Posted by: LakeIris | September 19, 2012

7 Month 2 (Clothes)

I haven’t counted my clothes. Part of this is due to a shear lack of time in these past couple weeks (same reason why this is being posted later than I’d planned – thanks for being patient!) But it’s probably more to do with the fact that I’m a little worried about what number I’d come up with. Even after a massive purge from my move six months ago.

At that time, I sorted out (correct me if my memory deceives me, Krysta!) at least one garbage bag full of clothes that just needed tossing out. (Underwear with holes in the elastic; stained shirts, etc.) I donated another one (or two?) and brought another bag, the ‘cream of the crop’ to a clothing swap.

In the past year, I’ve spent a little over $700 on clothes – $300 of which was on two pairs of boots. (I hadn’t bought boots since 2001 and this was the third winter I’d told myself it was time to get a new pair as the old ones were looking pretty ragged.) I wear my school sports uniform to work at least twice a week and am fully convinced of the joys of wearing a uniform to work! (Never have to think about, comfortable, less laundry, I could go on….)

This all seems fairly reasonable to me, so in some ways I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the clothing thing. Yet I have a closet full of clothes & shoes. I have about nine or ten drawers full of clothes. I have another few ‘special occasion’ dresses and winter coats hanging in a second closet, with more shoes on those shelves.

I’m going to be honest. I no longer enjoy buying lots of cheap clothes that take up space, don’t get worn much, are really poor quality so they wear out easily and/or may have been made by people getting an unfair wage for their labor. I’d much rather have a classic wardrobe like Rachel at Small Notebook, with fewer, better clothes. It’s less room in my house. It’s easier to manage. It’s more ethical – for environmental reasons, but also humanitarian.

Buying secondhand is one clear option. Buying new clothes, confident they and the materials they’re made from are ethically made/sourced? Not so straightforward. So I’m shopping more at thrift stores. And I’d love to make our clothes swap a regular occurrence. (Annual? Semi-annual?) Some of my current favorites were my friends’ cast-offs a few months ago.

All this seems strange to be reflecting on a week before we go on a shopping spree to the outlets in Michigan – though I’ll be doing my best to channel my bargain-hunting ‘skills’ on Bryan’s wardrobe instead of mine, as I’m pretty well sorted. And if I do end up finding something (like a new winter coat?) I think I’ll practice Yvette’s ‘one in, one out’ strategy to make sure my collection doesn’t start growing.

What about you? Are you a clothes-horse? Wish you could get away with wearing jeans and a t-shirt every day? What do you to keep your wardrobe under control?

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