5 Wardrobe Challenges to Try in 2020

Hello and welcome back to the blog! In today’s article I thought it would be fun to share some slow fashion wardrobe challenges to try out in 2020. If you have any goals or resolutions for your wardrobe this year – for example, to purchase less, get more wear out of what you have, or focus on purchasing more secondhand than new – these challenges are a great way to kickstart your goals and get you in gear.

Most of these challenges are hosted on Instagram by the awesome members of the slow fashion community, but you don’t have to share your outfits there if you don’t want to. You can totally participate on your own! You also don’t have to participate on the exact dates that the challenges are on. What I’ll do in this post is explain the principles and guidelines of each challenge so that you can take them away and use them as you see fit.

The point of doing a wardrobe challenge like this is mainly to slow down our consumption. It’s so easy to get caught up in our regular habits of purchasing, wearing, and then forgetting as soon as something else new comes along. So taking on a challenge like this really forces you to step outside of your regular wardrobe cycles and experience what it’s like to slow down and focus on what you already have.

These challenges are all relative, and there’s no judgment. If one seems really hard for you, give it a try and allow yourself some flexibility. If it seems really easy or it’s already your status quo, see if you can up the ante a little bit! So with that in mind, let’s go ahead and get into them.

20 in 2020

This challenge was started by Dawn of @dressing_dawn, and as you can probably tell from the name, the challenge is to purchase no more than 20 items in 2020. The really good thing about this challenge is that by limiting the number of items you can bring into your wardrobe throughout the year, you will be forced to be much more conscious and intentional about the purchases you make.

There is a really great community growing around the challenge with lots of support and accountability, which is nice if you have trouble doing something like this on your own and want to connect with others to share your struggles and wins. Be sure to check out Dawn on Instagram and follow the hashtags #20in2020 and #20in2020dressing to participate!

It’s From My Closet 20×20

The It’s From My Closet 20×20 challenge is being run by Rachel @animalnecklaces, Sarah @_sarahchuck, Mary Ann & Adrienne of @styleapproximately and Monelle @bashfulleo. It’s currently running (or just ended, depending on when you’re reading this). The official dates are January 12 – 31st, but like I said you can always participate on your own whenever you want.

The goal is to create 20 outfits using 20 items you already have in your closet. This is a really great way to get more use out of what you already own and also try and find more ways to wear what you have. Definitely follow all of the hosts and check out the hashtag #itsfrommycloset20x20 to participate and see all of the great outfits from around the community!

Show Off Your Closet

Along similar lines, the Show Off Your Closet challenge was a recent 5-day style challenge hosted by Alisa @alisa.koz. The challenge was to style five pieces from your closet over five days: a shirt, pants, a knit, outerwear, and a dress. So for example, on the first day you would choose a shirt from your closet to show off.

What I loved about this challenge was that everyone would share the story of their piece of that day, like where they got it and what they love about it. It’s a great way to really appreciate those special pieces in your wardrobe and focus on the long-term relationship we need to build with our clothing. Check out Alisa and @showoffyourcloset to gather inspiration for doing it on your own!

Slow Fashion Season

I participated in Slow Fashion Season for the first time last year. While I did find it challenging, I also found it really freeing. The challenge happened over summer, so I’m assuming it will be the same in 2020. It asks you to refrain from bringing any new items into your wardrobe for 3 months. (Last year it ran from June 21 to September 21). You can purchase secondhand items or make your own, but you just can’t buy anything new.

What I loved about this challenge was that it felt like I was released from the cycle of consumerism. Whenever anything new from a brand came out, I automatically ignored it because I knew I wasn’t buying anything for that time period. So I was no longer really paying attention to those marketing messages and really just focused on other things, which like I said felt really freeing. It definitely made me think differently about my wardrobe moving forward, and since then I’ve been focusing a lot more on thrifting and making my own clothing.

It’s a big commitment for three months but if you find you’re buying a lot of new things regularly and really want to push yourself out of that, this challenge is a great start. Check out the account at @slowfashionseason to get more information and participate in 2020’s run.

30 Plus Wears

So this last challenge that I wanted to highlight is one that I think has been around for quite a few years now, and unfortunately I couldn’t find the original source to credit the creator – so if you know please let me know in the comments and I’ll update this section to include them! Basically the idea of this challenge is to commit to wearing your clothing items at least 30 times each. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you start to think about it in terms of days and outfits, it actually can take quite a while to get 30 wears in. Just think, if you wore the same pair of pants every day, you’d have to wear them for a month straight!

To take part in this challenge, you’d simply need to track each item of clothing in your closet and how many times you wear it in 2020. A piece of paper and pen will do the trick! Or you could use an app like Stylebook (affiliate link) which is what I use to organize my closet. It has a function where you can track your daily outfits and then see how many times you’ve worn a specific item. I think this would be a great challenge to get a better sense of not only how much actual wear you get out of your closet before turning over to something new, but also which pieces you reach for most often to get a better sense of your personal style.

So those are the five wardrobe challenges that I wanted to highlight for 2020! I hope this gives you some inspiration and some ideas for how to challenge yourself with your wardrobe this year and decrease your consumption. Is there another challenge I missed that you’ve been wanting to try, or something else coming up in 2020? If so, let me know in the comments. Or better yet, why not start your own challenge and invite others to participate!

Thanks for reading,

Emily Lightly

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5 Wardrobe Challenges to Try in 2020 - Emily Lightly

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