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how few clothes do you really need? - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
YK, this really depends on where you live. Thrifting is very popular in my city, even among people who can easily afford to buy new, so the inventory is very picked-over. Also, there tends to be a lot more selection in the smaller sizes than in the larger sizes. I've found some things at thrift stores, but they are usually more like $8, and usually involve a *lot* of combing through and trying on.
That is very true.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
YK, this really depends on where you live. Thrifting is very popular in my city, even among people who can easily afford to buy new, so the inventory is very picked-over. Also, there tends to be a lot more selection in the smaller sizes than in the larger sizes. I've found some things at thrift stores, but they are usually more like $8, and usually involve a *lot* of combing through and trying on.
Yeah, I've noticed this too. If I was a size 6, I would be set. Maybe someday.

Not much for my size at the thrift stores, and most pants are way too short. I have occasionally found something good, but it takes a lot of time and searching.
post #23 of 38
The real key is to have what you love. I had paired down my wardrobe to bare bones, but then I really never felt "put together". I felt dumpy. So I rethought what things would make me feel "pretty". I know, I know, pretty is within but I do like some pretty clothes too. And cute shoes. The first thing I realized was to get jeans that really fit properly. Cost isn't the factor here. No matter how cheap or expensive they need to really fit. Then I put in some black pants both long and short. Then I added several really cute solid color tops and a couple of cute light weight sweaters for layering. Now I feel cute and put together when I go out. And I still don't have an obscene amount of clothes, but ones I really like.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
The real key is to have what you love. I had paired down my wardrobe to bare bones, but then I really never felt "put together". I felt dumpy. So I rethought what things would make me feel "pretty". I know, I know, pretty is within but I do like some pretty clothes too. And cute shoes. The first thing I realized was to get jeans that really fit properly. Cost isn't the factor here. No matter how cheap or expensive they need to really fit. Then I put in some black pants both long and short. Then I added several really cute solid color tops and a couple of cute light weight sweaters for layering. Now I feel cute and put together when I go out. And I still don't have an obscene amount of clothes, but ones I really like.
I agree with this. I want to down-size and simplify my clothes and my children's clothes, too. I want less laundry to do and less clothing to store. I want what I have to be what I really feel great in. I have too many things that I keep because I feel guilty (because they were gifts or hand-me-downs or because I've had them forever and they remind of some other time, etc.) I've got to really get over it.
post #25 of 38
Oh this thread is really speaking to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sainteanne1
I don't understand how having fewer clothes would change your laundry. Won't you still be washing just as much but just washing the same clothes more often?
For us, it's a bit of laziness. Since we have enough clothes in the closet to last us three weeks without washing, then we may just wear everything in there before we wash and by then it will take me a couple of days to catch up. I actually never catch up. We have mountains of dirty clothes in the bathroom, and a piled up basket of clean in the closet that doesn't make it to the racks, drawers... I'm drowning in clothes - many of which I don't even like. That's what's really frustrating to me too. I clean out the closet and decide I'm gonna only get what I love, but I haven't really decided what that is yet. I have about 3 pieces that I really love.
post #26 of 38
To echo a PP's thought, pregnancy really made me realize how minimal my wardrobe *could* be. At any time during my pregnancies, I only had 5-6 outfits to choose from. Basic Ts and mix and match outfits layered with cardigans were my go-to look. And, even within the clothing I did have that fit, there were my favorites and the clothes I only wore if absolutely nothing else was clean.

Of course, I got bored to death with all those outfits and HATED them by the end of my pregnancies, but I think that may have had more to do with the fact that I looked like a big fat load in most of them than the fact that there wasn't a lot of variety. I think that if I could whittle my regular sized wardrobe down to a half dozen awesome, flattering outfits per season, I'd be really happy with that.
post #27 of 38
I got rid of half of my clothes a few months before I moved. I put away what was out of season and I had tons of space in my closet/wardrobe. It was so much easier when it came time to move!

When my boxes arrive, I'm going to get rid of even more. It really really feels good. And I've realized that I can last with fewer items because that is what I've been doing for the past month. We've only had the clothes we brought in our suitcases on the airplane! (We just moved from Czech Republic to US)

We're actually kind of dreading when our boxes get here because we've seen how little we can live with and be happy with (not just clothes).
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
Also, there tends to be a lot more selection in the smaller sizes than in the larger sizes. I've found some things at thrift stores, but they are usually more like $8, and usually involve a *lot* of combing through and trying on.
I've found the opposite problem. Here, there are tons of clothes from size 6 and up, but the 0, 1 and 2 is very hard to find. Of course, searching for 3 hours to find one pair of great $5 jeans is worth it
post #29 of 38
"I feel like I have 3 wardrobes, 1) work clothes 2) house clothes 3) dress clothes (that I don't wear much but I enjoy to buy)" This is me

This could be me as well "
For us, it's a bit of laziness. Since we have enough clothes in the closet to last us three weeks without washing, then we may just wear everything in there before we wash and by then it will take me a couple of days to catch up. I actually never catch up. We have mountains of dirty clothes in the bathroom, and a piled up basket of clean in the closet that doesn't make it to the racks, drawers... I'm drowning in clothes "


I have clothes from Highschool and that was 19 years ago.
I love pretty clothes the fabrics the colors unfortuantly I rarely wear more than my work clothes or my around the house basics.

Oh and more than pretty clothes I wear, I love bargains I get a thrill out of finidng adorable high end clothes for my whole family for less than $4.

At one point I found that my SD who only spends about 100 days a year with us had over 13 pairs of pants. Less than $40dollars worth of thrift store bargains but still excessive.

2 weeks ago we emptied my closet and I let DH sort it he did 3 piles keep, toss, and try on. I couldnt part with a few things in the toss pile and took them back but we actually filled 2 lg totes to take to the thrift store.

I still have to many clothes but its a start.
post #30 of 38
The drawback I see to having very few outfits per person is that I find things wear out much faster the more frequently they're washed. If I wore the same 3 shirts and washed them each 2x per week, they would probably look pretty worn in a few months. Maybe it's not an issue with kids' clothes because they grow so fast, but I have found it to be true for my older kids at least. WhatI do to try and cut down on laundry is I monitor who's wearing what and I have asked everyone to not change their clothes unnecessarily and to re-wear things that have been worn only a couple hours or haven't left the house. It helps a lot.
post #31 of 38
(Waving to Jster....I was in your Aug DDC...how is that babe?)

Back to topic....we don't have a ton of clothing....well except for my dh...he's the clothes horse LOL I can say without a doubt that he has enough clothes for several husbands. He recently traveled out of the country for 6 mos, and took quite a bit of stuff with him, but I was just putting the last of his laundry away today and realized I cannot tell what he took! LOL

My boys (11 and 8) share one smallish 6 drawer dresser (small one for unders/socks and another small one for pj's, 1 for t-shirts, 1 for pants, 1 for misc sports clothes/jerseys, and the 6th drawer is actually for ds's bird stuff LOL). Then they have about a dozen hangers for sweatshirts/sweaters/long sleeve shirts. I have a similar sized dresser for myself including one drawer for misc 'stuff' not really clothes and then a few dozen things hanging.

I just thin their clothes frequently! They tend to get a lot of t-shirts because they run road races and people gift them. I don't really buy them many new things or we thrift or I sew things, so I don't worry if something wears out quicker than it normally would, I just get an inexpensive replacement. Though, I'm not SURE they wear out sooner.....the boys wore the SAME shorts 4 years in a row. Not the same size...but the same actual shorts. And many of their sweatshirts that get worn often have been in service for 3-4 years as well!

We also spent 3 weeks in England a while back and we each took only a carry-on sized backpack that also included games, camera, coats, etc. We had two pairs of pants, 5 shirts, 7 unders, 7 socks, and a sweatshirt.

I think if you want to go down to just a few things...do it! IMO it DOES make laundry easier! You cannot get 'behind' on laundry, because you don't have much to wear, so it has to be done and putting away is easier because you don't have to find space and cram it into the small available space.

We've also taught the boys to hang their clothes up over the end of the bed, and if they aren't dirty, to wear them again. Pants can be worn multiple days. Unders and socks changed every day. T-shirts maybe 2 days. Sweatshirts can be used all week usually.
post #32 of 38
My rule of thumb for DD's clothes has been two weeks' worth of clothes. This isn't a simple 14 outfits, though. I look at an actual two weeks of upcoming activities for each season (sleep, school, play, gymnastics, swimming, sports, weddings, parties, etc) and she chooses her favorite items for those activities. She wears most clothes twice before laundering. The rest goes away (charity or friends). When she was younger (and growing so much more rapidly), I would need to fill in quite a few gaps each new season simply because we'd always have a ton of certain things and nothing in other categories. Over the last couple years, I have let family know exactly which clothing items she needs for Christmas and birthday (usually pajamas, swimsuits, and shoes) and they've been terrific about honoring those requests.

I chose two weeks because I keep up with laundry easily and do not wish to HAVE to do a specific load due to some "emergency". We have a three-bin sorter and I generally wash whichever load is fullest each morning. When none are full enough, I wash towels or sheets. I don't have to do a load of laundry every single day, but I consciously make that decision each morning. My DD is very fashion-conscious and she simply LOVES clothes! She loves fabrics and details and on and on. For me, one week is too few due to laundry issues and a month is too long due to space issues. Two weeks has worked very well for us for about 4-5 years now.

DH hasn't bought into this concept at all. He doesn't own a ton of clothes, though, so I leave him alone. His natural tendency is "what if?" and he leans toward the pack-rack side of things. His world is about to get rocked in this regard. We finally, after nearly nine years of marriage and making do with his old hand-me-down stuff and my childhood furniture, purchased new bedroom furniture and it is arriving in early May. He is already aware that there will be some significant changes going on in our bedroom regarding clothing!

For myself, I think I have reached a good balance. We only have 2-3 seasons, depending on how technical you want to get. For each season, I feel that I have adequate clothing without going overboard. I do find I HAVE to wash certain clothing items of mine more frequently than anything of DD's or DH's. However, I have been losing weight and only own one pair of jeans, black pants, and black capris that fit at any given point. I've been giving away the too-large items as they fall off. Tops are far more forgiving than bottoms, so I have a lot more of those. I tend to wear them all, though, so I just don't buy any new ones. I go through my clothes about three times a year and donate the ones I no longer like for whatever reason. I probably have too many of the non-staple items, though, like nice dresses. They take up so little space in my closet that I haven't bothered assessing their value in my life, yet. With the new furniture arriving soon, though, I plan to go through our entire bedroom with a fine-tooth comb...
post #33 of 38
I totally downsized our clothes.

Everyone in my family (two parents and five kids) fits their clothes in two small closets and two dressers. I have definitely found (especially with clothes) that less is more!

Although, just to be honest (and really, prove my point)...I was doing good until the change of season, and then the change back to cool weather, and now its getting warmer again...so hopefully, this time next week I'll be back on track.
post #34 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I got a lot more of a hold on things...I am finally done with law school, so the house is actually under control again!

It's really interesting the way the responses on this thread went...some interpreted my question as how many clothes do you need to have clean clothes for a reasonable length of time, and others interpreted it as how many clothes do you need to present yourself fashionably. We're definitely not the fashionable sort so I was more thinking in terms of actual practicality...more like how someone a hundred years ago would have a few outfits, wear them a couple of times before washing, and get by.

We haven't gotton there quite yet, but I bagged up a whole bunch of clothes, put them away, and no one has missed anything yet. And the laundry isn't out of control, even if DD2 goes crazy on clothes changes in a day she still can't do much damage. I'm not sure what we've got interms of outfits, but the girls are both fitting in to a three-big-drawer dresser (one for undies and pjs, one for tops, one for shorts/skirts/pants) as well as some dresses hung up (probably about ten, down from about 40). We definitely had gotton out of control...I just hate to throw things away, and it seems no one wants something if it has even the slightest stain, so...

Thanks again for all your thoughts!

And Crunchy, my little boy is doing great...he's practicing crawling right now and getting in loads of trouble It's a whole lotta fun to have a baby around again, and best wishes to you with TTC!
post #35 of 38
Lurker, de-lurking here to share laundry experience that works for me...

I know this wasn't your question BUT we are a family with lots of clothes and the wanted to share how I keep up with the laundry:

I grew up with a one laundry basket family that we threw everything into and my father would trudge downstairs when it got full and wash it.

That doesn't seem to work for me now that I have my own family

So in my laundry room I have two of those divided rolling thingys and one small basket into which I separate them as they get dirty.

They are:
Dark
Colors
Pinks and Red (yes, I've got a 3yo DD )
White
Colored socks and underwear
Light towels
Dark towels

Then every day I make myself wash one load. It's kind of freeing to only have to do one load and then be done!!!

Off to wash my one load....at least I learned SOMETHING from Flylady, even if nothing else stuck, LOL!

Emily in Germany
post #36 of 38
I have downsized mine and would like to do everyone elses clothes (although they greatly protest about getting rid of any clothing, so I just pick things out here and there to get rid of).

I have all my clothes hanging. I have 6 skirts, about 10 tops, two tanks to wear under some tops, one pair of pants, two pairs of capris, a couple of dresses and a few coats (need coats here, lol!). I keep my undergarments, socks (don't wear but keep a few pairs), 2 nightgowns and 2 bathing suits in a medium tote and I have a medium tote of clothes I hope to fit into someday . It has made life so much easier having everything hung up as I can see everything and almost everything matches, except for a couple of skirts. There are still a few items I could probably get rid of but I like having some older clothes to wear around the house when cleaning
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
To echo a PP's thought, pregnancy really made me realize how minimal my wardrobe *could* be. At any time during my pregnancies, I only had 5-6 outfits to choose from. Basic Ts and mix and match outfits layered with cardigans were my go-to look.
I hadn't really thought about this before, but I think pregnancy really made me realize how minimal my wardrobe could be, too. I bought very few maternity items, and made do.

It is very true that you don't need a lot of clothes.
post #38 of 38
well for my children I have an 18 month old boy and a 4 yr old DD
I got them their summer clothes and they each have 7 short sets. Which could get us through 5-6 days but I wash every other day. Then they both have 4 church/dressy outfits and my DD has alot of dresses on the other side of closet for parties etc.. that dont get worn very often.

For me I just pared down to
(im preggos so I have a bunch in attic of different sizes)
2 prs stretchy dress black pants
3 capri pants
3 long board shorts
7 nice tops
5 tees
4 workout outfits

My DH is another story he has a closet PACKED of clothes he hasnt worn in 10+ yrs weve been together
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