A clothing experiment

In summer 2021, and after giving away literally a third of my clothing, a friend and I made a pact not to buy any clothes (other than regularly replaced essentials like socks and tights) for six months. Six months seemed like a reasonable amount of time to adjust to my smaller wardrobe – and to what was missing, particularly as I got used to working onsite after 18 months at home. At the end of six months, and as I expected, I wasn’t actually missing much. I needed to replace a few things that were literally falling apart, and I needed better slacks for work.

Here’s what I have purchased or obtained:

  1. One pair of dreamy slacks that I paid my friend to make just for me. I needed black slacks but impulsively chose a grassy green and it was absolutely the right choice.
  2. Two pairs of leggings, both too sporty for work and not sporty enough for running (grr!).
  3. Two pairs of pajamas, replacing one pair that fell apart.
  4. Four pairs running socks, replacing (under lifetime warranty!) two pairs that fell apart.
  5. One pair Converse for biking, replacing another pair that fell apart.
  6. Two pairs of bike shorts.
  7. Two promotional t-shirts.
  8. Three nursing bras.
  9. Two pairs period underwear, absolutely worth it.
  10. Three pairs running shoes (I go through two pairs per year).

On the whole, I’ve found this to be a super interesting experiment made slightly more complicated by our washer/dryer dying a slow death at the beginning of the year. (As it turns out, the “right size” for a wardrobe when you work from home and have in-unit laundry is somewhat different than the “right size” for a wardrobe when you have a (very short) bike commute to the office, and when you can’t do laundry every day.) I continue to find things that no longer fit or serve me, and continue to pass those on when I can. I would like another dreamy pair of slacks, but am happy to wait for my friend to have capacity to make them. I’m grateful for the abundance that allows me to lean towards minimalism, and I’m grateful for the capacity to continue noticing.


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