I used to go through clothes a lot faster. Maybe I was buying shitty quality things that didn’t stand a long-term chance. Maybe it was my size and/or activity when I wore them, as my jeans still only last a few months before my excessive walking and giant thighs erode them at the groin. Maybe I got sick of things sooner when I was in the Finding Myself stage of youth. Maybe working in a mall made shopping for clothes so much easier.
But at this point, my closet is full of articles of clothing that have lasted multiple stages of my life. I still have hoodies completely intact that I took with me to Europe five years ago. A sweater, for lack of knowing the real name of the garment, that was of thin fabric when I got it four years ago only got its first hole today that was easily sewn up. Some socks have even lasted me a while, through the lives of multiple pairs of walking shoes. I’ve come to trust certain brands over others in socks, and certain fabrics over others in pants, but I’m not such a snob in clothing quality that I really bother investing in brands, fabrics, or laundry practices that will make clothes last.
But my wardrobe hasn’t worn away. It doesn’t need replacing for any real reason, except for the bagginess that some clothes have on me from never fitting properly to begin with combined with losing a few pounds. I’ve actually amassed a collection big enough to last me a month between laundry loads of the outer layers put on for show, even avoiding the shirts that I was kind of on the fence about when I bought them. I can fit all of this into a small closet at about 80% capacity. I don’t understand how people need walk-in closets and still buy the vacuum packing bags to store what’s out of season because they just don’t have enough room. (I also don’t understand “out of season” clothes as I have count-’em one pair of shorts and sometimes wear hoodies in August.)
Maybe I would be more understanding if I liked shopping for clothes. Clothes shopping for women is supposed to be a social experience. Girlfriends get together and try on outfits to critique together and get advice from each other on what’s worth their money. I don’t like that social experience. Shopping is supposed to be therapeutic. It’s a gamble with poor odds on making me feel better about my body as I try things on that fit well, and handing over my credit card isn’t the stress relief feminine stereotypes depict it as. Whenever I make any kind of purchase – even of food beyond basic grains, dairy, and vegetables; of bus tickets or hygiene products – I second guess my judgment and worry if I could’ve spent that money better. I don’t like mall crowds. I don’t like the snobbish environment of small store boutiques. I would simply like to avoid shopping.
Going into my 30s I am taking the route towards outdated wardrobe instead of sophisticated fashionista. I’m not blind to how awkward this makes my appearance (or will, as this may take a few years to go solidly sour) and I’m not going to be so defeated to dress like a slob. I don’t think I can judge people with hair and wardrobe stuck in the 80s anymore. I’m already starting to veer towards the status of a cougar (and the story behind that I might tell later) and the clothes I wear in that role just might parallel the sleeveless Def Leppard t-shirt tucked into the size-too-tight acid washed jeans. (My jeans, I guess, on account of my thighs, will have to go with the style of the times.)
It’s either that or all of my clothes will suddenly fail on me at the same time by the rotation not being consistent. In that case I will have to keep up with the trends of what’s available in stores. I will also have to build up some kind of emergency fund. Is there such a thing as clothing insurance? There should be. It might come in handy one day.