As you may or may not know, I am totally obsessed with early retirement. I was reading on Frugalwoods, which is much more palatable and relatable than Mr. Money Mustache (who never thinks that anyone might have a disability and thinks everyone should be able to bike 5 miles and if not you are a total car clown ~fatso~ … I have rheumatoid arthritis so I can sometimes bike 5 miles and sometimes not) and early retirement extreme (who thinks you are a lazy ~fatso~ if you can’t do 5 pull ups … ignoring the fact that most women can’t do pull ups unless they have specifically trained their upper body to do so). Seriously, why do early retirement bloggers hate fat people so much? Being fat is actually fine. Calm down, early retirement bloggers. It’s not a moral failure.
Anyway, Mrs. Frugalwoods explained her three year clothes buying ban as a way to change her perspective. She said that if it was a temporary challenge, it would just encourage her to binge as soon as she finished with the ban, creating a restrict/binge/purge cycle. Makes sense to me. I know that I just happened to not buy any clothes for a few years and then opened the floodgates last year.
So, I am also setting this goal as a lifestyle change: no buying clothes. Only a few exceptions, like shoes when old ones wear out (otherwise you end up hurting your feet, and shoes wear out and there is nothing you can do to stop it), and activity-specific clothing (like if I don’t have a bathing suit and need one).
AN END TO BROWSING THE REAL REAL FOR VINTAGE ISSEY MIYAKE. AN END TO POSHMARK AND EBAY. AN END TO WISHING I HAD WHAT I DON’T HAVE.
In the end, I have tons of clothes. They meet my needs for covering my body. And they last a long time. I have many vintage dresses (still) from middle school that are in great condition. I know I bought them over ten years ago. I’ve repaired some seams and holes. It’s not hard with a needle and thread. Other than that, there’s very little wear.
I even changed sizes this year and none of my pants fit. So instead of wearing pants this winter, I just wore leggings, which are more comfortable anyway. Nothing bad happened. I don’t have any shorts that fit me this summer. I was wondering what I would do. My athletic shorts still fit me, due to elastic waistbands instead of not being flexible like chino shorts. Guess what? I’m a teacher. I don’t work in the summer. Casual shorts are fine. I actually DO NOT need more structured shorts even though I thought I did at first. Skirts and athletic shorts and dresses will be fine.
I also know clothing swaps are a boon. I got my Clark’s desert boots at one two years ago. They were kind of worn out, but people pay good money for distressed stuff on the runway and things get worn out looking in two months anyway. And they look better that way. They haven’t seemed to age additionally since. Who wants to be the nerd with brand new Converses? I remember being a teen and telling my friends who got new Converses to go rub them in the dirt. You need the patina. So if I really need something, I will arrange a clothing swap.
And if I STILL really need something and don’t find it — I will break my ban and find something at a thrift store or on ebay. It’s a challenge – not a law. Breaking it actually has no consequences other than spending money, which I like to avoid if I can, especially if it is spent on things that I don’t need.