Growing up I really did not have that many clothes. First off, it does not really make that much sense considering that as a child we are still growing. And of course, we needed our little bit of money for food and our overpriced slum apartment. Then as I went away to boarding school and then lived abroad as a high schooler, I lived out of suitcases. I had just a certain amount of space for clothes. Further, many of my clothes then would not have been up to par in comparison to those around me.
In college. I was still extremely poor but I started developing more of a fashion sense and I liked it. I did not want to wear the same Laura Ashley prints that all the other women were wearing. Of course, I couldn’t even afford those types of clothes. I discovered second hand (thrift) stores and found the coolest set of jackets and dresses. I was snazzy and thrifty (pun intended). It would tickle me, however, when those around me would go on about how pricey their latest blouse purchase was. While they tried to one-up each other on higher costs, I always took pride on how little I paid.
I recall when I got my first real job after college. I had a paycheck and finally had a few extra dollars. I walked twenty blocks one day out of boredom and went into Banana Republic and bought a long flowing skirt. It was my first real clothing purchase. I danced around in the skirt. Slowly, my savings account kept getting larger. Yet, that one skirt was enough. I never bought a full priced item there again.
I decided to use my funds to buy other clothes at second hand stores. All of a sudden I had a very full closet. To this day I am still have many of those items. Right now as I head out the door I am wearing my nice black coat that I got over ten years ago at a thrift store for $20. Now while I may not shop at thrift stores all that often now, since they take some time to go through, I do shop at Outlets and make an outing out of it. I seriously cannot think of the last time I bought something at full price.
While I may come off as thrifty, I am not all that saintly. I admit I now have a walk-in closet that is overflowing. I developed a style that fit me nicely and makes me comfortable from walking down the street to business meetings to conferences. I don’t wear suits and dare to wear pinks, reds and purples. I developed my style by having to always be careful as to how much I spent knowing my clothes had to last me and that perhaps they had to fit in a suitcase as well.
Back in the day clothes served to remind me that I was poor. Now, they showcase my slightly kooky personality that throws people off. I may look nice and “soft” in pink and then I come roaring out the gates. It is nice to disarm people!