No, I guess I don't need one more navy blue dress...
The family and I enjoyed a Saturday afternoon searching for treasures by driving the countryside in search of barn, yard, and garage sales. What gave me pause was the woman at the last house.
She was a large, lovely lady who was eager for conversation as she boxed up her wares for the day. Guilty at stopping without really finding anything, I nonetheless picked up a bathing suit for Will. She shared with me she used to own a small children's clothing boutique, and waving a hand over the vast amount of belongings covering her front lawn, she said "I'm from Uganda, where I grew up with one dress. This is overwhelming. I don't need this stuff. My sons didn't need this stuff."
I did my seasonal closet purge a few weeks ago, eliminating those things that were soiled, ill fitting, tired or just not worn. I then went about setting up some arbitrary rules: "no more than 31 tops on hangers," the same rule for t-shirts. Then set a limit to 20 dresses. 20!
The horrible reality is I had a difficult time paring my wardrobe down to these set numbers, and even then, after going through registration for the River Bank Run, ended up with three more shirts. What was interesting is the sense of freedom that resulted in this purge, I knew everything that was left in the closet were things I definitely liked and looked good in.
But still! I'm looking at a vast trousseau that includes over 60 tops and 20 dresses. These numbers do not include the bottoms or sweaters folded neatly, or the purses and bags and totes and belts and scarves.
I'm not willing to pare it down to one dress of course, but what is the magic number to the essential wardrobe? As I'm packing for vacation, I'm curious to see what will be the bare minimum I would need to get by and still feel like a million bucks.
The first thing I plan on doing is skipping a few rounds of thrift shopping the next few months. Let's see if I can get through the summer with what I have. And see what I can part with at the end that I didn't need.
I love stuff, I love new stuff. But when met with the invitation to a fancy dinner/fund raiser, I immediately decided to start shopping for a new dress. Then I remembered the 20 I already had a home. I need to to take a break from acquiring to enjoy what I have.