08 February 2016

Buying Clothing that lasts

I know I just posted about replacing some clothing, but I want to talk a moment about quality.
I hope by now you have all purged yourself of unnecessary clothing and shoes. But what do you do when your things wear out on you? Do you have a favorite brand that you go to when you need something or do you find yourself wandering aimlessly around a crowded mall looking for that perfect thing? I don't know about you, but I hardly ever find what I'm looking for at a mall. I end up stressed out, hungry, irritated by battling all the people inside and looking for a parking place is a nightmare. Oh, and my personal favorite? Traffic! UGH, it makes me just want to stay home. Well, since we are reading this on a computer, I'm going to assume we all have access to the internet.

I shared that I recently purchased my new clothing from L.L. Bean. They have a guarantee program for all their products. The jeans that I bought fit me almost perfectly. I find it harder to find clothing that fits me since I'm high waisted and my waist to hip difference is about 9".  I think most companies make clothing for ladies with larger hips and thighs.  I have a slightly larger waist and smaller hips and thighs, it makes buying pants harder. These are SO close that I actually feel comfortable.

I digress, there IS a brand out there that is going to fit you better or make you feel better about yourself. You just have to take the time to find it. I read a lot of online reviews about clothing and looked at some other people's blogs about how clothing fit them. Then I looked at their pictures and tried to decide if they had a similar body shape to mine. That is how I decided to go with L.L Bean. Yes, it took a bit of time, but short of making your own clothing (Which I do as well sometimes.) You aren't going to find a great fit on the first try unless you get really lucky.

Even if you find something that is close to fitting, it might not fit you comfortably or the way it was designed to fit. With certain clothing items you can take them to a tailor and get them fitted for your body. You will feel better in those items and you will really notice a difference. I bought a pink dress from modcloth.com and I had to tailor the shoulders so that it stayed on me and didn't expose too much of me. But, now it fits a lot better and I love wearing it. (It's the long pink dress in my spring/summer capsule. You can see it in this photo, but I was wearing a cardi since it was a chilly valentine's day.

About shoes- Most shoes are disposable products. I took my black malibrans to the shoe repair store (cobbler) only to be told that they are not repairable. I'm looking for shoes now that I can buy once and repair over and over. These particular shoes I have had for 5 years and I wore them a lot when I worked in the office. The soles are cracked and crumbling rubber. It's turned hard and the cobbler said that he could replace the soles but it would just come right off because of the way they were made. This makes me so sad. I have a few more pairs of shoes with the exact type of soles and I know that their days are numbered as well. I paid a lot for these shoes, but I don't think I will be buying another pair. (*UPDATE* I went to the Fluevog store and they have a special cobbler they use. They are taking my shoes to be repaired and I have high hopes for them.) I did have them repaired when I ripped the leather on the side. My cobbler in SC fixed them and I went right on wearing them.

Most people don't know that they can get their shoes repaired. It seems like mostly men's styles are repairable. I do have a few pair of shoes that I know I can take to get repaired if something happens to them. But, these *might*(hopefully not though) headed to a trash heap. I'm just happy that I bought them used and still got 5 (almost 6) years out of them.

Now I am searching for a pair of repairable shoes. I'm thinking about some I found on etsy.com or a par of doc martens. I'm not sure which one I would get the most wear out of though. I need something dressier for date nights, vacations, and church. But, comfort is HUGE to me. Plus, if you think about it you want to make sure that you can get the best shoes that you can afford. Your entire body depends on your feet.

I hope that you will think about upgrading your shoes and clothes as the time comes. Quality over quantity.

To me part of being a minimalist is having good quality things that I can depend on for a lot longer than cheap disposable things. I eschew plastic anything, I buy repairable if at all possible, I try to keep as much out of the landfills as possible,  and I look for companies that treat their employees right, overseas and here in the USA, when I need to replace something.
These are my reasons for doing a capsule wardrobe and trying to have quality pieces. Yours may look different. Maybe you have lots of children so plastic is easier to clean or to keep from breaking, or maybe you can only afford to buy a piece at a time. Whatever it is make it fit your life and make sure that you know why you are doing what you do.

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