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The Clothing Experiment - Page 3

post #41 of 157
Last week I culled a bunch of stuff from my closet and this stuff is not in a pile on the floor of my closet. I haven't bagged it yet, but I'm determined to let it go.

Know what I'm really struggling with -- shoes? I have plenty, yet I'm constantly wanting more!! Finding contentment with what I have clothing-wise is going relatively well, but shoes is a whole different game for me.
post #42 of 157
Thread Starter 
We are home now...and I'm on a clothes purge high! Of course, now I'm faced with the decision of where to put all of these clothes. I'm thinking of just taking them to Goodwill because I don't want to deal with consignment. I've never done consignment...is it pretty easy? I have quite a few good quality clothes that would probably sell. I will post my final list of clothes later...

Now, on to my next task. KIDS clothes! Why is it that I can be so brutal when downsizing my own closet, but when it comes to DD's...it's so much harder? I went through and got rid of everything stained and stuff she doesn't like to wear. The problem is that it's all just so cute. Most of it is hand me downs or from consignment, so it's easy to justify...but it takes up so much space. I already feel better with it in bags.

The great thing is that I thought that she didn't have any clothes for winter...but after going through it again, I found that we have more than enough. Especially since she is potty learning right now, many of the clothes that didn't fit over the big diaper butt will fit now.

I also haven't been garage sale-ing at all this summer...and although I've missed the good finds, I haven't missed the extra stuff I inevitably bring home. Even when I go looking for certain items, I always find other stuff I "need". Just like going to Target.

Hope you're all having a great day...happy closet cleaning!
post #43 of 157
Weeeellll, I got rid of some stuff, but the Lands End t-shirts and a few other items made it back into my dresser. One step forward, two steps back.

Someone talk some sense into me.
post #44 of 157
Thread Starter 
OliveGirl...no worries. It's a p-r-o-c-e-s-s! It takes time and determination! Keep at it. You can doooooo it!

So, I started thinking about the history of owning excess stuff. And then I started wondering when people started having more and more and more clothes. I'm off to do some more research on this. I did find this article about storage. The intro is interesting. If anyone has done research on this already...please share!
post #45 of 157
Thanks, Sara. You're so right about it being a process. And. And. I did get rid of a ton of stuff right before you started this thread, so what I'm hanging on to now is those few things that are keeping me from hitting the bare essentials.

I'm trying to figure out the shoe thing. We moved to 2.2 acres and most of my time is spent tromping around our property (bumpy ground) or inside. I'm getting rid of all of my Danskos because I just don't have good balance on them, especially on bumpy earth. I do like to have a clog though, so I'm shopping around for a flat clog...I'm leaning towards a pair of Birkenstocks, Keens (the Providence), or Crocs (I really don't want to do the latter though because I just don't like the look of them at all).

I really want a new pair of flip-flops, too. I bought some Teva ones earlier this summer and they're not wearing all that well. And, I'm not all that pleased with the look of them. (I bought purple. Why? I don't even like purple.) But wanting a new pair and needing a new pair are two different things. Which leads me to a facet of this project that I'm struggling with: contentment when what I have is fine, but not perfect. I guess I feel like if my wardrobe is very small, then everything in it should be *perfect* (for me, that is--made to last, flattering, and satisfying). When I think about my wardrobe, I find very few pieces fit this bill. My jeans and cords. My capris. A few of my t-shirts (most of them don't, though). My denim skirt. My Blundstone boots. My Chaco sandals. My Birkenstock mary janes. My Patagonia fleece jacket.

Things that fall short of perfect-for-me include all of my long-sleeve t-shirts, my Birkenstock sandals (I love Birk shoes, but I like sandals that can go in the water and these definitely can't), my dress coat (odd color), my shorts (I'm not crazy about my thighs and feel better in an A-line skirt), two of my tank tops, a skirt that I bought only a few months ago at Eddie Bauer (I don't know -- every time I glance at myself in a mirror while I'm wearing it I think I look heavier)...

So there's nothing wrong with the stuff I'm not crazy about, but I don't love it. This is the stuff I'm sitting on. The thing is, I know in my heart that I could get rid of it and while my wardrobe would be halved again, it would probably be better for it. I'd be wearing stuff over and over again, but that's the whole idea, right?

I think aside from a black summery skirt and two camis with built in bras (white and black), I'm done with summery purchases. (Sara, you've got me interested in the Chaco Flips, but I don't know if I can justify another shoe purchase). Instead I'm going to focus on culling and getting rid of stuff--and saving my money for a few perfect items down the road.
post #46 of 157
Thread Starter 
My Chaco flips are all I've been wearing for weeks. I love my Chaco sandals, but the flips are so easy on and off. I love them. I used to have about 8 pairs of Old Navy flips...got rid of them all.

I understand your shoe frustration. I currently have a pile sitting in my "to give away" pile. Of course, then I sit here and think, why am I getting rid of those? I might need those! And actually, I will need some of them, but I am going to try to do without them. I am down to the following for shoes:

Chaco sandals
Chaco flips
Puma casual tennis shoes (I wear these almost 100% of the time in the winter)
Running shoes
Birkenstock clogs

In the winter, I may need to add some black shoes/boots...but that's ok. I can also relate to your "fine...but not perfect" sentiment. I get caught in this trap in all areas of my life. Learning to be content is an ongoing spiritual battle for me. I know what my triggers are though...malls, internet shopping, certain stores...and I try to avoid that as much as possible. Lately, I have found that focusing on the ABUNDANCE that I do have helps get me through my pity party. Duh! I finally bought Material World, Hungry Planet, and Women of the Material World for my own collecdtion and I am so glad. I read them daily for inspiration!

It's hard when you LOVE an item, but it's not practical for your life right now. Or maybe you love it...and it was NEVER practical! I have a pair of shoes that I think are soooo cute. I get compliments on them when I wear them. BUT, I never wear them. So out they go.

OliveGirl...get rid of the stuff you don't LOVE. It's just weighing you down.

Yesterday I got 2 new Glamourmom tanks. One white and one black with lace on the bottom. I am soooo excited to get rid of the old, nasty, greyish white ones I've had for 2+ years. It's amazing what some new "underwear" will do for you! It's helping me to purge...that's all I am keeping. So now I have 6 pairs of undies and 2 nursing camis...perfect.
post #47 of 157
Fascinating thread! I'm motivated to clear out my closet. I *thought* I had done that, but I've still got clothes that I *might* wear, but really won't.

Here's a website I'm intrigued by: http://www.scientificpanty.com/ I can't explain exactly why, except that they're all about ensuring that your clothes work for you. Here's a quote:

Quote:
Ideal Garments are just that: ideal. They love you and make you look lovely all the time. They are happy to do anything with you, whether it is gardening or going to a ball. And they don't make you spend money on dry cleaning and don't make you want to go home to get out of them. They want you to have fun and be happy and safe and know that you look good all the time.
And they'll be posting directions to make your own Ideal Garments
post #48 of 157
I need to purge the family's closets.

Again.

I really have relatively few clothes, I don't think people need so much stuff.
post #49 of 157
Okay, I made another run-through this morning. Pulled a sweatshirt (I HATE pull-over sweatshirts) and a few more tops (I really don't like the neckline on most of my t-shirts--high crew-neck styling that's just not very flattering on me). My closet is getting skinny and it's just awesome.

I'm also ready to let go of the stuff I pulled but kept. I think between that stuff and this morning's purge, I've found 12 or so more items to part with.
post #50 of 157
Thanks for the link to the wesite! I hadn't heard of her project before

As close as I ever came to "streamlining" my wardrobe like that was when I did extended travelling abroad. I was limited to my suitcase size (or backpack size, when we went on trips), and I found that I really could simplify my wardrobe A LOT. I still have trouble (back at home) with keeping things that no longer fit (I keep them - that's the problem lol), but I find I buy a lot LESS when I think first about how many things that item will match in my closet. Most of my clothes are blue, black, white, grey or red. Then I use scarves, jewelry, etc to accessorize.

I have been teased before (at work! lol) for having a "uniform" - but I don't care. I buy less, I own less...and that's really the point, isn't it?
post #51 of 157
I tend to vascillate between loving my wardrobe and wanting it to be even chicer and smaller, and feeling completely deprived. This thread is an inspiration.

I agree that Old Navy and Target "bargains" are rarely worth it in the long run. I'm not sure how much of it is psychological (I spent so much on it, i NEED to take care of it) and how much of it is just better quality and workmanship, but most of my favorite long-term pieces were a bit spendy at the time. There's the $150 Bennetton grey wool suit, the $45 LLBean windbreaker, the $80 leather belt, and the $200 Ralph Lauren herringbone jacket. The oldest of these I've had for over a dozen years. I've never had an Old Navy piece last for more than a year or two at the most (usually in "pajama wear" category by the end.).
post #52 of 157
Wow, I've been reading this thread and I love this idea. I am simple in almost every aspect of my life, except clothing. I am overrun with clothing and I hate it because most of it is trash. I have a big tote of "thin" clothes that I love and wanted to keep for when I get to that size again. I have clothes that I keep because they are in good shape and I hate to get rid of them because it feels wasteful. On and on aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah....

I can relate to another poster who spoke about feeling a compulsion to keep clothing because she was very poor as a child and if you found something really nice for really cheap (even if you don't need it) you snatch it up "just in case". I think I have some of that going on.

My husband is always talking about how we have no room for clothes because I have so many but I wear the same like, 5 outfits. He is very simple in his wardrobe -- like 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of dressy pants, a few dressy shirts, about 15 t-shirts (he teaches guitar and bass so he dresses casual) ... a couple of jackets, a couple of long sleeve shirts (we live in Florida so we don't need many warm things) and like, 4 pairs of shoes. That isn't an exact inventory but you get the picture.

I would LOVE to get to that but I have such an emotional attachment to my clothing for some reason... even crap I don't wear!!!

Do you think it would help to make a list of things I wear all the time, and things I think should be in my wardrobe, then start purging? Or should I just like, give everything away except what is in the dirty clothes hamper (because I know I have worn those recently ) I am only partially kidding.

I was nutty about shoes but I broke that -- I gave away about 20 pairs of shoes I had been holding onto for yearrrrs that I never wore anymore).

I need help! Subbing...
post #53 of 157

ahhh... a topic near and dear to my heart!

i'm doing a clothing purge (i started it about 2 weeks ago and haven't touched it since, but the "one week declutter challenge" trini started, has inspired me to continue). this will make it my third clothing purge in one year.

to give you a rough idea of the volume of clothing we possessed before the first purge:
our built in wardrobes (from one wall to another) were packed with clothes, so much that they overflowed to the floor. many clothes did in fact live on the floor for several months because they had no where else to go. at any given moment there were 5 large loads of dirty clothing that needed to be washed all the while a huge batch of clean-but-wrinkled laundry sat on the single seater couch in the lounge room, and 2 baskets of clean-but-wrinkled laundry were randomly placed in the apartment.

it was really. really. really. fricken pathetic. there is no other way to put it.

and for gawds sake we had (and still do have) SIXTY pairs of socks. yes i did just say SIXTY.

what the heck possessed us to own so many pairs of socks, i'll never know..

we were drowning in a sea of clothes. we never knew what we had to wear because everything was so disorganised and most items you'd pull out either didn't fit or were dusty from just sitting there or wrinkled to death because a million other peices of clothing were piled on top.

: : :

the first clothing purge was when i got rid of the clothes that no longer fit me. i was a size 6 before pregnancy and birth and i know i will never be that size again -- i'm a very happy size 8 now -- so off the clothes went into the charity box. at least 100 items in new or near new condition.

my second clothing purge was when i decided to keep the clothes that fit me *and* looked decent on me. whether i would wear them or not was a completely different story. about 50 to 60 items went into the box.

my third and hopefully last clothing purge will be where get rid of everything but those peices of clothing that i do wear. it doesn't matter if it looks decent on me or not -- if i'm not wearing it then there is simply NO point in keeping it. period.

many clothes that i have fall into the "i might wear it someday" category. but i know that i won't wear it.. and so it's time we parted.

i have to say, it has been really good to do a gradual purge. each item has been tried on for a few minutes and thought about before put in either pile. so i've been able to say "goodbye" to each peice. some clothing i have had for YEARS but they are very well taken care of, so i have to admit it was a little hard to let go at first.

i've taken some photographs of before (with this current purge) and will post the before and after when i am done.

this couldn't of come at a better time as many items (like undies for example) have also been on thier death bed for a while and well.. the time has come to be put to rest. i mean, i don't know how much longer i can go on walking and pulling up my undies at the same time -- it's getting embaressing and dang it if aint hard to do while carrying a toddler.

oh, and the sixty : pairs of socks are going... were getting 7 pairs for dh and 7 pairs for me and that's IT. i'm SICK of seeing socks EVERYWHERE!!! and i mean everywhere! even dd just throws them around now. they are freakin' novelty in this house.
i'm excited about the replacements because most everything that is going to be replaced will be made of organic cotton and generally high quality. yay!

i should also mention that we are purging dh's clothing as well. he has already parted with at least 30-40 items. he's pretty much on board with the whole simplifying your home thing i have going on here.
post #54 of 157
Reading this thread inspired me to try to tackle my problem (which is not limited to my clothing but certainly centers there). I'm too overwhelmed by all the clothes and stuff to tackle a massive decluttering all at once, so I'm going to take a sort of baby step approach. I've started a blog about it, The Seven Things Project, and would love for anyone to join me in the effort.
post #55 of 157
I am sort of doing this. I'm a teacher so sometimes I get self-conscious about wearing the same clothes (most of my teenagers notice my sweaters more than poetic imagery, SIGH) but still, I have several huge bags of stuff I've sent out to be given away. Part of the problem is I have been losing weight (40 lbs in less than a year! that's a surprising number of sizes), so I am reluctant to put too much $/effort into new clothes (because I'm still losing-- although now I'm pregnant! arg!) But my IDEAL is to get down to just the essentials, maybe enough for two weeks because of the student factor, and then only buy things that I really like, but that are CHEAP (as in $ but not actual quality, not just label and fancy doo-dads) and then personalize them. I love all the cute tees with grafitti details, but I figure, hey, I can do that! Plus I like the idea of clothing either being ulilitarian or a true expression of personality. I don't know if I'm explaining this well, but it's something I've been feeling more and more strongly lately. "I could make that" at least saves me from buying too much stuff, even if I only make one in ten things I think about making.

Okay, but I really had to post to say that the main male character in the novel I wrote last year has this trait-- he has a uniform that he wears, he just shops every year or two, finds something he likes, and buys several of that outfit. So this is how the protagonist first notices him, because he has a distinctive shirt and she thinks he's a freak for always wearing it. She thinks he's homeless but they end up being good friends.
post #56 of 157
Sorry if this has already been posted, but did anyone notice her super cool accesory?
a purple sling!!!
post #57 of 157
A similar, complimentary thread over at the SLN:

http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/s...TOPIC_ID=35711
post #58 of 157
Thread Starter 
Thanks for posting that link...I was going to and then forgot! :
So has anyone seen Alex's new project on the Little Brown Dress site? She is going to make everything she wears for the next year. Fun stuff.

I have come to the realization that simplifying and purging is an addiction. I think I've lost touch with reality As I stand in my closet and stare at my VERY reduced amount of clothing, I think to myself...

"I have a HIDEOUS amount of clothes in my wardrobe!!"

Of course, I have about 75% less than I did at the beginning of the summer...but isn't it funny how your perceptions change when you start something like this? I haven't done the "official" count yet...but off the top of my head, I'm down to:
  • 8 T-shirts
  • 2 tank tops
  • 4 skirts
  • 4 pairs of pants (black, khaki, linen, cords)
  • 4 pairs of capri pants (jeans, cords, cotton gauchos)
  • 2 button downs
  • Workout pants and shirt
  • Hiking/camping outfit
  • Pajama pants
  • 6 pairs of undies, 3 nursing tanks, 4 pairs of socks

Oh my goodness. It's even more crazy when I type it out. Ack! And I thought I was doing better. It hardly looks like anything in my closet though. Hmmm...

I didn't include coats, etc. but you get the point. I think I need to downsize even more now. I need to do some truth-telling to myself about what I really do need to keep!

I'm not going to be too hard on myself I guess...I am making an impact and it's helping me to be more aware in all areas of my life.
post #59 of 157
Sara, coats aside, is that your entire wardrobe or just summer stuff?
post #60 of 157
Thread Starter 
That is everything. I did forget to include 1 cardigan sweater, 2 long sleeve t-shirts and 2 hoodies. I do a lot of layering in the winter and usually just wear jeans (which I will add to my wardrobe this fall) and a t-shirt over a long sleeve tshirt with a fleece over that. Iowa has pretty mild winters...I usually don't even wear anything except a fleece with a scarf and mittens.
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