Friday, May 4, 2007

What Do Your Clothes Say About You?

Lately I’ve noticed I’ve accumulated a lot of shoes. I feel bad about it. First of all, I don’t usually throw shoes out unless they’re seriously out of style (circa 1985) or if they’re so worn out I have to purchase band-aids at the end of the day. Actually, I still have problems throwing them out because they may be just the shoe to complete the perfect outfit for some upcoming unknown event. I’ve also noticed that although I do have cheap shoes ($20 and less), as I’ve gotten older I’ve tended to spend more in the $50-$60 range for footwear. Now I know that’s cheap compared to $600 Manolo Blahniks, but it’s still a large portion of my clothing allowance. I especially feel guilty since the two sons I buy clothing for each got a $50 pair of shoes last fall and that’s it, while since then I’ve bought three pairs at $50 and a couple at $30. Plus Basil puts me to shame because he often buys thrift store shoes for $10-$15, and wears them until his socks are getting dirty from the many holes in them.
But that’s where most of my clothing money goes. Everything else is on sale, and usually cheap. Plus if I really like something, I wear it until I’m forced to retired it from public viewing due to holes or stains (and then they sometime become “paint” clothes). I have two skirts I bought at Target for $20 each (one black - one grey) that are a classic style and I’ve been wearing them to work (on and off) for nine years. Other times, I do a quick scan of what I’m wearing and realize that the jeans were $9 and the shirt $10 (both on clearance), and the shoes (at $50) are the most expensive thing I’m wearing.
Basil and I both love to thrift shop, though we’ve cut back lately, and for the men in the family we’ve found great t-shirts for $1.50: a red one that says “MENTAL” for Basil, one that says “Vietnam Break Dancing” for Number One Son, and one that says “I [heart] hip hop” for Number Two Son. You can’t find t-shirts like that just anywhere.
I also have a favorite pair of jeans that are around six years old that have one knee totally ripped out, and a patched hole in the back by the pocket, plus I recently spilled beige paint all down one leg. The other day I had them on with a frilly lace beige top while I was trying to decide whether to wear a skirt or jeans. Basil said I looked good with the torn, stained jeans, so I added cool shoes and an armful of bracelets and went bohemian for the day.
So what interesting frugal clothing stories do you have?


Basil Bizarro said...

Okay, here's mine. I used to work for an extremely wealthy man, and his wife was a professional shopper. Instead of returning things, she would often times just throw them out. Once while walking past their trash cans I noticed an open garbage bag filled with brand new Gap clothes she had bought for her son, which he had obviously sniffed at. I dove in there so fast I would have done Louganis proud. Shirts were flying up in the air. Pants were stuffed into my jacket. But the best find in there were a few pairs of flannel underpants. I wore those underpants for a good eight years. After the first couple years they got so thin that they were incredibly comfortable, even in the summer. When I threw them out, crotch totally worn through by my "boys," it was like burying a family pet. I think it was last year. I'm getting a little emotional.


db said...

Hmm...contemplating the lethal force of Basil's boys on flannel....

I'm mourning the slow death of my favorite coat. I bought it about 10 years ago as part of a catalog's "bottom of the barrel" clearance sale. Originally close to $200, I got it for $35. It is boiled wool, unlined and a deep army green. When I got it (having bought it mostly due to the price), it sat in my closet for probably two years. I thought it was hideous!!!!

Then something triggered me to try wearing it. It turned out -- not so bad. Over time, I found myself liking it more and more. It's the PERFECT coat for cool, dry days. It layers well over sweaters. It's lightweight if you need to carry it, and it's served me more than once as an impromptu wool blanket. It even serves well as a lap throw at the movies or a bookstore.

So -- I LOVE this coat. I've come to love the deep army green color. I've come to like the slightly itchy-scratchy wool.

The tragedy? It's starting to develop a few holes. The hem of one sleeve looks like squirrels have been gnawing at it. It's clearly in its garment dotage.

There will never be another coat like this one. I've bought other coats and never wear them. NOOOO -- not while my beloved wool coat still has life in it.


Zachary said...

My clothes say that I can't afford better ones! lol