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.


I hate shopping for clothes. Oh my lord, do I hate it. But I do love vintage clothes, and $29.99 (Buy it Now!) is a pretty great price for a wool dress and jacket. Honestly, I probably would’ve spent money on this if I could be sure that the jacket would fit across my shoulders – but alas, instead I saved $29.99 plus shipping.

I did, however, spend $13 on a small pizza that I ate all by myself and that I had delivered because our car is in Cleveland at the moment. I also spent $3 on a Christmas present, which is not much to spend in the grand scheme of Christmas presents.

So I didn’t spend $29.99 but I did spend $16.

60’S MOD MAD MEN WOOL SHEATH & CROPPED MINI JACKET – eBay (item 360317045860 end time Nov-13-10 04:46:52 PST)


I don’t often covet the silly or expensive things that I see around on campus. I don’t care about the Prada bags or the sunglasses that probably cost more than my entire outfit.

Today, however, I find myself intensely longing for the brightly colored rain boots that the undergrads all seem to be wearing.

Outdated but could be cute

Today has been the wicked-boringest day ever. I’m not sure what the boredom book would say about that statement – but, here’s the thing. I’m not allowed to read, I’m not allowed to write, I can use the internet judiciously but not excessively, I can’t wander around, etc. I’m basically paid to sit in my chair and wait for customers to come to my window – with a few brief exceptions. We’ve been hella dead this last week, and I’ve exhausted all the cleaning and busy work I can think of. I have my knitting and my book with me – but I would get in trouble if I took them out. So….I sit.

Thinking about going to see The Singing Detective tonight at the art theater. I’m ghetto broke (think $45.54 left after paying bills – wait, sorry, make that $45.53) – but I cashed in my “fun fund” change today and am $13-or-so richer. I’ll probably also spend quality time reading and writing letters and drinking hot cocoa – all good cold-weekend-y things to do. Hoping the boy will be home tonight, but really have no idea on that one.

Yesterday we ransacked Grandma’s closet, meaning I came home with all sorts of outdated but could be cute things – skirts and jackets and blouses and – best of all – sweaters! I’ve fallen hardcore in love with the new-old rose cardigan I’m wearing today. Going through the stuff was hard for Mom – but I would rather do it now, with Grandma’s help, than wait. She’s willing to get rid of things now which to us indicates a thought towards leaving the house – and I suppose we have to act on these moments whenever they come around.