During the long months of quarantine, the majority of us working and studying from home have become really comfortable (maybe even too comfortable), mostly living in sweats and PJs. I know I'm guilty of that. And even when I'm on a mission to take out the trash or to go grocery shopping, I still refuse to dress up in something more appropriate.

But you know what—if that's not what you want, you don't have to live like this. Even if you have nowhere to be, you can still get ready by putting on the flyest outfit in your closet. No one, not even the global pandemic, can stop you from looking your best. A 49-year-old woman named Nicola Matthews is here to prove it.

Nicola from Waltham Abbey, Essex decided to bring some joy to herself and her neighborhood by dressing up in a fancy gown every time she leaves the house to take out her garbage. Her little project lasted 20 weeks with showtime every Wednesday at 8 pm. With that being said, Bored Panda invites you to look through some of the most iconic taking-out-garbage outfits by Nicola Matthews.

Turns out, the woman drew inspiration from the UK actress Amanda Holden. "When Amanda Holden posted herself in a pink dress putting her bins out back at the beginning of the first lockdown as a lockdown challenge (#BallgownBinsout), I thought for a laugh I would copy her. My Nan, Hilda Stella Green made me a long pink dress years ago for my 30th, a copy of Marilyn Monroe's so it was perfect! My Nan was a seamstress and made dresses for Duchesses," Nicola told Bored Panda.

"As I own a lot of dresses, I decided to make a thing of it and each week wear a different dress and heels posing with my bin! Over the years, my late Nan made me 4 long dresses and gave me 5 of her own, so along with those I purchased new and 1 vintage dress. I have a good collection of approx 30!" the woman shared with us.


"I used long evening gloves I already had then began ordering different coloured washing up gloves and colour coordinating, then I added props some weeks, a rose, an umbrella, balloons. I then started to do more poses, especially if the dress had character, for example, my nan's black tassel dress which is like those from the 1920s, cheekily sitting on the bin and shot in black n white! The Nans 1960s dresses I doubled up 1 week for a laugh, so there are 2 of me! I am someone that does not take myself seriously and love it when I make others laugh! My neighbours Chris, Gary and Alf took all the photos for me. So I owe the lovely photos to the 3 of them!" said the woman.

As the weeks went on, Nicola's appetite for cheering people up during these difficult times grew more and more. Until one day, the woman decided to put her fancy looks into work by attempting to raise some money for The Fire Fighters Charity.


On Sunday 31 May, Nicola dressed up and took her wheelie bin out on the road, walking the 3.5 mile route. "I decided that the best way to incorporate the bin, dress and heels was to do a sponsored walk! Everyone was raising money for the NHS, which I also had contributed to, so I chose another emergency service, The firebridge," Nicola told us. "I walked to my local fire station 3.5 miles in my heels and dress, pushing the bin. It was a hot day, and coming back seemed to linger, but it was worth it. I was overwhelmed with the response! I set out to raise £150, and the final total was £645! Friends and family were very generous. All the neighbours came out to cheer me on, my sister, nieces and nephew and my mom video called me. Along the way, 2 friends drove past beeping and cheering, and 1 came out of her house to cheer me on!"

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"The things i have loved about this is... to be able to show my nan's work if to everyone! To lift people in a time of depression and despair and to raise money for 2 deserving charities," Nicola added.



Nicola Matthews via SWNS Report

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Fieke Engelen
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You have done a wonderful job. i loved and wished for every single one of your dresses. Well done

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