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Day 50 — What to Wear

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I revisited the clothes in my closet today. It reminded me of cleaning out the attic and leafing through an old photo album. Oh, I remember this skirt; I wore it to a conference in Dallas. And, this blouse, bought it on South Beach after cocktails. And I still have this suit from the presentation I gave on global warming, but what was I thinking?

Closing the closet doors, I sigh and remember the days when I used to wear these clothes. Someday, I hope, I will again. But for now my wardrobe lives in the dresser, which is where I grab things to wear now that wrinkles don’t matter. My new wardrobe, which I call nouveau poore, represents a sign of the times—jeans, T-shirt, socks, slippers and underwear gear when I feel like wearing it. I rarely blow dry my hair or put on makeup. Oh, maybe I put on makeup when I go to the gym, but it’s for no other reason than just because.

The big benefit at the end of the week is that I only need to do one load of clothes and sometimes don’t even need to separate the dark clothes from the light. I can wash on the “small” cycle, which uses less water and makes me feel as if I’m helping the environment, though I usually put empty peanut butter jars into the recycle bin without cleaning them out.

I don’t go clothes shopping anymore, not even to places like TJ Maxx or Filenes, which offer what I call opportunity shopping—the chance to buy something I don’t need but is too good a bargain to pass up. These stores are now just opportunities to zero out my bank account.

I also don’t flip through clothing mags because no one is sending them to me anymore. I don’t know if the companies that used to send them have gone out of business, but mail orders aren’t in my budget anyhow. I still get the Victoria’s Secret catalogue but don’t even crack it open. Okay, sometimes I do.  I try to imagine myself wearing its new push-up bra with “Gel-Curves” but for $55 I hold off (for now). I’ve learned to resist the temptation to buy what I can’t afford. But the hardest part is trying to feel as fulfilled as I did when I had more money.

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