This is a post that has been knocking around in my head for some time, then today when I read a post on Frugal Babe about how few clothes her adorable 10 week old baby really needs, I decided to share my wardrobe with you.
When I first became more knowledgeable about the retail world, who made the clothing we buy, how little they are paid, what conditions they were kept in, I vowed to make a change. I started to think more about the fact that part of the problem was just how big the clothing industry is – we create such a demand for “new trends”, we shop cheap without a thought as to why clothes are cheap, we buy clothes as if we needed them to survive and nourish ourselves….note: clothing is not food!
Slowly, I’ve started making changes about the clothing I buy and what I wear. The first thing I did was stop buying cheap, I looked for clothing that was fair trade, local, organic or second hand. I found this much easier when I was shopping for baby clothes for friends, then for adult clothing, but as the years went on it got easier. The second thing I stopped doing was buying clothes monthly or even by-monthly, I now do a “clothing shop” twice a year, usually just before the summer (April or May) and then in the winter. This lets me clearly determine the difference between need and want. Then as I changed dress sizes, I began to majorly downshift the clothing I had. I donated my old clothes to women’s refuges and slowly purchased what I needed.
I get positive comments on my clothes everywhere I go, when I visit the GP/Family Dr, when I go to work, when I meet friends, you might think I have a large expensive wardrobe filled with designer products, well that couldn’t be further from the truth. I currently have:
- 1 work black skirt with a nice fashionable flair
- 3 work dress shirts – 1 red, 1 green, 1 black
- 5 dresses – appropriate for work, an evening out, Church, functions etc
- 1 pair jeans & 1 casual t-shirt
- 1 pair work dress pants
- 1 workout outfit and 1 swimsuit
- 1 formal work jacket &1 informal long cardigan
- 1 pair PJ’s and 1 nightie
I may never have had the hundreds of pieces of clothing several of my friends have, but I had too much. My clothing has gone from filling up a wardrobe and a 6 drawer dresser, to filling 1/6 of a wardrobe and 2 drawers in my dresser. I now know when I put clothes on that they haven’t been made by someone working 16 hr days for peanuts, they have helped small business owners, given people lively hoods and provided food and education for workers children. My life is about downshifting and downsizing, starting with your wardrobe is a great way to do that. After all, there are only 7 days in a week, how many outfits do you really need?