FASHION

I will be the first to admit that I am no longer a fashionista. There was a time I thought I needed to dress in the latest and best fashion trends. However, long before I became old, it occurred to me that by dressing in the latest trends, all I was doing was helping to make others rich: the fashion designers, the manufacturers, the stores that sold the clothes, etc. “Money, money, money. Everybody wants my money.” So, I started to think of ways I could keep my money and still dress professionally.

First, I organized my bulging closet. I had clothes stuffed in there that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Some things I found I knew I would never wear again, so they were either consigned or donated to thrift stores. After those clothes were removed, I hung everything I returned to my closet on hangers turned backwards. Whenever I wore something, I turned the hanger the right way when I rehung it. After six months it was obvious which clothes weren’t being worn and they were consigned or donated. I now had a much more manageable closet. The side effect was that I felt lighter, more free, each time I looked in the closet. “Stuff” had been weighing me down!

I quit going shopping, just looking at clothes had the effect of making me want to buy them, so I quit shopping and looking and found more productive and enjoyable ways to spend my time: volunteering, hobbies — all aimed at being productive, busy, and happy. I became much happier. I kept my money and I was making a difference in my little corner of the world!

On the occasions when I needed to buy clothes, I looked in garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops. It is quite possible to dress well by buying second hand clothing. I only buy what I need, take it home and wash it immediately. I look nice, keep clothing from being sent to the landfill, and keep new clothing from being manufactured thereby saving Earth’s resources. AND keep more of my money. That’s a win, win, win for me!

Now that I am retired and spend much of my time at home, I buy sweatpants and shirts, jeans, shirts, and capris at thrift shops whenever I need them. I am comfortable at home and keep used clothing out of the landfill.

I would suggest that everyone needs to learn how to use a needle and thread. Through the years I have saved a lot of money and resources by mending and patching clothing rather than throwing pieces away and buying something new. (You can learn practically anything on YouTube.) Just because a seam comes loose doesn’t ruin the item if I can sew it back. It seems I am always poking a hole in the toe of my sock. I am happy each time I mend the sock rather than buying a new pair — after all the sock is inside my shoe. No one sees it except me and it’s much more comfortable without the hole. Eventually the sock wears out, but I’ve had a lot more wear out of it than if I had thrown it away when it first got a hole in it. Resources and money saved! Kinder to the earth and to my wallet.

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