Besides the new year’s diet and holiday booking advertisements, television is trying to brainwash us right now into more thoughtless and panic-stricken consumerism than usual.
I guess the message reverberated somewhere within me as I thought about how it would be nice to return to work/research with a new outfit. This wasn’t really frivolous shopping though, since I really do need some new jeans and other trousers (without holes) to wear to the department. Falling asleep on Thursday night I had the feeling that Friday morning was going to be a good time to browse the charity shops, and it definitely was.
I’m getting better at practicing restraint and I did not purchase a single item that was not ready to wear. I did try on a few shirts that would’ve needed to be taken in or that I would’ve stopped wearing after a few outings, but placed them back on the rack remembering all the alterations awaiting the scissors and needle. Just because it costs £2 does not make it a worthwhile purchase if I’ll only wear it once. In the past, I had rationalised purchases I wasn’t head over heels with by thinking ‘oh, its a donation to charity. If I don’t want it anymore, I’ll just donate it again’. This time, leaving a charity shop with one prized item rather than multiple items I was temporarily excited with, or leaving empty handed after rejecting some, was extremely satisfying.
This satisfaction was heightened by the passers-by who rushed from one retail establishment to another, arms full of bags with brand-new, factory-fresh garments. In fact, one of the charity shops I was in had two identical shirts in the same size, and I felt a small unease by the idea and only realised why when I passed by a large ‘January Sale’ sign in a store window, with a full rack of mass-produced sameness.
While my personal wardrobe refashion pledge is now technically over, the feeling I have towards regular stores and clothing reinforces the importance of the pledge and I am going to try and keep it as long as possible. I am therefore placing a three-month ban/pledge on myself.
And now, on with the show:
A pair of cargo-cords that are very comfortable
two cotton sweaters in almost-new condition (the green one was made here in Scotland, and the grey one was 99p)
from two weeks ago, a linen ‘jacket’ (fitted and unlined) and seed necklace I’ve worn with the jacket three times already
The one ‘impulse’ buy, was a shirt that caught my eye in the second (out of 6 I visited) shop: the words ‘Bucks County, Pennsylvania’ caught my eye since that is where I grew up! The patch carrying these words was sewn to a Boy Scout uniform that ended up here in Scotland! I picked it up, put it back, took a phone picture of the patch, decided I was only buying it to be sentimental, tried on clothes, and went back to grab it. As a lifetime Girl Scout, I felt a bit wrong about this, but then realised ‘hey, they’re sort of my neighbours’…and was content at the end of the day.