I haven’t looked at this goal in a very long time, but I’ve been working on it’s principals in theory and practice.
I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing basically one outfit per week. I change clothes if I’m going out, especially if I will be seen twice in a row by church friends. But for daily wear around the house, or running to the store, or even going out to lunch with a good friend who hasn’t seen me yesterday, I will tend to wear the same outfit all week.
I know it sounds risky. But I carefully check my clothes every day to see whether they’re acquiring any smell, or any stains. If I’ve worn an apron faithfully in the kitchen, I rarely get stains. Probably in summertime in the garden this would not be feasible, but right now it is winter, and cold in my house because I don’t like turning on the heat. So I wear an undershirt with long sleeves, and a sweater most days. If I’m going out I might change the undershirt, which is the first (probably only) thing to begin to have a smell. But if I am clean, wear deodorant, and do not sweat much due to exercise then there is no reason to consider myself dirty just because my clothes have been worn before.
So in this manner I have cut down on the number of laundry loads I must do for myself to about one per month. I’m happy about that.
Another side effect is that “dressy” clothes (by which I mean anything I’m not schlumping around the house in) stay cleaner too, because I only wear them when I want to fool my friends into thinking I’m normal. I change right back out of them when I get home, and put on my cozy sweater and same underthings again.
Skip this paragraph if you’re afraid of too much information. I also have found that strangely one of the LAST things to need to be changed is my underwear. I can wear the same panties or spandex shorts (which is my favorite form of underwear) for WEEKS at a time. This is because I wear clean tissue daily, tucked where it keeps things clean. Therefore, there is no way my private odors can really accumulate. They just do not come in contact with the material. And the rest of that region (hips, etc) are not known for producing any odor at all, to speak of, compared to places like underarms. So I’ve been very happy with that experiment. Which I would NEVER share with most people, so consider yourselves privileged in the knowledge!
So, little tricks like that are proving very useful to me. I’m able to simplify my wardrobe down to two sweaters, three jeans, four undershirts, five pairs of socks, one pair of sneakers, and then my “going out” clothes include four other blouses, two coats, a choice of slacks or skirt, simple black shoes, and dark leggings. All of this fits in less than two feet of closet space and one dresser drawer, with plenty of room to spare.
I’m liking the simplicity of this system. It suits me, though I can see it wouldn’t be for most people. I keep my look somewhat fresh by changing my hairstyle in a few dramatic ways, which I can do because my hair is long. Also I wear bold jewelry, which I think helps attract attention and fools people into thinking I take trouble with how I look.
Everything I wear is wash-and-go. I iron NOTHING. If it is fragile or requires fussing it is given away. Most of my wardrobe are simple solid colors, but many of my shirts have bold color or patterns on them, which keeps me from looking too boring. Nobody I know has ever commented about my clothes in any way except to say how well-dressed I always appear.
So this works for me. This was an awesome experiment, and will probably be my method of dressing for life, unless something in my life drastically changes. I enjoy living in such a forgiving, comfortable relationship with my clothes.