That’s a Wrap

36/365 ended over the weekend. You can see my wardrobe above. Frankly, it feels a bit like a non-event. I did get a plastic bin of about ten pieces of clothing out of the garage on Saturday, which was sort of fun. But, I’m guessing that I’ll trim my wardrobe back down. All in all, my clothing has faded into the background over the last year. As I’ve lived my life, I haven’t really worried about what I was going to wear or buy. The only source of stress was when my jeans finally had a catastrophic failure in the bum which no longer preserved my modesty. Because I have so many thrift stores close to my house, I was easily able to replace them. I liked having less clothing. Over the last year, my family has gotten rid of even more of our stuff. We now own about 1/3 of what we owned a few years ago. It feels really great. It feels like we have space. I want my clothing to reflect that. I want for all my clothing to go together like it has over the last year. That won’t entail buying anything new. Rather, it will be paring down the clothing that I’m bringing back from garage storage. I’m closing the year with fewer pieces of clothing than I started out with. Mostly, it worked really well. But, even within my pared down wardrobe, there were pieces that didn’t earn their keep.

– My funky sari skirt wound up being a little too funky. I didn’t wear it as much as I though it would.

– My silk maxi skirt is subject to snags. It’s one of the most expensive pieces of my wardrobe, and I don’t know that it was worth it.

– My white Fair Trade organic cotton blouse. Maybe it’s the fit? Again, I just didn’t wear it very much.

All of my t-shirts saw a lot of use. I wore them all every week. I wore my ribbed turtle neck whenever it was clean during the winter. I wore out my jeans and had to replace them. I wore my black leggings every week- both summer and winter. They’re very versatile. I wore my cardigan sweaters weekly all year. I wore my black travel dress every week. I wore it just sleeveless during the warm months and layered with sweaters and leggings in the winter.

At the end of the day, I wound up with 33 pieces of clothing. Over the course of the year, I ruined a pair of khakis that I didn’t replace. I also got rid of a scarf that I didn’t wear and my sari skirt.

My husband asked what’s next. I’m going to pare down the pieces that came back into the house over the weekend. We’ll see. I’m neck-deep in getting our business going. I have neither the time nor the energy for another endeavor. But, this was actually very easy. While I won’t be writing about it, I will be trimming down my clothing, along with addressing other areas in my house that can be further culled. As I cull the items in our household that don’t serve our family, I’m making room for the possibility of what is to come. Making room for soap making. Making room for a family business. Making room for creativity. Making room for serenity and peace.

It’s been a great year. Thanks so much for following the journey!



I wanted to give you a quick update on how 36/365 is going. In short, it’s going very, very well. I’m still loving living my life without worrying about my clothing. No, I haven’t cheated. Yes, I’ve had to tweak a thing or two.

This 3/4 sleeve black t-shirt drove me crazy. I found myself not wearing it because where it hit just below my elbow bugged me. So, I freecycled it and bought an organic cotton short sleeve black t-shirt from Eileen Fisher. Here’s my new shirt:

It’s comfy and soft. It’s also nice and long, so I’m not tugging on it to hit the waist band on my low-slung jeans, which I live in. Speaking of my jeans, they’ve seen better days.

I’ve ironed a patch inside one of the knees.

I also ironed on patches on the inside of both sides of the rear end, which were getting dangerously thin.

Let’s see. I sat on some oil while wearing these, which ruined them. They’re now in the rag bag.

I also simplified my scarfs down to these:

I wear one of the two scarves almost every day.

The bottom line is that I’m wearing less than 36 pieces. I’ll have to sit down and figure out what I’m living on, but it’s definitely less than 36. All in all, it’s been pretty darn easy. The pieces that I’m wearing often are definitely worse for the wear. But, I like wearing out my clothes. I’ll keep you posted on what’s next as the end of the experiment approaches. For now, I’m just enjoying the ride of having a simple capsule wardrobe that works all year long.

Item 35- Goretex Jacket

What? Goretex jacket

How long have I had it? 4 years

Where did I get it? REI

What do I love about it? I love how functional it is. I can unzip the vents on windy days and use it as a wind breaker. It also works layered over fleece in very cold weather. It’s also my rain coat. It’s just a wonderfully versatile piece of clothing.

Item 34- Fleece

What? Fleece

How long have I had it? 5 years

Where did I get it? REI

What do I love about it? It’s just so darn functional. Great as a layer on cool days. But, it also works great under my goretex jacket in really cold weather. I have worn this piece of clothing into the ground. The sleeves are thin underneath, and the zipper breaks frequently. I’m ready for it to cough its last wheezy cough and collapse. I’m eyeing a beefier fleece for next time.

Item 33- Black Keen Purse

What? Black Keen Purse

How long have I had it? 6 months

Where did I get it? REI

What do I love about it? It’s super functional. I don’t live a drop-off lifestyle. By that, I mean that my kids are with me almost all the time. One of them is hypoglycemic. So, I almost always have water bottles and food in my purse. Sun screen. My calendar. I spent six years with a back pack. When I started looking for a new purse, I loved the functionality of this one. I also love the chunky, rugged look. Don’t let my mom and sister know, but I’m also taking it to any cocktail parties that I might attend. I grew up in the south, where this would be about as horrid as wearing white after labor day. I’m off to make a jello salad! Wait- I got off track- back to the purse. I also love that they use recycled rubber and airplane buckles to make the purse. I’m all about upcycling!

Item 32- Sun Hat

What? Sun hat

How long have I had it? 4 months

Where did I get it? REI

What do I love about it? I love that it’s cute and functional. Before this hat, I had a Sun Day Afternoons hat that was super functional. Truly, I think, the most functional, well-made sun hat available. But, I always felt a little geeky wearing it. OK- a lot geeky. Which is funny, because I gave up all my nerd cards a long time ago. Any way, everyone in my family except me still has a Sun Day Afternoons hat, but I’m loving my new cuter hat. It also has a tie in the brim so that I can cinch it down in the wind.

Item 31- Watch

What? Ironman watch

How long have I had it? 18 months

Where did I get it? Christmas gift from my husband

What do I love about it? I have had some version of this watch for the last ten years. Right now, I have the women’s version, but I really prefer the men’s version with the larger face. I love that it’s water-proof and that I don’t have to baby it. What I don’t love is that I have to keep replacing it. Once you change the battery, it’s no longer water proof. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do about that? Would a higher quality watch last longer?