Monday, 31 October 2016

12 months of textiles

Since I've been talking so much about mending and making recently, I thought I'd do another re-assessment of the textiles that I've bought over the last 12 months. I've just seen that I wrote this post in August last year so it's well overdue. But in fact, I didn't buy any clothes during September and October, so I think that the timing of the new academic year is still valid.

To re-cap...
  • This list is of the textiles I've bought from (approximately) September 2015 till September 2016. 
  • It's probably not a definitive list. 
  • Both new and second-hand pieces are included
  • All forms of acquisitions are included: buying outright, thrifting, inheriting and rescuing.
  • An estimated price is included, except for gifts
  • Gifted items which were not specifically requested are not included.  
  • Items that I've made myself are not included.
  • Fabric and yarn is currently not included. I know that these are definitely textiles, but I'm focussing on acquiring ready-to-wear items. 

Over the last 12 months, I have obtained...

1 down-filled snow-proof winter jacket (new, from outlet store) £100
1 pair of slippers for Stockholm apartment (new, from a chain store) £8
1 handbag (thrifted) £3
2 pairs mittens (new, from independent shops) £25
1 wool scarf (gift) £0
1 pair flip flops (new, from a chain store) £3
1 summer hat (thrifted) £5

6 pairs of cotton socks (new, a gift) £0
2 pairs of thick socks (new, from airline) £0
3 pairs of underwear (new, from a chain store) £8
1 thermal leggings (new, from a chain store) £8
2 thermal vests (new, from a chain store) £16
1 bikini (from a chain store) £6

1 T-shirt (new, from a chain store) £9
2 cotton tops (inherited) £0
2 summer vests (thrifted + inherited) £2
1 wool cardigan (inherited) £0
1 black trousers (vintage) £15
1 velvet leggings (new, from a chain store) £8
1 dress (vintage) £10

Total approximate cost of non-me-made wardrobe: £226

Straight away I can see that half of this list resulted from moving to Stockholm for half a year, where my English-climate wardrobe just didn't cut it. I feel that everything else is pretty minimal: there aren't really many acquisitions that weren't actually needed. Well, aside from multiple pairs of mittens, which I bought as souvenirs. I'm surprised that I only bought one vintage dress, and no new shoes apart from slippers/flip flops - both of which have worn out, which goes to show that I shouldn't have bought them from a budget mass retailer!

Mostly I've been trying to be happier with what I have: assessing what's already in my wardrobe, laundering it more carefully, and mending it when damaged. I needed a new pair of flats, but instead have spent a small fortune getting 5 pairs of shoes re-heeled. Ditto with mending a few of my coats. They should hold out for the next 12 months. 

Future plans...
This considered approach to my wardrobe is successfully extending into my sewing and knitting practice.  I've been upping my ability to sew knits, and whilst I don't need any more tops to get through the winter, when I do replace them I will choose either thrifted items, or organic cotton jersey and sew them myself. 

What do I need to take into my wardrobe next year?  The underwear I bought from a shop fit worse than my me-made scanties, which is due to a poor choice arising from being broke. And there's an ongoing bra debacle, which I know many women endure. I need a warmer winter dressing gown. I have a pair of self-made corduroy jeans that have worn out; two sweaters are being knitted; and several more pairs of woollen socks. Also, a new purse to replace one which was stolen (very sad about that); and a smaller rucksack for cycling.

Fairly minimal, and definitely achievable. We'll see how I get on with those plans in a year's time...

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