How less can you dress?

I just read a very interesting piece in the New York Times this evening on a few different challenges people are taking up to make do with less in their wardrobe.  And when I say less, I mean much much less, like six pieces (excluding underwear, of course) for 31 days, or committing not to buy any clothing for a year.

I had been thinking along these lines recently as I gazed at my closet.  I don’t consider myself a compulsive shopper at all, but even so, it is amazing how full your closet can get over a few years.  I think some of the excess is due to being in those in-between years when you’re either pregnant, nursing, or trying to get rid of weight.  My pants themselves tell a saga of these years.  There are still maternity pants hanging up that I like to wear, even when I’m not pregnant or have my pre-pregnancy body back – I know I’m strange in admitting this, but I like the comfort of them, as well as the fact that they lie much smoother under shirts than do regular button up pants or pants with belts.

And then there are the pants that reflect the time last winter where I was determined to shed the rest of my baby weight, and had just joined a gym, but they also couldn’t be pants that fit too tight, so I got them in a larger size than normal.  I also got a few workout tops to go with them.  A little bit later, some cargo pants also jumped on board as we moved to a beach locale.  In my closet, I sometimes see not who I am, but the type of feeling I want to have, or the lifestyle I want to live.

What was interesting about this article was that for one person who took the six item challenge, their spouse didn’t even notice that they were wearing the same six items for 31 days in various combinations.  Now who knows, maybe it is because they have the kind of spouse who doesn’t notice such things, but I think there’s some truth in there to be found.  In some cases, people do pay attention to what you wear (think my husband’s high school students pointing out his fashion faux paus), but in many cases, they don’t, or they don’t remember after a day or so.

I don’t think that encourages me to run around in my pajamas all day, but it helps a lot when I feel like I don’t have enough t-shirts, even though I really have more than enough.

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4 thoughts on “How less can you dress?

  1. I love the simplicity of my maternity wardrobe – I’ve got 4 long-sleeve and 4 short-sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a skirt. All solid colors. It’s nice not to have to think much about what to wear.

  2. I am inspired by all the ways people are finding to keep their quality of life, but keep it on a cheaper budget. I’ve seen crafters vow to use up their stash of supplies before buying any more; I’ve read of housewives who take the challenge to have a month of living off pantry and freezer and only going to the grocery store for the most basic of necessities like milk and eggs. This one is good too, and I think that as soon as I buy the swim suit I need to replace the worn out one I own I will join in! (Going in public to a water aerobics class might not be such a good idea if I wear the swimwear I have much longer. You know how thin a swimsuit can get….)

  3. I’ve been thinking about my wardrobe, too. I feel like I have too much “stuff”. I need to weed things out to get down to what I actually wear. I feel like a lot of people do wear the same items most of the time, we just don’t realize it!

  4. Hi there,

    I just read your comment on the answer Rhonda Jean (Down-to-earth) gave me the other day. That’s why I am hear to visit you.

    I also have some clothing-problems. Because we haven’t much money to spent, most clothes I am wearing (or are hanging in the closet) are from many, many years ago.

    I have tried to make me some clothes, but with no mannequin at home, I find it a bit difficult to do.
    Do you make your own clothes or some items for your little kids?

    Well.. I was just a little curious.. ;o)

    Wonderfull pregnancy!

    BTW: I hope and pray to give birth to my second on March the 12… But don’t tell anyone yet! ;o)

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