I really like clothes. I love colors and textures and patterns and coordinating things so I pretty much think clothes are awesome. I even designed* for a major fashion retailer and lifestyle brand. This was the worst place to have to go every day while on a budget. You were most certainly judged on your appearance. It was everyone’s job to know what was relevant and trending and to look the part. There was even an executive at one point who was rumored to have a shoe budget larger than my starting salary. When I first started I felt a lot of pressure to keep up, but quickly realized that it was a race I could not win.
I at least knew that I couldn’t afford the clothes that everyone was wearing, but I still felt like I had to do something. I would buy things on sale and stuff my closet with cheap clothes. I thought that I was being responsible by not buying really expensive things, but it turns out that buying a ton of inexpensive things was just as irresponsible. One day while I was cleaning out my closet bagging up things that I never wore for goodwill I was grumbling at how overwhelming the process was. Jason calmly looked at me and said very matter of factly, “well if you didn’t buy so many things then you wouldn’t have to give so many things away”. It was so simple and so rational and shined this huge spotlight on this gaping blind spot in my thinking. So it was then that I decided to go through my closet, keep only the things that I wore on a regular basis and start to be more intentional about my purchases.
Here are some things I learned through this process:
- When you give away the things that are cluttering up your life then everything that’s left is the stuff that you love. Imagine if you loved everything when you flipped through your closet. When you see everything that you love it makes you more aware of everything that you have. It makes you happier. This means that getting dressed was no longer stressful. I wear fewer things more often and this has resulted in me wearing out clothes that I love so much. I never used to wear things enough to wear them out. I now get so much more use out of them.
- I rarely buy new things now because I am so content with the things that I love. When I do buy new things it’s not simply because they are on the sale rack. It’s because I’ve worn something out and need to replace it, or because I know that it will be something that I would want to wear everyday.
- Another thing that I had to remember is that good taste can not be bought. Even if you spend thousands of dollars on clothes you can still look ridiculous. If you have good taste you can shop at thrift stores and look like a million bucks.
- I also noticed that the people who stood out to me as the most fashionable people kept their style astonishingly simple. They never looked like they were trying too hard.
- I’m also always on the lookout for inspiring ways to wear staple items and keep track of them here when I need some inspiration.
- And lucky for me looking like a hobo is pretty fashionable right now.
*Just realized I should clarify in saying that I designed HOME products for a fashion brand. I wasn’t a fashion designer
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