Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Minimalist Wardrobe

I have learned a lot from this ordeal experience of moving another persons belongings. I have learned that we are all products of our generation. I have learned that personal taste in clothing and such is as personal as our fingerprints.

My MIL is a product of the depression era.  She was born in 1921 so she was old enough and impressionable enough to be affected, even if not personally, by the depression.  She was raised on a central Texas farm that they owned, the child of Czech immigrants, and she always said that they, as a family, never really felt the full on force of the depression.  They grew their own food, they went to the community school which was worlds away from the big cities and the big city problems, they sewed, knitted, and dresses and shirts got passed from the bigs to the littles -- regardless of the state of the economy.

However, I am sure that she wasn't completely oblivious to the plight of many people and maybe it was the depression or maybe it was the immigrant mindset but this lady can save things for decades after their purpose has been served.  She also, clearly, has always had the feeling that more is better.

I was raised differently.  My mother was also a depression era child and because my grandfather worked for the railroad he always had work.  In 1928 they, as a family, bought a new house, a new car and had a new baby -- not too shabby in the time when the world was falling apart financially and the time between wars was way too short.  However, my mother didn't cling to material things. As I was growing up in the 1950's it was a common occurrence to come home to the furniture all being rearranged, new drapes and linens bought and installed, things painted and everything smelling of Clorox bleach and Lysol.  My mother didn't like things to stay the same for too long! We routinely cleaned out closets and discarded all manner of things.  We lived in what would today be called a tiny house so there was no place to store multitudes of things so out with the semi-old and in came the new. I don't remember my mother ever actually wearing something out.  Breaking things, yes, but wearing it out, no.

Both of these ladies have shown clear evidence of a shopping problem. One is a hoarder, the other a tosser.

Both of them are, in my humble opinion, wrong.

There has to be a balance and I have been doing a lot of thinking about this.

As I said prior, we are all products of our generations.  I was a child of the 50's and a teenager in the 60's.  We all loved Twiggy, Carnaby Street and we all tried to be anorexic.  In my case that didn't work and I am still dealing with it.  I regress.  At any rate, when I was a teenager, it seemed that we thought in terms of outfits -- we would buy a dress (many granny dresses or baby dresses), buy the tights, the shoes, the hair decoration and we had an outfit.  I still think that way.  I buy outfits.  However, today's mindset is toward capsule wardrobes where everything is in a color scheme to go with everything else and mix and match.  I simply can't get my head around that -- I still think in terms of outfits.

So, this is my plan.  I am going through my wardrobe and toss virtually everything.  I am going to plan and purchase six outfits to wear every day of the week -- a uniform so to speak.  It is probably going to be jeans and button down shirts as that is what I pretty much live in.  Then, I am going to find a couple of outfits (shopping my own closet for this) for church or dressier occasions.  I have a new winter coat that I bought from TravelSmith -- it is a khaki trench coat with a button in liner -- raincoat or heavy coat and it is warm.  I have two sweaters.  I am going to be able to put it all in one place in my closet and I will be able to get the laundry done in a couple of loads.  I am going to arrange these outfits on a hanger -- shirts on top of pants -- and that way I will have a minimal amount of hanging stuff.  Everything will be folded a la Marie Kondo and I am going to be done.  I have enough shoes to do me except for a pair of summer sandals which I will purchase in a neutral color -- ONE pair of sandals.

This is my plan.  I don't know if it will work and I am going to try to purchase these things with the new trend in mind that it is preferable to buy to own forever which means the quality would need to be as good as possible falling within financial restrictions.  My closet isn't over crowded right now but I do need to replace some things that are getting worn out and I think this would be a good way to approach it rather than just buying things willy nilly.

I will let you know how it goes and maybe even snap a photo.  Maybe.


Pom Pom said...

I hope it works for you, BB! I know I couldn't do it. I find colorful and semi-wacky things stimulating in a life-giving way. The only "outfits" I rarely tire of are pajama pants and old t-shirts. I wear them out (probably by laundering them constantly). If only I could find my favorites when shopping, knowing what clothing items would BECOME favorites. That would entail shopping more regularly and I would rather read.
It's tricky. I'll be cheering for you!

Boyett-Brinkley said...

Pom Pom -- oh I love pajama pants and old t-shirts! Dickies manufacturing company is here and they have an outlet store and I LOVE their t-shirts to sleep in. I sort of know what I end up wearing all the time so I figure if I stay in that mode I will be ok. I really don't like shopping at all and yes, I would rather read too!