Wearing Clothes Again: Some thoughts on over-washing



So Me Made May is over and this was my first year taking part. I have so many thoughts about how the month went so I apologise if this is a bit rambling!

Firstly, I want to say I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing how people’s handmade outfits fit into their everyday lives and not just posed in blog photos. I enjoyed the reality of people taking a snap before they ran off to work or a selfie on the bus afterwards. I absolutely loved discovering loads of new people to follow and finding about new fabric and pattern companies previously unheard of.

Secondly, I am happy I did achieve my pledge, I pledged to wear me-made everyday for the month of May and I did achieve that. This meant putting thought into getting dressed each morning and choosing my me-mades. This also meant I DID get dressed each day, I didn’t stay in my PJs when I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. This is a really good thing, I feel so much more put together on days when I get dressed so it was certainly a good month for my mental health.


I didn’t enjoy everything about the challenge. The first thing that I quickly came to dislike was avoiding the RTW items in my wardrobe. There were a few days when I wanted to reach for a RTW dress and I felt like I couldn’t because it would mean I wasn’t wearing any me-made. Maybe this won’t be a problem in the future when I have more me-made cardigans etc to wear with them but I didn’t like having to ignore some of my favourite things in my wardrobe just because I didn’t make them. I have lots of RTW garments that I love and intend to take care of so that they last me for years to come. I am not racing to get to a completely me-made wardrobe anytime soon!

I also struggled with the accountability of documenting my outfit each day. I felt like I was being judged if I posted an outfit repeat, let alone an outfit repeat on consecutive days, even though I never made that part of my pledge. So on several of those days I just didn’t post a picture. Until the end of the month, when I decided to talk about my outfit repeats and ask for the community opinion on re-wearing previously worn clothes.


My post read: #mmmay18 day 30. I’ve really struggled to keep up with the daily pictures and this is why – sometimes I wear the same clothes two days running. I’ve been unsure of starting this conversation for fear people would think it was ‘unclean’ but in the spirit of #sewstainability I’ve decided maybe we should talk about it. Washing our clothes more often than they need is damaging to our clothes and damaging to the environment. Studies have shown most people wash their clothes far more than is necessary. I don’t wear clothes that are dirty or smell but if they are clean and still smell clean then you better believe I’m going to wear them again. Sometimes I don’t wear clothes for a full day, if I’ve changed into running gear or pjs early. Sometimes I put those worn clothes back in the drawer and choose something fresh the next day. Sometimes I can’t even get my brain to function in the mornings and I pick the same clothes I wore yesterday (with clean undies/socks obviously!). This is what happened today, I’ve added my snazzy new button necklace for a bit of a change but that’s it. Does anyone else do this? What do you think? I’m happy to hear your thoughts and start the conversation!

After posting the above on Instagram I was amazed by the huge response to re-wearing clothes. Many people who did manage to wear a different outfit for each day of Me Made May said they put their outfit back in the wardrobe for wearing another day. There was a swell of support for the environmental reasons for not over-washing and loads of people gave me their tips. My top five (High Fidelity Style!) I have listed below:

  1. Iron things again if they look creased after wearing but don’t need washing
  2. Hanging stuff out and letting it air before wearing again to give it freshness
  3. Wear layers – wash the stuff that’s close to the skin and everything else goes back in the drawer for wearing again
  4. After wearing, leave the item inside out before folding and putting back in the drawer that way you know it’s a re-wear
  5. Head over to Clothing Care Co for tips on taking care of your clothes, including how to spot-clean so that they don’t need to be washed unnecessarily

Loads of other people gave their tips and preferences when it comes to wearing clothes and I am really grateful to everyone for engaging in the conversation! Even though I enjoyed admiring everyone elses outfits for Me Made May rather than taking part I am really pleased it opens up conversations like this one and for that I am super grateful. Bravo to SoZo What Do You Know? for coming up with such a great community challenge that has definitely given me a deeper understanding of my wardrobe!

2 thoughts on “Wearing Clothes Again: Some thoughts on over-washing

  1. Great read, thanks for the tip about turning clothes inside out and putting back in your drawer so you know it’s a re-wear – that’s great!! I ALWAYS forget how many times I’ve worn something and end up putting it in wash just in case when it probs doesn’t need it! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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