I received a comment form Amy last week that just begged asking the question ~ Why is that we buy clothes and then decide later that we don’t like them any more.
Here is Amy’s comment:
Your post reminded me of a time when I was clearing out dresses that I no longer wore. Either they didn’t fit quite right anymore or they were, as you say, “second favorites”. I got everything together for hubby to take to the local charity here and he started going through them saying things like “Why are you getting rid of these, they are perfectly good dresses?” (Hubby is a “saver”) So I said, “We’re going out this weekend, which of these would you like me to wear?” He then told me he really didn’t want me to wear any of them, he liked another one that I had saved-said I looked better in it than any of these. So I said, “So why should I keep these?”. He shut up and took my stuff to the charity.
There are several obvious reasons I can see why we fall out of love with our clothes.
- They don’t fit as well as they used to.
- It became obvious after wearing them for a while that they just aren’t comfortable or don’t fit correctly.
- We bought them in a hurry because we needed them for a certain occasion and chose badly.
- We bought them for a one off special event but never had the occasion to wear them again and now they are unfashionable.
- Last years fashions are so passé.
- I thought it looked good on me when I bought it but now I feel awful in it.
- I bought it because it was the fashion but later reality set in and I realised this fashion does not suit my peculiar kind of beauty. (I think that is an expression that my mother coined).
- I loved the way the outfit looked and overlooked the practicality. That is I really had no where to wear it.
- The fabric is too much bother to care for and so I stopped wearing it.
- Change of lifestyle. Moving to a new climate, quitting work, starting a new job, having children and I am sure many more big life altering choices can change your clothing requirements.
- They were on sale and I thought that less than perfect was OK at that price. As it turned out they were a lot less perfect than the price.
This list could go on and on but most of the reasons above really narrow down to making poor choices in the first place. These bad choices are not good for our bank account, our self-esteem, our closet space or, worst of all, the environment. Sure we can donate the clothes to charity but it really is better to take your time to make better choices in the first place. So I have put together some tips to help with making responsible choices when it comes to clothes shopping.
Put need ahead of want ~ Don’t clothes shop on a whim. If you need an item of clothing to round out your selection shop with that intention. Don’t be duped into buying that outfit on the mannequin just because it looks good. Too much of one thing and not enough of another makes for a dysfunctional wardrobe.
Know what you look best in ~ Colour, style, fabric pattern,cut etc. Just because an outfit looks good on the rack, mannequin or your friend doesn’t mean it will look good on you. I am 165cm (5′ 5″) and weigh only 57kg (126lb) but that doesn’t mean everything looks good on me. Weight and height isn’t all that matters, your shape plays a bigger role in clothes looking good on you than your size. I am flat chested and there is no way I am leaving the house without a padded bra and since I don’t like bra straps showing I don’t buy clothes with shoe string straps. I also don’t buy clothes with plunging neck lines because I have nothing to plunge to.
Use your favourites as a guide ~ Check out the items in your closet that you wear and like the most. These are the ones to use as a guide to what you will get the best use out of.
Provide for your usual activities not for the odd occasion ~ Try to limit your wardrobe to items that you will get good use out of. For special occasions stick to a classic piece that doesn’t go out of style. The little black dress was and still is a winner in my book. You can dress it up or down depending on the occasion.
Know your comfort level ~ I put comfort very high on the list of importance when choosing clothes. Anything that is tight across the shoulders or on the arms drives me crazy so I steer clear of them. I suggest stretching in all directions with both upper and lower body when trying on clothes. Squat in pants and cross your arms over in front of your body when trying on tops, any extreme movement will give you some idea as to how comfortable the item will be. Also be mindful of how the fabric feels against your skin. I can’t wear wool or even cashmere because it makes me itch.
Fabric choice is important ~ If you don’t have the time, money or inclination to care for delicate fabrics don’t buy them. This might include items that require dry-cleaning, or just items that should be hand washed or ironed. Stick to easy care fabrics if that is what fits with your lifestyle. My husband has a linen shirt that we send to the dry-cleaners on the rare occasion that he wears it. It isn’t that he doesn’t like this shirt or that it is too good for everyday it is just that it is a bother and an expense to have it cleaned. I found it in the dirty clothes basket the other day and asked him why it was there. He said “I don’t wear it because it is a bother to clean so I have decided that it can go in with the rest of the wash load and if it survives well and good if it doesn’t then too bad. I washed it and ironed it and it looks just fine.
Choose items that coordinate ~ Pick pieces that go well together – Colour, style and cut – then you will be able to mix and match to achieve different looks with the same few pieces. Also take into consideration existing shoes, jackets and accessories when planning these ensembles to achieve a truly clever but stylish minimalist wardrobe.
To round of this post I have a mission for you all.
Choose two or three items from your closet that you think you should declutter. Then share with us, through a comment, why these items no longer suit your needs – if they ever did. We may be able to learn a few things from each other and about ourselves in the process. I will add the information you provide to round of the post above and turn it into a page for us to go to when we need good advice on how to choose wisely in the future.
Here are a few web articles I found with helpful tips on clothes shopping & minimising your clothing
The Time Manager ~ 5 tips to better clothes shopping
Street Articles.com ~ Buying new clothes practical fashion advice for women
Becoming Minimalist ~ A practical guide to owning fewer clothes
Today’s Declutter Item
After keeping a close eye on my sock choices over the winter months I have discovered these socks aren’t being used. They are remnants of my old life in the USA. In Seattle I wore socks all year round because even it if wasn’t cold I had a job that required me to wear closed shoes hence I needn’t lots of socks. Now, not so much. So these have gone to the thrift shop today.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I think I have finally found the solution to my disfunctional shower door. I won’t bore you with the details but it has been an annoyance since we moved into the house four years ago. For the last few months I have made an effort to find a solution and I think I have finally done it. Wish me luck, it all hinges on the ability of a local shower screen maker to provide the item I need when I can finally get to their workshop next week during factory hours. I am nothing if not persistent (sporadically).