These days I find myself struggling with my strong, strong desire to perk up my summer wardrobe. Clothes weren't an issue when I first started this pledge, since it was winter and I had just bought some new things in December. (an incredible Kohl's sale plus a free $200 Talbots gift card from a credit card reward) The clothing swap in January helped tremendously, too, and I have loved my wardrobe--until it got too hot to wear it. Now those things are put away, and I find myself staring into my closet with dissatisfaction.
The thing is, there is nothing wrong with what I have. A couple cute pairs of shorts and capris, some nice t-shirts from Ann Taylor, several summer dresses with matching shoes and accessories. Its fine. I just want something....different.
Normally at this point, I would hit some sales and use credit card rewards to buy myself some new clothes. But now I'm really, really learning to consider the alternatives. I found that taking the time to go through my closet and try everything on--I'm talking an hour or two--helps me to come up with new outfits and make things feel fun and interesting again. Simply making sure everything is washed and ironed and in tip-top shape helps, too. And finding a source of some different things--that helps alot!
I picked up some clothes on freecycle last week--several bags of items from a teenager my size who was moving and had cleaned out her closet. Normally, I wouldn't respond to such a post and would let someone who needed them more than I do get them. But in this case, the giver needed them picked up IMMEDIATELY or they were going in the trash, and hadn't found anyone who could do it. I was happy to help. Teenagers have such fun taste in clothes, so it was really exciting to go through the bags and try things on. Many items were far too "young" for me, and of course many were too small (or at least smaller than I was willing to wear them!) I did find several shirts and tank tops that I liked, along with the adorable swimsuit coverup dress that I mentioned in a previous post. There was a beautiful classic black and white formal gown--prom, maybe?--that I can wear to my husband's company Christmas party next year, and a few pairs of flip-flops. Even though I don't feel comepletely THERE, I feel much better.
In all, I kept about 15 articles of clothing, and removed that many from my closet to make up for it. I went on to re-freecycle everything that was left, plus what I had added to it, since I had the time to wait for pickup of the items. They went to a nice family in the next neighborhood over with several teenage girls, and the mom wrote me to say the girls loved the clothes.
All's well that ends well, and I'm glad I've had the opportunity to struggle with "want" vs "need". That hasn't come up often during the course of our pledge, since our "wants" haven't been too many and there is always such an abundance of secondhand items.