Variety Smariety

yellow bird on branch

Oh, Variety.

When I was on the Spending Fast I dreamed of all the wonderful outfits that I would be wearing if only I wasn’t on the Spending Fast. I imagined myself dressed amazingly everyday and just wearing some really cute clothes. In a way I found myself feeling fashionably victimized by the ol’ fast. Every day I would put on my black pants (that had been re-dyed to give ‘em new life- read post here). I’d wear the same shirts over and over and I felt I was being forced to wear all these old horrible clothes because I couldn’t buy anything new because of the Spending Fast- don’t you know!!

At the end of the Spending Fast and before the start of the Spending Diet I went shopping and “refreshed” my wardrobe. I bought some new work pants and a couple new shirts. Imagine my surprise when I recognized the fact that when I would get dressed in the morning I was actually continuing to select the same clothes I wore during the Spending Fast.

Oh, touché.

Look who WASN’T being FORCED to wear all that black after all!

Turns out, this whole variety/not varied thing isn’t much of a shock to “the experts”. I remember reading a stat that most people only wear 1/3 of the clothes/shoes/accessories that they own and actually THINK they like variety far more than they really do. This whole – wanting variety but not really utilizing the variety thing was quite a revelation. That means that I’ll just about always gravitate towards what I know. For me, that means: wearing what’s comfortable, wearing what looks generally decent, I’ll pick items that are easy to wear and ones that I know I won’t adjusting all day or be self-conscious in.

When I go on a trip and I want to pack light I just admit the fact that I’m not going to be busting out any new outfits and getting all adventurous with my clothing. Most likely, I’ll wear the same thing over and over: hat, jeans and switch out a t-shirt or two but it will generally be a variation of the same outfit throughout the vacation.

So why the need for variety? Why constantly be on the hunt when the likelihood of it getting worn is slim? Optimism maybe? I like to THINK that I won’t wear just about the same outfit everyday… but I find that I do.

Maybe you’re one of the people that wears every single thing you own.

If so- Bravo. Bravo.

If you’re not sure there are a couple of tricks/tips to use to really see what you do and don’t use in your closet.

One tip: Face all of your hangers pointing “IN”. When you go to hang an item back up face the hanger “OUT”. After a month or two (or however long you decide to survey) evaluate the items with the hangers still facing “IN”. If you still haven’t worn it there’s a likelihood that you’re just not that into the item (and that’s okay).

Another tip (this is the one I use): Pants on the left. Shirts on the right.  As I wear an item I replace it on its respective side placing the shirts to the far left of the shirt section and the pants to the far right of the pant section. The way this works is that the items that are worn the most end up in the center and the ones that don’t get used end up on the ends of the closest.

Things I think about when clearing out: Do I really need the item? Do I even want it? Do I even like it?

I guess variety isn’t all it’s cracked up to be- at least for me and at least regarding clothes. I’ll have to remember this when I’m tempted to buy all those beautiful clothes out there.

P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!


2 thoughts on “Variety Smariety

  1. Ann

    Your post really made me think, thanks! This is so, so, so true. Since I've started my shopping detox (similar to your shopping fast, I think), I instituted a rule where I can't buy anything similar to things I already own. And so many times I've caught myself wanting the same stuff — mainly blue-and-white striped French-style long-sleeve tshirts. Why do I need more than the four I already own? Why don't I wear so many things?

  2. New saver

    Your post today is totally brillant and true. Thanks! I have another observation. My best friend lives in CA and I just loved spending time with her recently. When I got home I was like "Why did I love spending time with her???" And, besides all the obvious stuff (she's my best friend afterall), I remembered that one afternoon when we were chatting and she whipped out her nail polish and gave herself the quickest best pedicure. Out on the east coast that would have meant a trip to the salon and $25. I know it sounds SUPER simple,but I think if you just observe, you can save cash and have a good time!

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