21 March 2013

what to wear?

We are almost halfway through the clothing "fast" in our book club. I gotta say, this one is not like the food one for me. Likely because I am a stay-at-home mom and I wear a lot of the same things day after day anyway.  I am a little more deliberate about what is going into the washer, but because no one else is doing this "fast" with me here at home, the amount of laundry is nearly the same.  I think Wilson and Walker would easily be cool with wearing 7 items all the time.  Honestly, if I wash a shirt they wore yesterday, they will wear it tomorrow.  No issue.  They don't care if they wear the same thing to church each week.  I'm learning that this is actually a good thing, and I would do well to encourage them to be content with what they have (even if right now I suspect some of it is just l-a-z-y; why force them into the marketing machine?)  Lincoln & Franklin really don't care either, but I sure try hard to make sure they wear something different for church and mom's morning out each week.  I guess in a way, Brad is always limiting his clothing choices, thanks to the uniform he wears every work day. ;)

Ok.  So there are my clothing choices.  I really r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to pick all thrifted things, but to try and pick things that worked together was a little tricky.  And being tall, makes thrifting pants/jeans a challenge!  I tried to add text, but you might not be able to see it all so here's the breakdown:
  1. green v-neck pocket tee (Target)
  2. India Not For Sale tee (buy here).
  3. Khakis (thrifted - I think they are Eddie Baur, I'm wearing them and too lazy to check)
  4. Tunic Tank top/dress thing (thrifted - Rue 21, dress for the young ladies, tunic for the not-as-young)
  5. Skinny Jeans (Old Navy) * I had to pick a pair I could put in the dryer, most of my jeans air dry because I have those super long thighs and I cannot allow my jeans to shrink in length.  I don't love wearing skinny jeans with t-shirts, not sure where my head when I was making these choices.
  6.  Brown Sweater Cardi (thrifted - don't remember the brand and too lazy to go get it.)
  7. Shoes (2 pair = 1 item, fuzzy math)
  • Sseko sandals (buy here)
  • Payless shoes from the Good Shoe Project (check it)
Jewelry links:
1. chunky necklace - The Apparent Project
2. set of bracelets - Pura Vida
3. + 7. green paper bead earrings + glass bead necklace -War (Women At Risk) International
4. + 5. + 6.  Multi-color paper bead necklace - blue earrings - multi-color bracelet -Bead for Life

I've been challenged about how I spend my clothing dollars.  I have a bit of a history with being a clothes-freak back in my single days.   There has been incredible growth in this category, but I still always a feel a pull to skim through the clearance racks whenever I am out shopping.

When we started budgeting, I had $7 in my clothing envelope each month.  Believe it or not, it felt amazing to have designated clothing money, even if it was only $7.  Before this, I often felt a pang of guilt over spending money on clothes.  Or I would buy one of each color of the $3 shirt on clearance, even though Stacy + Clinton hadn't clearly stated that this was a fashion no-no. With the budget in hand,  I realized it was important to spend carefully and choose things that fit me well.  For awhile, I felt it was better to buy brand new from Target (or Wal-mart {gasp!}) than buy from a thrift store for similar prices.  I still think that is true for some items and ALWAYS true for underwear and swimwear ;) I've found that you save a lot of money if you make time to try clothes on before buying.

Ok, but to the point already...while reading 7, what have I been learning?

I've started reading companies statements about their ethical & social policies.  (Here's an example.)  I've started reading labels to see where things are made.  I've realized that the money I spend DOES matter.  It is getting harder and harder to convince myself that the overseas-workers aren't my neighbors.  Those Sseko sandals?  They might be one of the happiest purchases ever.  They aren't cheap and it took me a good long time to finally commit to buying them, but I am so happy I did.  The India tee from Not For Sale was actually made in a factory in India that hires former human-trafficking victims or individuals that are at high-risk for human-trafficking.

When I think about the impact my clothing budget can make, it is mind-boggling. Buying from thrift stores is also a very "green" thing to do.  I'm sure most people don't think of it that way, but consider how many articles of clothing go in the land fill each year and suddenly thrifting seems pretty environmentally friendly.  Also, when you purchase used clothing, your dollars go further and they don't go directly to the pocket of the company with questionable practices.  Generally speaking, thrift stores often use their profits for good.  One I shop at here supports Vapor Sports, so the money I spend there goes directly to supporting their mission.  How cool, huh?

I feel like there are a bunch of different lessons springing up with this topic.  Hopefully I will find a way to put them into words over the next few days.


  1. Thanks for all the info on the places to buy. That is a goal of mine this year. To buy gifts that support a good cause.

    Would this book be something that teen girls could do? I am thinking about seeing if the girls at church want to read it with me this summer. I am interested in your thoughts about that. Love ya!

  2. I so wish some people that I know could read this... $7 in your clothing budget(and you bought clothes).
    I love the sandals. Are they comfortable for all day wearing?
    I love Jenn's idea of buying gifts to support a good cause.
    Love reading your posts, thanks for sharing!

  3. Love! I love that you posted a pic of your clothing and jewelry choices and provided links for the shoes. I hadn't heard of those sandals and think it's a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.