“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing, and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” – Vivienne Westwood
When it comes to our bulging closets, the vast majority of us need to rethink our relationship to clothes. Simply put – we own too much. It seems harmless, right? I mean, there are far worse vices than a little shopping, right?
What most of us don’t realize, however, is that too much stuff is making us feel bad. Like, a lot. We’re frustrated when we can’t find what we are looking for. We feel depressed about our bodies when we can’t fit into those jeans from high school. And, yes, just about every single closet I’ve ever organized – including my own – has a relic that we think we might fit into one day! (If you don’t believe me, just ask my family and neighbors about the day Mommy decided to rake the leaves in her Levi’s from the late 80s. Enough said.). We feel irritated when our partner’s clothing is spilling into our space in the closet. We feel more frustration when our kids can’t/won’t/don’t put away their clothes. Our “stuff” is impacting our relationships and sense of well-being.
The solution? Well, it’s a complicated issue, and one I don’t pretend to solve here. What I can offer you is a way of reframing your thoughts when buying a piece of clothing. It’s not enough for a piece of clothing to simply ‘spark joy.’ There are a lot of clothes that ‘spark joy’ when we are shopping! Perhaps we would be better served by thinking in terms of investment, in the same way we would pick a life partner?
Not to be too glib, but we need to stop thinking of clothes as a spontaneous “hook up” that feels good now, but may make us feel bad down the road, and embrace the idea of only bringing home items that can stand the test of time. And when we buy quality items that last and are sourced responsibly, we’re also doing better for the planet!
So next time you pick up a piece of clothing, and feel tempted to buy it, try hitting the pause button and ask yourself, “is this a hook up? Or will I take this jacket home to meet my parents??”