So, I noticed that I've been wearing the same three or four me-made dresses in almost constant rotation. I have a closet full of clothes, which I apparently am not wearing. Since I had run all my errands for the weekend, packed my gym bag for tomorrow evening, made a bunch of freezer burritos, and was generally ready for the week, I thought... let's take a look at what's in there and see why I'm not wearing it.
Closer inspection revealed a closet full of clothes that don't fit, what-was-I-thinking items (the teal jacket with zipper trim on every seam, including the princess seams comes to mind), me-made wadders, last minute purchases for one occasion or another, overly cute (kawaii!) items that I liked in concept but not execution, unlined polyester jackets that I purchased before I started sewing, jeans, and sweatshirts. Notably, there were at least three pantsuits that ended up in the pile. There were a few items that I feel a little sentimental about and will probably keep, but at the end of the hour or so it took me to go through everything, here's what I had:
It may not look like all that much, but I think the local thrift shop will be happy to have them :) None of them are really worn-out, but they don't fit me or my life any more. I thought about saving some of them for re-fashions, but it's probably best that they go to a new home that will love and appreciate them.
This dovetails nicely with what I've been thinking recently about my relationship to consumer-fashion. The picture immediately above was taken at a local mall (Lloyd Center, if you know the area) a couple weeks ago when I had to go there for volunteer tax-prep training. It has a vaguely temple-ish look to it. Either that or a train station. It also has a multi-level food court, several attached restaurants, a movie theater, and an ice-skating rink. It also has the most ridiculous multi-level parking lot in the area. Love it or hate it, the shopping center is a key part of American society. Shopping has, in fact, become entertaining! I'm guilty of this myself. Sometimes I have been so bored that I'll go poke around the shops and end up coming out with things that I don't precisely need and didn't know I wanted before I went in there.
I'm not, strictly speaking, anti-shopping. I think it has a part to play in the economy, and it provides a generally safer place for teenagers to hang out in and find employment in than a lot of other places. (Recent events at another local mall, not withstanding). It's certainly convenient to buy your shoes, books, and kitchenware all in once place. I'm a big fan of efficient and convenient.
I think it's safe to say though, that I'd like to be more conscious about what I wear, and buy to wear. The idea of induced desire for an item is a little troubling to me. If I need something, I would think that I would know about it before I go shopping. I'd also like my clothing to last, which the aforementioned unlined polyester suit jackets are unlikely to do. Finally, I'd like to have a better dollar to wearability ratio in my closet. I don't really mind spending a couple hundred dollars on a jacket if it fits beautifully and I can wear it regularly to work. The odds are though, for considerably fewer dollars, I could make myself something that fits a lot better. Similarly, I don't mind buying t-shirts, since you can almost always buy them for less than you can make them for.
I think it might be time for me to do a mini-wardrobe SWAP to fill in the holes left by this afternoon's wardrobe purge.