My husband and I will be moving across the country in a few weeks, and I’m getting ready to start packing. As I surveyed my clothes and closets, I’ve noticed that there are many items that I haven’t worn in many months. I also have some items that I’ve worn only a few times, and which are torn practically to threads. I don’t want to move things that I don’t need with me for two reasons: (1) I don’t like having “stuff” that I don’t use; (2) the movers charge by the pound (and more pounds = higher carbon footprint). I will be selling and donating the clothes that I haven’t been wearing, and (unfortunately) discarding those that are seriously worn out.
Thinking about the life of my clothing, I’ve realized that the move is an ideal time to pare down my wardrobe and begin to build a new wardrobe of high-quality, eco-friendly clothes. Owning fewer, higher quality items is a concept that is familiar in Europe, where closets are much smaller and women build their wardrobes over a lifetime. My Mother kept many of the pieces that she wore as a teenager and, because her style is relatively classic, many of the pieces came back into fashion. I would have loved to wear some of these pieces if her move from Europe had not necessitated that she leave many of them behind. She now regularly points out how many of my clothes are similar to those she had loved, including my simple ivory lace wedding gown (which I’m planning to recycle by either passing it on to any future daughters, shortening it into a cocktail dress, or selling it).
Back to my paring, I am planning to build my closet according to the following credo after my move:
1. I will purchase only high quality, keeping in mind that quality clothes will stay out of the dump for longer.
2. I will focus on finding classic items, which are easier to mix and match, so that I will need fewer things.
3. I will savor the process of acquiring a wardrobe that will last me for decades to come.
4. I will explore eco-friendly alternatives whenever possible (which includes vintage finds).