Friday, October 10, 2008

Fool's Gold

As promised, the next few posts will be about the economics of having a very small closet.
I'll begin with tackling head on the idea that having a large surplus of items to wear somehow protects you from certain doom in the future should your financial world hit the skids.

The typical thinking goes something like this: If I run out of money, I won't be able to buy any new clothes. If I can't buy any new clothes, I'll have to rely entirely on what I already own. And if I don't own enough clothing then I'll run out of clothes to wear. I might eventually end up in rags. So I'd best keep all the clothes I currently own just in case.

But here's the rub: if it doesn't suit you now, it won't suit you later. There is a reason most of your wardrobe goes unworn through the year...the clothes are either too big or too small, don't fit your lifestyle, don't flatter you, or aren't comfortable. Perhaps they are orphans, without anything to be worn with. Perhaps they are terribly out of style. Whatever the reason, chances are extremely good that that reason won't change, no matter what happens in the future. I'll repeat: if it doesn't suit you now, it won't suit you later.

The goal of having a very small closet is ultimately looking your best daily. If all these clothes you are wanting to hang onto won't help improve your image...even in the future...there is no reason to hang on to them. That awful polyester suit hanging in the far back of your closet is not suddenly going to become your go-to outfit merely because your old suit is looking a bit worn. That's faulty thinking!

Ok, but what about a real disaster? What if I pare down my wardrobe and we have another Great Depression? Well, if we do, then a great many people will be in the same boat, experiencing the same hardships. If things really are that dire, there won't be many shops to shop in . Fashion will take a back seat. But you will know that no matter how many times you've worn the clothes you have on, they still flatter you. If they grow slightly threadbare, you will still look pulled together. Looking neat and pulled together will always trump wearing new clothes that don't flatter. And if you are truly fixated on a disaster scenario, just remind yourself that people in centuries past survived with only two or three outfits a year. Heck, people in THIS century make do with that or less. Even with a pared down wardrobe, your closet will still have far more than that. You'll survive!

Holding onto clothes "just in case" is like fool's gold. You think you're rich, but you're not. Learning how to build a small but functional wardrobe is where the real gold is at.

See you next time...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on wardrobe planning, or to sign up for my free e-zine, please visit my Wardrobe Planning Website.)


RobFromGa said...

There's a lot of Fools Gold across this great world. But some of it is real Gold to the right person that it fits size-wise and style-wise...

Carpe Diem, Rob
Is Your Corporation Protecting Your Assets?

Darryl Pace said...


Good advice. Would the recommendations you gave in this post apply equally to men and their wardrobe? It seems that they would.



Lisa M. McLellan said...

You are so right. All those clothes I wouldn't throw away because I might need them...... were still there years later - taken out in an emergency and then put back because I still wouldn't wear them.

S Chambers said...


I was going through my closet today to pick out a suit for my son to wear to a wedding. I was amazed at how many old and out of style clothes I had.

Time for a Spring cleaning.

Sales and Leadership Consultant

Cindy Eyanson said...

Well... you are so right. Time to do some cleaning...out my closet that is. I keep clothes I never were, just in case. Makes no sense. Great post.

Scott Bel said...

Good points. One book that I read about the great depression was how difficult it was to find shoes. So if you hold a worse case scenerio keep an extra pair of shoes.


David Power said...

Great Post,good tobe back! your so right at this time of the year

ana7mari said...

guess what.. the voice of "the very samll closet" caused me to do some spring cleaning last night. Cleared up clutter (again). It never ends.. or does it? does our closet ever reach "satisfactory" to us?

Intutive John Shoemaker said...


"Just In Case" thinking.

Wow. That applies to so many areas in life.

You made it clear that keeping your old clothes is a way of cementing yourself to your past. And the physical action of getting rid of that stuff...frees you up for more. It's a concrete step that can be seen and measured.

My mother had so many clothes she had turned one of her bedrooms into a giant walk in closet Sure they were nice and beautiful and expensive when she bought them..but useless really. At least in my mind.

But I was dead wrong. When I suggested she clean things out she broke down and wanted to know why I was attacking her...blah blah blah. It seems her hold on the past was in all the memories that closet held.

It was sad in many ways. Really no different than a bag lady mentality.

Intuitive John Shoemaker

Learn To Be Happy Consultant

David J Parnell said...

"if it doesn't suit you now, it won't suit you later." The are buddha-class words of wisdom...

David J. Parnell
Communication Expert

Romance Coach, Online Dating Coach said...

Hi Jennifer,

You are so sage about your wardrobe, style, and clothing economics. Well, thank God I DO have quite a number of good solid classic clothes, so even if there are certain items I have to wear for the next 5 yrs, well, I COULD.

Like a great romantic sex relationship with our spouse, it can indeed be FULFILLING. And like fashion, we may need to keep things spiced up to avoid boredom, but there indeed are ways to do taht without RISKING IT ALL and BREAKING THE BANK on a fools errand for fool's gold.

All the best,

April Braswell - Online Dating Coach, Romance Coach

Online Dating Sites Review, Internet Dating Sites Guide