I know you so love my reflections on my wardrobe, so I have yet another. I honestly don’t know why this is such a “thing” for me, but it keeps coming back up. So, again…
I’ve lost almost 50 pounds in the last 5 months*. This means none of my pants fit anymore. Lots of my shirts are too big (although, being a child of the 90s, that doesn’t bother me too much, except when I want to look put together.) The issue came to a head right before I had ankle surgery in September when I finally pulled all of my jeans out of my drawer to donate.
I haven’t been great about sticking to the capsule wardrobe, but I’ve still got dramatically fewer clothes than I’ve owned at other points in my life (having almost no storage in our house helps). But, considering I’m needing to buy almost everything, I’m trying to be really deliberate about replacing only what I really need, and reducing the volume again.
I found this article about fair-trade and eco-conscious clothing brands. I decided I was going to only buy high quality (even if it was a little more expensive) and, when possible, buy from companies I can feel great about supporting.
And then Old Navy had a sale.
I am still losing weight, so spending for quality/consciousness seems like it might not be the best option right now. I bought a pair of $15 jeans. They’re so comfortable.
Gap is having a sale now. 50% off everything, no exceptions (jeans are almost always excluded from their sales.) My favorite Gap jeans are 2 sizes too big right now. I spent the weekend debating with myself whether to just replace them for $35, or stick to my new convictions and buy $100 jeans from a company I knew was paying it’s sewers and suppliers fairly. I couldn’t justify the price of the $100 jeans, especially not knowing how long they’re going to fit. But I also want to be aware of not just buying new… So, today, Lily and I went to three thrift stores. I bought a pair of jeans and a great tshirt for Christmas (Griswolds, anyone?) I also realized, in the umpteen pairs of jeans I tried on, my underwear (purchased 2 months ago from Target) are really way too big. I was going to buy from PACt but in looking at other retailors to justify the price, I realized the 50% off sale at Gap counted for underwear too, making them $3 per pair vs. $13 per pair for PACt. I ended up ordering the underwear (and the jeans) from Gap.
I can’t figure out if I made a smart financial decision or sold out to the system that has us feeling like we need more more more so we buy cheap cheap cheap crap that has to be replaced more often.
It can all be returned, so I have some time to decide.
When you buy, do you worry more about price or will you spend more on a company with better practices? How do you balance it?
*This is very exciting, because, as many of you know, I had thyroid cancer in 2010 and no longer have a thyroid. I can blame about 35 lbs of weight gain over the last seven years directly on thyroid/medication issues (as in, oh, wow, we changed my meds and I gained 10 pounds last week. Yep, super fun.) So, for the weight loss to actually be working right now is pretty exciting in and of itself.