Sunday, November 06, 2011

12 in 11 October update

The temptation to go all out this month because I've blown the challenge already was quite strong.

I resisted.  Mostly.

My will power was not so steely as to withstand a pair of as new Birkenstocks for $1.50.  I had to look a couple of times in case it was $15.  All mine for less than the price of a bus ticket. I've never had Birks before - I may be grateful that the investment was so low.

Quota Used 16/12.

So in answer to Louisa's question - yes, I'll be keeping track. 

I've learned that I really do wear 20% of my wardrobe 80% of the time, or at least something approaching it.  I was very, very resistant to wearing some of the my clothes.  My first instinct was to replace tired favourites with close replicas rather than use the other items.  So I'm embracing that.  Unused/resisted items during this challenge have been disposed of.  The wardrobe is looking a bit minimal, but that's ok.

I've analysed what's left over so have a fair idea of my minimum needs and am developing a succession plan.

As I buy almost all of my clothes second hand, and am a difficult size, I give myself permission to acquire quality garmets to replace the already tatty or soon to be tatty as they are found.  The one in one out rule will apply.

Tops for work are knit fabrics in the main.  Buying them second hand means they usually only have one or two seasons in them.  I will allow myself to buy the better quality tops when I see them in op-shops etc but I will confine purchases to fabrics and cuts which will last longer.  In theory, a well-constructed garment in a natural fibre can be maintained for longer than one from a man-made fibre.  Certainly fine woollen knit tops with hand-washing and regular depilling last years. It's not possible to successfully depill a standard poly-cotton t-shirt.  I've tried.

Ditto, trousers and skirts. Ás I find suitable woollen or linen pants and skirts the synthetic blends will be retired.


Natural fibres are easier to over-dye than synthetics.  Black linen and cotton tops which have greyed a little can be resurrected in a dye-bath.

Natural fibres also require less laundering as they "breathe" better than synthtic fibres.  Synthetic and synthetic blend garments need washing every wear which increases their environmental impact in terms of electricity, chemical and water load, and they wear out sooner.

I am also committed to maintaining what I have rather than buying replacements.  I've found a good cobbler.  It isn't cheap to have shoes resoled or boots reinforced but if the item is good quality to begin with, it will stand a few repairs and it's still cheaper than buying the a replacement in an equivalent quality.  And much, much more environmentally sustainable.

And if all this sounds a bit controlled and dull - boring black uniform with sturdy shoes - it would be if it weren't for accessories and I can knit or sew my own.

And I'm kind of tempted by trying for 12 in 12.

2 comments:

2paw said...

I think it all sounds very sensible. I have trouble finding things in op shops that fit, but I have taken to buying large plain coloured t-shirts and cutting them up and re-sewing them into a style I like. Natural fibres are preferred here too, and are the most comfortable to wear. I think $1-50 shoes are far too good a bargain for anyone to pass up.

chocolatetrudi said...

$1.50 shoes are definitely worth bending rules for. And don't think of it as a boring black uniform, but 'co-ordinated foundation garments' - which is what all fashionistas recommend having.

I've stared to make pre-emptive shoe life extending 'repairs' to new shoes. So many have really thin soles these days, probably to force you to buy new shoes more often, so I get an extra sole glued on by a local cobbler. It also makes it easier to add a new one when the added sole wears through at the heels and toes - they just peel off the old one.