I decided to stop buying clothes. Probably not forever, but for now. They say we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, so what are the chances that whatever random piece of clearance merchandise I suddenly decide I need will make it to the 20% pile?
Really this aligns with my overall goal of simplifying life and making more responsible purchases. I’m trying to focus on the necessities: what do I really need? Where does my happiness come from? And what gets in the way of my happiness?
Of course the key to happiness is a much bigger question than can be answered in one blog post, but I know that sometimes the obstacles in my life are physical. Clutter interrupts my train of thought. Excess confuses me. And so much of my life involves laundry it seemed like my own closet was a good place to focus first.
It’s been about a year since I started my clothing fast. Though I’ve made a few purchases (Pearl Jam shirts… #sorrynotsorry), I’ve found that I really, truly do not need more than I have. Also true: I have too much. Way too much.
Other than learning I have more than I need, I gleaned a couple of other lessons. First, I learned I prefer a neutral color palette. I have clothing in an array of colors but I found I mostly wear black, grey, brown, white, and denim. I throw a little green and purple in sometimes but I actually treat those as neutrals too. This is a valuable lesson because it helps me check myself when I’m tempted to buy something impulsively. I no longer consider purchasing anything outside of my favorite neutral palette.
The other lesson is that quality matters. My experience is that it’s much better to spend $50 on a shirt you will keep and wear for ten years than $5 on a shirt that will look shrunken and worn in 18 months.
What is also true for me is clothes must match my lifestyle. I don’t go to an office every day (or any day). I rarely need to be dressed up. My clothes need to get me to the school pick up line and the grocery store for the most part. I’ve discovered that even when I travel I choose the same clothes to pack that I wear in my normal day-to-day life; I just add accessories if I need to dress them up.
The other thing about my clothes is I want to feel good about how they are made. I want to know the process of making them did not harm the environment or harm the people who were part of the process.
Because prAna is committed to support fair trade and sustainable practices in producing their clothing, I was honored to have the chance to pair with them for this post.
My girls are home for Spring Break this week so I asked them to help me with some pictures while we played outside. prAna was kind enough to send me an outfit that is very compatible with my lifestyle, even when my kids are home.
I first knew about prAna for their yoga clothes–maybe I saw them in a yoga magazine?–but last summer I purchased a prAna dress that quickly became one of my favorites. Not only was it functional, but it flattered me and was super soft. It felt so luxurious I almost felt guilty for wearing it. That’s also how I feel about this t-shirt:
Part of the reason the fabric in prAna’s clothes is so soft is that 84% of the cotton they use is organic.
Hemp is also one of their main fabrics, which is not only super soft but anti-microbial.
The t-shirt and shorts they sent me will be in heavy rotation this summer. I love that the shorts stretch with me as a I move. Makes it easier to play with my kiddos!
Though I can’t promise I will continue to not purchase clothes, I can promise I will continue to be mindful about what I add to my closet. prAna is a brand whose items are mindfully made; that makes them a great fit for me.
Would you like to save 15% off your entire prAna order? Use code: PMOMSOC until April 14, 2017 for the discount.
Special thanks to The Motherhood and prAna for making this post possible.