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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

Clothes swapping my way out of a style rut





If you've been following me and my wee blog for a few years, you might have noticed that outfit posts used to be a thing. And then they weren't. In fact, my last outfit post was back in 2015.

That's because after I finished university in 2012 I fell into a massive style rut. That lasted for years.

I started working in an office full-time so my wardrobe now required blazers and sensible shoes. My new desk job caused me to put on weight and, while the weight gain itself was something I accepted, I could no longer fit into half my clothes and even the clothes I could fit into now didn't sit the same way. Adult life was busy, and I began to desire clothes that were practical and easy to style - but still cute (is that too much to ask?). It didn't help that blogging was maturing as an industry and fashion blogs (which had once been my primary source of fashion inspiration) had changed from girls taking snaps in their bedrooms of casual outfits, to now being on par with glitzy fashion magazines full of outfits that were (maybe I'm wrong) not honest representations of what these girls wore in day-to-day life.



I've never considered myself a natural fashionista. Which is why the dilemma over my wardrobe carried on for years. I didn't grow up in a house where looking great everyday was considered a must. My dad only invested in a fitted suit when my parents booked their first cruise five years ago, and my mum only has five lipsticks to her name.

I did develop a 'style' when I was 15 (hello MySpace phase) and then later in my final two years of university, but both had been heavily influenced by what other girls wore on the internet and in magazines. None of it had been some natural flair for knowing what shoes went with what bag or what colours complimented each other.

It was only in the past two years that I began to define a look that suited my new adult life. Skinny jeans. Skirts with tights (fishnets on a night out). Playsuits. Skater dresses. Floaty tops and blouses. Admitting once and for all that fitted t-shirts don't suit me. Jumper dresses. Chockers and understated jewellery. White Converse in summer. Black ankle boots in winter. Muted tones, and much more black than before. I'd say it falls under the 'indie Cindy' umbrella and if I had to choose a celebrity to emulate it would be Alexa Chung.

But then another challenge came my way: the ethical lifestyle journey that I started in 2012 had now expanded to include clothes, and I wanted to get the fuck away from fast fashion. It's hard enough shopping for clothes when you refuse to step foot in a Primark, but when you actively hate your entire wardrobe and need a re-vamp? Eek.



My solution came very recently in the form of clothes swap hosted by Edinburgh ethical fashion blogger Ruth MacGilp. Not only did I have clothes I couldn't fit into anymore but the past twelve months had been a turning point point for me (hello coming out) and I had the strong urge to once and for all rid my physical space of things that no longer served me. It was the perfect way to clear out my wardrobe and pick up some new threads that did tick my boxes (all without damaging the environment or funding slave labour).

On the day it was myself and Ruth, plus Alice of Twenty-Something City and Lucie of Call Me Dumpling. Between us we managed to fill three rails of clothing with varying styles. The clothes ranged from bold and beautiful, right through to structured and muted. Aside from the clothes, there were also jackets, bags, and shoes. Oh, and photographer Ellie Morag was there to take photos of the looks we had styled from each other's unwanted clothing.

I  remained restrained on the day and refused to replace my unwanted clothes with other pieces that would end up sitting in my wardrobe untouched for three years. No joke: these girls are style mavens and the temptation to grab everything that fitted was highly tempting. But in the end I opted for 7 new items, some of which I've already worn:

  • Black high-heeled ankle boots
  • Tartan scarf
  • Pippa Lynn t-shirt dress
  • A dark blue t-shirt dress
  • Red belt
  • Black French Connection dress
  • JS Millennium dark blue shirt with a red ballet dancer pattern

The silver boots you see me wearing? I know they're fabulous but I also know they wouldn't get worn ever again. Same to the red pumps. I left them.



When I arrived home and hung up my new threads, I found even more clothes and accessories I wanted to get rid of (the clothes that we didn't swap were donated to a charity shop). There's something cathartic about bringing home clothes that you will wear that gives you the confidence to become even stricter about donating the clothes that you know you never will wear again.

So I'm game again. If there's anyone in the Central Belt of Scotland looking to get rid of new clothes and pick up some new clothes for free - give me a holla.

Love Morag x
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