Journey to a sustainable future

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clothing Part 1

Hiking, Umpqua River, OR, July 2012

Everytime I do laundry, I grumble that we have too many clothes.  Because, seriously, how many tank tops, or shorts, or pairs of socks, does you really need?

We recently returned from a two week vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  We camped, hiked, jumped in the river, went in a woodfired hot tub, spent time with friends and family, dealt with 24 hours of rain in the mountains of Washington, played at a park in Eugene, and endured a miserable 10 hour flight delay in Houston.  And it amazes me how little clothing we needed for all of that.
For myself, I brought:
1 pair of hiking pants
1 pair of jeans
2 t shirts
1 hiking t shirt
2 long sleeved tops
1 light fleece
1 heavy fleece
1 tank top
2 nursing tank tops
1 short sleeved cardigan
1 skirt
1 pair of jean shorts
3 pairs of hiking socks
1 pair of hiking boots
1 pair of Keen sandals
swim suit
rain jacket
workout gear (tennies, shorts, tank top, socks)

Rain in Washington, July 2012
We had access to a washing machine about every 2 or 3 days.  And you know what?  I brought too many clothes.  I definitely didn't need both long sleeved tops.  Or my heavy fleece, even though it is gorgeous and comfy and I love it.  Or 3 pairs of hiking socks.  Or 2 t shirts.

What really surprised me, though, was that I never got bored of my clothes.  I used to, even at home, get tired of wearing the same thing over and over again.  But I didn't on our trip.  Part of that may have been because we were camping for 4 days of it, so it is expected that you wear the same grungy outfit over and over.  But I am really pleased about not getting bored with my outift choices, because that has been a major part of why I have been holding onto clothes that I barely wear...just so I have the option to wear them.

I also worry that if I have a much smaller wardrobe, then people will notice that I wear the same thing over and over again.  When I was in third grade, I had a plaid fleece dress that I ADORED.  I wore that dress to church every single week.  I loved it; I didn't love my other dresses; so why wear them?  And I truly didn't care, or even think about, what other people thought.  I do remember my mom begging me to wear a different dress, but I think that I stubbornly clung to my plaid dress!

Hiking outfit, OR, July 2012
There is a saying that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.  I did a major closet and dresser overhaul a year ago, and donated a lot of clothes.  But I find that I am still wearing the same clothes over and over, and sometimes as I dig through my drawer, I come across a shirt that I forgot I owned!  Guess I need to rethink some things about my wardrobe!

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