Downsizing, minimalism, life is all about being content with less in 2020. So how does that look? Pretty freeing. Here’s how to actually wear what you have so you can buy less, treasure the pieces you love and showcase your style, regardless of what’s trending

Have an overflowing wardrobe but nothing to wear? Feel you are in need of a clear-out? Perhaps not. Rather than throwing away ‘anything you haven’t worn in a year’, only for your beloved cowboy boots and paisley prints to come back on-trend again, rethink how you use your wardrobe. Rather than striving for that packed-to-the-rafters collection of clothes and trawling the shops for the holy grail capsule items you think you need, adopt these tactics in 2020 for a more serene and sustainable way to dress.

  • Rail against the system — Challenge yourself to wear what you have, and stop buying more, to help eradicate your clothes storage woes (and messy room!). Pack away what you absolutely don’t need and create mini-capsule wardrobes. It doesn’t have to be a boring array of investment pieces we all strive to but never quite achieve. Work with what you have, rotating pieces every month, every season like sustainable fashion Instagrammer @uncomplicatedspaces, or select 10 items every 10 days if you tend to get bored, as showcased to great effect by the @notbuyingnew account. Use a stylish locker or rail to stash your chosen items and rework them into as many outfits as possible. You will be surprised at the combinations you can whip up, and your bedroom won’t become a clothes dumping ground every morning as you scramble for outfits. The secrets? Layering, looking after your clothes and committing to at least #30wears for each piece. 
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I finally narrowed down all of the items for my winter capsule wardrobe for the next few months (I think I will wear these until the first day of spring and then change over with the season). In total I have 31 items and I’ve chosen a good mix of causal and dressy pieces (pics 1-3). If you scroll pictures 3-5 you will see the list of items. I’ve tried to match them as best as I can to what is in the pictures. The items are listed in terms of the item, the brand and the wear count. I’ve also included an overall summary in terms of new, secondhand and gifted items that are included. I hope you like the breakdown.😊 . . Now that I’ve decided to have a low buy year, I want to analyze the items that I have more closely. Already I can see that there are items that are well loved and then there are ones that definitely need to be worn more. I will be using the wear count to help determine the items that I wear.✨ . . Do you analyze your wardrobe in terms of the number of wears? I know that there are programs that help you do this but I kinda like the idea of counting it up myself. Right now I’m just writing it down in a planner but I’ll probably do a spreadsheet of some kind.📝 . . Image description for accessibility: a black clothing rack with my winter capsule items is standing against a light grey wall. There is a black and white mat at the base and a pair of black combat boots off to the right.

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Day 3/10 #10x10challenge ______________________________________ There’s no doubt that buying from sustainable brands can be more expensive once they pay a living wage across the supply chain, audit their factories properly, invest in sustainable materials and a circular system and usually have small collections. Whilst I think this is a magnificent thing to do, it’s not the only way to approach clothing with a conscience. I love secondhand, vintage, swapping, but above all “the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe” [Orsola De Castro]. Wear those clothes out! I’m having a hard time trying to remember how old this jumper is. My best guess is 8 years old (and definitely worn over #30wears ). My skirt is perhaps 3 years old, my bag was a Christmas present 12 years ago and my earrings were a Mothers’ Day present 2 years ago. (Boots are secondhand). None of these garments were made sustainably and bought before I had any understanding about the harm fast fashion causes, but I think the best thing I can do it wear what I already own. #shopyourwardrobe #10×10 #iworeitagain ________________________________________ Picture description for #accessibility : I’m stood against a grey wall wearing a white, pleated midi skirt, a black jumper and black knee high boots. I’m holding a green fringed bag.

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  • What goes around, comes around — Remember, no matter what you see on the catwalk or what the headlines tell you, fashion is pretty cyclical. There are some trends that will date, but be aware of what won’t and hold fast to the classics you will be able to turn to again and again. Shearling coats, varying denim cuts, and materials like velvets and corduroy will be valuable wardrobe staples some years and not the next. Decluttering is great and all, but remember why you bought an item and consider whether it may have another lease of life with you before you let it go. There’s nothing worse than Marie Kondo-induced regret over a gone-forever treasure.

Pictured above: Irish Country Magazine brand manager Meave knows she can rewear animal prints time and time again

Timeless pieces like loafers and hats and classic silhouettes can be called upon season after season. Hat, FAO milinery, coat, Four Threads at Emporium Kalu, as photographed in the current issue of Irish Country Magazine
  • Become a borrower — Have an event coming up? Rather than splurging on a new clutch that will lie unused in your wardrobe all year, borrow from a sister or friend. Instead of buying a new dress for a day at the races, rent one you love and hand it right back, rather than spending big on a statement dress you will struggle to find other occasions to wear it to. And keep an eye out for excellent movements like The Nu Wardrobe, a growing online platform launching soon in Dublin, that allows users to borrow clothing. For just €8 a month you will have access to a whole range of clothes to borrow. At €8 a month, that’s giving you a lot more options than one dress you’ve paid €100 quid for. What’s not to love? If you’d love to wear a fabulous teddy coat for a week or feel guilty about spending on the high street, it can be a great way to try out a trend for a while without the guilt of fuelling the fast fashion industry. If you want a new once-off dress for a big occasion, ball or wedding, try rental boutiques like Rag Revolution or Covet. Yes, we’ve all heard about the rental drama horror stories from students off to their Debs, but that’s a thing of the past. Instead, think memorable, on-trend dresses you will love to wear once, and designer labels you’re hesitant to splurge on otherwise. When you think about it, spending €80 quid to rent a dress to wear once is the same as buying a new one for that or more that you don’t wear again? And with borrowing, you don’t have to feel guilty about about not getting #30wears out of a purchase. What we would love to see is a plus-size option for rentals, let us know if you know of any!
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January Sneak Peek: Want to get a taste of the pieces you can borrow and share on the Nuw app?⁠ .⁠ Here’s a little preview: Dhwani shares her stunning French Connection babydoll dress. Floaty chiffon with beautiful black bead detailing – this versatile dress can be dressed up with heels, or worn with docs for a punky look. ⁠ .⁠ Borrow this dress and get access to an unlimited shared wardrobe for less than 8 euros a month on the Nuw app once we launch in January. ⁠ .⁠ . . Sign up on the waitlist in our bio to be the first to access the app.⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #NuwLook #OOTD #Style #Dublin #StreetStyle #App #Tech #SustainableFashion #Sharing #Eco #EcoConsciou #ConsciousDressing

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Reformation Madeleine dress, €85 to rent at Rag Revolution
  • Create uniforms — There are some inevitable events in life; important work meetings and interviews, long haul flights and bad weather days. Ensure you have a solution ready to go in your wardrobe so that when these occasions arise, you’re not stressing about what to wear. Not only will this save you some stressful mornings, next-day-delivery costs or last minute dashes to the shops, you’ll feel more confident knowing you have appropriate go-tos in your wardrobe. What you choose should be comfortable, appropriate and well-maintained, and don’t stress about people remembering that that’s what you wore to the last conference or work drinks. In your career, having ‘uniforms’ can help you feel more prepared and put together too. The last thing you should be stressing about is your work-wardrobe, and a little prep-work is all it takes.