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.

Still Going

I am still around. I am still wearing only dumpster clothing. I have one month to go!

I bet most of you figured I gave up on my challenge long ago. Well surprise. I just got tired of keeping up with the blog is all it was.  I am looking forward to the end of my challenge though.  There are clothes from my previous wardrobe that I miss. I can’t wait to bring the clothes down and see what I missed and what I didn’t. I expect to keep clothing from both sets and get rid of some from both sets. I may even buy some new things. Well new to me at least. I think I may do a year of only buying thrift next, but I don’t know for sure if I will make it a committed challenge.

I am hoping to simplify my clothing. I want to come up with an idea of how much of each type of item I really need. How many pair of pants do you own? Do you wear them all? How many do you think a person needs? It has some to do with preference, like whether or not you even wear pants. I prefer pants to skirts and really only wear skirts to church or out when dressing up. So how many do I really need? These are questions I will be thinking about in the next few weeks. Then I will be donating a lot of clothes hopefully.

Recycled Art

A friend sent this information too me. Lynne Stein is an artist who uses cast-off clothing to make artwork. It is very beautiful and could be very useful as well. Check out the others who are recycling what they find into art.

BBC – North West Wales In Pictures – Lynne Stein

Now if I could only figure out where to find some clothing that nobody wanted so I could make one of these as well…..hummm.



What to Wear

I am hardly ever in a quandary about what to wear. However, my husband will be awarded a five year pin from the company that he works for and we have both been invited to the awards ceremony and dinner. For some reason it is a semi-formal event. Now what are the chances that I will find an appropriate semi-formal outfit? Well excellent if I could go shopping for one. But due to my challenge, I am constrained to do my shopping from a dumpster.

Well, you might not think that I could pull this off. But then you could be wrong. I actually have found quite a few semi and even formal dresses. My only hardships have been finding the right size.


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The above outfits are about the right size except the last one which is a beautiful  white suit in a 22w. I believe I have ruled them all out except for maybe the black sweater and pink skirt. The coral dress actually looks better on me than on the hanger and oddly the silver one looks much better on the hanger. The navy blue dress with the tie in the middle just got laughed at and the brown suit is a tad too small.

I have found a very nice dress that is just one size too large. It is a long dress with a high waist. The material is a dark floral sheer and there is a velvet ribbon along the bodice. It is sleeveless and very modest in front, but it does have a plunging V in the back that means a bra cannot be worn. I’m going to assume that I will be freezing, since I always am at these kinds of events. I will be wearing a velvet jacket, I think, over the dress. This may be the one I ultimately chose.

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As I have said before, I am not one for high fashion. I am a simple girl who prefers jeans and a t-shirt. Sometimes I enjoy dressing up a bit, but usually not to this extent. I sure hope the food is good. Maybe I will get up the nerve to ask what they are doing with the leftover food.

What do you think of my choice of outfit? I’ll try to have a picture taken of me wearing this ensemble so you can see just how beautiful wearing garbage can be.

Recent Aquisitions

I have been so busy with spring planting, oh and life, that I have not posted for a while. I did another few loads of laundry today and was folding some of the fantastic finds and I thought “I need to photograph some of these and post them”. So I did. If you click on the photos they will enlarge.

My latest trip to myfavoritedumpster yielded an enormous bounty. I found a 100% cotton creme colored king size fitted sheet. No stains and only one small hole that maybe you could get a pencil through.


I found several dresses  near my size.

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Maybe 6-8 bras in various sizes, a couple that might fit. One is even a wonder bra. I haven’t tried it on yet. No picture of those.

I found a very colorful skirt with black trim and a black shirt to go with it. I wore them to church last Sunday. My minister was awestruck, (she knows about my pledge now). That is, my pledge to wear only clothes I find in the trash.


I found a bag with material in it and another bag full of ribbon. I found quite a few large pieces of muslin type material, but only took the piece that did not have mildew on it.

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One very exciting thing was a box of brand new canning jar lids and rings. It was like the universe new of my plans to can this summer.


Every single time I go to this dumpster I am amazed at the things I find. I am in a quandary about wishing the clothes were not thrown in the dumpster. If they were not, then there are a lot of people who would not get free clothing. Sure, I am one of those people, but honestly I can afford to buy what I need. There are people who can’t. I just wish the clothes could go to the people who really need them. I also wish the people who really need them did not have to dig them out of a dumpster. There has to be some other way for this to work. I’m just not sure yet what that is.

Refashion with trash

I was able to visit myfavoritedumpster on Thursday. Then Friday it rained all day long. There were even at least 4 tornadoes here in North Florida. It is always best to go before it rains, because if you go after you may run into a lot of wet clothes.

I have broadened my vision in regards to what I decide to bring home. I signed up for Wardrobe Refashion and need to refashion something. So my sights are set on finding garments that have interesting fabrics or patterns. So I am going to be working on coming up with ways to combine pieces of clothing and make new ones.

I have spent several hours recently at the fabric store looking at patterns. I’m especially looking for ones that can be pieced together from two, three, or four different garments. I also am waiting for the patterns to go on sale. I have a couple that I could use, but can always use more. If you were wondering, I will not be buying any fabric, or even using any from my stash, to make clothing. All homemade clothing will be made from fabric and/or garments found in the trash.

There are several websites that talk about remaking clothes. This site, is all about how to remake t shirts. If your shirt is too big, too small, has a hole, a stain or is ugly, check out this site for some inspiration.

When I decide what I will be refashioning, I will post pictures of the before and when I finish, the after. If you know of any great sites, fill me in. Thanks.

Saturday Summary Week 3

Three weeks down and 49 to go for my “Year of Wearing Garbage”.  I’ve had no slip ups in the past two weeks. This challenge is actually really easy. So why do it? Well, It is really more about being able to say I could do it. It is about bringing attention the vast amounts of resources wasted. To show that there are so many clothes thrown away that someone could have a large wardrobe of perfectly useful and sometimes really nice clothes just from what people throw away. The real challenge is telling people I know that I am doing this. I am slowly divulging my challenge to friends and acquaintances. It is a little hard to just out myself. But I am working on it.

Last week I gave a young lady at my church a shopping bag full of really cool teenager/college type clothing. It was all way too small for me. She was able to pick out what she wanted and then share the rest with her friends. I told her Dad where the clothing came from and that I was doing my challenge, but I am not sure if that info traveled down to her or her friends. I love being able to share  the bounty.

From the bounty of clothing I’ve accumulated so far,  I discovered a velour top. A very outdated and ill-fitting top, but nice velour. As I mentioned last week, I made a hat from a shrunken sweater. Well it was a little itchy, and I wanted to find another garment to make into a hat. Since I am doing the Riot for Austerity, my house is occasionally cold. We only heat when it is freezing outside, which has only been about six times this winter. When we do heat, we use our wood stove, and use downed wood. When we don’t heat it can be 60F inside and I like to wear a hat to keep warm. So here is what I did after finding the velour pullover.

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I turned it inside out and cut the sleeves off. Then I cut along the side seam on the left side. Then using mostly the piece from the back of the garment, I wrapped it around my head to see how big to make it. I cut off the excess and pinned what was left, and tried it on, to make sure it fit. It is actually the back of the top folded in half with a little extra added to the side. I sewed a seam up the side of the whole thing, the side being the bottom part of picture number 3.

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Then I opened it up so the seams were in the middle, as in pic #4. Then I sewed across the top to finish off the hat. When I turned it right side out it looks like pic #5.  

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Picture #6 shows the two sleeves sewn together at the shoulder ends to form sort of a tube. Picture #7 is what it looks like turned right side out. A scarf!

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This is the finished hat and scarf. Not really needed today, but has been useful over the past several days. Especially since my cold still hasn’t gone away.

Wardrobe Refashion

The Pledge

I, Cindy in FL, AKA Wasteweardaily, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of  6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed Cindy in FL

6 month pledge

I have officially signed the pledge provided by the Wardrobe Refashion blog site.   I  made a commitment to myself and my blog that I will not buy any clothing new or used for the period of one year, but the site only gives you the option of 2/4 or 6 months. You can of course renew your vows after each time period has expired. If you are interested, visit the site by clicking on the icon.

I also vowed to pack up all my clothing that did not come from a dumpster and start over, so as to have a 100% cast-off, reject, garbage wardrobe. Well, I had been doing really well with that. Finding clothes like crazy in dumpsters, but when I got sick this past weekend and was just freezing, well I put on a hat. I didn’t realize until I had been wearing the hat for 2 days that it was not a dumpster hat. My only consolation is that I did actually sew it myself. But even considering that, it does not fit within the parameters of my rules. Not because I made it and didn’t find it, but because I purchased the material new. So since I have not found a hat, I decided I needed to make a hat out of something I found in the dumpster. Here is what I found and how I made my hat.

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I found an Abercrombie and Fitch, mostly wool sweater, that had seen better and bigger days. The whole  sweater was shrunken or felted. Someone may have thrown it in their washer or dryer by accident or even on purpose not knowing what would happen. The body of the sweater was the same size as my head so I thought I would just cut off the sleeves and the top.  I put it on  and tried to pin along the curve of my head to get it to fit just right. Then I sewed it together using two strands of embroidery thread and an embroidery needle. I think it came out fairly well. It has some bumps in it where it just doesn’t fit that well, but I may still be able to fix it. It was a little itchy on my forehead so I think I will be making a more comfy hat a soon as I find some polar fleece that has been tossed.

Summary Saturday week one

I’ve made it through the first week of the challenge with no problems. As long as you don’t count not having a slip from the dumpster.  Basically I had said underclothing was exempt from the challenge. I hardly ever wear slips, and was not anticipating the need. Sadly a  friend passed away and I was an usher at the memorial service. I had saved a dress I found in the dumpster quite some time ago and it was a thin polyester material that really needed a slip. It was black with small red roses and green leaves. It wasn’t a designer dress by any means, but a Kathy Lee from I think Walmart or Kmart. A friend told me once that dresses with little buttons all the way down the front were out of fashion, well I thought it looked nice. I considered having a picture taken, but it just seemed inappropriate to brag that you wore dumpster clothing to a funeral. She was such a wonderful woman and all who knew her will miss her.

The coat that I found in the dumpster last week did not survive the wash very well. Patches of the PVC coating came off and left the coat very worn looking. I was giving some thought to just wearing it inside out since the inside is fairly nice. I would need to remove the label which would end up being smack in the middle of my upper back if I leave it. 

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Yesterday I did four loads of laundry, 95% dumpster finds. I hung them all out on the clothesline and they all dried. It was a beautiful day. I still have two loads to do today to wash all the clothes I found Tuesday. I had a very successful haul. I finally have enough pants now. Only one pair of jeans, but five other pair that fit. I even found five pair of socks, and a pair of sandals my size.

My daughter said she wanted to do this challenge with me. Then I reminded her that it would mean she could not wear any of the clothes she got for Christmas. So she said she will do it for one month. We haven’t picked which month. What I did realize is that even if my family will not pack up *all* their clothing and start over with just dumpster finds, that we can still make a compact to not buy any new clothing, maybe not even any used clothing for a year. I already bought my daughter some clothing from the thrift store this year. She is going to a wedding with my Mom and I bought her a pretty purple velvet dress. But then we found a long black skirt in the dumpster and a beautiful pink blouse that was in a box in the attic and she decided she would wear that instead. Live and learn.

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