Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Climbing out of the clothing rut and getting a new look.

I've been thinking about my "image" recently. Living where I do and doing what I do, I tend to live in jeans, t shirt, shirts, boots and fleeces. Normally I wear the same sort of thing day in, day out - I have a few plain, coloured t shirts and shirts in cotton, which I layer over jeans. If it is cold I put a cardi, sweater or fleece over the top. In summer I just wear the t shirts and trousers and leave off the top layers.

I have good versions - clean, tidy and no stains (!) and when they get tatty they get moved into "everyday garden wear" and finally "cleaning out the chickens" wear, until they end up as "rags/dusters/compost bin" fodder!

If I go out, I dress in slightly smarter trousers and tops but it is still just a variation on what I wear every day. I'm not very glamorous looking and I do sometimes feel I look a bit dull, certainly not the look I want to have, anyhow. I feel like I have got into a bit of a rut, clothes wise!

However, I have recently been invited to a number of events where it would be a good idea to wear some smarter clothes  :-) I am still talking about trousers and tops, but at the pretty end rather than everyday wear. I need them to be suitable for travelling in and attending meetings and talks, as well being able to work in them (lecturing and demonstrating rather than digging compost). Fortunately I haven't got rid of anything recently which I now regret!

I do care about how I look and want to dress well, even if I am not one for a lot of makeup or glamour or fuss and my taste tends towards the casual :-) So, I have decided to buy a few, choice "new to me"  items to build up a collection of clothes I can mix and match and layer, for different occasions. I also want to get some pattern in to my clothing as well, rather than just sticking to plain colours all the time.

I can't spend a lot of money, but I have been looking around at shops in Hereford and also on line.  I couldn't find much in most of the usual places I shop, both charity or High Street, until I looked in  New Look

White Pattern (White) Samya White Patchwork Owl Top  | 284944919 | New LookNew Look have some lovely clothes in stock at the moment (no, they are not just for the young and/or very skinny!)  and I particularly liked their new line of tribal tops - especially this Owl top which is only available on line.Olive (Green) Inspire Khaki Burnout Ying Yang T-Shirt | 284201633 | New Look

I think with a smart pair of dark linen trousers (New Look sell those also) a scarf and maybe a single colour linen  long line jacket over the top (of which I have several, in different colours) these tops would look good on me and they are made of 100% cotton, which is helpful.
Blue (Blue) 30in Dark Blue Faded Ripped Skinny Jeans | 270141940 | New LookMaybe not for wearing to meetings, but I also saw some very fashionable ripped jeans in their on line store, which I loved the look of, but which I would need to lose a bit of weight to fit into I think. Oddly, I have a number of pairs of jeans just like them at home, so maybe I am not as frumpy as I thought and just need to give them a good wash, to be fashionable again?

Mine are patched  have patchwork embellishments, though :-)

Cream (Cream) Cream Circle Crochet Tassel Top | 271634513 | New Look
I also loved this Boho chic crochet top and it was a very reasonable price, but it is made of acrylic yarn so I think I might just have a go at making one myself out of cotton yarn.

Pink (Pink) Cameo Rose Coral Ombre Crochet Batwing Top | 280857170 | New Look

I did however, really like this cotton version and may well buy it, as well as the tops and linen trousers I mentioned :-)

It did not take me long to find a few new items at New Look. They will mix and match with the existing things I already have at home, to make several "new looks" for me. A couple are on line exclusives; one can be bought in store as well but I will order it on line if I am placing an order.

I might even show you some photos of me, when I get some new clothes :-) or maybe not :-)

I tend to shop in New Look or M & S on the odd occasion I shop for new clothes in High Street shops, because Labour behind the Label rate them as some of the high street brands who are doing more to help workers than others. You can consult the latest Let’s Clean up Fashion report to see who is doing more and who is doing less on the high street.


I do need some new clothes and I shop in New Look anyway, which is why I accepted a paid link in this post. As always all the words and ideas are all my own - but I did copy the images of the items I want to buy from the New Look website.

I am a supporter of Labour behind the Label,  and am always happy to mention the good work they do to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry. 


  1. It seems we dres the same, but then we live very similar lifestyles. I did try to completely alter my image once but felt so uncomfortable not 'being me' that I quickly reverted.

    Now, like you I have good jeans and t shirts that work their way down the clothes chain until only the chickens and the vegetables see me in them.

    I always make sure I have an almost new pair of jeans and a pair of good trousers (for when jeans are not allowed, although we even got married wearing jeans), as well as a couple of nice floaty style tops for posh evenings out, not that I get many of them :-)

    I'm lucky that my man is very similar, he has his suits and shirts for work and his scruffies for home, I struggle to get him semi smart but he gettng there. Although i do have to make sure I put his smart jeans and good t shirts to one side or he'd wear them for fixing the tractor and not realise.

    I think it's important to find your own style and stick with it if that's where you're happiest.

  2. I agree! I like what I have settled with, clotheswise, I just want it to be a bit brighter?

    Compostman is very good about wearing old and tatty clothes for working in - and he is very tidy as well so does not get grubby. I seem to attract all the dirt!

    You looked very nice when we met at Yeo Valley as did LH.


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.