I mentioned in my last post that I haven’t bought clothes in a while.
My previous clothing purchase was a Sounders green item to wear to Sounders games, bought at my husband’s urging. I bought bras in February. In September 2009 I replaced 3 worn-out pairs of knit pants and some bras. July 2009 I bought two knit tops that were thinner and cooler than others I owned.
That’s what I bought in the year that ended in June. It’s a lot less than I would usually buy. It also wasn’t an accident.
I quit buying clothes because the man of the house was concerned about our budget. He was between jobs at the time, so we had less income. That ended last fall, but I continued the not-buying-clothes experiment.
I quit buying clothes because I have a lot of clothes already. Partly because I’ve worn the same sizes for over 10 years. Yes, I have clothes that are over 10 years old. I do get rid of the clothing that’s worn out, but a lot of it—especially the special-occasion stuff—hasn’t worn out.
I quit buying clothes because I didn’t feel like there was all that much I could buy that was better than what I already have. I sometimes feel like I already had one of everything, or one of everything I’d probably want to wear. This is partly a comment on the state of supersize women’s clothing and partly a statement on me. Check out the “Extended Sizes” clothing at Silhouettes:
- Knit tees.
- Knit tunics.
- Knit elastic-waist pants.
- Knit elastic-waist skirts.
- Big shirts.
- Tent dresses.
- Maybe a blazer or mother-of-the-bride dress.
That is not atypical. Yes, I realize I have a hard to fit body. (My waist size varies by 8 inches depending on whether I’m sitting or standing, yeah, that’s hard.) Yes, I like knits and elastic waists and v-neck tees.
But guess what else?
I already HAVE those clothes.
- I have knit elastic-waist pants in black (4), red, blue, green, and brown.
- I have corduroy elastic-waist pants in burgundy (2) and brown. I have 2 pairs of jeans.
- I have black, brown, and blue leggings. I have skirts, most of them with pockets.
- I have 9 or 10 tank and sleeveless tops for summer and layering.
- I have a dozen pairs of shorts for summer. All but the bike shorts have pockets.
- I have a dozen sweaters and cardigans.
- I have a navy blazer that fits me well.
- I have lots of v-neck and jewel-neck tees and tunics in short and long sleeves, mostly in black and red with other colors mixed in. I also have a few dressy blouses.
- I have dresses. Some I could wear for a funeral, some to a wedding, some to a formal occasion, some I could wear clubbing.
- I have 4 swimsuits.
Longtime readers know I certainly don’t limit myself to shopping at Silhouettes or Lane Bryant or One Stop Plus. Even then, I already have most of what I’ll actually wear.
Yes, I quit buying clothes because I have a rut. It works for me. Have I tried other looks? Yup. The “uniform” I have now was chosen consciously for looks, comfort, practicality, and ease of matching. I have the clothing I need day-to-day, and I don’t need to slay a dragon or learn to sew just to find more. My recent purchases were all of things I didn’t already have (capris) or to replace proven items in my wardrobe (I have a black knit top that’s similar to the blue one and I’ve been trying to find another for years; I’d worn out my previous pair of brown knit pants).
Finally, I quit buying clothes because I like myself. New clothes often come with the promise that they’ll make the wearer different in some way, or look better than before. If the new item fits better or has a better color, this makes sense…but often this promise is unfulfilled. Often I’ve bought clothes that looked great but were for someone else’s life. Over time, I found that not worrying about new clothes meant I had a better acceptance and appreciation of myself as I am, instead of searching for the “slimming” new piece that would emphasize the approved parts of my body and downplay the rest.
So it was a bit interesting to see this article on “clothing diets”. The main focus is on a challenge to wear only 6 pieces for a month (undies, shoes, accessories and duplicates don’t count by their rules). I was surprised to find I didn’t want to try it…and that the main reason I wouldn’t want to try is to avoid the extra laundry involved. I guess not buying (much) clothing isn’t deprivation for me, but having having to do laundry more than once a week is! ;)