Thursday, March 26, 2009

1095 Days Plus One

Normally I'm not much of a shopper, my general philosophy is I'll never be on my death bed wishing I had shopped more. I gravitate towards online shopping and seriously haven't been in the mall in something like four or five years. However it seems about every year to year and a half I have an almost overwhelming urge to do a massive overall of my wardrobe. I have no doubt it might be construed as shocking to some, especially someone such as my husband who has no problem getting by on three pairs of jeans, a drawer of t-shirts, and two sweatshirts (one is his "dressy" one); AND has remained about the same size for about 15+ years. Also, I'm sure part of his alarm is his personal finances are tied to such episodes (even though, I swear, I'm a major bargain hunter).

About a month ago I came up for breath from one of my sprees. My husband been gone on a military exercise for three weeks and has only been home for three days. He seemed agitated since he came home, after some snarky comments we managed to get to the root of his concerns: that I wasn't done yet and I would just do it again in six months. I said I only tend to do it every year and a half, he said, "Can you make it three years then?" Hmmm... Can I? We worked out some terms: thrift stores don't count and it only applies if I remain the same size (which hasn't really happened over a three year period before but I had always been in the cycle of losing and regaining weight before, or having another baby). I haven't decided if I'm going to take the challenge yet but I'm thinking about it. I'm also thinking he may need to add an incentive to the pot.

Could you take on a similar challenge? Are clothes important part of your personal expression or just functional? Or is it the shopping you love?


Gina said...

I hate shopping for clothes and I would love to not do it for three years. But I think I might develop a need for more formal suits within that time and a significant percentage of my population of pants might succumb to old age, too, so if I actually didn't buy clothes for 3 years, bad things might happen.

Maria said...

the terribleness and cheapness of clothes requires me to at least replace a few tops/trousers every 6 months or so. most high-street clothes only last about 10 washes before they become completely out of shape and/or fall apart. Even the mid-priced stuff. So yes, you could go 3 years without buying new clothes but you'd end up with most of your favourites looking a little worse for wear.

Risha said...

Yeah, three years is extreme, even if you are a jeans and sweatpants and teeshirts person. I'm not exactly a clotheshorse, but at the very least I need to replace at least half of my standard work black slacks every nine months or so, and need new work-appropriate shirts on about the same schedule. A year and a half seems remarkably generous to begin with.

Unless you mean that you're literally throwing out everything and replacing it all at once? I do have some clothes that are still not torn, stained, or irrepairably worn after three (or five, or eight) years, but it's a very small minority of my total wardrobe.

vesta44 said...

I don't like shopping either (unless it's at Catherine's on the clearance racks), most of what I can find that fits me costs more money than I'm willing to spend. I did find two tops on clearance at Catherine's this last weekend, $98 originally for the 2, I paid $19.98 for both of them (one was $50, one was $48). I might buy one or two items online every 6 months or so, and usually spend less than $30 when I do, so DH doesn't worry about it (we spend more on clothes for him than we do for

Joan said...

Three years is too long to go without buying new clothers, as is a year and a half - at least for me. My thighs rub together, and that makes for wear and tear. And I go through shirts fast too, from stains, wear and tear, and after a while they just look bad. I don't have to have a bunch of really nice stuff, but going around wearing old, ill fitting clothing isn't a good way to show care for myself.

spacedcowgirl said...

I love shopping. I'll buy $20 or $30 worth of stuff from Target as often as once a month or less. And it'd be more than that if I had a good-paying job like I used to. So I'm not really the right person to be asking. :) Actually I think your system is quite reasonable... my husband is super-thrifty and even so, every couple of years he'll hit the Geoffrey Beene or Van Heusen outlet and buy as many dress shirts as he feels he needs. Also every year or two... not usually at the same time... he'll replace any of his Dockers that are getting worn. It seems to work for him. I think such a system works best when it's accompanied by a massive closet cleanout of anything that doesn't fit, is worn out or badly stained, or that you never wear. Then you can see what you need to replace and add.

spacedcowgirl said...

I forgot to say, I think 3 years is maybe being a little hard on yourself. Does that mean you can buy literally no clothing except at the 3-year mark?

Cherie said...

Risha, I'm not literally throwing everything out all at once but generally a significant portion does get donated. Most of it is still in decent condition but in the past most of it has either gotten too big or too small since I've never maintained a stable size for a long period of time.

Joan, I have no idea how fast clothes will wear out with me since I haven't remained the same size long enough to figure that out in the past. Right now I do have the advantage of having just come off one of my sprees and I will admit I have A LOT clothes right now. Plus, thrift stores aren't included and I do tend to find a lot of stuff there if I go often enough. Trust me, I'm not one to let my self esteem suffer or to go around ill fitting or tattered clothing--challenge would be damned

Spacecowgirl, it means no retail clothing for three years (underwear excluded).

I will admit I have have a lot of clothes right now. Likely too many by a reasonable standard and I have the advantage of not having to be concerned about work clothing. I'm still considering it.

Rose Campion said...

Your husband would probably hate living with my clothing purchases. I love clothes, I love shopping. I buy new clothes every season. Not a whole new wardrobe, but a significant chunk of change is dropped on my clothes. For instance, my spring purchases have been about seven new tops of various kinds, two skirts and four or five dresses. Not to mention a couple of exercise tops and I'm thinking about buying some new bras and undies too. Oh, and a pair of jeans too.

There is just no freaking way I could go three years without new clothes. I do cycle through my clothes and not just let the older ones build up. I sell the better condition ones on the Fatshionista community, donate the ones in worse shape to the Goodwill.

I don't always spend a lot of money on my clothes because I like a vintage look and surprisingly, I can find on eBay three of the 70s polyester dresses I'm obsessed with for the price of one new one from Torrid. Old Navy is a guilty pleasure of mine, because everything is so disposable, but so cute and cheap. I'm big fan of on-line buying, but have been known to do a lot of digging at places like Nordstrom Rack and Filene's.

I make no bones about the fact that I'm a "clothes horse." Clothes and fashion are my hobby. I don't travel a lot. I don't buy tons of books. I don't buy DVDs or CDs. I don't buy a ton of craft supplies. I don't buy makeup. I don't drink or go out a lot. I've got really basic cable and phone service. I don't have a car, but ride a bike instead. New (and new to me) clothes are my main indulgence.