A little (or a lot) of clothing. I’ve read books, articles and blogs about simplifying one’s wardrobe, minimalism, de-cluttering and “pruning” the closet. And I’ve done quite a bit of this, especially whenever we’ve moved house. It always feels good, and I love the feeling of a cleaned-out space with fewer, better options.
So why isn’t it effortless to stick to the pared down wardrobe? I truly enjoy having “just a few well-loved items”, and a “closet of gems”. Getting dressed is easy, the family budget is relieved. But I still occasionally add to my wardrobe, albeit at a far slower rate than in my 30’s and 40’s. Here are some of my theories:
- “Dithering” purchases: these are the quick stops (pre-COVID) into Ross, Marshalls and TJ Maxx on my way home from an outing, or tacked on to another errand. I see an attractive blouse or scarf, it’s (always) less than $25 and suddenly it’s mine. Did I need it? Certainly not. I wanted it, it looked good, I can afford it, and wardrobe philosophy be cursed.
- Thrifting. A blessing and a millstone. Like many fashion-lovers I enjoy the hunt, the hope of a score, the “OMG this is a real Pucci!” moment. And it’s a social time too, when I chat with other women and we trade stories, advise each other. But sometimes I come home with STUFF that now needs: cleaning, pressing, arranging and justifying.
- The mythology of “this one will be perfect.” For example, I have two pairs of great jeans. That’s enough for my lifestyle. I have dark and medium denim, one cropped and one ankle length/straight-leg. If I wore jeans every day, at three wears each, that would be six days before laundry was due. PLENTY. But I still wonder about what IG-ers call the “perfect pair of dark denims”. At age 65, I think I would have found them by now. 😊
Of course there are good reasons to add to my wardrobe: those great jeans will wear out and need replacing. All my favorites (shoes, boots, bras) will need to be replaced over time. And I like to add a couple of fresh tee shirts every spring, new tights, a new necklace, and a nightshirt. The challenge is to be wise in my purchases, and keep the pleasure of the simple closet in the front of my mind.
“Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life . . . you would have your autobiography.”–Linda Grant, The Thoughtful Dresser
What about you? I think all approaches are good, if they give you joy. Do you like to have a little or a lot?
Stay safe, wash and wash and wash (your hands), xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: