Cheltenham is a great place to shop. If you ignore the fact that we don’t have a Zara (I know right?!) I don’t think there are too many towns that could rival it for a bit of a spree. In amongst the beautiful architecture there is a great choice of high street stores, a good number of quality independents and some cracking charity and pre-loved shops.
For someone like me who has been known to have a tiny bit of a shopping habit, this melting pot of retail loveliness, combined with scrolling on ShopStyle and ASOS during night feeds can be deadly.
Up until the start of this year, if I was in town and had sleeping babies, I would sneak a dash into Topshop or H&M and treat myself to something new. Nothing wrong with that, right? I would see fashion blogs or posts on Instagram and feel an urge to fill the gap in my wardrobe to help me create the look (or my version of it). Again not too much up with that - probably quite harmless if you overlook the issues with fast fashion. Then there were the times I would look in my wardrobe and conclude I had ‘nothing to wear’ - OK so that’s something I suspect many of us do.
I would have those moments where I genuinely struggled to get dressed because I was so convinced I had nothing that could create my preferred look and end up melting down a bit. Yep, something definitely wrong with that. To me, all of those things come into perspective when you walk past a Big Issue seller on the High Street.. and in fact it was a moment walking around our lovely town centre, where this ridiculous contrast of realities created such a discomfort in my heart, I knew there and then that I wanted to face my consumerism
So not one to do things half heartedly, I decided to stop shopping for clothes, accessories or make-up for a whole year. 'Wear What’s There' was born. I knew that in order to commit I would need accountability and so I made the choice to go public with a daily outfit pic on Instagram and regular blog updates waffling on about how I’m finding it all, which actually isn’t too bad thus far. I still love looking at street style blogs, posts and pins. I still have a calling to my favourite shops as I walk past. And I have the beginnings of a shopping list for 2019. So far I’ve not broken.
Despite wearing activewear about 40% of the week for work, the project has positioned me to give more wear to the items of my wardrobe often overlooked. I don’t claim to be a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination - just a mum of two hoping to avoid losing my identity to sleep deprivation and food smears by making the most stylish choices I can in my circumstances. I know this process will refine me and I look forward to emerging as a more astute consumer with a firmer sense of my own personal style in 2019. Watch this space!
Follow my progress on Instagram @wearwhatsthere.