I want to put this out there right now... I am not a hoarder. Not by any means. I do though, have a lot of things. Often, I wonder if I could pare those things down...and I do a lot of purging of un-used and unnecessary items on a regular basis.
About a year ago.... I started thinking and researching capsule wardrobes. You can take a peak at my pinterest site (link over on the right side!) and you will find a file loaded with pictures. I thought long and hard about if I had the ability to pare down to a capsule wardrobe... after all..I have over a hundred pair of shoes. Approximately the same number of handbags, and close to that number if not more actual items of clothing. I have a bedroom we made into my closet/dressing room. So, after thinking about it...I realized I could not do an actual capsule wardrobe...and that I honestly didn't even really want to. I chose another path.
About 6 months ago, I decided I wouldn't buy any new clothing.... I would ONLY buy clothing second hand. Thrift stores etc... Now...this doesn't include underwear, socks or hats. Notice I didn't mention shoes? Well, my town has a large well known shoe manufacturing plant...and they donate shoes to the local thrifts ALL the time... brand new... and I don't actually need any shoes...so that didn't make the cut.
I didn't mention this 6 months ago...because honestly, who wants to start a new plan, talk about it, fail...and have to talk about that? Not me. So I kept my mouth shut. Now that I am half way through the program.. I feel that I can talk about it. It's gone very, very well. I purchased my son a new belt and shirt in this time frame ( he loved the shirt... and the belt was needed because he grew taller...not wider) I purchased my husband a new pair of pants. He's an odd size..and I don't find him things very often. He had to have a new pair of khakis when he fell and ripped the pocket. I purchased two vera Bradley bags...but at a merchandise outlet (new overstock items) for 7 bucks each.
Now, that doesn't mean I haven't bought new clothing. If you look enough, there's all sorts of new, with tags, clothing at second hand shops all the time. Even more gently worn, or not worn at all clothing for all members of the family. Find a thrift store in a good , upscale location, and you can make out like a bandit. My son decided around Thanksgiving he wanted to start wearing long sleeve button down shirts. I bought 4 for him, two Ralph Lauren, One Tommy Hilfiger, One Gap Kids...all 4 for 9.17 cents. Two had never been worn with tags, two were basically unworn and in perfect condition. I've gotten New levis with tags attached for 4.99. I get clothing for myself ALL the time...and when I tire of the item, I donate them right back. I haven't spent more than 5 dollars for a piece of clothing in 6 months.... and because I don't need much, I can focus on getting the best quality and fit. It's not as easy as going into say, Macy's or TJ Maxx and picking out a pair of jeans...but it's very satisfying. Because I'm looking for quality and fit... and less for specials, or savings, or sales, I've purchased less, but every piece important.
My brother once said he was sure the world had produced enough cargo shorts already, and that he no longer needed to purchase any new. He went almost exclusively second hand over a year ago. I decided to join him...and you know what...it's worked. I spend a pittance for my clothing now...and I don't feel guilty about having a few more clothes in my closet than I need. When I tire of them, they get donated again.... and someone else can wear them. I think I proved to myself it can be done, and now, if my son needs new track shoes...I have no issues going down to the sporting goods store and buying him whatever pair he wants...because I know that I have saved a TON of money on our normal wardrobes.