Today in the Low waste series I wanted to talk about being low waste in the work place.
For a typical worker, this usually comes down to three things:
What you wear to work
What you eat at work
How you manage your work flow
For today’s post I will focus on what to wear. Like many of us I have struggled with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. Prior to adopting a simple lifestyle I’d hazard a guess that nearly 80% of my disposable budget went into clothing, shoes and handbags. My habit was shopping. I shopped if I was sad, bored or needed a pick me up. I shopped to celebrate and to spend time with friends. My kids knew that on the weekends they were with me, we shopped for fun. We joked about how many bags we bought home. Looking back I’m pretty ashamed. I’m also ashamed at the opportunity cost of buying all those clothes – the time and the wasted money. Money that could have been devoted to financial freedom. Anyways, onwards and upwards from here…
So my approach to my work wardrobe is very different these days. Now I look at clothes as a means to an end. I need to look professional at work, but really every dollar I spend on having multiple wardrobe options is another two dollars that I have to work, and it stands between me and not having to work for an income at all!!
If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.
So I know approach my work wardrobe using Courtney Carver’s Project 333. I raise eyebrows at work when I mention it, usually followed by a comment that people haven’t realised that I have worn the same thing twice.
The approach is simple. Thirty three items for three months. It involves sitting down and being really deliberate about your wardrobe for a few days. It starts with:
What are the basics that I need in my work wardrobe? For me its ten dresses, two suits that have skirts and shirts. To keep things matching, I usually chose complementary colour schemes. This summer it’s been black, navy and grey.
Then I need a couple of layer pieces like some cardigans and perhaps a scarf or two.
I then turn to mind to what is going to delight me this season – thinking about your fashion interests that season – what are a few nice pieces to update my wardrobe and make me feel contemporary
Finally – a couple of statement jewellery pieces and a great bag
I have to admit that I am not an op-shopper, but to keep my waste low, I limit the clothes that I buy, and then donate clothes once I have finished with them so that other people can enjoy these pieces that I have enjoyed.
Do I get sick of the same old same old? Sure I do. But I also think about whether it’s worth me having multiple work looks, compared to a life of no work and independent income streams. That keeps me satisfied with wearing similar clothes over and over again for sure.