Express Checkout Challenge, Week 3, one to go!

I'll finish week 3 on Sunday. I feel restrained but not deprived. Know I can return to some favourite things in ten days, and for years to come.
Navy tunic, orange pochette
Here I am, wet-haired from the shower, rushing off in a navy wool tunic top, which I swapped for a grey one (without ever wearing the grey, I'm being a good girl.)

I think of the people who have had to leave everything behind, fleeing war or other tragedies, and my experiment feels superficial. Yet, if it causes me to stop reflexively consuming, it's valuable.

It's the same with eating; when I attended Weight Watchers, we met upstairs in a church, where smells from the soup kitchen in the basement wafted up, curling around our scales and points booklets. "Isn't it odd", I said to another member, "here we are struggling not to eat so much, and two floors below, the church is caring for those who don't have enough food?"


I buy too many nearly-identical things; why?

In my reduced-choice state, department stores, with their jammed racks, are harshly lit and overwhelming. (But in a ritzy shoe salon (like The Room at The Bay), the shoes look like an art installation.)

My bedroom closet is so uncrammed that I can see the back wall. (I removed most other clothes.) With stuffed closets, you can hide your mistakes, an edited closet won't tolerate them. 

Leather tee with knit back, Danier
I'm enjoying that Danier black leather tee so much! It's now on sale through their web site, price, $199.

Skimmed an article on cleanses. It occurred to me: I'm doing a clothes cleanse.

My favourite cleanse story is from an acquaintance, Moira, who got so bored with her Master Cleanse Lemonade that she started spiking the recipe with dark rum instead of maple syrup (well, it is the same colour), and rather more than required.

Moira was ushered out of her child's basketball game for screaming "Whoop that little f-----'s ass, Susie!"


Roxie said…
While I am not participating, I am following this experiment with interest. I do like the idea of a well-edited wardrobe. And keeping the clothing budget in check allows for growth in the travel budget and that is always a trade off I am willing to make.
Susan B said…
Your last little anecdote made me chuckle. Reminds me of college days when we used to mix our Bacardi 151 with Tab to save calories.

I'll have a post up at the beginning of next week with a status report, but the four straight days of 90F+ temperatures have been a challenge. I may have to break out from the herd today, just to give my one little black tank a break.
NancyDaQ said…
Like Pseu, I enjoyed the anecdote too. That's the only way I'd do the Mastercleanse! (just kidding, I wouldn't do it ever!)

It's great to hear that you're doing well with less. It's finally cool enough here that I've made the switch to daily jeans wearing--which kind of accomplishes the same thing although in a less structured way. Love the leather T.
Oh my lemon and a detox.
That's funny :)

I often wonder what I would grab if I had to choose one outfit and leave all else behind.....
I admire your dedication to the experiment.
Vildy said…
I think about the less fortunate when I have my own "disaster" but I don't feel anything about owning things or enjoying things (like air conditioning) while others elsewhere do not.

So far, the only thing that discourages acquisition of particular items for me is when I look them up online and see a surfeit of the same or very similar thing. I lose all interest immediately. Same thing is true for retail stores where I might see, say, dozens of attractive shoes artfully arranged. If I can't choose one thing right away - and couldn't under those circumstances, then I walk away with nothing.
Susan said…
Duchesse, Like you, I own quite a few nearly identical clothing items. Lots of blue jeans, long sleeved Gap t-shirts, black turtlenecks, etc.

I've followed your experiment closely---and it has influenced my wardrobe thoughts.
Duchesse said…
Roxie: When I opened this month's Visa bill with a 0 balance, that felt fantastic!

Pseu: Temperature bounce got to me, too, thank heavens for camisoles!

Nancy: The leather tee has a knit back- and also looks great with jeans.

hostess: We called it a retox! I would grab my pearls, I can replace the clothes.

Vildy: The best merchgandisers know this, and create an illusion of scarcity without too many of any item displayed.
LPC said…
I think your leather T and the rum in a cleanse serve a similar function:). I love the idea of a leather tee. I think I'd look rather dominatrix, however. The broad shouldered thing. Might be worth it anyway.
Vildy said…
I'm a duplicate purchaser. My mother, who grew up in a small town in Poland and had to have clothes made by a dressmaker, would find a style she liked and have it made in several fabrics. Perhaps this story influenced me. My duplicates, in different colors, generally work well. But I am trying to get away from having too much black. I think I acquire it because it's so easy, when I would rather have navy, for example.

I must have more than half a dozen black jackets. All different styles. Am going to set myself the task of seeing how far I can purge this assortment.
Jean S said…
okay, that gave me the giggles...

As a reader of Geneen Roth, I think the link between overconsuming of food and overconsuming of other items is about as direct as they come. Food for thought, as they say....
Marguerite said…
Pseu, I had the best laugh today when I read your post about Tab and Bacardi. OMG, can you imagine it today? Do they still make Tab? Thanks for providing that rush of endorphins! ps. Love your blog, as we are similar in height and shape not to mention age. I am starting my second closet purge this weekend. May attempt to peruse DH's attire as well. This is all in the less is more vein.
materfamilias said…
A chuckle and inspiration, all in one post! I end up with multiples as well -- black tops especially, although I'm trying to move away from that a bit. . .
Demi-pointe said…
Perhaps the clothing cleanse is similar to the tip of slowing down one's eating during a meal to wait to allow your stomach to realize you are full. Just slow down the buying. Stop the force feeding of one item on top of another. I think stores become so overstimulating (e.g. the bright lights...)after not shopping for a while because our brains have re-set. Maybe we have picked up some new (or new again) interests. Space in the closet, space in the stomach = space in the brain. It doesn't all have to be filled to the brim.
Duchesse said…
LPC: Two things save the tee: the leather is very soft, and the back is a knit fabric. Oh, and I wear mine with pearls, no whip.

Vildy: I had an aunt, excellent seamstress, who wore the same little dressmaker suit all the years I knew her, in various fabrics. It drove her daughters mad.

ma: I think of you as a collector of LBDs and they are so gorgeous.

Demi-pointe: Your comment is so valuable to me, especially the slowing down part. I am planning to expand on your thoughts, thank you.
Anonymous said…
I'm finding shopping in retail shops almost unbearable lately--too much of everything, and such drab colors and cheap finishes--I still prefer to find the occasional thrift shop treasure.

The connection between overeating and over-shopping is undeniable, and mindfulness--whether that means consciously wearing only the clothes we really love, or concentrating on the preparation and enjoyment of delicious, healthy food--seems to be one answer.
Rubiatonta said…
Ha! Love the last tidbit -- I was just telling a friend that as a result of recent events, I've lost most of my appetite, except for chocolate and wine. Like a juice fast, only with more interesting results.

I love the jolt of orange against your navy -- always a combination I like!
Demi-pointe said…
Duchesse, thank you for your response! I look forward to your expansion and the conversation to ensue.
Unknown said…
Curious - how do you wear and care for the leather tee? I am an active woman (and taking thyroid meds) and tend to sweat at times. This makes me very wary of wearing anything I can't wash (or anything that I can't wear over at least a cotton tee or camisole). I'm not abnormal, just paranoid about carrying any kind of sweat odor on me (and so many women don't have this issue and can wear things more than once, argh).
Duchesse, your hair may be wet, but that is a very cute pic of you. Perhaps the little orange kerchief, and the mischevious smile?

Artful, I can't wear anything "below" such as trousers more than once, so nothing down there that needs dry cleaning.

I've taught and worked in many community centres like that church; indeed it is intriguing to observe the different groups that convene there from my beloved elderly Vietnamese Tai Chi people to self-help groups and soup kitchens. Although it will be great to shop in your closets again, I'm sure many participants in this experiment will be able to give up some good but little-worn garments to people who need them. My favouite charity shop really needs stuff, as alas there has been a huge increase in women needing emergency housing of late.

I've had too many other things going on (structural work in housing co-op) to take part in this experiment, but I'm pretty keen on wearing the same things - I do like having multiples of favourite clothes though. Practically a uniform...
Duchesse said…
Jean S.: Definitely linked, but I have not attempted eating less at the same time :)

Anonymous; Delicious, yes- hmmm- that is the whole French Women Don't Get Fat idea- really savouring food, and she is also a proponent of a small, carefully chosen wardrobe.

Arful: I thought about it b/f buying, believer me. I'm kind of a normal sweat-er. Wear thin cami under it, do not apply deodorant immediately b/f wearing. So far, it's odor free, but will take to cleaner who specializes in leather when needed. Front and underarms can be cleaned with delicate leather cleaner cream I got at Danier. (Back is knit,sleeves and front are leather.)

AND I have sprayed whole piece with protective spray.

lagatta- Thanks, Yes will be taking some things to Goodwill, some to consignment. Very much hoping your co-op renos are moving along as it's getting cold!
Anonymous said…
I wonder if you've read Linda Grant's book, The Thoughtful Dresser. It captures this paradox about our concern with clothes in a POWERful way.
Duchesse said…
Terri: Have not ready myself but gave it as a gift. On my list.
Frugal Scholar said…
Once again, I'm late to the party, so can only thank others for thoughtful comments. Love the pic, Duchesse! And I'm glad to hear that your leather tee is proving its worth.
Tish Jett said…

On the occasions when I have a vodka cocktail I "spike" it with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and add an effervescent, no-sugar, orange-flavored vitamin C tablet from the pharmacie. A large splash of Perrier and I've got myself an almost (almost) calorie-free drink. Plus, I getting all those vitamins.

I see it as a win-win.

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