge - Part 2

Things have changed so much since I started the Labour Behind the Label - Six Items challenge only four weeks ago. We are now living in a different world that is alien to us all.

It's hard to continue with daily life when so much has happened in such a small space of time, making other things you are doing seem so irrelevant!

Things that seemed like such a mammoth task a few weeks ago have really been put into perspective.

The six items challenge itself and what it stands for is still just as powerful and relevant as it was, and the importance of the message hasn't changed.

Covid-19 has made us all slow down whether we like it or not but the message to slow down on consumption hasn't been received. The panic buying and selfish hoarding of essential items has made this very clear. We have not learnt our lesson, we are not being kind to each other. Are you still consuming fashion the same way? Albeit, online...??

There is a plus side to all this...

Now that we (literally) have nowhere to go, we could all give the six items challenge a whirl...Find out how here...

I challenge you to get involved, share your six items and let us see how many outfits you can come up with! Let's do this together!

Find out the Top Six Items challenge Tips below...

No Debutante's Six items outfits

Soldiering on with the challenge, here's how I wore it and how I coped in the first week...

I started the challenge with my first items the (Lucy & Yak X Emotional Waterfall) dungarees -  I love these dungarees and everyone knows it - paired with the pink long sleeve top; a late comer to the six items party, replacing a t-shirt at the last minute when I realised I was gonna get cold and needed more warm layers. Outfit one complete!

Day two introduced the Kuccia bomber jacket, a stalwart in the No Debutante wardrobe, it was obviously in my six items, wore this sexy piece layered over the dungarees, long sleeve pink top worn underneath. One outfit three items...keep up!

Day three welcomed the cuddly pink hoodie and the polka-dot trousers to the game. Items four and five. I actually wore this outfit to the Greta Thunberg climate strike in Bristol. REPRESENT! The outfit was hidden away under waterproofs, so I wore the same outfit again the next day as nobody saw it! Boom!

.....Don't worry, I am not going to do a rundown of all the items every day like a charts countdown, from here on in there will be tips and new outfit combos only, plus we haven't even clapped eyes on Item Six yet....(unless you follow me on instagram that is!).

No Debutante's Six Items Tips

Tip 1  -  Get comfy and wear your PJ's in the evening, it gives your clothes a chance to air so you don't have to wash them so frequently.

Tip 2 - Hang your clothes up after wearing them for the same reasons as above and to keep the creases out of them.

Tip 3 - Accessories are your best friend during this challenge, they can continuously transform the same outfit! Get creative!

Tip 4 - Underwear as outerwear - only for the brave....I wore a sports bra top underneath my dungarees on a night out..Technically, it isn't cheating as underwear is not included as one of the six items! I was very pleased with myself and things seemed to be going well....until.....

Six Items Accident - Pink top one (right & centre) pink top two (right) 

The Six Items accident!

Just four days in and things start to go wrong...I seriously am one of the clumsiest people I know....Somehow I managed to get permanent marker splodged right in the middle of the pink top!? I have no idea how and when this happened! I tried to Vanish the stain away but that was an epic fail, just like my six items challenge was becoming...just four days in though???  Fuming!

I had worn the top for the rest of the day after getting the stain on it, thinking nobody would notice, but three people independently told me I had a stain on my top, that was the last straw!

I know I shouldn't care about such a small thing but I'm wearing just six items for six weeks (if I can manage not to ruin them all) for my sanity and my confidence I would rather not be wearing shabby, stained clothes for six weeks, so I 'fessed up and put the question out asking the insta community what I should do...

One suggestion was to applique something over the stain and another to dye the top, both good ideas but..I didn't want to ruin my top anymore with dodgy amendments  - which they would be - plus I will still wear this top, just not as a separate - so due to a lack of time and creativity at this point, and being so early on in the challenge, I decided to swap my pink top for another - very similar - pink top I found in my husbands wardrobe.

It looks pretty much identical (see photos above) just with slightly different print placements. This is not a new item and it will be the pink top that will be worn for the following six weeks of the challenge, I felt justified, I hadn't failed and, to be honest, I was over it pretty quickly....Item six to be revealed in the next post...

A little heartfelt request.....

Please, in these mad times, don't let boredom take hold of you and start carelessly buying fast fashion online to cheer yourself up, lets fight fast fashion (and coronavirus) together & get equal rights for those garment workers around the world too. Why not put your time to better use and try out the six items challenge??

Please support & get involved.

Donate to Labour Behind the Label


Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Taking on Labour Behind the Labels - Six Items Challenge

Seriously?? How long can this fashionista cope with only six items of clothing for six weeks?

Well, it turns out nearly three weeks and counting...I know, I'm as shocked as you are!

What is The Six Items Challenge? 

For those of you who haven't been following my story on Instagram and Facebook, here's the lowdown...

The Six Items Challenge was started by Labour Behind the Label a campaign organisation working to improve working conditions for garment workers around the globe.

The six items challenge asks you to pledge to wear just six items of clothing for six weeks. 

The six items includes tops, jumpers, dresses, skirts, trousers, jumpsuits - basically any item that constructs your main outfit. 

There is however, a little piece of happiness included in the challenge that makes it a bit more bearable for any fashion lover to achieve....the challenge doesn't include underwear (the most frequently asked question and rightly so) sleepwear, gym clothes, uniforms, coats, shoes or accessories - and lucky for me, I love accessories, so that's a plus point! 

Why take part in the Six Items Challenge? 

Apart from helping to raise awareness and money for garment workers, the challenge makes you stop and look at your own wardrobe and your consuming habits. 

It limits the amount of clothing you can wear down to a small capsule wardrobe to hopefully help you see that you don't need to buy new clothes all the time, and that you can create lots of new and fresh looks using items already in your wardrobe. It could save you some money too! 

This challenge is aimed at fast fashion consumers and fashion lovers, if you already have a basic capsule wardrobe, good for you, please try and encourage others to get involved in the challenge! 

How did I get involved? 

I have been promoting sustainable fashion for a few years and in the past year I have slowed right down with my own shopping habits and tried to live more sustainably. 

However, I have so many clothes to choose from (I am also a hoarder) that this really is a big challenge for me personally, to limit my wardrobe down to just six items for six whole weeks seems completely impossible!!

Labour Behind the Label's director of fundraising Caroline Lewis suggested I give the challenge a go....

I pondered over it for a couple of weeks and came to the decision that I could, at least, try. 

What did I have to lose?  At the very least I could raise awareness for Labour Behind the Label and the work that they do and challenge myself to see how long I could last. I'll be honest, my hopes weren't high....

On the positive side, I am hoping to share styling tips, problems that I have overcome and info on how to cope with a capsule wardrobe for six weeks; to encourage others to slow down on their mass consuming and look at their existing wardrobe in a new way.

All photos are little snippets of the six items challenge garms & outfits I have worn. Find out more in the next blog post!  

The Challenge...

On the eve of the challenge, which started on Wednesday, February 26, I still had no idea what my six items would be (this isn't going too well so far, is it?) but last minute, I had the brainwave to look at my Instagram photo wall for inspirational purposes and see which items I wore the most....

I had also been given a few of pieces of advice from others who had tried (and some failed - which filled me with terror) to take part in the challenge....

Tip 1 - It's still the winter, you need warm clothes - check!
Tip 2 - Do not choose just separates (tops and bottoms) you will get bored very quickly - check!
Tip 3 - Choose items you can layer up in different combos - check!
Tip 4 - Dresses and jumpsuits are a single outfit in one - check!

Taking all this into consideration, and the fact that I was desperately running out of time, I choose my six items...all smothered in prints and fun colours, of course! 

My Six Items 

1. Bomber jacket 
2. Long sleeve t-shirt
3. Jumpsuit 
4. Dungarees
5. Oversized hoodie
6. Trousers 

Take a good look at these clothes...you're going to be seeing a lot of them....

And...I'm locked in to the challenge.....

Follow my daily updates on how to style up your six items with tips and problems I come across on Instagram, Facebook and here on the blog. 

Oh, one more thing....


It's not just a challenge for me, you can help too!

When I started the challenge I donated some money to the Labour Behind the Label Trust to help garment workers and have been asking others to donate too.

Here's that link again in case you missed it Donate to Labour Behind the Labour Trust

You can donate as little as a £1 or whatever you can afford, a one off payment! There's no sign up, you just pay and go! Instead of buying that new top why not donate? 

Just bought something new? If you donate some money to Labour Behind the Label too perhaps that money will go to help the right people that made the item in the first place rather than the fashion corporate's pockets.....It's something to think about.....


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