A year without buying clothes

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My new year’s resolutions are normally pretty lame….floss everyday, exercise three days a week, you get the idea. This year, though, I stepped it up and resolved to not buy any clothes in 2015. My goal was made with the intention to reduce my consumption, and lessen my reliance on/addiction to fast fashion. (See more about my thoughts on why I sew here.) Here we are, at the end of 2015, and I wanted to check in with how I did. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 10.12.13 PMFirst of all, I made a lot of clothes this year. This may sort of defeat the purpose of reducing consumption, but it’s a different kind of consumption, that comes with a lot of enjoyment and thought, rather than impulse. All in all, I made myself 31 items (some of my favorites are pictured in this post):

  • 10 dresses (including 2 complete failures)
  • 2 shirts (1 failure)
  • 7 bottoms (3 skirts, 1 pair of pants, and 3 leggings)
  • 10 undergarments (mostly unblogged)
  • 1 coat
  • 1 scarf

IMG_6765That seems like a lot now that I list it all out.  Even with that productivity, I did end up buying a few items. Let me explain…

  • 1 pair of polka-dotted tights. I had been looking for polka-dotted tights for years. I couldn’t resist myself when I happened upon them one day. I don’t view this as cheating, though, because I really can’t make these myself. Unfortunately, these tights already got snagged and are in the garbage.
  • 1 sweater. In October, I went to Ireland for a conference. Once we had already left home, I checked the weather in Dublin one last time, and realized that I didn’t pack enough warm clothing. I’m a wuss when it comes to being cold, so I took an emergency trip to the mall and bought a long black cardigan. It’s basically a robe in disguise, and isn’t something I would have envisioned to make for myself, but has come in really handy.
  • 1 pair of sweater pants, also known as swants, from Ireland. They were too cute to resist, and, again, something that I could not make myself.

IMG_6638And that’s it! I’m calling my resolution a success. The question now is whether I will keep it up. That’s a great question, and one that I’m not sure I know the answer to at this point.  Right now, I’m thinking that I will shop for clothes the way that I eat meat.  I call myself a “mostly vegetarian” and eat meat about once per month. I almost never cook meat for myself at home, but if I’m out at a restaurant, and something looks special, or someone wants to split chicken wings, I will indulge. Applying that to clothes, I plan on mostly continuing to make for myself. However, if I happen to spy a special garment that fits perfectly off the rack, I won’t stop myself.

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