The range of clothing choices

(Surprise! No writing rant this time, just maundering around about clothing choices.)

One of the reasons I roll my eyes at the standard downsizing advice to “discard anything you haven’t worn in the past year” is that I’ve found I switch out my fashion choices not just by season but by year. Some years, I’ll prefer a particular set of winter clothing. Other years, something else. It’s kind of annoying to be expected to switch things around and keep buying new stuff just because I don’t choose to wear the same items from year to year.

A lot of this range has to do with the way the different seasons manifest themselves here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as where I’m going and what I’m doing. Things change from year to year, as does my mood. Mind you, I’m not talking about a huge amount of clothing that I keep. I try to buy quality, for the most part, and rotate through seasonal bins, some of which cross over (fall/winter/spring, spring/summer/fall). It all depends on what kind of season we’re having.

The other piece? If I get rid of something because I’m not wearing it right now, inevitably, a few years down the road I’ll want that clothing item again, and where on earth can I find it? Nowhere.

For example. Turtlenecks in winter. A few years back, I decreed no more turtlenecks and disposed of most of mine, I’m not sure why. Then, a couple of years later, I found myself wanting to wear turtlenecks in the cool seasons again. But finding them…arrgh. I finally ran across a couple in a thrift shop and bought them. Learned that lesson.

Or unstained short-sleeved crew neck blouses in spring and summer. I got caught out on that one last summer, due to heat and the need to come up with ensembles that might work for urban exposure. Sure, I have a lot of t-shirts, but they just weren’t gonna work for this situation. Most of what I had on hand had been relegated to hiking, horse work, wood hauling, outdoor chores–and they had acquired various stains (welp, being–ahem–rather busty, The Shelf, as I call it, tends to catch food. Another source of stains, no matter how much care I take).

Some years I wear jeans all the time, winter, spring and fall.

Others, I wear skirts and dresses around the house and for non-outdoor, non-hiking, non-horse activities.

I have several pairs of leg warmers. Most of the time, they languish in the drawer during winter. This past winter, suddenly I’m wanting to wear them on a regular basis.

What I have done in my sorting is culling uncomfortable items, high-maintenance items that don’t serve a particular purpose, and items that fall into the fast fashion, absurdly stylish range. Though I have regrets in that area as well (such as disposing of some much-loved color block sweaters and t-shirts).

But getting rid of something just because I haven’t worn it in a year or so?

Guaranteed to be something I want to wear within a year.

Ah well. Now that I live a significant distance from temptation, and Covid has restricted my shopping, I’ve found that rotating clothing between seasons is enough to give me joy.

And I can comfort myself with the realization that I’m no longer being a slave to fashion.


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