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The Clothing Experiment - Page 2

post #21 of 157
I've been thinking about doing this for a long time. It makes so much sense. I have been slowly buying clothes from patagonia to replace things that are poor quality/stained/don't fit. The quality is great and most of Patagonia clothes are organic cotton. Plus we are moving and have very limited closet space.
I just called a charity and they will be coming by tomorrow to get old clothes. I guess I will be going through more stuff today!
post #22 of 157
Originally Posted by OliveGirl
I really want to do this, but I'm struggling with color. If I'm reducing my wardrobe to 10 or 20 items, there really needs to be some sort of fundamental color scheme. For me, I catapult between brown and black. I love black for it's simplicity, but brown is a warmer neutral that's probably more flattering to my coloring (auburn hair, hazel-brown eyes, freckles, peachy pale skin). So I have some brown "neutrals" and some black "neutrals". I feel like I need to go in one direction or the other, but perhaps not?
I actually have a lot of black and brown in my color scheme--but I try to choose cognac kinds of browns because they look really good with black. Just a thought.

Although I shouldn't even be participating in this thread, since I finally broke down this weekend and bought some wild color stuff (for me) because I was getting sick of my black, grey, brown and blue no-print wardrobe.
post #23 of 157
Originally Posted by Delight
A Superhero necklace. I figured that if my clothing was going to be simple...I wanted a fun accessory that goes with everything to "rev" it up. ...
I got a Superhero necklace in April and I love it.

Originally Posted by Delight
This weekend I will work on getting rid of more and "planning" the rest. I'll take pics for you OliveGirl
Yay! You'll have to post pics of your new purchases. Just curious about who makes the dress and tank top you purchased? They sound great and I'm always looking for high-quality brands. I'd love to get a dress now, but with breastfeeding, it's not going to happen for at least a year. (I have yet to find a nursing dress I actually like.)

You mentioned you like hemp. My friend bought a bunch of stuff from this woman and has been really pleased with it. I may save up for a top or two down the road. For now I'm on a buying hiatus until I pare down drastically and establish exactly what my minimal wardrobe needs.
post #24 of 157
thanks for the linkie to the little brown dress website. how awesome. i often think about those things too, consumerism, sweat shops, societal expectations of appearance, etc. it's nice to see someone put those thoughts into action. plus i'm in seattle, so we're going to her event on july 7th!

i want to really pare down our closets too, and boy it's a lot of work. i have a couple ideas for doing this that maybe someone has already mentioned, but just in case;

there are a ton of really cool books on making new clothes out of your old clothes, 108 ways to transform a tshirt (or something like that), second time cool, etc. so, now i have some plans for some stuff........

and whenever i get a hankering for it, i gather up a few bags of clothing and have a ladies clothing swap. some people call them naked lady parties. just invite all your girlfriends over to bring all their castoff clothing, accessories, shoes, etc and everyone gets new (to them) stuff to bring home. it's really a fun way to get new stuff without shopping. there's always a ton of stuff leftover to go to charity too.
post #25 of 157
I got rid of a ton of clothes not too long ago! I only ever wear the same things anyways. Ill go and make a list of what I have left!
post #26 of 157
This thread has me obsessing a bit. I'm so intrigued by the idea of finding a tried and true uniform. A few key pieces that make me feel great.

Right now I'm wearing a Lands End t-shirt and a pair shorts and I feel frumpy. I have six of these t-shirts. They're 100% cotton, so as the day wears on they stretch out and end up looking blah.

I think they're going to go.

And the shorts. I hate shorts. Why do I wear them when I feel so much better and just as cool in a skirt?

I think tonight I'm going to set aside a ton of my clothes and see how I operate for a few weeks on a (summer) wardrobe that's slashed by 70%. I'm going to bag up half of my capris, most of my shorts, and all t-shirts that don't fit to my liking. And I'm going to wear the heck out of what's left.

Photos to come!
post #27 of 157
Originally Posted by nym
I got rid of a ton of clothes not too long ago! I only ever wear the same things anyways. Ill go and make a list of what I have left!
Please do, yes!
post #28 of 157
Originally Posted by OliveGirl
This thread has me obsessing a bit. I'm so intrigued by the idea of finding a tried and true uniform. A few key pieces that make me feel great.
during my pregnancy, i ended up having a uniform of one dress, one pair of pants and one top........even though i had other stuff, i only liked those things.
post #29 of 157
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by OliveGirl
This thread has me obsessing a bit.
I KNOW! Obsessed! I have really started to deconstruct my assumptions about clothes and all the emotions that go along with it. I'm trying to find the balance between wanting to look and feel pretty and just not caring what others think.

We are in a hotel for a few days right now and I purposely didn't bring many clothes just to "test" myself. I love traveling lighter...that has been a big problem for me in the past, and we travel A LOT. I'm ready for a change in that area. It's nice if there are laundry facilities available...or even a sink/soap. I washed a few of DD's clothes in the sink last night and they were dry this morning.

Also, finding out what truly looks nice on you is important. For years, I've picked out scoop neck tank tops, etc. I have realized that v-neck looks more flattering, and a shirred bust, even better. If you don't feel AMAZING in it, you probably don't look that great it it! I think that no matter your shape or size, there is clothing out there that will flatter you.

I started thinking about this "disposable" obsessed culture that we live in. I have switched my house to completely re-usable/cloth everything (even toilet paper!) ... so why do I buy disposable clothing? The items that I've bought from Old Navy, Target and other discount stores are usually a one- season item and then they are trashed. If I would just buy higher quality to begin with, many resources (and headaches) would be saved. I've always liked the higher quality stuff, but have been impatient and decided to fulfill a WANT instead of saving up some money to buy the better piece.

I think that if I would just avoid even going into those cheaper stores to look at clothes, I could save so much money. Yes, the clearance racks are wonderful, but do I really NEED another t-shirt? Another skirt? Another sweater? I don't want to discount some people's true NEED for inexpensive or even free clothing because if you can hardly afford to eat, I'm not saying you should go and buy an expensive piece of clothing. Just saying that I want to TRY to buy better quality.

Also, I've found that when you have less clothing, you tend to take care of what you have. With my "disposable" clothing, I didn't care if something stained it or if it ripped. I am starting to line dry all of my clothes too....to keep them nicer longer. Kind of a "slow clothes" movement hee hee. Just like the slow food movement wants to enjoy the food, slow down, eat more naturally....so I want to enjoy my clothes : Has Sara gone off the deep end? I think I'm rambling. But I've just been thinking about all of this so much lately. Hopefully some of it connects with someone out there.

OliveGirl, this thread was supposed to help us simplify life, not make it more crazy by obsessing about it. hee hee! The end result will be fabulous though. Can't wait to see your pics! I'll post mine later when I get back home.
post #30 of 157
This is a great idea! I hadn't thought about it much before, although I don't have to much in the way of clothes compared to a lot of people (especially DH). I might give this purge a try too!
post #31 of 157
Originally Posted by Delight
Kind of a "slow clothes" movement hee hee. Just like the slow food movement wants to enjoy the food, slow down, eat more naturally....so I want to enjoy my clothes : Has Sara gone off the deep end?
"Slow clothes" I love it! This is what I've been looking for all my life! I like good, comfortable clothes that last a LOOOONG time. I tend to hold on to way too many clothes that I don't like/can't fit in/need to fix somehow, while I actually wear only a select few pieces at a time anyway. For spring and summer, I have a favorite skirt that will absolutely HAVE to be replaced soon because I've worn it about twice a week for ten years now! It's comfy & a cheerful print with lots of my favorite colors in it, so I can throw it on with any of a number of my favorite shirts & go. Next best thing to the uniform jumper I actually liked wearing in grade school.:
post #32 of 157
Thread Starter 
Some more random thoughts I've had while contemplating clothing and the meaning of life...

*I had previously posted that I had purchased a few new items to help simplify my wardrobe. Well, I ended up taking them all back. There were several reasons, but it just made me realize how much I love buying used clothes...I hate trying to keep new clothes "new". I think it was just mostly that the clothes I bought were impractical for the mother of a 2 year old. I'm slowly figuring this all out. For instance, white shirts are a nightmare. I love black now! Ketchup doesn't show much on black. Now don't get me wrong, if I had unlimited funds, I think I would love to go buy the perfect wardrobe at my favorite store....but I don't.

*In my process of shopping for these new items...I realized how much I hate shopping and everything involved. When I go shopping, it creates an articficial "need" for more stuff, clothing or not. Just being around malls, stores, etc. exhausts me. I've decided just not to go anymore because it creates discontentment. This is a spiritual thing too...being content. I found this thread on another board and this post really resonated with me:

I found out that the less you shop, the desire to shop would decrease. And eventually, when you walking in a mall, you have this weird feeling while watching people buying stuff...thinking, why would people need THAT...and you suddenly feel like an alien.

*I realized that the clothes I already have are perfectly fine and enough for right now. We've been traveling for a week, and all I brought was 2 pairs of cotton gaucho pants, a skirt, 2 black tank tops, 2 camisoles, 4 undies, bathing suit, pajamas and my Chaco flip flops. It's been wonderful having limited options. I can be dressy or not...but always comfy.

*I've been reading Material World again...it always helps re-focus my mind on what is truly important and I remember how truly blessed and fortunate I am.

Anyway...I can't wait to get back home from this trip and get rid of all my clothes. Ack!! I just want them gone. I was going to try to sell them, but I think if I do that, they will sit there forever and I will talk myself into keeping them.

How is everyone else doing with simplifying clothing?
post #33 of 157
USAmma, I have to tell you - I opened up your photo album and showed it to my 5yo. She LOVED it and asked if we could do that to the room she shares with her sister. We also saw the picture of what seems to be the master bedroom. She said, "Wow, Mommy, that is really clean. Not like your room at all."
post #34 of 157
I've really been enjoying reading this thread (and the little brown dress link! - that is so cool)

I really, really struggle with getting a streamlined wardrobe. My work outside the home requires a real variety of dress, for one thing, but I still think I could do things more simply than I do.

One of my big problems is shoes. I'd like to own just a very few pairs of versatile shoes. But it seems like everything in my wardrobe requires something different (esp. in terms of heel height and professional versus casual versus dressy). I also find it really difficult to strike a good balance b/t function and style.

I need to hang around this thread and get some inspiration!
post #35 of 157
Wow! What an inspriation...I have thought about how hard it would be to have two outfits in our society...I repeat my clothes and my family will comment that I am in my "uniform". USA really expects a new outfit most days and then the latest accessories (I just wear my great-grandma's small diamond studs and my wedding ring..people continue to give me fashion jewelry though! And I loathe purses) My mom would make me buy clothes because I just did not care like my other sisters!

I want to sew a few fab dresses now and ditch most of my other clothes...I love the cardigan and dress look too. Very simple and cute.

I have also thought about not buying "cheap" clothes anymore too (like others have said) I would like to own a few classic well made clothes and shoes and just enjoy those. My cheap clothes can be a watse too because they become trashed so much faster so I am probably not really saving any $$$.
Fun topic to ponder!!!
post #36 of 157
PS..I heard of a great idea for people who have a lot trouble ridding of clothes...take a picture of yourself in the oufit/or just the outfit...it's much easier to keep an album than a closet! My step-mom needs this thread...she has so many clothes that they bare in every closet of her large home and SOME IN PUBLIC STORAGE!!!! Ahh, that's like paying rent for your clothes to live somewhere.....we all struggle with something different though...
post #37 of 157
I was talking about this with my dh last night.

I am going to do this!

I just have to gain some courage : I was just saying last night that I think I am going to get rid of all of my pre-pregnancy clothes.....with the exception of a few classic pieces.
post #38 of 157

purge, purge, got to purge...

I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes lately, and was really excited to find this link and the brown dress site. I’ve been purging gradually for a while and am now down to very few things. It’s giving me a whole new source of pleasure in what I have, and even more in what I don’t have.

I love Goodwill. Up till recently, I felt like it was ok to shop there all the time and get tons of stuff because I could wear it for a while and then just take it back. But it sets up a cycle of thinking that you always need novelty in your life. Last Christmas, my partner and I decided that we would each buy a few things for ourselves instead of doing the whole wondering what to get each other. I got some Eileen Fisher clothes from Ebay, since their stuff is simple and well made. I set myself a budget and got a few things that were beautiful and cheap – most cost about $12, I bought a dress, a couple of shirts and a pair of pants. Wearing them since has given me such pleasure that I’ve happily taken a lot of my other stuff back to Goodwill and not bought more. If it’s plain, comfortable and fits I keep it ; the rest just drains me. Amazing how you can convince yourself that if something is only $4 it fits and looks good, and you have to buy it.

I’ve also had a good lesson in how stuff takes over your life to make purging easier. A few years ago my PILs needed to be moved into a nursing home and we actually had to hire someone to live in their house for 2-3 months to sort out their stuff – it was a HUGE job, and at the end we had the monster garage sale of all time. My MIL had a shopping problem, to put it mildly. All the rooms of their very large house were full of bags of clothes, many sizes, most with tags still on. We set up clothes racks in the double garage and filled it just with the coats. My guess is that there were at least 200. People were buying shoes by the garbage bag full. From this massive stash, I took away quite a few things, and, well, I got greedy.

After the initial pleasure wore off, I found my house was starting to look scarily similar to theirs (on a miniature scale), and it started to close in on me. My partner, truly his mother’s son in some ways, is frightened of getting rid of things, and our daughter wavers back and forth between our fixations, sometimes purging with me, sometimes holding on desperately to clothes and toys that she has long outgrown. I decided that we were going to have room to move I needed to get rid of my stuff, since they aren’t ready and may never be able to get rid of their own, so out went a lot of clothes, books, kitchen stuff, and other miscellaneous odds and ends. Some I gave away to friends, some went to Goodwill. It’s not too bad here, now, but I make sure that everyone thinks hard before they bring new things in, and I try to sort the boxes and purge more often. It will never end.
post #39 of 157

My uniform

I really need to do another clothes purge soon but I have developed a uniform of sorts.

I shop at gabrielbrothers.com (liquidation. I also shop at Goodwill but I have trouble finding stuff in my size.

I almost always buy LaneBryant pants. They fit me and are comfortable.

For tops I buy some kind of cotton/spandex. I prefer LaneBryant brand but they're a bit pricey for me. (I'm super cheap).

Gabe's always has some on sale for a buck or two. If I find one I like, I buy more than one.

I just found some silk/spandex tops on sale for a dollar a piece.

I have one sweater that works with everything. I'm not much of a sweater person.

If my clothes get faded or stained, I dye them. It gives them a new lease on life.
Now I need to weed my clothes and get rid of what doesn't work.
post #40 of 157
I saw a documentary some years back of another woman who did the same thing, except she knit her dress.
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