I never really thought that a more minimalist life is for me. After all, I work hard for the money I earn, so I can spend it on things that make me happy, right?
We are probably the first generation for which it’s ok to get married and have kids only in our mid to late thirties. Which means that being in your thirties, employed and well-paid, without kids or any other financial responsibilities, gives you lots of money to spend on yourself.
Money to spend on a big and bright apartment in a hip and trendy area, on classy furniture (it has to be Scandinavian interior design, of course), organic food, a proper bike to cycle more and at the same time benefits the environment, on spoiled weekend trips and, of course, on clothes. But not just any clothing. They should be made of quality and long-lasting material, produced in a sustainable manner and under fair working conditions. And not be too expensive. Beyond question, right?
Don’t get me wrong, this is totally the lifestyle I’m currently living, and I love it. But, for no apparent reason, I thought about not buying clothes for a while and experiment with the outcome of it. Because in the end, no matter how often I go shopping, I always feel like I have nothing to wear! I guess this feeling is pretty common. But I also guess that we all have full closets with lots of stuff to wear.
I thought of some potential benefits of not buying more clothes:
Actually getting to wear the clothes in my closet instead of replacing them every couple of months with similar stuff that I like better (just because it’s new). We tend to forget what we already have in our closets and discard of old clothes in our mind. Instead, we could wear what we already have more often and combine it differently.
Saving money for uncertain times (you never know, right) and shopping can get really expensive, if you spend easily (like me).
Spending less time shopping, trying out clothes, returning them and thinking about what to wear in the mornings.
This sounds pretty reasonable, right? So why should I continue to buy and buy and buy clothes?
Well, shopping does make me kind of happy.
I remember my dad went shopping with my mum once and she bought lots of stuff. My dad, in disbelief of what he was witnessing, said to my mum: “but buying all this stuff will not make you happy!”. My mum, overly confident and totally sure of her choices, turned to him, happily, and said “sure it does!”.
So, shopping makes me happy. For a while. And for a longer time, if I really love the shirt I bought, or if I just can’t imagine what pants I was ever wearing before getting this new awesome jean!?
You don’t have to be very spiritual to understand the fact that shopping doesn’t make you really happy after all. Or permanently happy. It’s true, the extent of happiness created at the moment of buying something wears off quickly. A shirt I liked has an imperfect seam I didn’t notice, or you have to iron the skirt every time before wearing it, which makes me wear it less often or I put it on wrinkled, which just makes me look lazy. I’m still waiting for the fashion trend of wearing wrinkled clothes, could we start this all together?
How often do you buy clothes?