Day 206: Fashion Crisis

dog-sweaterI don’t want to sound petty, but sometimes buying a new sweater does wonders for ones mindset.

I’m not suggesting that I’ve bought one mind you, just that, after 6 and a half months of not buying anything resembling a scrap of clothing, I’m starting to feel mighty unfashionable.  For example, I never got on board with those skinny jeans when they first came out, and now I’m dearly regretting it.  They would go perfectly with almost anything wouldn’t they?

Actually, I’m going to blame most of my crisis on the clothes drier.  It keeps eating socks.  I kid you not, I have over 50 mismatched socks in a special “sock basket” in my bedroom; I made two sock dolls at Christmas (also stuffed with socks) and didn’t make a dent.

Today was the last straw when I realized I had finally lost my last pair of proper, black, office-socksappropriate socks.  In fact, the only socks I could find that weren’t meant for skiing down subzero slopes was an old pair of softball socks – yup, the white cotton knee-high kind with the red stripes down the side.

You try being fashionable when you have those sticking out from beneath your dress pants.

I’ve never been very high end clothing-wise, but I have always considered myself above the “sport socks in high heels” level.  (To be honest, I took the socks off when I got indoors, so only the commuters on the bus suspected I was crazy).

The point is that we’re all living in this society where the way you look is really important, and even if I pretend that I don’t care, I obviously do.  My clothes aren’t worn out, they’re just old, but it makes me feel worn out wearing them.

Now don’t worry, I’m not about to crack and go on a shopping spree.  I’ve just been thinking more and more about clothing.

I honestly thought that buying nothing for a year would help me make better choices afterward.  Instead of  numerous cotton shirts made in a sweat shop, I would buy a single, quality, locally sewn garment made out of sustainable materials.  Instead of purchasing flip flops at the dollar store I would find ones with a lifetime warranty or. . . I don’t know. . . weave them myself out of local grasses.

The truth is this: I can talk all I want about making smart consumer choices and thinking about where products come from, but when it comes down to it, I ‘m horribly afraid that the moment this project is over, I’m going to run down to the local mall and buy 3 shirts for $20.



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9 responses to “Day 206: Fashion Crisis

  1. Oh my, I hear you – In fact, I have a browser window open now with a few things in my ‘shopping basket’ from an ethical fashion store that is having a sale. I can get a fair trade, organic cotton long sleeve top for £6, but I have the angel on my other shoulder saying ‘but you don’t actually NEED it’. Of course I don’t, but ya know, I WANT it.
    Oh what to do. That shopping basket has been open since 5:45 this morning and I’ve still not decided!
    Do I close the window or get the credit card out??!!

    Good luck with the socks………

  2. inchingalong

    I hear you as well. Sometimes the lure of the budget retailers like Target and Walmart are difficult to resist. I have been trying to cut back on clothing purchases as well. I spend a lot of time looking on-line or in the few catalogs that I still receive and then sigh and set them aside. I have managed to resist everything but a pair of sweatpants this winter and I only bought those in response to our decision to turn down the thermostat. For me it all goes back to calculating how many hours I am willing to work for any particular item. If you make $15 an hour, are you willing to work an hour and a half to get 3 cheaply made tee shirts? I am getting to be less and less willing to part with my money for items that don’t provide long term value.

    You’ve proven that you are strong, Jen, you can resist the lure.

    On the sock front, if you have a lingerie bag (mesh), try loading them in there and washing. Works great for panyhose and nylon knee hi’s that would otherwise end up in your pant leg or sweater sleeve. (I know you can’t buy one right now, but its a long term solution)

    The great eternal question of the cosmos has got to be “where do those socks go?”

  3. kate

    hahahaha softball socks!

  4. Uncle Ted

    I didn’t think you ever wear matching socks.

  5. rhy

    Jenny, I have a million pairs of socks, black, patterns, white, etc. . . you’re welcome to take some a number of them probably have never been warn. . . . also we should host a clothing swap, someone else’s warn out threads may become our new favorites?? It’s nice being able to wear lise’s clothes too because that doubles my wardrobe options when i’m feeling my closet is a bit drap, too bad you and grant can’t do the same. If you’re up for hosting a swap let me know we can coordinate a time and invite our friends and have more swapping options :).

  6. Emilie

    I’m in for the swap too. Lonely socks included 🙂

  7. Jen CleanBin

    Mrs Green – don’t do it! Unless you need it of course.

    Thanks inchingalong: the mesh sock bag idea makes a lot of sense. I have a shopping bag that is mesh, so I could try that.

    Excuse me Kate (she’s my sister so I can talk to her like this)- you know softball socks, although not office appropriate, are actually cool. They clearly send the message “I was a high school jock” to the world. (and yes, I really have had those socks since high school)

    Thanks Uncle Ted, but I have become more fashion forward in my adulthood, so I now wear matching socks. (he’s right though, I purposely wore mismatched ones for years)

    Thanks Rhy, a clothing swap sounds great.

  8. Lisa

    Seriously, what is it with socks? For your flipflop query, I direct you to dedicated to my friend’s nephew – and the organization donates 2 pair of shoes for every pair of f-f you buy. My friends and I have also totally done the clothing swap thing, or perhaps if you can take some of your clothes to a consignment store you can have a store credit – no “buying” – more like bartering. As for the basket-o-socks, I love some of the ideas on this randomly googled website: – the pet bed, dishcloths, and to fit as a replacement Swiffer cloth – brilliant! Love the blog, very inspiring, keep up the good work!

  9. Jen CleanBin

    Lisa, thanks for the shoe donation and flip flip lead. I usually give my old shoes to a local charity, but it seems like sending them overseas really benefits people who are desperate for them. (I like the note about David Parish’s organized shoe collection on the site).

    Also, great ideas for used socks. Some of my mismatched ones I am willing to part with for cleaning and crafts, but some of them I am holding onto in the hopes that the mate will arise (I have some really nice socks you know)

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