Fine fabrics and craftsmanship are disappearing faster than glacier ice.

I’ve tried but I can no longer even think about spending a whole day “tidying,” let along a whole week, or more likely a month, which is what it would take. At a minimum. And to what end? I like having more than one top per jacket. I like not having to worry about things coming back from the cleaner in time. I like not worrying about what’s taking the hand laundry so long to dry. I like being able to change socks in the middle of a hot day. I like knowing that I have a closet full of things made of fabrics and minerals to which I am not allergic. And - oh, the shame - I like knowing that if the black pants I bought last year have mysteriously become too tight, there will be a pair of black pants purchased 4 years ago when my weight ballooned after a trip to France, still there, still well tailored, still coordinated with other items I own...

Until recently, I was concerned that my closet reflected the personality of an over-aged, lazy spoiled brat.

I now know better.

I have been, simply, an early adapter of Self Care. In owning black silk pants in a range of sizes, in a fabric to which I’m not allergic (that would be the silk), I have been proactively preventing skin irritations, that is, practicing full-body skin care. Same for fine wool. Same for navy pants, same for beige, camel, wine, hunter green, military green, tweed and tweed-like patterns. (note to self: find and insert picture of defiant stare) (ok, dear readers, please imagine such a vision - passport picture of someone who would benefit from an expensive blow-out but is going to get on that plane anyway, dammit)

Back to self-care: One can’t achieve a state of calm and mindfulness (formerly referred to as Inner Poise) if the Big Issue at the Forefront of One’s Mind is not Living in Peace and Harmony with One’s Neighbors and Looking Forward to a Bright Tomorrow but Whether The Waist Button Will Hold Till I Get Home, or Is Anyone Looking Because I Itch All Over. 

Same for shirts.

Same for sweaters.

Same for jackets.

and so on.

I even buy dupes. Knowing that I won’t be leaving the house in an uncoordinated outfit gives me the ability to worry about real issues.

Moreover, as a practical matter, should I and my dear ones be trapped in a political or economic crisis, I won’t need clothes to job-hunt, to volunteer, to campaign, to flee, to lend to those who have fled. I’ll be ready, I won’t break out in allergic rashes, and I’ll have plenty left over to share. No matter what time of year, what kind of weather.

um, just noticed, there may be a shortage of lightweight pull on rain boots. Back in a while.


  1. Say it, sister!! (gotta go mend holes in my vintage dresses and cashmere sweaters now, 'cause I'm a poor caretaker but equally of the opinion that only good fabrics matter!)

  2. Anyone who had parents or grandparents (or maybe Great Grandparents) who lived through the depression will tell you that saving and reusing is a fundamental truth so I have a hard time parting with perfectly good things. There was nothing my grandmother couldn't fix without rickrack.
    (Do people know what rickrack is anymore?) I also hold on to a lot of clothing because of that idea, especially if it was good quality when I bought it originally. I see no need to get rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of it. I'm old enough now that more than one trend or number on the scale has reappeared and I'm happy to know I can sort through my items (or my mother's) and find that jacket or dress from 15 years ago or more that happens to be exactly what I need today!


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