What is your clothing lifespan?
I was recently at a consignment store where they specialize in fast fashion resale. I think I was about 35 years older than everyone in that shop. It should have been called Forever 15.
It was recommended to me by my hair stylist as a good place to get rid of unwanted clothing and get some cash in exchange.
The shop was very busy and full of high school kids dropping off massive bags of clothing for cash on-the-spot.
It occurred to me that these kids had no idea that clothing should last more than six months to a year.
The fashion industry has trained the youth to treat clothing as disposable. Wear it once and get rid of it.
I was stunned when the salesperson explained that they only accept clothing that is 1-2 years old and shows very little or no signs of wear.
It got me thinking how long I anticipate wearing items when I buy them. Without a doubt I shop with the intention of wearing an item for a minimum of three to five years. Coats, boots, many shoes, jeans and quite a few other items I anticipate wearing upwards of ten years. I have a bathing suit that is 10 years old that I still wear. I have many items in my closet that are over fifteen years old and I don’t plan on getting rid of them any time soon. They suit me, my style and my body. Unless I gain or lose lots of weight I see no need to replace these items every 1-2 years.
I just read this article stating that the average number of times a woman wears one item of clothing is seven times.
What do you think about that? Do you believe that to be true?
Certainly there are items in your closet you can’t wear as often because they are for special occasions (I consider my bathing suit to be one of them since I only wear it when we go on vacation) but that doesn’t mean you should get rid of them. I have several dresses I bought over 25 years ago and I still wear them.
I still wear the dress I wore to my high school graduation. I knew at the time that I wanted something that would remain classic and it has.
Plus I just think it is damn cool to be wearing something that I wore when I was 16.
I often buy vintage items which are ageless. I hope to be wearing them another ten years from now.
Tips to increase your clothing lifespan
- Buy quality fabrics that are lined and well constructed. Look at the seams, are they straight? Frayed?
- Wash your clothes according to manufacturers instructions. I try to avoid the dryer and use a very delicate washing soap.
- Try to wash your clothes less often. Hang outside to air out, steam clean, or spot clean items if possible. Washing clothes ages them.
- Buy classic shapes and colours that suit your body type.
- Buy what you love. If you love it, you’ll wear it, no matter how long you’ve owned it.
What do you consider to be your average clothing lifespan?
Just for fun…this is what I had to go through to get these last photos. Never try to take blog photos when your master is hungry.