More Adventures In Zero Waste

I cleaned our oven using baking soda and a vinegar, vodka and orange peel solution, combined with a lot of elbow grease. It came up pretty well and the lack of heavy duty cleaning smells meant it was easy to get right in and scrub.

I’ve consigned some hand towels to the dishcloth stage of life. I cut them, washed them and folded them for use. The edges are a bit frayed but I can live with that.

I’ve grown to really like the Lush shampoo bar I’ve been using. It does the job and I can stretch to about four days between washes. Depending on whether my outfit suits a headscarf, sometimes I can go even longer.

I have fallen down on the clothes front though. I’ve been ruthless about my wardrobe, anything that sparks no joy or is has tiny holes in it or has become too shabby has gone. This has meant a greatly reduced collection of clothes, with the result that I’ve bought new dresses and a top from Cos. I have worn and loved every item. I’m going to try to resist the urge to buy a few more things and instead use what I have left and seek out other options. I have never found anything I like in a second hand or vintage shop, so online browsing is the plan for now.

I’ve broken out my three pairs of Saltwater sandals following some nice weather. This is my third year wearing them, and they’re just as good as new. I’ve decided to bin all my flat shoes, two pairs were never really comfortable and two are too worn to keep as I’ve been wearing them for five or six years now.

More Adventures In Zero Waste

Two In, Six Out.

For the first time in a long time I bought new clothes yesterday. I didn’t stick to my zero waste principles but I’ve given myself a pass because I’ve sent six items off to recycling and charity. I have many empty hangers and my wardrobe looks sparse. I’m wearing a new top right now and it sparks a lot of joy. I had been in a frump slump for some time, wearing the same things over and over, many of which were quite old and a little dated. I’ve decided on buying some more new things, things which I have spent time trying on and which I love, and which are a little more expensive than usual. It’s nice to wear something that’s up to date, and I think Marjorie would approve.

Since that post, I have worked on my physique, I have weeded out what I don’t like and I have stuck to my resolve in terms of buying. I have four pairs of flat shoes, two of which are a little uncomfortable and run down, and two of which are extremely comfortable and run down. I’m planning on getting rid of all of them as soon as I find one pair that’s comfortable and stylish.

Two In, Six Out.

HOW TO BE IN FASHION, OR HOW I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION WOMEN’S MAGAZINES ARE TOXIC

I rarely read magazines these days, a combination of too much time getting information online, thrift due to a house purchase and never really feeling like they’re worth the money. However, I occasionally grab one and last week it was Grazia. It is a mix of current affairs, celebrity gossip and slightly more serious topics-this one featured an interview with a London mayoral candidate and a piece on IVF and single women.

Then I glanced at the fashion section, in which one header boldly told me:

HOW TO BE IN FASHION.

I can’t explain why, but something in me snapped and I found myself enraged by an inanimate object to the extent that I then did something I rarely do, namely, swear. A lot.

HOW TO BE IN FASHION.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

The toxicity of that sentence made me think about what message this magazine, that I paid money for and will have to consign to the recycle bin, is conveying to me. It is telling me I don’t know a thing, that being in fashion is VERY IMPORTANT INDEED and that it will tell me HOW TO BE IN FASHION so I don’t end up wearing SOMETHING THAT IS NOT IN FASHION because HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF IF THAT HAPPENED!!!!!!

I know it balances out stern advice on what you need to buy in order to ensure that, despite whatever other qualities you may have, at least you won’t be not in fashion with some more serious topics, but this is the end of my relationship with women’s magazines. I don’t need to spend money on a magazine to tell me in no uncertain terms HOW TO BE IN FASHION. What I do need is a magazine that will tell me DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY THIS WEEK, YOU HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH CLOTHES AND ONCE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH HOW YOU LOOK WHO CARES IF YOU’RE NOT IN FASHION.

I know magazines need the advertising revenue and the brands who buy space demand coverage within the magazine and I know the fashion industry creates millions of jobs and billions in revenue and I know Marjorie advices her readers on how to dress, but I am so damn over being told what I need to consume in order to be happy or in order to make sure I fit in because it is quite clear that nurturing the wavering self-esteem of their readers is essential in perpetuating the core messages of women’s magazines, which is that if only you did things ‘properly’ everything else in your life would fall into place.

Sorry for all the capital letters, I needed to get this off my chest. The next post will only contain them where strictly necessary.

HOW TO BE IN FASHION, OR HOW I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION WOMEN’S MAGAZINES ARE TOXIC

Please Dress

According to Marjorie, it takes a genius to make an impression in run-down heels and an unbecoming hat. She has a lot to say about how the apparel oft proclaims the woman and there is a detailed guide to what a woman paying attention to getting orchids on her budget should buy in her books. I remembered this advice when browsing various shops after Christmas and trying on clothes priced to sell in the sales. She firmly tells her readers that ten chances to one they won’t change the buttons on a dress to ones they like and that a bargain isn’t all it might appear to be.

I was seized by a fit of decluttering following the Marie Kondo craze and some life changes and I’ve been left with about 30% of the clothes and shoes that used to fill my wardrobe. I’ve realised at my age, and given my budget and lifestyle, I can’t afford cheap clothes. That’s not to say I plan on refilling my wardrobe with high end designer items. Rather, I want to be more conscious of what I buy and not fall for something I only like just because it happens to be selling at a knock-down price.

I left every single item I tried on in the shops back on the rail or shelf from whence it came. I’m not 100% happy with my current physique and I would rather have a few orchids I know I’ll love when I’ve done something about my shape than a wardrobe with non-orchids I only like. I’m not entirely convinced on Marjorie’s shopping lists – we certainly don’t require as many pairs of stockings or hats as she recommends these days – but her advice that the single best economy one can have when buying clothes is good taste is as true today as it was in 1937. I am also a firm believer in avoiding run-down heels, even if I don’t know what sort of hat would become me.

Please Dress