On the Origins of the Wardrobe

17 Jan

Shortly after I had decided on my six items of clothing – and fondly saying goodbye to the other pieces in my closet for the next 30 days – I got to thinking about how I buy clothes, and where all of my clothes came from.

I’m not a clothes horse, follow-the-fashion-trends kinda girl. I haven’t been to a mall in years, and the only kind of shopping I really enjoy is markets when I travel, and vintage shops. When I looked through my closet thinking about how I bought it all, I realized that my clothing purchases fall into three categories:

Bought at Vintage Shops
I love vintage clothing, especially high-quality pieces from the 50s and 60s. It has so many things going for it – you can create your own unique look, the styles are generally classic, no one else will be wearing what you are, and you’re recycling clothing rather than consuming new mass-produced items. I just love the style of the late 40s through early 60s, and probably 20% of my wardrobe is vintage.

In fact, this 1950s skirt was hard to push off my 6 Items list. I started out with 10 items laid out, and narrowed it to 6 from there. This skirt was in the 10, but ultimately what decided the final 6 was the versatility of combinations I could make with them. So I opted for a piece that can be worn as a top or a dress. Also, I didn’t want to put too much wear on this vintage piece, as surely this 30-day experiment is going to do.

Bought While Traveling
I do like to shop, in very limited spurts, when I travel – particularly at local markets. And what I tend to buy the most for myself are local handicrafts/artwork, locally handmade jewelry and clothing. Probably 20% of my clothing has come from trips to India. On my last trip to Asia, I bought these awesome pants at the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok – this sprawling place is the shit of all markets anywhere. We spent half a day and barely nicked the surface. These pants were great for the rest of the trip, because they’re incredibly comfortable, breathable, and travel well. All for $5.

Bought as functional cornerstone pieces
Everything else I own in the way of clothing were bought in regular stores (I tend to favor small independents), as the basic foundation pieces – jeans, solid t-shirts, etc. That pretty much rounds out my whole wardrobe!

My Six
So in analyzing my 6 that made it into my final 30-day wardrobe, the breakdown goes like this as far as origins.

My Six

2 pieces I got in France – the dress was bought in Paris in June 2007, and the linen trousers in Bordeaux in June 2010.

1 piece came from Barcelona – the white shirt.

The rest came from the USA – I bought the jacket in Seattle, and the jeans and top here in Austin.
So, that’s my wardrobe – until next time…

3 Responses to “On the Origins of the Wardrobe”

  1. Sandy Seale January 17, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    I too am still on point with my six items. I haven’t cheated once but must say have been tempted a time or two. It definitely makes things simpler chosing what to wear each day but also tends to get a little monotonous. But I will not waver until the 30 days are up. I have also vowed not to add to my already extensive wardrobe for the next year. And when I do eliminate those items I’ve grown tired of thru the years, I donate them to a good cause….thus recycling. I realize we are only 10 days into this challenge butlooking forward to completing the task.

  2. Shelley Seale January 17, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Good ideas – Keith and I have incorporated this practice of, every time we buy something new (whether it’s an item of clothing, for the house, etc) we get rid of another item. Constantly recycling….


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