“She wore the same pair of jeans yesterday!!!” I’ve never forgotten those words from an eighth grade classmate and the feeling of shame that comment could inflict. In the 1970’s and at a young age, were we already trying to prove wealth and social class by the size of our wardrobes?
Yesterday morning while dressing for work, I realized it’s already been six months since I wrote the intentional closet and I will be moving to my warm weather wardrobe soon, so I considered how I had done with just having 30 items* to wear since October.
What I learned:
- For the same amount of $, I preferred having one pair of good-quality, better-fitting, dark-washed classic jeans than four cheaper pairs with different washes/cuts.
- I never had a moment of “I’ve got nothing to wear.”
- I never felt deprived.
- Washing the same clothes more frequently provided the benefit of never having a backlog of dirty clothes or of piles of clean clothes waiting to be organized.
- It was no more likely that something I wanted to wear was waiting in the laundry hamper than prior to downsizing.
- I liked using items more frequently and feeling I’m “getting my $’s worth.”
- Walking home from work increased the wear on my socks—I need to buy more and of better quality!
- A strange thing happened if I wore the same pair of jeans to the office 2-3 times in the same week: absolutely nothing.
What I bought: In the past six months, I bought only 3 items:
- Capri tights for summer, made in the USA (purchased early to get a $30 discount and ensure the size/coloUr I wanted was available).
- Long gloves/arm warmers, made locally in WA using fabric scraps.
- A cardigan. I ordered this item online from a WA company thinking it was made locally, so was surprised to see on the tag that it was made in the Dominican Republic. Before wearing or returning it, I emailed the owner explaining my concern. She quickly replied to tell me that the cardigan was hand-printed in California, but manufactured in the Dominican Republic by a company following Fair Trade. After reading about the manufacturer online, I felt good about and kept the product. The owner was appreciative of my communication and has since updated the product description on the website. Overall, it was a good experience.
What will be donated: 1 sweater and 2 button-down shirts, rarely worn.
One hiccup in my intentional closet plans: I was waiting to get sturdy rubber boots (useful in both Seattle and NS) with REI dividends rather than spending any actual $, but REI has recently stopped carrying the British brand I want. I had imagined those boots lasting the rest of my life, had pictured myself as an eccentric old lady strolling the beach and back field in those boots. And that may still happen … if I find where a pair of $200 rubber boots fits into my SLSR savings plan.
* These 30 items exclude jewelry, accessories, underwear, fitness clothing, pjs, footwear and coats.