Wardrobe Maintenance

Superslaviswife ran ahead of my discussion on wardrobe yesterday when she added this comment:

I think it also falls on a woman to have a transformation or two in the wardrobe. I have tutoring clothes and housework clothes. Between the two I have enough to get a cute outfit put together. But I also have evening dresses, furs and high heels, a couple of suits and suit-dresses and short shorts and shorter skirts for beachwear. However rarely I employ those outfits, I need to bear in mind that I will always need them at least once a year and that I must keep them working for my figure, my accessories, my hair and makeup, etc. If I cut my hair back to a bob I may need some larger necklaces or more solid shirts for when I wear a suit. If I’m going out on a nice, warm evening I may need shoulder coverings. And my figure has changed a bit so I may need to modify some of my dresses so they don’t bunch or hang around the waist. Having a few complete, event-specific outfits put together on a hanger can save so much time and worry.

I agree with her completely, and I have posts up about it (see “White Blouse” “Dark Skirt” “Pretty Dress”).  We all need to have certain basics in the closet that we can wear when life calls us out of our most daily routine.

But what happens more often is that – especially for homemakers – we find ourselves not taking care of our daily wardrobes.  This is particularly common post-partum, when none of your clothes fit and one of your wardrobe qualifications becomes “must be able to get breast milk and/or formula out of this fabric”.  Not casting stones here – I had a pair of pregnancy shorts that I wore until they had holes and *after* they had holes.   But really – you gotta throw that stuff out.  When your clothes aren’t good enough to donate to charity, when their “next life” is the rag bin?  You shouldn’t be wearing them.

*You may have an exception here for the two shirts and one pair of shorts/jeans that you wear to do very heavy garden labor and/or paint.  The day you find yourself reaching for those items when you’re not going to chance permanently damaging your clothing is the day they too must meet Mr. Ragbin.

So – if you’re wearing it, it has to be:

  • in good repair.  No holes.  No dropped hems.  No fraying edges.
  • it has to fit.  No gaping buttons at the bustline, no pulling seams at the waist, no drooping at the seat of the pants.
  • not stained

Yes.  Even if only the children will see you –  you have to take pride in your wardrobe.  You have to take care of what you wear every day.  This is how others see you, and this is how you see yourself.  The *point* of having (if a homemaker) an inexpensive, easily launderable wardrobe is that when something is ruined, you are able to replace it without breaking the bank.

We’d all prefer to buy another date dress with that money, but there’s no point in stocking your closet with lovelies and wearing rags.  I’ve done this… most women have done this… it’s something to be watched.

Maintain what you wear.  🙂


2 thoughts on “Wardrobe Maintenance

  1. Elspeth

    I like this. I have to put you in my reader so I don’t miss these posts. Shoot! I tend to be less diligent about stained pieces when I’m just at home with the kidos.



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