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Wartime wardrobe challenge May roundup


It’s June and time for a wartime wardrobe challenge roundup.

In exciting news, I finally used some coupons! I got this bunny brooch from my friend Julia of materialised. Isn’t it super cute? The felted wool is actually from an old jumper, so there’s a sustainable element! It was £7, I think I decided last month that a brooch was 2 coupons.

Bunny brooch


I also will need to buy something else, namely a swimsuit. I do have one, a lovely vintage polkadot style, but it’s handwash only, and I didn’t realise and washed it in the washing machine, and probably because of that the boning at the top came out. I’ve already had to fix it twice and I’m not sure how much more mending the fabric will support. It’s also heavily padded and takes ages to dry. I’m going swimming with Milo every week now, and I just can’t be done with it any more. I’ll save it for when I’m wearing it for longer than half an hour (that’s how long the class is). So I just want to get a simple plain machine washable pair for the baby swimming.

I’ve done some research into ethical swimwear, and it’s not looking promising. They’re almost all really high end and fancy, with price tags to match. I would be willing to spand up to £30, considering a basic speedo one is £13, £17 should be enough to pay for better working conditions, organic materials and/or smaller production runs. But there is nothing anywhere near that price. Plus, every single one I’ve found so far is handwash only, which puts me back to square one.

American Apparel do have some plain ones, but they’re all about £45, with either a super low chest, or super high legs and it’s not clear whether they are machine washable (though I think they would be). In any case, I can’t buy from American Apparel. I know they have some good points and there’s some good reasons to prioritise them over other chain stores. But I just really can’t. It’s not just that there is sexual abuse going on, but that it’s going on at the same time as supposedly upholding other labour standards. The owner is actually proud of being a disgusting lecherous man, and the entire marketing campaign is still, after all the revelations and protests, based on porny pictures of 15 year olds.

Anyway, so I don’t have a swimsuit yet. I’m watching a few things on ebay but I’m not doing so well with the bidding so no luck yet. I may in the end just get a basic speedo one. You’ll know next month!


I also went merrily about acquiring second hand items from charity shops

You’ve already seen this White Stuff dress, £5.99 (I think), would have been 11 coupons if new

blue blue blue

I also found this Jaeger Dress new with tags, for £15. It’s wool and not breastfeeding appropriate, so I can’t wear it for a good while anyway, and might in the end decide to stick it on ebay, so I’m not counting it for the one in-one out policy. I’m also not quite sure what the policy for the coupons is if stuff is new but already in the system of discarded clothes, i.e. the charity shop, so you’re still saving it from landfill rather than encouraging the shops to make more. What do people think? I am uncertain whether to counts the 7 (because of wool fabric) coupons for the ‘new’ allowance or the second hand tally. Thoughts?

Jaeger dress

Finally, I found this Reiss jacket for £10. Would be 11 coupons if new.

Reiss jacket


In terms of things being got rid of, I’m letting go of this breastfeeding top I bought as part of a bundle on gumtree, but only wore once because it’s just slightly too small.

Nursing top

Also this maternity dress, again part of a gumtree bundle, but fell off the hanger and lay at the back of the wardrobe while I was preggers so I actually never wore it. Dark brown not really my colour anyway though, so I might as well get rid of it.

Maternity dress

I’m listing both on ebay, I thought I might as well try it since they’re specialist things. I guess charity shops must have maternity and nursing stuff, but it’s all mixed in with the rest, so you wouldn’t really look for it there. I didn’t anyway. I’ll see how much I get for them, if it’s 99p (that’s what I’m putting as starting bid) its not really worth the hassle, we’ll see. Normal clothes I’ll still take to the charity shop anyway.

The listings are here and here if anyone is interested.


And final news: I am all caught up with my mending! Proud!


So in summary:
Coupons used: 2 (plus a potential 7 if we count the Jeager dress)
Coupon equivalent for second hand items: 88 (or 95)
Money spent : £98.15 (quite a lot really!)


Previous posts in this series:
Introduction to the challenge

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MarieAnge 3 June 2013, 11:08 am

    Have you considered sewing your own bathing suit? You could choose the fabric and go from there. Or maybe hubby can do it since he’s quite handy on the sewing machine… Just a thought 🙂

  • Steph 4 June 2013, 11:12 am


    Hmmm I was wondering the same thing about second hand items that are brand new. I got a skirt back in February and a pair of trousers on Sunday, both still with tags on although second hand. I definitely believe it is much better for someone to be making use of them but it is still a brand new item of clothing and not made by the companies I would normal try to spend my money with.

    I was thinking of half coupon values, so instead of 6 coupons for the trousers charge them as 3? Oh and I should say that I haven’t been charity shop shopping in a while but your last posts about your fab finds definitely inspired me to get out and rake about again.


  • Ceri 5 June 2013, 6:32 am

    Well done on the wartime challenge so far. I love that cute brooch. I too am looking for an ethical swimsuit around that price. I like Ruby Moon but they are a little pricey I may have to resort to one of the more ethical high street shops perhaps New Look or Monsoon.
    Ceri recently posted..Ruby Rocks Summer Dress and a Trip to LondonMy Profile

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