Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yard Sale Hopping and the Conscientious Decision

One of the blogs I visit everyday is New Dress A Day. Marisa's project is to limit spending only $1 per day on a clothing item for a whole year. This means no more shopping for new clothes. This may sound near impossible, but Marisa is amazing at finding clothing items for $1 from places like flea markets, vintage stores, or yard sales and upcycling them into modern pieces. Just seeing some of her finished products inspires me and makes me jealous that she can find awesome "raw" materials at places like yard sales.

I, myself, don't typically frequent yard sales. I've heard of other people that get up at the break of dawn and drive around in their car scouring the neighborhood for yard/garage sales, which sounds like fun, but that isn't really me. (Because I hate getting up early.) But today, I can proudly say that I have had a breakthrough. I purchased an awesome dress (that fits me!) at a yard sale for $1. And I love it!

I have to say that the experience is pretty addictive. The feeling of knowing you gained something valuable for only $1 is such a rush! So Albert and I drove around to a few other yard sales today to try and keep the high going. I didn't score anything else after the first one, but Albert did get a Pyrex mixing bowl, rolling pin, and silicone spatula for $3.50.

I think the most important thing I took from this experience (and from Albert saying that I've been quite the spender lately) is that I don't really need to spend so much money on new things all the time - especially clothing. Over the years, I've been in the habit of getting rid of clothes that I've outgrown or found to be old, ill-fitting, or inconsistent with my style and comfort needs. In fact, just the other day I chucked a pair of flats into the trash because my toes kept scrunching up in the shoe giving me toe cramps and the liner had become completely unglued to the rest of the shoe. I felt somewhat bad about throwing them away since I did spend money on it, but they didn't really last and were becoming uncomfortable. So if I spend $X on something, wear it for only a year or two then give it to goodwill or throw them away, was it really worth it? Probably not. Therefore I have made a conscientious decision today to try to not buy anymore new clothing and accessory items. Instead, I will either make it myself or buy used.

There are several difficulties in accomplishing this. I will need jeans for inspections and I haven't worked up the confidence to make my own. I kinda need a new jacket (also don't have the skill to make those yet). I'm a sucker for affordable dresses (especially ones made by other local craftspeople like on etsy) and cute, unique accessories like necklaces, scarves, and belts. Also, shoes. What if I need a certain type of shoe for a specific occasion?

However, I can sew tops and dresses already and am slowly expanding my repertoire. For pants, I have a pattern for shorts/capris/pants that I will attempt in the near future (hopefully with success). For jackets, I hope to re-line some existing coats thus lengthening their useful life. And, let's be honest, I probably have enough t-shirts, shoes, belts and accessories for awhile. So I should be able to make do. And again, it's not like I can't buy anything - it should just be used is all.

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