When I first started this self-imposed challenge (see bottom of this post for a brief description), I had to repeat my outfits much more than I usually did, which was already pretty frequent. I think we all know this seems to be a much more acceptable thing for dudes to do. Why is that? That women/femmes, who make less than men, are pressured to spend more money on clothing, when we only make a fraction of what men make, and when garment workers who are mostly women, suffer as a result from it? WHAT KIND OF BACKWARDS ASS BS IS THAT??
You know, I had written a completely different, short/sweet/impersonal caption for what my takeaways were on the “need” topic of clothing through this challenge. About building a solid mental inventory of every piece of clothing I owned in my newly-static wardrobe. About being able to clearly envision the missing pieces that would solve my multiple wardrobe dilemmas, and spending minimal time finding those effective pieces through resale shops, but, well…
I stopped buying things I didn’t need. That’s obvious. What I didn’t anticipate happening was the HUGE RELIEF it was to stop wasting time, money, and energy on even the THOUGHT of thrill shopping. I also didn’t expect to have so much to say about how zooming out from my engrained buying habits made space in my life to think more critically about the social, political, economic, and psychological ties we create with clothing.
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WAIT, WHAT CHALLENGE???
This month I'm posting 5 things I learned during a 5-year experiment. From mid 2011 to mid 2016, I only bought ONE new article of clothing per year. Things I considered to be “free” or not subject to this rule were secondhand items, underwear, outdoors or protective gear, gifts, and presents bought for others.
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