“Is it really true that all your clothes fit in one bag?” A friend I haven’t seen for a while asked me the question last week. She was referring to this article I wrote a few months ago. She added, “I don’t believe you!”
She’s a good friend, so she can say anything. And she did make me take a good hard look at my closet again. That same evening I realized that, yes, I could still fit all my clothes in a duffel bag, but I’d be closing the zipper with great difficulty.
So I decided that it was time for a closet clean out. I took out all the folded clothes in my closet, and came up with this:
Even if you counted the things not in this picture – eight pieces that I keep on hangers, my underwear, and my swimwear – that’s still not a lot of stuff. But they may still break the famous duffel bag’s zipper.
I went to work.
In less than 15 minutes, I was able to take away one-sixth of the pieces in the picture above. These are what I have left, 11 dresses, 4 shorts, 8 shirts, 1 long skirt, 3 sleeping clothes, and 3 wraps:
The process of elimination didn’t take long. Twenty minutes tops. I looked at the clothes I owned and asked: Which are too worn out? Which make me feel uncomfortable when I wear them?
You can see the resulting pile of discarded clothing in the photo below. I actually found a lesson in this heap of clothes.
Five pieces had to go simply because they were worn-out, including a cotton skirt I had bought when I was still single. Another two pieces are too warm to wear in the Philippines. The lesson wasn’t in those, but in another five articles of clothing that I disposed of. These were the house dresses that I picked up from Divisoria and the Kamuning market.
I love Divi and Kamuning, but the low price of the items for sale had made me careless. I had forgotten to ask myself if I would actually like wearing the house dresses. They were cheap, so why did I even have to think, right? Well, wrong!
I picked up the dresses because I thought they’d be comfy for sleeping in. And they were, but they were also shapeless, their colors were garish, and pieces of thread would poke out at the seams because the seam allowances were so narrow. Whenever I wore them I felt unkempt, ugly, and a little sad because, well, ugly.
Recently a client described what I do as having a “slow living” vibe. Of course! That’s it. If you had to put a label to what I’m trying to communicate here at La Pomme Living that would be it.
To live slow means to be mindful about life’s details, and that extends to the clothes we wear. We should pay attention to how they are made. They should fit us well, be comfortable, and not fall apart after a few washings. That frees our mind so we can go on to the more rewarding aspects of living.
Think about it: Cheap clothes actually make you their prisoner. Because you have to think about them: How not to damage them. How they are stressing you out in a social situation because they don’t fit well. How you want to replace or add to them. That’s your time and your money they demand. Over and over again.
Instead of buying several cheap pieces of clothing, buy one good one.
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