Thoreau said clothing was to keep us warm and for reasons of modesty. I’m not sure either reason is considered much in the clothes offered to us today. In looking at many overflowing closets and dressers it would seem we shop more for fashion. It’s no wonder the average person obsesses over clothes when you see well-known individuals being called out for wearing something some one else wore on another occasion.
When I was younger and had a much higher income I bought all new clothes. I had a limit to what I would spend. For example, a new winter sweater or a pair of jeans I would refuse to pay more than $20. Shoes were another matter all together. I wore size 5 AA which is the smallest size available without buying children’s shoes. As a result stores didn’t sell many in this size and one store would put these on sale for $5. per pair. I had one small dresser and a closet which was only 2.5 feet wide. These two areas had to accommodate all my clothing (winter and summer) , so I never had too many.
In my hometown, we have plenty of older homes dating back to the 1800s. In these homes you will find many without closets and those that have them the closets are smaller than what I had growing up. It makes me realize how much more we have today than past generations.
Today, being more conscious of my decisions, I buy all my clothes from a local consignment store. I never pay more than $2 per item, even a warm winter sweater. I wear my clothes until they have given all of themselves to me, then they become rags, or the usable parts are re-purposed into something new.
I see a new awareness with our clothing taking place with Project 333. For those of you who don’t know what this is, you choose 33 items of clothing to wear for 3 months. I personally don’t see this as extreme, it feels much healthier to me. I have not counted how many articles of clothing I own, I have simply whittled my collection down to what I am comfortable in, I will wear regularly, and to have enough to last approximately a week to week and a half.
My clothes are mostly neutral in color, giving me the ability to mix and match them with ease. One of these days I will actually take a moment to count what I own, just out of curiosity, for now I can say every thing I own (winter and summer combined) fits easily in my closet (I no longer own a dresser). You can see how I store my clothes here. What isn’t too clear is that I have 6 bulkier winter sweaters on a shelf above.
How do you see your wardrobe? Do your clothes make a statement about who you are? If I had to say what my clothes say about me it would be that I like being comfortable and am easy going. Have you joined Project 333 and if so has the experience changed how you view your clothes?