Vintage store colourful patterned clothing racks

Shop Your Wardrobe + Add Your Own Spin

There are so many reasons to buy new clothing and accessories, and we all have the same justifications to a greater or lesser degree. Some of these might sound familiar?

  • You are going to a party/wedding/event and need to find a suitable outfit,
  • it’s winter so you want new boots for work,
  • your favourite store or label has a sale (“half price!”)
  • you see an appealing image that you want to recreate,
  • you had a long week and want to treat yourself,

…and so on.

But often the desire to buy something new is because you feel like you wear the same outfit over, and over, and over, again. You turn up for a lunch date in the same jumpsuit or pants/top combo, you wear the same active-wear to every exercise class. Your friends seem to constantly have new, cool outfits, or perhaps your social media feed leaves you feeling a bit drab by comparison (which is another conversation).

Even if you eschew fast fashion, avoid over-consumption and buy vintage or from sustainable or ethically produced clothing labels, there is still something very exciting about a new purchase. Much more so than sorting through your own wardrobe, which really can feel more like a domestic chore than a treat. We know how to do it, even before Marie Kondo - pull everything out, sort into piles, only keep what you love, etc. But it’s a bit like forcing yourself to make dinner from whatever is left in the fridge, instead of having delicious Mexican food and margaritas delivered straight to your doorstep. And everyone loves tacos!

The concept of shopping from your own wardrobe is not new, and there are so many reasons why it is a fantastic habit to practice. But like most rewarding things, it takes deliberate thought and some effort. Committing to a timeframe and a cause, can give some real structure, support and motivation. Wear The Change week (created by The Social Outfit) could not be a more relevant or worthy challenge to embrace, and provides you with all the information you need to help make it easy (think Fajita kit and margarita pre-mix, no lime squeezing required).

The Social Outfit is a non-profit, social enterprise clothing label based in Newtown Sydney, who has a retail store and ethical manufacturing workroom that provides training and employment to women from refugee and new migrant backgrounds. They have created an ethical fashion challenge called Wear The Change, which is set during Refugee Week and aims to raise funds for their non-profit community programs. It really is the ultimate win-win.

Our Metanoia designer and founder Tina Mavromatis was excited to take on the 2021 Wear The Change challenge. After feeling slightly undressed without a bag on her shoulder, she took it a step further and added an album each day to go with her outfit, putting her own spin on the challenge in a series of super-cool style statements. To help raise awareness of this fabulous cause, we’d love to share a recap of her Wear The Change week.

Tina chose a pair of ethically made high-rise denim jeans from Denimsmith as her key item, this is how she mixed it up five ways for five days:

Day One – Work it, baby.

Channelling the working-class origins of baker boy hats and sailor stripes, Tina takes on the first day of the WTC challenge. Throw on an electric blue leather jacket and hoop earrings and she is ready for Monday!

Day Two – She’s a Mod

Polka dot Adidas, simple black and white shapes, and the Beatles to boot. The album, Adidas and attitude combo is ACE.

Day Three – Vintage and Vibes

Tina’s thrifted fine-spun gold knit ties beautifully with her belt detail and pretty Sharon Jones and the Dap-kings cover. Feeling all the good vibes.

Day Four – Music Queen

Tina’s favourite blue jacket is back, adding a shot of colour to her monochrome base of jeans and Peep Tempel tee. She’s also wearing her heart on her (album) sleeve, as her love for Josh Homme is real!

Day Five – Wild Child

For the final day of the challenge, Tina shows how the same combo of a vintage jacket over monochrome base can achieve a quite a different outfit. Over 5 days, Tina has swapped out a few simple pieces to create a distinctive look and feel, while staying true to her own signature style.

Recap Q&A with Tina

What did you find the most difficult aspect of the challenge?

TM: As I was using a ‘jeans’ base as my chosen item (by Denimsmith, ethically made in Melbourne), I just had to select a jacket/top combo to accompany them each day so it was not difficult. I will always be drawn to items that are my favourite vintage/thrift store finds. I have great memories of the experiences I’ve had while wearing each of these items – and often wonder if wearing these clothes help keep those experiences and memories stay with me.

What did you find the most fun or rewarding about the challenge?

TM: What I found most rewarding was how little I actually need and use of my wardrobe, even though I consider myself a minimalist who never shops (apart from thrifting occasionally). I could possibly live out my life time without purchasing another item. The trick when wearing an item repetitively, is to make the effort to style it in multiple ways so it doesn’t feel stale.

Do you have any tips for anyone who might want to join the next Wear The Change challenge?

TM: Chose your item wisely and have a good think about the combinations you could create before committing to an item. Ensure you feel confident in the outfits you have put together, as this will not only help create awesome images for your fundraising, but inspire you to continually challenge yourself to shop your own wardrobe, and be more creative with the clothes you already have.


For info on The Social Outfit check out their super-cool website here:

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