Rosemary MacCabe and the #stiallchallenge

She’s a journalist, blogger and soon-to-be personal trainer who’s taken on the task of wearing only 30 items for 30 days for the #stiallchallenge. So how did this dog loving, weight lifting, murder documentary enthusiast fair out over the past 30 days.

Rosemary finds shopping for anything but t-shirts difficult

 
“So I shop very sporadically. In an ideal world I wouldn’t buy from the high-street; I hate the idea that something I’m wearing was made in a factory as one of 20,000 of the same items, not just because I like to think of myself as a special snowflake but just because, when you think about it, there’s no way to defend the conditions in the garment factories that make our clothes. However, I rarely have enough disposable cash to spend on designer items, so I just try to buy very little, not very often. I probably spend around €100 a month on clothes at the moment… obviously not if I buy a “big” item, but that hardly ever happens!”
 

She used to be an enthusiastic shopper

“I had loads of clothes, so many that I had converted the box-room of my old house into a walk-in wardrobe (and it was full). But, in the past few years, I’ve discovered the joy of consignment and genuinely found great satisfaction in clearing out my wardrobe and selling anything that I don’t wear and is still in relatively good nick. I also lost weight, which helped facilitate a big clear-out. Now, I think my wardrobe is pretty minimal – I own three skirts, for example, and two dresses. Although I still own far too many pairs of jeans and I’ve had to put myself on a T-shirt ban”.    

She hates changing rooms

“They’re hot and sweaty and uncomfortable and you just never look good! I want to invent a changing-room mirror that only shows you your reflection when you’re ready. So you don’t accidentally catch a glimpse of yourself in your worst knickers with a pleather skirt that just won’t go over your arse… I love Finery London; their designs are really interesting and unique. For activewear, I recently discovered Fabletics and really like it. Otherwise I like kind of random designers – Hades London do beautiful knitwear. I’m currently saving up for one of their Bonjour Tristesse jumpers.

We asked Rosemary to come along to the photoshoot in her favourite pieces that she’s been using for the #stiallchallenge

 
“I just love stripes – and this outfit is really comfortable, too! Comfort is key to me, and honestly I don’t have a lot of items I absolutely adore in my wardrobe. Clothes aren’t that important to me, I guess. This handbag is my sister’s; she lives in the US and whenever I visit she lends me a few pieces that I bring back next time I go over. It’s a fun way of updating my wardrobe without spending any money! The top is H&M, jeans are Topshop, runners are Adidas from the Life Style Sports sale and the bag is Céline. My little Ireland earrings are from The Temple Wolf, an Irish online shop, and the studded hoops are from my-wardrobe, years ago (it’s now defunct)”.

30 days and 30 items for the #stiallchallenge, how was it for Rosemary..

“I thought I’d find it more difficult, to be honest – I guess it helps that I just don’t own a whole lot of clothes! And I do tend to wear the same things. I definitely chose a few foolish things – a pink pleated skirt I wore once, and some white tops that just didn’t get washed on time to re-wear because I don’t do white washes that often.”

Rosemary’s lesson learned from the #stiallchallenge

“It’s definitely made me think more about how I wear things, rather than what I wear – it’s made me think of mixing and matching my sportswear a bit more, for example, and things like wearing T-shirts with fancy skirts”.
 “I’m trying not to spend money on “trendy” items I’ll only wear a handful of times”
The more I talk about or think about sustainable fashion, the more I feel like we need to take it more seriously – and I guess I’ve to start with myself! For me, shopping more sustainably and ethically doesn’t just mean choosing so-called “ethical” brands, but buying fewer items and wearing those items more. I’m trying not to spend money on “trendy” items I’ll only wear a handful of times, and not beating myself up for wearing the same things all the time”.

Photography: David Gannon

With special thanks to The Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin


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