In favor of enough

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The last photo was taken today. I put on the pants just for this photo and then took them off and put on the jeans I had been wearing beforehand and put my shoe/boot back on. I simply wanted to take a photo to show the pants I got from Uniqlo today before I wash them.

I also wanted to show the jacket I’m wearing as well. I’ve not worn this jacket in over a year (maybe even closer to two years), but I never got rid of it. For some reason, it escaped many of my KonMari purges since we’ve moved into this house. I’ve had this jacket for nearly 10 years. It’s from Old Navy and for many years I lived in it. It was the only in-between weather jacket I had that worked for spring/autumn weather. It was warm enough to wear on 50-ish days and provided just enough protection from light rain/drizzle despite being entirely cotton (canvas on the outside – not weather proof – flannel plaid inside). This jacket made sense for wearing today. It’s drizzling with a few heavy rain storms. Although the jacket is old and faded a little, it still works great and I do think it looks nice.

This jacket made me glad I didn’t purge it even though I’ve not worn it in a long time. As I drove to the mall I thought about other clothes I’d gotten rid of and somehow kinda wished I hadn’t. There was a big, black sweater I had and I still think about it. I’m really not sure why I got rid of it, but I know I was in the thick of the whole “less is more” minimalist mantra at the time. I’d read the KonMari book and we were getting ready to move and I was so proud of myself for giving away/donating/trashing so many bags of stuff we didn’t need… or did we?

Now, I really hate that “less is more” mantra. It pisses me off because I fell into it’s gimmicky trap. I got rid of things I still think about, but at the time convinced myself I could do without. I wasn’t really listening to myself – I was listening to how cool it sounded to say I could get rid of so much stuff. The reality is: less is less.

4 years ago I had 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of pants. Currently, I have

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 pairs of black pants
  • 2 pairs of navy pants
  • 1 pair of brown pants
  • and 2 pairs of denim pants.

Today I bought a pair of olive pants. And I still intend on buying more pants. Why?  My circumstances are a lot different now than they were 4 years ago. I’m in a job where I need to wear nicer clothes and having a variety to choose from helps me greatly. With my old job, I could wear whatever I wanted so I didn’t think about wearing more than what I had simply because I didn’t care about how I looked. Now I do care and now I want more options to choose from. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy ALL THE PANTS, but simply enough pants to cover all seasons and allow me a variety for each.

That’s another thing I realized. I remember writing here how I wanted to have a small wardrobe that had pieces I could layer throughout the year. Um…. yeah, let’s face reality a bit. I live on the east coast and summers here get up to 100F and winters get down to -12F. I need a wardrobe big enough to accommodate those extremes. A few layers won’t cut it. I need clothes that are meant to be worn in extreme weather conditions. Sure those clothes may only get worn a few months out of the year, but they are worth it because they protect me and are necessary for this environment. Do I still have more clothes than I may actually need? Probably, but I’m tired of feeling like I shouldn’t have as much as I do. It’s like I’ve felt some sort of guilt over…. nothing. I do wear all of my clothes, so why should I feel bad for buying a little more I know I’ll add into the rotation? I don’t intend on buying clothes for the sake of buying clothes, I’m buying them because they fill a gap.

[This is really sounding like I’m writing all of this to justify today’s purchase and future purchases to myself – huh? So let’s just call it what it is – justification and writing therapy to get these thoughts out of my head. Here is the 4th wall moment. Now let’s continue….]

So, I bought a pair of pants today. I was thinking a lot about the Pas de Calais pants that are really expensive. I decided to look around at places where I’d bought clothes before and saw Uniqlo came out with a new kind of pant: a cotton/linen blend. They looked good online, but their sizing can be a bit weird for me so I drove out to the mall to try them on. They fit perfectly and the beige kind were opaque enough for me as well. Part of the reason why I don’t have light colored pants is because I wear black underwear 99.999% of the time. But the Uniqlo ones had the perfect amount of coverage and they are incredibly comfortable. I’d been looking for an in-between weather kind of pants and these fit the bill perfectly. I also like the length and I can roll them up when it gets warmer and make them look a little better with different shoe combinations. I was shocked at how much I really liked these pants. When I saw these in the olive color I knew I’d want them because in the back of my head I’ve been coveting a good pair of olive pants for at least 6 months now. I can wear these with plenty of shirts already in my wardrobe. I considered this purchase a major score for myself. I almost bought the beige ones as well to call it a day, but then I stopped and put them back.

I planned on buying the beige ones as a way of passing on the Pas de Calais pants.  However, I realized I do in fact want those Pas de Calais pants. I’m allowed to have pants that cost $29.90 and pants that cost $320.00 in my wardrobe. I found their online shop and they have them in beige. They look really nice and I don’t need yet another pair of black pants. They are expensive and if need be, I can return them. I haven’t decided when I’ll buy them, but I do plan on it. Maybe when the weather gets a little bit warmer (and to see if they go on sale anytime soon). Eventually, there will be yet another pair of pants in my collection and then I think I will have enough.

Moderation is key and always has been, even if it takes us a damn long time to get there. It’s not about buying too much or showing off how little we have. It’s all about having enough and my enough is going to be very different from everyone elses’ enough.

 

10 thoughts on “In favor of enough”

  1. Echoing all those compliments to your cat! So cute!

    I’ve rarely truly missed anything that I got rid of during my big decluttering sessions. (This has more to do with the fact that I’m not that careful about shopping than anything else. I used to keep a lot of stuff that was “almost” a good fit or “almost” what I was actually looking for just because it was on sale.) It’s only more recently, as styles change a bit so certain items feel less “dated” I guess, that I’m starting to miss one or two of the items I decluttered very early on, generally from before I started my blog. I actually gave some of those to my younger sister, so I probably could recover them if I really wanted.

    It’s a bit odd, but because I need to dress a certain way for work, but don’t enjoy it and even slightly resent the money I feel I need to spend on it (business formal and suits argh!), part of my brain somehow wants to spend even more effort trying to create the most optimized work wardrobe that I can (exactly __ suits, __ shells, __ dresses, and so on). That ends up being an idea that I never quite carry out though! I only wear maybe 30-40% of my just or work items, but I still bring in new items at a steady trickle throughout the year, and rarely can bring myself to get rid of anything.

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    1. Bravo for not having things you miss when decluttering. That’s how it should work! I can get away with a little more casual wear than I thought when I first started this job, so that’s a relief, but I still need to make sure I have enough nice clothes to wear for any occasion at work. A lot of times we’ll have client reps come in and I’ll only find out about it the day before (if I’m lucky).
      Your line of work is definitely more demanding on what kind of appearance you need to have and being faithful to yourself while keeping up that appearance sounds difficult. It’s funny to think that even today comfortable and professional attire still clash and seem wholly incompatible.

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  2. Kitty!!!!

    I love the third outfit on you. You have a very reasonable amount of pants in my opinion too. You are right that moderation is key, and YES its OK to have expensive pants and inexpensive pants! I especially appreciate that you are going to go for the original want (the beige pants) even after you took the opportunity to find a similar dupe. You do you!

    Minimalism gets such a bad rap and I understand the hype of purging and the resultant pining for things you got rid of. Been there. I keep my bags of purged things around for a while in case I want to go back and pull something out that I purged in haste. Sometimes I feel like it’s a good strategy, and sometimes I feel it defeats the purpose of purging. We all will have our own individual levels of comfort with quantity, and even from person to person it’s going to fluctuate from time to time. The things I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of still haunt me, but they are also still just things and life goes on.

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    1. We have two kitties here. Bento was being particularly needy for attention that day.
      I feel like I’ve been on a Goldie-locks journey towards having the right amount in my wardrobe. When I was younger, I had a ton of clothes I didn’t wear and then I had next to nothing and now I feel like I’m starting to get it right. I am feeling better about getting the PdC pants. I used to always buy two or three of the same item if I found something that works and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. However, I’ve found that when I do buy doubles, I only wear one more than the other, so I should stay away from doing that and buy what I really want.
      It’s funny how minimalism has gone through a bit of a roller coaster of popularity. I get it and it’s actually a good thing – when done right. But, like me, I think a lot of people get too into the hype at first and don’t really think about the long term of their needs.

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  3. What a beautiful cat! Seriously, he/she should do some modeling. I enjoyed reading your mental dialogue. You seem to have a very reasonable amount of clothes.. and are probably on the lower end than most people, but only you can be the judge of that obviously. I always feel like I barely have enough clothes, and probably don’t have enough, as this winter is teaching me. It’s fun to figure out what the real gaps are and try to fill them. I used to be horrible about this and never think about gaps or my wardrobe as a whole and just buy whatever was cute at the time and was left with a junk wardrobe. I feel like I’ve weeded a lot of junk out, but still have a lot of work to do to fill the gaps. Dressing properly for work is a huge constraint as well, as you say. I hate numbers and imposed limitations too. I’d rather focus on functionality and personal style than play a numbers game.

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    1. Bento is a he and he is a bit fat for modeling. He’s got quite the pooch that hangs down. When we first got him he was underweight and then we accidentally fed him too much before the vet corrected us in how much to feed him. He’s now slimmed down, but he’s got his hanging pooch that swings all over the place when he’s waddling around the house.
      This was the first winter where I felt like I was struggling a little to have enough and a lot of it has to do with how differently I dress now at work. But even what I have now is over twice what I had before, so I guess I felt guilty about it. I always waited to fill gaps in my wardrobe as well. I made do with what I had, but didn’t feel confident in what I was throwing together to have an outfit work.

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  4. Your cat’s expression really communicates a message!!

    I have more clothes than any person reasonably needs, but I’m comfortable with that. I think most people who interact with me would be surprised by the number of garments in my closet, because objectively most of my clothes look the same. So unless people are really paying attention to my clothes (which, of course, no one is) I’m sure it appears like I own two pairs of jeans and 3 gray sweaters. I’ve been through a number of closet culls in adulthood but it has slowed down since my mid-30s. It just took a while to experiment and figure out what I want to wear on a daily basis. I used to experiment with trends, but no longer have that desire. At this phase in my life, I’m drawn to a more uniform style of dressing. I just like having several iterations of the uniform to choose from. Also, laundry is my least favorite household chore so the longer I can avoid it, the better.

    I think the olive pants look great. They’re a good length to cuff, too. I’m looking for something to fit that role also – appropriate for business casual but also the weekend. I hope the Pas de Calais pants work for you when they arrive. The subtle details make them special, but don’t scream “hey look at me!”

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    1. Bento is very expressive. He’s got many facial expressions and he’s extremely vocal. There’s one specific meow he has we call the “shitty meow”, which means he’s taking out his aggression on someone (usually Z) and when we hear it, we have literally 2 seconds to stop him before he attacks. He generally “talks” to us a lot as well, especially in the evenings.
      I really like how you’ve created a uniform for yourself. You always look comfortable and the colors are great too. I think I still am in an experimental stage and trying to hone in on what kind of style I want to project with my clothing. I love wearing the avant guarde clothing, which can be a challenge to wear, but also like the really comfortable, easy going clothing too. Finding a balance between those is a little hard.
      I may pull the trigger on the PdC later this week and count it solely as my March purchase (which will go over the budget, but not by much).

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