How Many clothes Does One Need?

Now that I have ended my challenge, I am faced with two sets of wardrobes. The combined total of all the clothing I have may be closer to three of four wardrobes.  But how do I decide what to keep, what to save in case there are leaner times, and what do I get rid of. I don’t get rid of things easily. If I really don’t like something or know I have no use for it, it is easier. When I am unsure, or I like it but have several, then things get harder.

So I need a plan. I need to decide exactly how many pants, skirts, shirts, blouses, sweater, jackets, and coats to keep. Do any of you out there subscribe to the system where each time you buy a new item, an equivalent item has to go? If you do, then how do you get to the starting place where you decide you have enough?

Having enough will be different for each of us. I think there are three things that dictate how much clothing to own. What we do for a living, how big our closets are and weather. Here in Florida we wear shorts 6-12 months of the year. Up North I’m guessing it is more like 3 months. So I would want more pairs of them. I don’t often pack my shorts away for the winter, but I do pack my winter things away for the summer. What do you do when the seasons change?

So now that I am bringing my clothes down from the attic and looking through them I am noticing my reactions. There actually have been few items that I have said, “Oh wow! I can’t wait to wear that again.” Mostly it has been, “Oh yeah, I remember that.”  The two shirts that I had been missing were my cotton and wool river driver shirts.  I have been happy to see some things and will definitely keep those.

I have my MIL visiting again. This has delayed me in getting all the boxes down and sorting through everything. Had to get the house cleaned up first. In the next few weeks I will be sorting, packing and donating.

So how many of each item of clothing do you have?


An End to Only Wearing Garbage

On February 1st of 2008 I pledged to only wear clothing that came from the trash. Most of my clothes have come from a single dumpster that is located behind a thrift store.  A few have come from curbside “recycling” and a few I have found along the road while walking. The only things I wore that were not from the trash were underwear, socks and shoes. I am not completely opposed to wearing them from the trash, it is just difficult to find what you need in the right size.  Several pairs of socks, several bras and a pair of slippers did find their way to me. The rest I bought new or already had. Shoes generally come from thrift stores except for good walking shoes.

I have been very faithful to the challenge. The only times that I have worn items not from the trash have been minimal. I have a goretex raincoat that is 14 years old that I wore a couple times since I did not locate a dumpster equivalent. I wore a long sleeved shirt of a friends because I was cold and lazy. After much haranguing, I went to my car and got my own. The only other thing I can think of is wearing hats I previously owned. I found a few baseball caps that were acceptable enough to wear, but I didn’t stick to just trash ones.

So here is my confession of sorts. I recently forgot part of my challenge. I vowed to buy no clothing for myself for the entire year. So I am confessing that I have bought three articles of clothing, but with the honest intention of not wearing them until after Feb 1st. One blouse I bought at a garage sale, a T shirt and a Patagonia synchilla pullover were purchased at my local Salvation army. I did not buy anything new! This has really been remarkable since in a typical year I would probably buy 3-6 items a month at thrift stores and atleast one new item. Whether I needed them or not! I also did not accept any clothing and was not given any clothing as gifts from anyone.

I really had a fun time with this challenge. Had I not had a source of abundant castoffs, it would not have been as easy or as fun. I had lots of people comment on how nicely I dressed. I did make a point to dress nicely when I could. I intend on keeping many of the “new” clothes I acquired over the past year. Now my BIG problem is figuring out what I will keep from the old wardrobe and what I will keep from the “new” one. I now have so many more clothes than I need and it will be hard to get rid of things.

I definitely am done wearing ONLY garbage, but I will continue to wear garbage whenever I like.