Letters to Eleanor: There are only 7 days in a week (so how many clothes do you actually need?)

I picked out a dress today from the outside sales rack at one of my favorite-est Fort Worth boutiques – why hellooo there, Initially Yours! With every intention of trying it on, of course. In a cut that flatters my figure, and a cheerful floral pattern that fits my vibe (most of the time), aaand at 30% off. Say no more, right?

But as I went into the dressing room, I remembered why that pattern looks so wonderfully familiar. Not that exact one, mind you, but something awful close is already hanging in my closet.

I laughed at myself and told the sweet lady helping me the reason I wouldn’t be considering it after all. She remarked, “You know, I do the same thing. I’ll buy something and then find I’ve already got like five of them in my closet.”

It takes self-control and practice not to make this shopping mistake, akin to walking away from the display of sea salt caramels at Aldi, or the scratch made cannolis from Publix, or the front door of Nothing Bundt Cakes (darn you, red velvet!)

Just keep in mind this simple math. There are only 7 days in a week (and you only go to so many places).

I know, I know, it’s all too easy to justify how often you’ll be able to wear so and so. But that’s a trap.

It’s not that different from overestimating how much you burn: “I did X, Y and Z at the gym and got through my entire ‘Best of Roller Rink Rock’ playlist all sweaty Betty. Go me!”…and underestimating how much you eat: “I only had one basket of chips with that queso.”

When you shop out of boredom and buy by ‘but I’ll wear it so much’ or ‘it’s perfect for such and such occasion’ justification, all you’ll do is overspend and end up in that familiar, annoying conundrum of having a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.

All you really need are enough fabulous ensembles (the clothes, the accessories, and the shoes) to look polished and appropriately dressed for school or work, social events, and church.

Not counting pajamas and athleisure in this – leggings (and comfy everyday wear in general) are life. Plus, one shouldn’t cook dinner or heavy duty clean in nicer clothes anyway, as they won’t stay looking nice for long (that’s why God gave us Old Navy activewear).

To keep your nice collection to a practical minimum, purge your closet every season.

If it’s still on trend and in excellent shape, try to recoup some of what you (or we) spent by hauling it up to a consignment shop or a place like Uptown Cheapskate. Of the 25 items I took them the other day, they bought 19 pieces and I left with a wallet full of cash.

I do that often, and it’s always a nice feeling. Plus it’s just plain smart. The money you shell out on garments, unlike what you could spend on say, value-based investments (I see you, Warren Buffett), doesn’t offer nearly as attractive returns.

If a resale shop won’t take it and only if it’s in great (or at least good) shape, donate it to a place like Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Whatever you do, don’t let garments and accessories pile up and crowd out precious closet and drawer space. All it will do is stress you out and make it even harder to find the things you actually want to wear.

Lastly, become super well acquainted with the delicate cycle on our washer. Because dry cleaning should be a rare (and is always an expensive) occasion. And, as you are already doing, embrace the clothing steamer. This mama’s iron hasn’t seen the light of day since before the pandemic, and I don’t plan on breaking that streak anytime soon.

Love you, girly swirly!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pop says:

    That was an entertaining read!

    1. Thanks Pop! Having fun with these! Hope our E girl enjoys them when she’s older.

Leave a Reply