Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Apparel Diet and other austerities

While I agree with the comments on my previous blog that beauty comes from within, few of us live as if we believe it, It IS hard to believe in our society which puts so much emphasis on appearances. We not only assess our physical attributes and especially our weight almost constantly, most of us stuff our closets and drawers with far more clothe than we need and many times with lots of clothes we don't even wear.

Today's NYTimes had a long article about two groups of people trying a new approach. One group has been "dieting" since last September. Approximately 150 women and a couple of men, agreed to go on an "Apparel Diet" and not purchase any new shoes or underwear for a year. I could easily go on that diet. I used to purchase new underwear any time I saw a good price, not because I have an underwear "thing" but because I didn't want to be forced to do laundry just because I ran out of underwear. So I have a drawer well stuffed with underwear and always have other reasons to do laundry before the drawer is empty. Also I have plenty of shoes. But I admit to giving thought to the end of the summer sales as my black sandals are badly scrufed and need to be replaced. This seems a reason for probable purchase.

Another group called Six Items or Less [ -- if you want to join or read their statements] have decided to wear only six items which are already in their wardrobe [not counting shoes and underwear] for an entire month, no matter what kind of events they attend. They are discovering that, although occasionally they might feel inappropriately attired, no one really notices or seems to care what they're wearing. I think this is true. We go on and on about "nothing to wear" when, of course, we have plenty to wear we just want something that will make us feel beautiful or at least invitingly attractive for wherever we're going. As these people reported, it really doesn't matter. Try it, you'll see for yourself.

So we're back to the comments about my previous post -- the beauty isn't on the outside whether it's the body itself or the clothes covering it. We've been fed a tall tale by the apparel industry and we've displaced our feelings of emotional neediness to closet neediness.

But, gee, I do enjoy fabrics of many sorts, designs of many sorts, textures, styles, cuts, embellishment -- mostly I know very well they don't make ME more appealing or attractive but I like them for their own sake. I've convert a part of my love of fabric, pattern, color, texture to quilting. Still I adore clothes -- I have some that are 20 years old and may way them only a time or two a year but can't part with them. No justifications except the sensual pleasure they give me.


Conda V. Douglas said...

This reminds me of a group (whose name escapes me) who dedicate to spending only 2000 a year on anything not necessary--like food. Amazingly tough to do, sometimes, but useful for learning how spoiled we Americans are.

Kass said...

I have mixed feelings about acquiring a lot of clothes. In some ways I think it's nice to be a walking piece of art, but I see the waste of closets-full of clothes not being worn.

I tend to wear the same thing day after day. It's become my uniform because it's so utilitarian.


June -- one thing in your post made me use my old memory. When you mentioned how old an item was in your closet -- I thought about what is the oldest item in my closet. It's an item about 30 to 35 years old -- a practical Amish garden shirt that I hardly have worn. I really liked your post as it told me that some folks are really starting to be less clothes hogs. I like good fabrics but one good fabric can go a long way with me. Quilting is a great way to incorporate good fabrics and still have a practical use for them. I could go on but I won't for the sake of space. Thanks -- barbara

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

I was surprised as I was fulltime rving years ago and now rving occassionally that I only brought 7 outfits towear due to the fact of not enough space. Brought one pr black, one brown and one white. Wore the same outfits every week just changing days and went to the laudrymat once a week in some strange city where we were camped. Fun really! I find now I wear almost the same clothes every week, yet have a closet full of those I either can't fit in or takes too much time deciding what to wear.