Putting the Middle-Man Back In

Please forgive the delay between posts. I was in a lovely place with spotty WiFi and, at the best times, WordPress had endless loading patterns.

This past week, I returned to brick-and-mortar stores. Having items delivered to my doorstep wasn’t saving money nor helping my community. Plus, it’s difficult to judge something like color and fit online (although fitting rooms are still closed).

It was a rather strange experience to have no Canadian visitors, to avoid other people like the literal plague, and to smile despite a mask (“invisible” smiles are high on my list of Things I Hate About Covid-19). The current coin shortage has forced me to use a credit card, putting a new wrinkle in budgeting. But there was the clearance rack (replacing workout clothes was $4.35 cheaper than anticipated) and the book I wanted was in a logical spot despite the rearranged, distancing-pattern shelves.

As for The Young Human Factory, we’re waiting to hear from the governor about what stage we’ll be in for the reopening. We are using a “middle man” regardless: lessons via live chats and online assignments). Ugh.

On the Mend… clothes, that is!

I had the misfortune of walking through rotting mushrooms and neighbor-dog residue while gardening. They made quite an adhesive for pasting mulch and leaves to my white sneakers.  For a moment, I contemplated tossing them into the garbage. Then I got the bucket and the bristle brush. Then, after a spin in the laundry with a bit of whitening agent, they were ready for many more seasons.

That is, if I take care of them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the saying from the Great Depression: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

My quest for clothes that fit has shown me how easy it is to donate and buy, donate and buy, etcétera ad nauseam.

It’s also easier to toss than to mend.  Yesterday I discovered a hole in a nearly-new patterned sock. Contrary to rumors spread by Young Humans, I don’t have clawed feet (or eat children), so I wasn’t expecting early-onset sock failure. Luckily, it’s a seam opening, not a tear.

I’m grateful that my mother taught me rudimentary sewing skills, although I’ll never sew clothes like she and my grandmothers. A stitch in time saves nine and a little seam repair or darning saves space in the landfill.

Related Reading

Benjamin Leszcz writes about “The Life-Changing Magic of Making Do”

An oldie-but-goodie post about how to follow the philosophy Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, or Do Without

 

 

Wardrobe Hunting

Shortly after The Factory closed for the summer, I subtracted items from the dresser and closet: the stylish watch I never wear, worn-out shoes, etc. Then I made a little list of items I lacked: ankle socks, dressy shoes, closed-toe espradilles, and a blouse to dress up or down. And just like previous years, I wrote down “formal spring/fall coat.”

The shoes and socks were easy to find. I was extremely picky about the blouse; there are so many choices.

The formal coat, on the other hand, was a rare beast. Continue reading

Minimal wardrobe

I thought this was an interesting article about wearing a minimalist wardrobe as a realtor work uniform. My mother knew a woman – a law clerk, as I recall – who always wore black blouses with black trousers with accessories supplying color and variety.  For those who adopt such habits, dressing becomes an absolute no-brainer.

My own wardrobe is divided in half: work clothes and play clothes. Never the twain shall meet, with the exception of informal clothes like a T-shirt under a suit jacket. A few years ago, I had casual clothes only for summer, not even a pair of jeans.