Facing materialism

I am nearing the end of my shopping streak, and am somewhat relieved. My wardrobe feels much more workable, so that objective seems to be achieved. I no longer feel pressure to find time on weekends and nights to rush out and scour the racks for essential clothing items. My credit card can take a break, my time will be my own again.
Unfortunately and predictably, the materialistic obsessions that are fed by shopping – particularly in new stores (yes, 2nd hand shopping is still my norm :)) – are strong and hard to subdue.

Today I returned a few items I had purchased (part of my with-child shopping plan: buy and try on at home). The shoes went back without a problem, though I do feel a slight desire for more shoes.

The dress, that was harder. The lovely red sheath dress – something like this one, but much more elegant. Aside, of course, from the not-quite right-fitting top and the pouchy stomach. Oh, it felt great when I zipped up that dress! The layered detailing was feminine but not over the top. It fit comfortably and yet made me look great. I am mourning the loss of that dress and the lifestyle and activities it represents.

I am also salivating ever so slightly over some machine-washable merino wool sweaters marked down 60%. I got a black v-neck sweater, because it looks great and inspired by this clothing essentials list. Of course, seeing them still on sale and realizing that this gorgeous sweater only cost $35, I desperately want another one. In another colour, of course! If they had had a red v-neck in my size today I would have snatched it up. I still am tempted to go back, check the selection and pick up another one. So elegant, simple, long-lasting. Classic.

And, I have enough sweaters. I really want to retain the minimalism within the “feeling good about myself and my wardrobe” trend. I want, not only to have enough clothes to wear, but to feel good about wearing each item I find in my closet. I want to have just enough clothes so I have variety, but not so many that I forget what I own.

I am reminded of one telling moment in grad school where I brought home yet another pair of comfy attractive black leather shoes from Target and discovered a similar pair, unworn, still in the box, in my closet. That kind of thing has NEVER happened to me, before or since. But still … at that point in my life, minimalism wasn’t what I was going for. Neither was quality. It was shopping cheap, buying what seemed okay, and ending up with a big, big wardrobe (okay, one big would probably be enough :)) but not the right things to wear.

I can live without the red dress. It wasn’t the perfect shade for me, it needed adjustments, and finding a seamstress is not a priority for me now.

And: baby is calling for mam mam ma! I must go.

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