14 January 2009

Piles of pretty clothes

I went to get my hair cut this morning, and when the stylist offered me a fashion magazine to read, I said, "Nah. It just makes me want to buy stuff." And I realized this statement was true only as it was coming out of my mouth.

Because I have a pile of clothes sitting on my dresser right now that I can't fit into my drawers, and I'm embarrassed to want more, to see pretty, nice, soft things and want to own them. When I already have more than I can even properly put away.

This overflow has a lot to do with Christmas presents, and post-Christmas sales both in Vermont and Barcelona, and also with the facts that winter clothes are bulky and that I don't have an actual closet.

Still. I'm sure it used to be that one had, for example, some winter pajamas and some summer pajamas. They were mended as necessary and replaced only when truly worn out. But now, I have the flannel pajamas that I wear when it's really cold, the new stripey Christmas pajamas, the broken-in pajama pants from college, the sort of sexy pajamas, the lightweight men's style pajamas, not to mention the yoga pants and t-shirts I often sleep in...and so on and so forth. And that's just the winter pjs.

I could make a similar list for sweaters, or pants. When buying, I justify purchases: "But that one's different from that other one! Those black pants are slightly more dressy than these! This gray sweater is much thicker than that gray sweater!"

I have to think: do I really need all of these clothes? No. Do I wear all of these clothes? Mostly. Could I function happily with fewer clothes? Yes. I know I don't own a lot compared to many others in the well-off western world, but I also know that I DO own a lot--embarrassingly too much--compared to many many others.

Anyway, I'm not a compulsive shopper or a fashionista (by any means!), and most of the year goes by without excessive purchases, and I usually wear my clothes until they're practically falling apart. I guess the point is that if I stay out of the stores (especially during the sales! which appeal to my frugal side!), I don't start convincing myself that I really need something. And keeping my nose out of magazines--even on the rare occasion that I might look through them--is one more step towards not longing for things.

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