The Bare Minimum

There is a lot of talk about how little we can/should get away with buying and still have what we need.  A year shopping ban is popular on one site.  Some extremes like the lady who wore the same dress for a whole year.  I got to thinking how it would be a great experiment to only buy one item a month next year.

And then I started to wonder about the basics.  How does one not shop for a whole year but have a bra that’s still in good shape?  Socks that aren’t holey in the heels?  For me, uniform pants that have not faded from black to a dull grey?   What do we really, truly NEED every year, no matter what?   Even if I turned off all enticements through pictures and blogs and magazines, I still need those basics to get out the door every day.  Mine are likely different than yours.  Here is what I’ve come up with:

  • 7 pack of ankle socks for work
  • bra
  • undies
  • black uniform pants
  • work shoes
  • running shoes (every other year)
  • sports bra (every other year)
  • layer top(s) for both lounge/sleep and under uniform

Those are just the base needs.  Now if I add in likely replacement needs for the normal wear of my closet I also have:

  • replacement tee(s)
  • jeans
  • leggings
  • sweater(s)

I am already at a dozen with no ‘fun’ shopping for a new trend or silhouette I’d like to try.  Hmmm.  Some of you may be into shoes – that adds even more to the list.  (I have enough shoes to get me by for a couple years, truth be told, since I wear Danskos to my job and only pull out the rest for ‘fun’ outside of work.)  Now if you like handbags, you’ve got another category.  And on and on.

So, I approach these big plans of limited yearly purchases with a bit of skepticism.  They sound awesome and life simplifying, but just don’t pan out that way when I start to look at my needs.  Realistically I will likely always be buying a couple things a month on average.  And that’s okay!

Have you tried one a month?  Or the 5 piece French wardrobe?  Something similar?  Did you find your needs didn’t fit into the box?

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2 thoughts on “The Bare Minimum

  1. I cannot imagine going an entire year without shopping. As you said, even basics wear out and have to be replaced. I think this post is very insightful. Because my logical brain wants to dissect my wardrobe into an easy to follow set of rules or formulae, I continue to research and try to apply the various wardrobe planning ideas found on the internet. Inevitably, there will be something about each one that is a failure point for me, though. What I’ve come to realize is that the act of building and maintaining a wardrobe is such an individualized process because no two people are alike. We don’t have the same type of job, lifestyle, climate, color preferences, or style. It’s still an ongoing process for me, but my approach these days is to simply pull the relevant ideas from each plan and try to merge them together into something that makes sense for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: November 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links | Recovering Shopaholic

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