Fewer, Better: Clothes

I won’t tell you that I’m a hard core minimalist, because I’m far from it. But it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I don’t need dozens of a certain category of things, I just need a few. And if I’m only buying a few, they can be better, higher quality. So here’s a wee little blog series about how I’m guarding our possessions and our budget by purchasing fewer, better things. First up: CLOTHES! Thanks for being here.

One of my goals for 2019 was to rehab my wardrobe. I’ve been nursing or pregnant for the better part of 4 years, and my clothes were starting to show it. I hadn’t invested much of my clothing budget into new-to-me pieces that weren’t maternity, and it was time. Tell me I’m not alone here!

Since I had a fairly large shopping list, I wanted to do better than “fast fashion.” I wanted to purchase from companies that were transparent about their factories and practices. I wanted to buy quality pieces that I would love, not just what I found on the clearance rack at Target.

I looked at companies like Everlane, and loved what I saw, but for the most part, it was beyond my budget. Especially when I needed several shirts and several pairs of pants. I just couldn’t afford to fulfill my whole shopping list from their site right now. If you want to check them out, they’re offering free 2-day shipping today only (November 21, 2019). I love their Slim Cotton Long Sleeve Crew ($22) and their Cotton V-Neck ($18) and bought both this spring. They’ve worn great, even after several washes.

After those two purchases, here’s how I made the rest happen:

  1. Shop your own closet. The most eco-conscious, sustainable way to rehab your wardrobe is to look in your own closet and drawers. Sort out the things you love, and sell or donate the rest. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t like the color, or you never wear it–give it a new home. Lindsey Kubly’s Wardrobe 101 series has so many great tips.
  2. Shop consignment. Look in your area for consignment stores. If you find a good one, you’ll be able to buy gently used clothing at a fraction of the price of new. Plus, since it’s already in the product stream, you’re not creating an additional burden on the fashion industry.
  3. Check online resale sites like ThredUp or Poshmark. If you know your size in a brand you love, this is a great way to shop! I recently found a nearly new pair of boots for well under half what a new pair would cost. Such a deal!
  4. Sell items you don’t want than are in new/excellent shape. Check out your local consignment store policies, or list them yourself on Poshmark or a local buy-sell-trade site. Use your proceeds to fund the new pieces you buy.
  5. Limit what you “need”. Be honest about your every day life, and buy clothes that fit it. I’m home with small children more days of the week than not. I need clothes that are comfortable and allow me to move and get on the floor and bend over and lift. I don’t need a lot of business casual clothing or pieces that require special care, and my closet reflects that. Dress for your every day life.

I don’t limit myself to a certain number of pieces of clothing, but I’m consistently editing and thinning what I own. And you know what? The fewer pieces I have, the more I love them, and the more I love my closet.

How do you decide what you buy and what you wear? What’s most important to you? A good deal? A brand? A style? Lots of variety? The cool thing is this: YOU get to pick. Just because this works for me doesn’t mean it has to work for you!

If you check out Everlane, you can get free 2 day shipping today (11/21/19). I’ve found their shirt sizing guide to be very accurate, and their return process is painless if you try something you don’t love. Want to try this online consignment thing? Check out ThredUp and get $10 off your first order!

Disclosure: click a link in this post, and I’ll get a small commission, but it won’t change your shopping experience at all. Thanks for supporting my little corner of the internet!

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