Monday, October 1, 2012

Consumed.

Originally, I was going to say something like "can we just talk clothes for a moment?", like this isn't some sort of semi-conscientious, anti-consumerits hippie blog. Because, to be totally honest, lately I've been thinking about clothes a lot more than usual. It seems that I'm facing a few continuously irritating, if minor problems, all relating to my wardrobe, and all somewhat contradictory to each other.

As I may have mentioned before, based on how I dress, people seem to think that I spend an inordinate amount of time on sartorial musings and dressing. Sadly, this is not the case.

The older I get, the more of my clothes pleasure seems to be vicarious. I like to look at them, enjoy their beauty, find others whose style I admire, but I'm having a harder and harder time to get really excited about actually wearing and buying things.

Vintage Womens White Babydoll Prairie Dress
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I already have a over-crowded wardrobe, full of delightfully clashing items, flowers upon flowers, pattern heaped on crazy pattern. If I were cut off the world now, I would be well-dressed, warm and floral-clad well into my 80s. This might actually be a small part of my current clothes dilemma(s): I don't have a lot of good, basic, simple clothes. I have things that other people might wear for a special occasion (if the special occasion was a hippie festival, a boho gallery opening, or ren-fair), or let's face it, a costume. 

The solution to this, appears not to be for me to go out and buy said, good, basic clothes. I don't wear them, I'm a chronic over-dresser. Maybe it's because I grew up in the theatre, maybe it's because I was Marie Antoinette in a past life, who knows. 

30% OFF SALE Secret Garden Floral Summer Dress VINTAGE
Because of this, many of the pieces I own are somewhat incompatible with my lifestyle. Not that gardening, crafting, cooking and harvesting have to be unstylish pursuits, but it does help if you can get pretty down and dirty. I definitely don't try to save my clothes from a ruff-and-tumble existence, but there's a limit to how crazy I'm willing to look pulling up beets. Needless to say that there are things in my closet I've worn only once, never, or perhaps once a year. 

Yet I continue to add new items to my wardrobe. And, instead of dreaming of something different, my eye is drawn to the same dear, old things time and time again. I certainly do not need another flowered dress, another soft cardigan, or awesome vest.

In some ways knowing what you love is an amazing thing. It's a sign of maturing tastes, of becoming yourself. But it can also feel like stagnation, sticking to safety rather than exploring. If clothing is a form of self-expression akin to journaling,  drawing comics, or arranging flowers, might sticking with what you love also be a lack of inspiration? 

When Missa recently posted on feeling comfortable in your clothes, I surprised myself by realizing that while yes, I basically love anything girly and feminine, prairie dresses and all, lately I've also been feeling the draw of a simpler style. 
1970s Young Edwardian Magical Animals Garden Folk Dress with Red Velvet Trim
In fact, I almost purchased the dress below from its seller on Etsy, after searching for fall clothes under "brown rust dress 70s", envisioning a simple necklace, tights and boots. Only to realize that "Wait! I have green and blue hair and I'd look like a mermaid on the first day of school."

70s SUN floral SUMMER dress jumper petite small size 4
Still, I felt stirred by a sudden onslaught of inspiration. Yes, I want to dress more plainly, with smaller touches of interesting details. I'm obsessed with the typical fall/winter colors suddenly, the browns and reds, the heather grays and mossy greens. Ideas appear of certain, perfect pieces, I feel like I need
CUSTOM Autumn Woodland Hat
A red and white polka-dot maxi skirt. White, crisp, school-like, impossible to keep clean, blouses. Everything night sky. 
Love Spell Vintage Gunnies Blouse

Dark is the Night Illustrated Locket Necklace
My initial response to such a flow of inspiration, of course, is to buy stuff. Surprised? Don't be. In spite my pronounced dislike of consumer culture, I'm actually the consummate acquirer of...well, things
Mini Crescent Moon Necklace- Handcut Modern Silver Crescent Moon Shape
Just because I don't shop in box stores, or even hipster boutiques, doesn't mean I don't buy a fair amount stuff each year. In fact, like many thrifters, I fear I buy more stuff than I would if I had to pay conventional prices (this in spite the fact that those prices are ridiculously low for manufactured goods). If I had to pay twelve bucks for each top I get, instead of a dollar, I'd get a lot fewer tops, for sure.  
Constellation necklace - night sky - stars - gold dipped - astrology print - gift set - zodiac - navy black gold white - charity
This also regardless of the fact that I actually have a rather strict budget. I count all my clothes-related purchased to the sum total of 365 dollars a year. That is, a dollar a day, which is what some people live on, so it should be plenty for everything: clothing, accessories, shoes, unmentionables...

I also count into that money stuff I thrift for swapping, because the end result is often, that I get more clothes. 
Seeing The Dark Side of the Moon Necklace- Large Hammered Crescent Moon Shape
Here's how it has spread throughout this year: I've spent 62 dollars of it on etsy, 85 dollars for a handmade dress and about 130 dollars on vintage and thrifting. That leaves me with about 88 dollars, which I'm probably going to blow at the Fair. 
Initially, before really thinking about it, I felt like I had done pretty well for myself this year, because mostly I thrifted things for swapping and not so much for me, found really good deals and had a little more restraint than usual. Still, looking at my closet, it seems as though there are endless new items. Where did they all come from?

Well, I've gotten bunch of things as gifts, bartered for a bunch, traded (labor and clothes) for credit at the local consignment store and gotten items for free from The Dump. There's a big chunk of birthday money that I was planning so spend on something above my usual purchase limit, as well.

I'm not a minimalist, nor aim to be one, but suddenly I feel like these contradictory clothes problems, the bulging wardrobe, the lack of inspiration, the desire for specific items, are all part of the same cycle.

That too much of a good thing may be just too much and not a good thing...

Which is why I felt like I needed to write this post. Often, I find that I get a special clarity from writing blog posts on personal issues that trouble me. Partly it's because writing one's thoughts down makes ideas more concrete and publishing them, putting them out into the world underscores that, but also because you guys are my sounding board for such musings.

So tell me, please, what do you wear and why? How much do you spend on clothes? Do you wear everything in your wardrobe regularly, or are you a collector? Do you feel guilty/confused about your clothes habit?

I have some ideas on how to remedy this situation, but suggestions are very welcome.

All the images are of accessories and items of clothing I've thought about blowing my 80 or so bucks on.

22 comments:

  1. oh my god. i occasionally have this same problem. I say occasionally because, sometimes i pull myself up on it and don't buy anything for a couple of months. It can become quite obsessive can't it. It feels like it might be a creative compulsion for me. I want to create something for myself (an outfit or look or feeling?)...and then I do it and there is a weird sense of achievement. (or satisfaction? which I suppose is the OCD component) I can't help but think SO MANY WOMEN have this issue and that it does relate to something biological/evolutionary. You know I wear thrifted stuffs, swapped stuffs (my favourite things are swapped items), my basics are usually bought new - like plain cardys or plain black/white teeshirts of which i have one of each. Thrifting is much more expensive in NZ I think, at the cheapest thrift store a top is about $3 - they keep putting up their prices unfortunately. Um, as to being a collector, i can't say i am exactly, as i do love and try to wear them all (i'm getting a weird sense of deja-vu that i've said this all before here)...I just realised recently that my style has changed. I had a big thing for zooey-ish (cringe) type clothes a couple of years ago, and now i'm passing them on - either to my market stall or to others. My mouth dropped open the other day when a customer picked out a pair of pants I was selling and went to buy them without trying them on, she said to me "for $13 it doesn't matter if they fit or not" - admittedly i totally judged her at that point. But i do ask you this, what do you think is fundamentally wrong with your relationship with your clothes? Is there actually anything wrong? Are you uncomfortable because it doesn't fit with your other ideals? Are you able to release unworn clothing easily or is it difficult? (i almost cried when a girl bought a 60s silk handmade dress that i was selling - i had only worn it twice but liked to look at it...and only felt some satisfaction that at least she was a lovely customer to talk to) Oh dear, I just thought to myself....when i wear "this" i feel special. maybe that is what it is all about for me. x Sorry for posting the longest comment in history.

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  2. i love this post and i love teeny's comment. i am like you times a hundred....with the thrifting portion especially. having an etsy shop makes it worse, if it doesn't fit you think to yourself, i'll just sell it. having an etsy shop that is currently nearly defunct makes it even worse!!! i still buy things that are rad but way too small thinking, i'll get so-and-so to model for me but all my friends have etsy shops and are too busy modeling their own finds :) so...the pile grows and grows. and now i have a baby girl to buy for too, and she needs basics as well as cute little vintage dresses of which she is well-supplied. so i buy pink leggings and tiny yellow tee shirts and tights for when she is one and ALSO boy clothes for my sister's upcoming fellow!!! see what i mean? a hundred times worse than you.

    one thing i will say, having a baby and nursing changes your wardrobe needs. it requires a whole post of its own in order for me to fully discuss that issue. i went through my closet and was able to pull out a bunch of stuff to get rid of, but guess where a lot of it went. into that pile to "sell" or give away. the "clothing swap" bags are filling up rapidly and my garage is jam packed. i do keep the thrift wheels turning by re-donating tons of stuff too.

    at least...AT LEAST...it's all recycled. ugh. i offer no solutions. thrifting for me is a fun outing as well as consumption. i like to take my baby with me. i like to look at every little thing, and darin and i like to sometimes make a day of it, cause he enjoys it too and looks for different things than me...vintage camera lenses, books, blankets. double whammy! i don't think it's gonna stop. luckily being poorer than ever we buy less and less :) maybe that's the solution, less money=less consumption.

    and now i have written a longer comment than teeny...not hard for me to do! i can't wait to see what everyone else says about this issue. as teeny mentioned, i feel like many of us are in the same boat. you are a master facilitator of great conversation my friend. you ask the most thoughtful questions and provide the most thoughtful self-analysis and i just want to say i appreciate that very much!

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  3. I have the same problem! I find it is a common problem among thrifters and vintage-lovers...we have all of these unique pieces that are so attention grabbing in their own right.

    I think it is normal to be inclined to buy something new during seasonal changes; that is always when I get the urge to buy. I work in an office so it is definitely hard for me to incorporate my vintage and I could certainly do with some simpler things.

    Your new dress is really nice! If you are worried about your hair/dress combo just put it up in a bun; the color will show much less :)

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  4. i love looking at beautiful prairie dresses and interesting thrifted pieces that have oodles of personality, but i don't have what it takes to wear the pieces i love looking at. i wear the same few pieces of jewelry that i only take off in the shower. every piece has sentimental value. my clothes are pretty basic...in fact, i think they "blend". when i find a top or pants that i like, i try to buy a couple of them in different shades. mostly blacks, whites, shades of grey, and earth tones that i can easily mix and match with each other. i'll add pops of color with scarves or nail polish and lip gloss. it sounds boring, but the simplicity of my style works for me.
    i love your sense of style, and i admire that you pull it all off with $365 a year! i look forward to seeing your new wardrobe choices with this shift in what you're drawn to! it's always fun to re-create one's look!! :)

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  5. I think all women go through somewhat of a similar issue, especially the creative ladies who like to express themselves through their clothing. I know that my style is constantly changing and evolving. I am a little jealous at your absolute certainty of what you like and your dedication to it. I feel like I flip from liking girl, frilly, pastel dresses to darker, gothic inspired looks. Sometimes I want to wear preppy collared shirts and sometimes it's a boho fringe shall. I wish that I had a more defined personal style like some fashion bloggers do (or seem to).
    I agree with you that it's easier for me to pick up many things at the thrift store as the prices are so much lower. I feel like I'm really getting a deal, and if it doesn't work out I can always sell it or send it back to the thrift store since a few dollars isn't so bad. But for some reason I never actually end of getting rid of it. So I have a jam packed wardrobe full of things I rarely wear. It's so annoying! And it clouds my vision of how I truly want my style to evolve. It's like all the clothing I own waters down my actually style statement. It also doesn't help that I work at a corporation with higher prices. I feel like my attitude gets skewed on appropriate prices for apparel and what is reasonable or over priced. Being of collector of vintage doesn't help either, since it doesn't bother me if I down't wear a certain piece for a long period of time because I tell my self its for a "special occasion'. I really feel attached to some of my vintage pieces.
    I'm very impressed with your $365 budget. It's embarrassing to say but it would be really hard for me to stick to that. I could spend that in one day!
    Thanks for talking about these issues and you're right, it does help to get your thoughts down "on paper".
    XOXO

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  6. I also have that problem, but try to keep myself reigned in as best I can. I've got even less cash than most, and try to get all of my clothing second hand... which since there's no thrifting to speak of here, my shopping is done online. I try to get most of my clothes via trade, but I DO buy things... Actually, all of my clothing money for Etsy comes from sales I make ON Etsy. It's a good way to limit myself.

    I find that my desire to consume is a seasonal thing. In the summer, when I don't care much about clothing, I don't want to buy anything. But once fall rolls around, it gets tough. If you looked in my closet, you'd be really surprised; I don't have a whole lot of clothing. Sometimes I find the lack of variety frustrating, sometimes it makes getting dressed easier.

    There are some things that I buy new, but I always go as inexpensive as I can... underwear, basics like plain white tanks (my two are full of holes now...)... I bought a long-sleeved shirt a few weeks ago, and a maxi skirt. Those were my last big purchases until... well, probably next year.

    I'd LOVE to have $365 to spend on clothing throughout the year. How you've divvied it up is really admirable.

    Thanks for including a few things from my shop in this post! It's always a sweet surprise to suddenly see myself (woah, alliteration) here, hah.

    xo

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  7. You know me. A die-hard minimalist :)
    I wear every single piece in my closet regularly.
    That being said, I love a folksy detail in my dress or blouse, a patterned knit cardigan, the new Lapikkaat I got for winter but already wear. And they are seriously the best boots I ever had.
    I like to wear simple, comfortable, quality clothes, but I still like some color and whimsical details. Because if I'm going to buy a dress or a shirt, it should be something that catches my eye and that I feel comfortable wearing. All of my clothes mix and match as well and I like casual pieces that can be worn for a dressier occasion too. I think the key is to have some basic, solid color pieces and then a few pieces with more color or interesting details.

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  8. Oh, and your 365 dollar budget is seriously impressive!

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  9. I'm impressed that you've been able to catalogue and quantify your purchases for an entire year! If I could probably see the amount of money I spend on "things" that I really don't need-- I'm sure I'd spend less. I also would love the ability to challenge myself in this way.... and just to add to that...I always just adore your posts. I feel like you bring up things that I often think about and then you open them up for conversation. Sort of a like a conference panel-- but for topics that REALLY matter at the day to day level and a great big bitch fest for a group of really great women :)

    I could probably write a dissertation on this here post-- as I've had some serious existential crisis over clothing. Seriously-- I had a very difficult time understanding who I was after I got my most recent job. I realized that I did want to portray myself in a controlled manner to my students. At the university I could easily be "myself" and I truly did feel that my clothing did not matter one iota. Come on, have you seen the way most professors dress? My students could care less and had seen way worse. For those students I was the "grade giver" and maybe someone who had some information they found interesting. My recent position however--as a community college instructor-- working in an inner city school with students who truly do see my as a role model and who need me to be their teacher/mother/counselor/psychologist/sister/friend/compatriot etc. required that I present myself in a different way. I felt the need to convey to them my professionalism and my experience. I felt sometimes that my clothing made me appear younger, less serious and a bit unkempt. At the same time, I also had to show them that I was someone they could relate to and feel like they had something in common with. Don't get me wrong I do try to introduce them to new ideas and things that make them feel comfortable (in fact, I love that part of my job). But, at a certain point I did realize that what I wore mattered--more than I believed. Whether it mattered to them or to me-- didn't matter. I felt like I needed to play more of a part.

    To make a long story short-- this required that I found clothing that fit me well and was more professional. I could thrift that clothing- yes, but it was easier and (especially in the early days when I had very little time to shop) faster to just buy new things. Many of those things were good basics that I had a hard time thrifting. I really struggled with this because I did find that I was reverting backward and becoming incredibly "consumeristic" once again. More recently I've become more comfortable with me as teacher and my wardrobe. I've also found ways to adapt without buying as much. Although I would like to tally my spending and see exactly...

    Whew... that was a mouthful! All to say that-- you're not alone-- I like clothes too :) Probably always will (at least for some time more) and sometimes I fall off the thrift wagon (but with intention). Does that count? ha ha! Thanks Milla for a thought-provoking and (obviously) close to home post!

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  10. "If clothing is a form of self-expression akin to journaling, drawing comics, or arranging flowers, might sticking with what you love also be a lack of inspiration?" ha! i love that! i have changed my style so many times over the years. i think it's fun and probably always will. clothes are fun and i don't think there's anything wrong with that :D my wardrobe isn't huge. i actually don't buy that much stuff for myself. since i shop for my etsy store and swaps and such, i find i only keep the stuff i LOVE. if i haven't washed and worn something immediately i figure i'm not that crazy about it and end up selling it or giving it away. i also think that since i don't pay much for my clothes i really have no guilt over them. i couldn't say how much i spend per year, but i don't think it's that much. actually, it would be fun to keep track, maybe i spend more than i think?! as far as collecting...i do have items i don't wear often but not a lot. and in the past when i've purged tons of clothes i ALWAYS regret it! for example, in high school when all the clothes i wore had to be black, i got rid of all my awesome vintage thinking i would never wear it again. man, do i mourn those clothes. i had so much awesome stuff! oh well... you live and learn right?

    fun post!

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  11. i understand your problem! i never want to buy new clothes,, i really don't enjoy shopping for clothes in stores all that much. if i ever go to a thrift store it is usually only on the half-off days, and i always end up buying more books. i just always feel odd buying clothing when i already have more than enough. i do love free clothing though that i find at the free bin at school, or when people give me clothes or i do swaps cause if i don't end up wearing it i can pass it along.

    but i have the same love of interesting/unique clothing as you. i always seem to pick out stuff that is pretty odd, printed, busy, colourful, detailed.. not ever simple. and i love this clothing, it is fun and makes me feel happier, more bright and alive. i feel like i am adding interest to my often bleak, concrete city landscape. but sometimes i get into those moods where i just want to wear something plain (but still slightly interesting?), worn in, not too noticeable. i have days where i hate being stared at (which usually always comes with wearing something out of the ordinary). i also notice that i get treated differently occasionally if i am wearing a flowery dress or something similar than if i am just wearing a button up shirt and pants. i get treated more carefully, cautiously or i get more ''sweetie'' type comments from older men, more attention. i don't know if that is part of stereotypes and prevailing ideas about gender and so called ''feminine'' clothing, but i also think about that a lot. because i am attracted to those items, yet don't want to be seen in that stereotyped delicate flower sort of view... unfortunately people can't read my ideas about my gender identity and values exactly through my clothing. i think people tend to take me less seriously when i am wearing more eccentric, unusual clothing, which is annoying but what can you do? i definitely don't want to change my way of dress completely to be seen differently. just some days i feel the opinions of others stronger than other days.

    there is a lot of loaded stuff with clothing. i could go on and on obviously! but i think the conclusive thing with my wardrobe is that it is important for me to have a mix of crazy, weird vintage stuff and then simpler, less noticeable things to wear on those days that require them. i flip flop between wanting to dress interestingly every day and express myself, and also wanting people not to see me or judge me based on the clothes i'm wearing. its a hard contrast sometimes, but as long as i have something for both moods i'm okay. i don't feel like i need to buy more clothes, i just can't forget that i don't always like looking like i'm in the circus.

    definitely an interesting topic!!

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  12. I used to have that same dress (long nightgown, you cut off?)in black but mine was always a bit tight in the pits so I sold it. I've gotten good at letting go. I have to admit, when I was with my ex and he was paying most of the bills, I became quite the ahem... collector (HOARDER!!). I had over a dozen 20s and 30s dresses in various states of disrepair (none of them even fit me!)and refused to part with any of them (just being in the presence of such finery is transporting and inspiring, sort of an actual time machine but actually more like a dream machine. I had a huge rack of oldies and thought, "well, If I ever need the money I can sell them...". so pretty much immediately after the breakup I started selling them off. I looked at them and just saw $$$ dollar signs and the need to pay the bills/work hard/get on my feet... I allowed myself to keep a couple velvet pieces (that do fit and I wear whenever possible) and few lace. and of course I have 3 plastic bins (!) full of Victorian lace/trims/edging/destroyed dresses too ripped to sell-these are rationalized off as "supplies" for making into clothes etc. Yesterday I sold the last of the high end hoarded sell ables... I had a twinge of hesitation but when a fellow "collector" offered me $100. for a 30s dress that didn't even fit, I sold it to her happily. I feel like getting rid of things opens up important space for new energy... It's hard to balance when thrifting/selling is what you do for a living but I'm doing so much better than I ever was.
    also, what "fair" are you talking about? xo m

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  13. I see clothing as wearable art, and believe that what you wear is an expression of who you are. The problem with this, of course, is that how in the world am I supposed to express who I am in such a limited amount of space? I like to wear unique pieces, but I keep things very simple to keep the focus on my eyes and my smile and the way I move, instead of the eye-popping paisley designs on my skirt (though I can't help but wear that too sometimes).



    I recently went through my entire closet and gave away about 75% of my clothes. I only kept items that a) I wear all the time and b) have a story. I don't like buying name brands; what's interesting about that? Instead--I did this last week--I'll buy a little old Mexican lady's (colorful and crocheted) wedding dress and wear it around so I can feel that I am dressed in love, and that a story is being continued through me.

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  14. I feel like I'm in a state of style transition and have been for awhile now. I've definitely been lacking inspiration and, not wanting to spend time and effort searching for it, my strategy has been to just wait for it to present itself. Meanwhile, on the average day, I'm wearing the same basic articles of clothing, ones I don't really have to think about, a pair of jeans/mexican blouse/saltwater sandals or keds (what I'm wearing right now, btw), that sort of thing, passably cute and not necessarily run-of-the-mill for the average person, but not at all creative for me. I haven't, for the most part, been getting excited about getting dressed.

    When I do feel the urge to get creative or have some sort of event or something to actually dress for, I'm finding that, while I have a fairly full closet, the pieces that I actually feel excited to wear these days are few. Is it new pieces that I need or is it inspiration and a new vision of how I'd like to put together what I have? I'm not sure. Perhaps a combination.

    As for shopping, It's still all thrift stores and I pretty much don't shop online. For awhile now my thrift outings have been mostly motivated by searching out gifts for others and inevitably I'll end up finding some things for myself in the process. Lack of inspiration has definitely contributed to a slow down in my thrifting. I used to go to the thrift store with a list of specific things floating through my head that I was hoping to find, which was motivation for me to go in the first place.

    Now I'm just not sure what I'm looking for. Sometimes this is good, because I'll find a piece that I may not have thought of before and it will spark a bit of inspiration, but I feel like I'm missing a big overall picture.

    Apparently, I've written a novel too all encompassing to be contained within a single comment box, or so blogger is telling me, maybe not in those exact words ;) To be contd...

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  15. I've also become much MUCH more picky about what I'll thrift. I'm no longer buying things that are cool but it doesn't quite fit me right so I'll have to belt it or something that will make it work but it'll be slightly uncomfortable to wear and it's only $3 so I'll just get it and try to make it work cause like I said, it's cool, but in reality I'm going to wear it about once, ever. I've become a lot more honest with myself about what I will actually wear and the sorts of things that will make a piece sit in my closet.

    So yeah, fit has become a very important factor in weeding out purchases, because while thrifting, the odds of finding pieces that you love are one thing but the odds of them fitting your specific body in a way that feels good and comfortable really narrows it down. I'm also trying not to buy things for swapping unless I have a specific person in mind that I think it will fit and work for. No more, well this is cool, it won't work for me, but I'll find someone for it eventually.

    Unfortunately, thrifting with Clover has become less pleasant as well. As a toddler she was content to wander the aisles checking out all the neat stuff, these days it's either I want this and this and this, or I'm bored, can we go? It makes for not a very relaxing experience, which brings me to another point, thrifting for me, especially solo, is a totally relaxing (even slightly zen?) experience. I do it to decompress and finding something for a great deal or something that I love and making a purchase is almost secondary.

    So while the inflow has slowed, I've still got a lot of stuff sitting in my closet unworn. Some of it ill fitting and what not, some of it I'm just plain sick of and not feeling at the moment, and some would fall into the collector category. I think a closet cull is definitely in order but I need to be careful with that too because, like Anne, I've had similar experiences of regret over clothes that I've let go. Now add on the fact that I have a daughter who clearly shares my love for clothing and I need to consider what to save for her.

    Wow, I should stop rambling now. I will say that I do feel a longing for a more inspired state when it comes to clothes and am feeling hopeful that the change in seasons may bring just that. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to wearing boots regularly again, I do love the boots!

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  16. Oh yeah, I totally win for LONGEST COMMENT EVER.

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  17. how funny to come and read this after all the de-cluttering i have been doing this past week...and that includes clothes!i realised that i had so many things i had not worn for ages, if at all and some i was holding onto for oddly sentimental reasons. so i decided to be ruthless and boy was i! although there are still a few things to go i have done well and my mind seems to have had adjusted itself on how i view clothes. i realised i would rather have less, but better clothes that i would always wear than lots of things i dont really love. thrifting over here, especially where i live is not a big thing (which maybe is a good thing for me!)so i only have a few thrifted mans waistcoats (wich i adore!) my three dresses are new but good, well made ones that last and last. i have cleared out a lot of things this week and feel so free!

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  18. ohh i didnt finish! i do love clothes so am going to have to be really strict with myself...but i am a very eclectic dresser-dresses over trousers, leggings or coloured tights. if i wear trousers with a short style top i feel...normal...and i dont like to feel normal, i like to stand out! and i always wear them with my calf high green boots...my biggest ever spend on something to wear...i had them handmade for me so they are so comfortable :)
    now i must stop talking about clothes!

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  19. i has this exact problem a year or two ago. i had a wardrobe full of lovely things but somehow it didn't feel quite right. i had some beautiful things that i loved "in theory" but never felt completely comfortable wearing - so many dressy dresses that felt like costumes, so many impractical delicate blouses and things that needed to be altered or pinned or belted or hemmed, but that i loved anyway and couldn't get rid of. i loved this kind of layered, vintage, girlie, slightly dishevelled look on other people (ie. girls on the internet) but never felt quite right in it or that i quite pulled it off. so slowly my thinking changed and i weeded out the 80% of my wardrobe that just wasn't getting any wear. i was quite attached to a lot of it (which probably isn't healthy in the first place - it's just clothing!) but i got completely addicted to the feeling of a newly culled wardrobe! i had a few market stalls and got rid of SO MUCH stuff, and in doing so got to chat with so many lovely ladies who were excited to be taking home the beautiful things that were hanging in my cupboard not getting any love! plus i made a few dollars (most of which i tried very hard not to just spend on new stuff). in the beginning i almost had to force myself to do this - it feels so uninspiring even spending $5 on a plain black long sleeve top - but now i have a much much smaller wardrobe (which is still too big, frankly), of basic, quality items that actually fit me and get worn all the time. i also pay more much more attention to quality when i'm thrifting now - the other day i bought a beautiful 100% wool oversized navy blue mens sweater, which is completely plain and "boring" compared to all the bright, patterned stuff i used to own, but i've worn it for two weeks straight since i got it, and actually feel more like myself in it than in all the vintage frocks i used to wear. i still have a few pretty things but even my definition of "fancy" and "pretty" has simplified down. (the one thing i still have too many of is pairs of lace up granny boots - i just can't help myself there...)

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  20. I, too, have been going through something similar lately. I just want simple outfits and am quite uninspired when it comes to pulling things together. Dressing, even for days where I am free from work, feels like a chore and don't often feel good in what I am wearing, even if it's something that I liked before. I am not quite sure what to attribute this change to, but it's been coming on for a while and has been compounded by recently getting a (fantastic) job in an office where I have to wear nicer things than ever before. As a result (and with a lack of time/patience to get out to thrift stores) I have "had" to buy more things from regular retail stores in the past few months than I have in the past 9 years. And the quality sucks. But I am lacking the inspiration to create beautiful outfits for myself right now, and if I am honest, I have never been too good at it anyway...much better at seeing what I like on someone else and admiring it. :) I will say that these days I will punch up what I am wearing with special jewelry (mostly bracelets and earrings) and this has become the only interesting part of dressing to me. Great post, Milla. Now, to go through that closet of mine!

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  21. Oh gosh, you're definitely echoing some of my thoughts.

    I definitely and admittedly get caught up in the way I look. I love compliments on my clothes (even more so when I get to say "Oh this old, thing, I got it at a swap!"). I love when my outfits seep into my spirit (long skirts, for example, make me walk slower, so I have to take time to look around and enjoy). I love sinking into sweaters and the way some tops show off my shoulders. I get a little vain.

    Nine months ago, I spending inordinate amounts on clothes that didn't feel like me, but got me a lot of compliments. I made the shift back to my roots (thrifting and vintage), and spend way less and feel more like myself. I know, in the bigger picture, it doesn't really matter what I wear. But dressing the way I do helps me bring good energy, helps me show up in a positive way. That's the way I choose to see it!

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