Thursday, August 13, 2015

End of an era. The trial era.

What started out as a month-long project quickly became three months.
I wore the same outfit day in and day out for 12 weeks straight, that's 84 consecutive days. 
In this time period I had to make some small adjustments, like for example when I went to Berlin and the temperature went up to almost 30 degrees, I used a pair of shorts that I had made from some old jeans. And when we drove around Iceland and slept in tents in 5 degrees and rain, some outerwear and hunting gear was added to the wardrobe. But apart from those rare cases, I have worn the exact same thing every single day. 
No jewelry added, no nail polish, no high heels, nothing extra, just the same 6 items.

And these 12 weeks ended three weeks ago. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. 
After less then two months of constant wearing the pants started to show some signs of wear and tear. The fabric had gotten extremely thin in the crotch area, where the thighs tend to rub together when walking (unless you have a massive thigh gap, which I apparently don't) and quickly after that they broke. From this point on I just had to suck it up and wear the pants despite the fact that I had a holes growing larger with every day, since I had set my mind to a specific date to finish this on. I want to point out that the shirt is really long, going down to my knees so nobody would ever know. (unless I sat with my legs open - which for obvious reasons I was conscious about not doing) 
And to be honest I just couldn't imagine stopping - I couldn't just go back to wearing my old clothes like nothing ever happened - because so much happened, and the effect was too big.

Pants after 12 weeks

Pants after 12 weeks
Here you can see how one of the pairs looked like after these 12 weeks. And I want to note that I had two of them, worn equally much. So actually I wore each pair for 6 weeks. That's only 42 days! And note that most of the time I hand washed them and hung up to dry. This is the quality we get for cheap clothing.

Another story for the shirt thought - both of them made it through alive with no visible stains, tears, odors or anything. Of course clothes on the upper body - especially if they are wide, don't go through as much rubbing like pants, and therefore they are easier to take good care of.
Shoes, jacket and sweater also made it through, with normal wear and tear - nothing drastic.

Even thought the trial era officially ended for me at this point - now three weeks ago - I still haven't gone back to my other clothes. I have been in Spain and in Norway with my family and only just wear the shirt and my shorts when I am not in my bikini, work-out clothes or my pyjamas.

Right now I am deciding how to proceed with this in the fall and winter back home in Iceland. I have decided that I wan't to adapt this lifestyle to my every day, all days. But what to wear and what to do has been harder to figure out than I expected. And durable or sustainable clothes are not so easy to find - I have found out.
I will keep you updated when I have figured out more.

Lastly, I want to point out that today is earth's 'overshoot day', meaning that today we have used up all our planet's resources, that it is able to regenerate, this year. This day is six days earlier then last year, but we are currently living like we would have access to 1,6 earths. This is just something that we all should really think about and try our best to contribute to making a difference, because we only have this one planet. Read more about it in The Guardian.


J

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A month has passed already!

I can't believe this. I don't understand how time flew away like this.
After a week and a half this whole thing started feeling so natural to me that I totally forgot to think about it. It just became a part of me and my everyday and here I am now, amazed that time has gone so fast and surprised that I haven't blogged more.
But, I think that is a good sign. I am so not ready to start wearing all kinds of clothes yet. I kind of can't imagine doing it. And with major holiday plans ahead the thought of having only these 6 garments and some underwear in my backpack is just too tempting, so simple. So with out any promises I think that I would like to keep this going, at least until end of July. I know it sounds a little crazy, but since time has gone so fast this last month I think that almost two more won't be a problem at all.

I have begun noticing recently that people are starting to recognize that I am always wearing the same. I get these looks, not bad at all, just you know when people look at you in general - only that they stop their glare a second more and I can just feel that they are thinking that now I have been wearing this for quite some time. I like these looks. I couldn't feel it in the first two weeks, but now it has been long enough. Now people have started to recognize my "costume" or "uniform". And it's nice, I kind of get this feeling of provocation, but in a good way.

In this month I think this outfit has seen it all. I have taken it to multiple parties, dinners, school hours, walks and talks and never in all this time have I felt uncomfortable or out of place with the clothes that I am wearing. I have never felt under- or overdressed, never felt the urge to be wearing something else and never felt any pressure from other people about my choice of clothing. And I am a person that likes to dress to impress.
The only complaints that I can possibly have was the two times it was raining, and I had just straightened my hair, cursing my jacket for not having a hood.

Another thing I would also like to mention that I have observed in this time is the fact that I can feel that I am taking much more care of my clothing. I know that I only have the possibility to wear these two blouses, these two trousers, one sweater, one jacket and one pair of shoes. And that makes me be aware of taking good care of them. And there is of course extra caution around the light blue shirt and for example food and paint. But all the items are, after having been worn for 31 days in a row, in very good condition, which I am very proud to say and also a little bit encouraged. Even though we don't buy top quality stuff we can still take care of it and use it to their fullest. Washing on lower temperatures with low spinning, not tumble drying or even just washing our clothes by hand (which I promise you takes no time nor effort at all, well at least not for me since I only wash two items at a time (while I am wearing the other set)) can expand their lifecycle a lot and give them more meaning. But all of that doesn't matter of course if we just buy things to buy them or let them hang unused and unseen in our closest. This experiment has opened my eyes so much to this.

Well to round it up I am shocked how fast this has gone and how easy and good it has been, sorry about that it slipped my mind and that I haven't blogged more. But at the same time I think it is a good sign of great success of this challenge and a hint that this will keep on going for some while. So by saying that I promise that I will write down some of the things that I have been wanting to say before I start wearing something else again.

31 days and counting,

J


Ahh, and P.s. there was a little article about all of this in the online Icelandic newspaper, unfortunately in Icelandic, but feel free to check it out here!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week one - recap

I’ve got a lot of questions about my experiment and how it works from all over.
A friend of my parent’s called my dad and shockingly asked if I was wearing just one outfit for a month without washing it.
And I feel like I have to get these things straight. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my first post, maybe I was too excited and trying to say everything at once.

My main focus is trying to live as simple as I can when it comes to clothes and accessories. Trying out how such a limited wardrobe, as limited as it can get, will influence me and my everyday life.

After just one week I can feel a huge difference. I don’t have to use time nor energy on thinking about what I should wear at each given occasion. Do these things go together? Am I overdressing? Are for example questions that I don’t have to ask myself any more, I just know what I am wearing and it gives me such a piece of mind. My time in the mornings getting ready is so much shorter and less worrying. I can feel after just one week that I would like to get rid of most of my stuff and take this on for real, for good. It has opened my eyes for how much stuff and things, clothes and accessories I have lying around, and that in most cases are just unnecessary.
The outfit has grown well on me in this past week, I am not conscious about it at all– it all feels very natural to me. Shout-out to the sweetest Nanna Graversen for saying that I looked cute on the first day, without knowing that I would be wearing the same for the next month. It was a good start, a good boost, thank you for that Nanna!

This weekend I went for an overnight trip up north in Jylland, Denmark, where my nephew was getting confirmed on Sunday. I packed my toothbrush, toiletries and a pair of underwear. It felt so liberating. There was no fuss. I didn’t have to over think which dress I was wearing in the confirmation itself, did I need a pair of tights to it, would my jacket fit too? Where the shoes matching? The silver necklace goes better with that dress, but then again the zipper on my jacket is gold.. Do any of you know these kinds of thoughts? Well, I didn’t have to have any of them. I know it sounds weird, I know people like to dress up – but damn this felt so good. Just a touch of lipstick and I felt totally appropriate for an event like this. I am seriously a little bit nervous about this being over, because right now I don’t want to stop.

But let’s see how I’ll feel in 4 weeks.


Me and my mom had slightly different dress codes at the confirmation,
but she is wearing my beautiful Icelandic national costume

One week done and on I go,

J

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The one and the only outfit

Actually I have to tell you that choosing the outfit was the most easy part for me. I kind of didn't care. I just walked into a store knowing that I had to find something that I could wear every single day for a month, and that I had to do it now. It wasn't like your typical shopping experience, it was more of a obligation to me at that point.

In a perfect world I would have wanted the outfit that I chose to wear for a month to be completely sustainable, fair-trade, biodegradable, top quality stuff - as I would wish everything that I bought and everything that would ever be produced in the world would be (my little utopia).  But for the sake of the experiment and my wallet I bought my outfit in the store Monki. Over a year ago I started boycotting H&M (but H&M also owns stores such as Monki, Weekday, Cos and &Other stories) and other huge stores like that. I don't feel comfortable buying something where I know that somewhere in the line someone or something has not been done justice. But for the sake of this experiment being about how it would affect me and my everyday life by just wearing one outfit, I went a little against my own esthetics.
I told my self that if I like the results and would take it on full time to only wear one outfit everyday, then I would invest in something better, or even make it myself!

I have kind of just stopped buying clothes at all. I am constantly wearing the same things, and I have found it surprising that since I moved to Kolding in january with my one suitcase there are still a lot of clothes that I haven't even worn yet. And honestly, right now I can't even remember what things and what clothes I have in storage back in Iceland! Why do we own so much stuff? And why do we always seek to buy/get/have more?
You could say that the idea about this experiment has been cooking in my head for some while now, and I am so glad that it has come to live. Excited to see the results.


So, there I was walking around Copenhagen, knowing I had to find something that I would have to wear for a whole month straight. I had not specifically planned what I would buy or where I was going to buy it, I just knew that it had to be done.

A thing that you maybe would have to know about me is that I only wear black. My everyday look is black from head to toe, socks and underwear included. (A fun fact though is that when I dress up I like to wear baby colored dresses, and two of my favorites are baby blue and baby pink)
That being said, I didn't want to choose an outfit that was black from head to toe. People probably wouldn't even notice that I was wearing the same thing every single day if it was totally black. So I stumbled up on this nice light blue shirt. It was long and wide, simple and minimalistic but a 100% cotton which is kind of what sold me.

Next I found some really soft pants that at first look I thought where more like a high waisted suit-like pants, but turned out to be more of a tight jersey. Very soft, grayish black, 72% modal, 28% polyester blend.
At first I had thought that I would want to buy a pair of black skinny jeans and a top, but then it hit me that wearing high waisted skinny jeans for only 3 days in a row is an impossible task for me, so a month was never going to happen. These soft modal pants that I found where a nice substitute for the skinny jean.
I tried it both on and imagined my self wearing it for a whole month, and it was something that I considered possible. Shout-out to the amazing Sunna Ástþórsdóttir, that gave me a helping hand in the decision process.
With two pairs of each garment I went to the cashier and payed 900DKK for it all.

But of course I can't only wear a shirt and a pant, there is more to an outfit than that.
The same day we went to Mads Nørgaards sample sale where I bought this beautiful wool, cashmere, nylon blend long, turtleneck sweater. This is what is going to keep me warm at cold times during this month. I decided for a thin bomber jacket from Weekday that I have owned for years to be my outerwear and I was so lucky to get my hands on brand new free sneakers this same weekend.
I met my beautiful family in Helsingør, and my mom brought me a pair of Puma sneakers that had been handed around until it found someone that fit them, from a famous norwegian football player. So they are marked 'sample' inside, and most fortunately for me they fit perfectly! (And believe me that never ever happens!)






Having only 4 different garments and a pair of shoes, I made myself some additional rules:

  • I am only wearing black underwear and socks
  • No jewelry, except for a small golden ring and my 4 tiny earrings 
  • No nail polish or henna tattoo (which is something I like to do)
  • I have two sunglasses, one with strength and the other one without, depending on if I am wearing contact lenses or not
  • In case of extremely cold weather, I am allowed to wear a thicker jacket and possibly a scarf 
  • And finally, if my feat hurt from the new shoes, I am allowed to wear another pair






Greetings from day 3,

J



Monday, May 4, 2015

One month - one outfit

So from my previous little food experiments to something bigger and more out there, I wanted to take on a more self reflecting and social experiment.

I am constantly aware of waste and sustainability. I think my life goal would be to live a zero waste life(possibly an upcoming experiment). I am constantly aware of what I throw out and what I buy, and the effects it has. These thoughts have been with me for many years, but I am getting more and more inspired by them to do something about it.

Recently in school we had a trend forecasting workshop where I made this concept of mine headlining "Less is more too much". I think it was me putting my ideal way of living down in a single concept, presenting it to others, but I also think (and hope!) that it will become a way of thinking for everyone in coming years. So it basically is about being able to express yourself in as few things as you can, where determination and confidence is the key element (the new sexy). We live in a world of endless consumerism where people are drowning in things and constantly seek to buy more and more, the newest and the best. And it is ruining us and our planet. Things are not made to last any more, things are made to break so that you can buy more things. And the saddest part is that we all deep in side know that we own too much, and buy too much - and that we don't do enough to to change that.

All these thoughts and concerns, and more that I will write about later, have inspired me to try wearing the same outfit for 38 days.
38 days is a very specific number, but it is the days until my final exam at school is over - so I found appropriate to end the experiment at the same day as I end my exchange semester here in Kolding Designschool.

I will wear the same outfit for this whole time, wether it is at school, home, out for dinner, parties or what ever.


I will give you a detailed overview of the outfit later.


J

Experimentation - a new hobby

So, recently in the past few months I have been taking on these personal little experiments.

Most of them until now have been concerning food. I started slow, became a full time vegetarian but I have been something that you can call a part time vegetarian, since I never buy or cook meat for myself. Then I went on and tried being a vegan for week. That was of course a little bit harder, but once I got rid of all animal products in my fridge and set my mind to it it was as easy as that. Next up was the hardest of the three, RAW vegan. That was a challenge I can tell you, especially since I did not have all the optimal equipments like a dehydrator or a super-blender. I stacked up on only fruits and vegetables and tried to 'cook' and prepare the foods in as many different ways as I could think of and find. That was basically the goal for me.

With these experiments I wanted to broaden my view and thinking of food and how I eat them, prepare them and cook them. I wanted to see different approaches and techniques, stepping out from what have become my food habits and routines.

I found it extremely enjoyable how focused and determined I became during all these experiments. I usually don't think of myself as a very self controlled person, but during these challenges I was as controlled as I have ever been, and it felt so good! Combining that feeling of goodness with the one I got from eating healthy and clean I was in the top of my game.

So now I just want to keep on going, experiment away.


J