I’ve been getting a little antsy lately. The reason? I haven’t shopped in a looooong time. One of my resolutions this year, was to curb my shopping instincts, so that it is easy on the wallet, as also use all of the clothes I have accumulated.
“Would it help if you were to use the entire closet, and I moved my stuff to the other room’s closet?”, H asked me over the weekend.
“Hmmm… I would rather you did not. I like having my ethnic wear separated”, I replied.
Which starts a whole new topic by itself. In recent times, every time one of us goes home, we come back with loads of love showered on us in the form of sarees and kurtas. Of course, it goes without saying that the ratio of my clothes to H’s is 5:1.
Instagram does not help much. I haven’t had the heart to ‘unfollow’ some of the brands I follow. I have been ogling and drooling over some of the sarees and jewelry posted, that I have had a very hard time saying “NO!” to myself from contacting the curators. In a way, the website carts help. I get about 70% satisfaction in just zeroing in on stuff, and adding them to a cart. When it comes to checkout, the effort to close the tab has been comparatively easier!
In my defense, I am not a waster. I don’t buy stuff, just to throw them away or give them away at a later date, with 0-3 uses. My personal style and comfort have always been the foremost decision making tools when I buy stuff (well, almost!). Though I may get something that is at a store because that’s the trend then, I wear them even long after it is out of style in my own way. I still have clothes from my university days. This is more or less like my mom and aunts dealing with their sarees. A saree never leaves your wardrobe till it is tattered or no longer comfortable, or you find someone to give it away to. My cousins and I are very much into this ‘maximization’ aspect of buying clothes. What cannot or would not be worn by us because we just grew tired of it, or grew a size bigger goes to the next person in line.
But it is truly hard to justify why we shop. And trust me, I have been asked this question several times (mostly by the males in the family, and usually the same person, more than at least fifty times). I would tell H, “We can get ten pairs of shoes in the money you spend for one of yours!”, but it is hard to be that vehement with arguments when the issue of space crops up.
Believe it or not, I had a similar ‘no-shop resolution’ situation when I was in school and was curbing my wild spending on clothes. I went shopping with friends who were looking for something specific, and shopping for/with them, really did help!
Now, back to the present. After months of getting tempted looking at new clothes, and a tough exam to prepare for, I open up my Instagram and in one shot get three lovely sarees and a few accessories that I have been drooling over for a while now. I justify my buy saying that online shopping for Indian clothes wasn’t part of the deal, and this is my venting (also read coping) mechanism.
An hour later, I find myself guilty.
I have given this some very serious thought, and wondered how I can stay excited while also going easy on my wallet. May, being the month of sustainable fashion, I make a new resolution, and I still pray hard that I stick to this. Now here is the idea.
I have given myself mini-projects to continuously stay enthusiastic about the resolution, while also helping deal with my rehabilitation. The coming year will be the year of new saree releases that I bought (nothing can be done now, about this part), as also a year of sustainable saree wearing.
- I have re-arranged my closet to move hangers to the end as I wear my clothes, so as to wear every single one of my clothes.
- I subscribed to Stitch Fix a few months back. While I found their clothes a little expensive, I loved how the stylist completely understood my style from my answers in the questionnaire, and my Pinterest board. My stylist even picked clothes that looked similar to my pins. The best part of my package, was the styling card. There were three different ways I could style the piece of clothing that she sent me. I would highly recommend this to people who do not like shopping, want a hassle-free experience, who don’t have time to shop, and who don’t mind spending a little extra for nicer clothes, that fit great. Pinterest is quite the savior too for styling clothes. So my next idea is to find new ways to style the hundred or so individual pieces of clothing, and accessories I have. This has already gotten me excited, and another post on styling will shortly follow.
- I read up recently about the KonMari method of de-cluttering. Several people have sworn that this method works. While I would love to get in touch with most of them to see if two years down the road, they missed any of the things they threw out even once, I do think they were brave enough to give it a shot. I choose the word brave because 90% of my clothes have memories associated with them. Be it something I picked out for a lot lesser than I expected to pay for it, to more significant first dates, and first gifts. Somehow looking at my clothes and thinking if it brings me joy, and then to throw it away, is so not my character. I probably would swear that every single piece had me ecstatic. H had to threaten me a few times with public shunning, or refusal to walk with me before I threw away my comfortable cotton t-shirts that I wore around the house because of all the fading. Giving does give me a warm feeling. I spent an afternoon pulling out jeans that I grew out of but hoped to fit into one day, dresses I had bought while in school, gifts from room mates that I had worn a million times but were still wearable another hundred times, bags that I hardly used because I have only three go-to bags, and bundled them into packages to give away.
- I segregated my blacks and whites. I can never have enough of these. I am sure a lot of people can vouch for this. They are extremely versatile! Mental note to self here.
- During my next India trip, I will, no doubt, come back with a bunch of clothes. This time around though, I will be back with a bunch of sarees that belonged to the mothers and paatis. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra.
Again, this is an idea put on paper, that has its foundations laid, and scratch work going on to it. I truly hope to stick to my plans, and check back with you all in a year’s time.
Now chant with me, “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle“.