February 24, 2012

I'd Rather Go Nude Than Have To Dress Fashionably

Clothes are a great way to cover your
butt when you can't get naked
I don't understand the whole clothes shopping thing. I am not into it. As a matter of fact, I would rather go nude than have to keep up with the latest clothing trends.

Every household budget I have ever seen has had a generous allotment for monthly clothing purchases. A traditional clothing budget is $1000+ per year, something I have never understood.

Is this some sort of fashion industry clothing conspiracy? Or are people wearing their clothes out really fast?

Except for some things, most clothing is useable for years. Often a good piece of clothing improves as it's worn. Over time it becomes a comfortable friend, fitting your contours uniquely.

But the fashion industry, aided by cultural pressure, dictates that one maxes out the clothing budget every year to buy the latest and greatest designs. A whole new wardrobe, or additions to already overstuffed closets, every year. Year after year after year...

Why? Just so we can avoid potentially "embarrassing" social situations? To avoid a run in with the dreaded fashion police? "Stop in the name of this year's collection! What you are wearing is so last year." We must get stylin' or risk being banished.

But clothes are primarily used to cover the body when nudity is inappropriate, so last years outfit or ensemble will do just as well as this years, or next years.

Therefore, I have flipped the finger to fashion. In the process I have found that it is difficult to wear out clothes if you get good quality stuff to begin with. I have made my clothes last - a clothing budget has been unnecessary for several years.

I am putting the money saved toward better, less wasteful things that add something to my life beside the momentary thrill of buying new threads.

Full disclosure: My minimal, near-zero clothing budget has been partially made possible by very generous patrons of simple living. For example, this past December good friends sent me about 10 pairs of my favorite, durable, long-lasting socks, and some slippers. And I have a mom and mom-in-law that like to give practical gifts (translation: I have enough underwear to last a decade).


  1. Love there disclosure ;-)

  2. Anonymous2/24/2012

    I too have never been into fashion. What happened to wearing clothing appropriate for the weather or chore? Women look ridiculous in high heels trying to maneuver in the snow. I try to buy things that will last and often second hand.

  3. Alas, if you are in a field where your image matters, you cannot get away with nudity or last decade's style. I agree about understated, quality clothes, but the black pants fade with many washings, and I dropped something that won't wash out (there is a prominent spot right on the front) of a quadruple-marked-down top I got at Talbot's. If I never had to see clients or teach classes, I could live in my sweatpants, but that isn't my world. Having said that, you can do a lot with scarves and other accessories of the moment to update your appearance while wearing the same quality basics.

  4. Anonymous5/23/2013

    I work in a chic environment where I need to look presentable and fashionable. This sounds like I would spend a fortune on clothing. BUT I DON'T. My solution, which works extremely well for me, is to have a small, very selective wardrobe very neutral colors (high quality garments last ages!). I wear the same rotation of 3-4 black dresses all the time and get this...no one notices! In fact, they are so wrapped up in what they look like that I could literally wear the same clothes for 6 weeks (I did this as I was dipping my toe into the simple living waters) and no one would be the wiser. Living in North Texas, the weather is HOT or chilly, so I simply invest in a pair or two of high quality tights and wear my summer dresses in the winter. I do enjoy a pop of color, so I simply accessorize with beautiful scarfs and wraps (which I buy at resale shops and from USA, organic manufacturers, when I want a special treat:). My life is calm, my closet is beautifully serene, and I get dressed in a snap each morning. Ahhhh.....
    By the way, this is an excellent blog! I find I need occasional reinforcements in my simple living way of life -- even with no television or magazines, our culture's mantra of "buy. more. always. you're nothing without your stuff" is powerful and needs to be challenged, often. Thanks! :)

    1. Wow - thanks for sharing your solution to the fashion conundrum. You show that one doesn't need to live in rags to be a simple living advocate, and also doesn't need to spend a bunch of cash or collect 100s of pairs of shoes to be presentable even in the chicest of environments.

      Glad you are enjoying NBA, our little soap box in the corner of the pubic square that we call the internet.

      We would love to hear more of your good ideas, and about your calm simple life. Sharing means we can all learn from each other in our battle against BUY MORE ALWAYS.

  5. Replies
    1. All I need is a cape. And nothing else.


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