↑ In my experience, in short: yes!
Warby Parker is an eyeglasses purveyor who saw an opportunity in an industry rife with middle-men and big markups. By designing their own, attractive eyewear and selling directly to customers online, they made it possible to drastically cut the cost to folks like me who are willing to give it a try. I replaced my glasses this year with a new pair from Warby Parker, so I wanted to share my experience!
Warby Parker first caught my eye (he he, see what I did there?) because of their social goal: they operate under the one-for-one concept. One pair of glasses purchased, one pair to someone in need. Intriguing!
It’s late May, so in addition to graduation ceremonies and teacher countdowns, we are dead in the middle of spring cleaning season. There is the usual clutter sweep and deep cleaning, and everyone who has discovered the KonMari method is turfing all their ironing boards that don’t “spark joy”…
A natural result of all of this purging is a loved-or-loathed summertime trope: Garage Sales!
Last weekend, our next door neighbours had a garage sale. They are retired and have some health limitations that are leading them to relocate to a single-story home, so have begun the long process of downsizing/moving.
Now, I adore these people. And, the reason for their need to purge (moving away from us) is, for our family, tragic!
But, watching them manage their garage sale was painful.
Like many people who have spent a lifetime collecting bits & bites & memories & stuff, they were letting go only with reluctance. Almost everything was overpriced and under-valuable to outsiders. And when a browser tried to negotiate a lower price, our neighbour’s go-to response was,
But, is this true?
Three months ago, I wrote about my new attempt at minimizing my wardrobe. I'm not really a minimalist, but I do dabble here & there! I called it "a capsule wardrobe for the non-committal".
It's been a full quarter since I tossed half of my clothes in a box... so, what do I think?
Long, long gone are the days of Luis’ Fix-it Shop, and with the new era of mass production & cheap consumer goods, repairs on anything but an Apple product seem like a waste of time & effort (& money that could be put towards a newer version).
What a shame! I am a champion of the repair for a number of reasons, and I’m going to convince you that you should be, too (whether or not, you know, you want to be the one who attempts said repairs).
I’ve been trying out a little trick that I learned from Shawn Blanc. Every night, I choose my clothes for the next morning.
This is no unique, innovative idea, of course; making sure that you have pressed shirts & pants is a night-before practice for many, and some parents encourage their school-aged kids to pre-choose clothes, as a time-saving trick for busy mornings (and to make sure dirty clothes are identified before drop-off!).
Shawn's explanation for trying this practice is twofold:
As I began hearing and reading more about capsule wardrobes, another concept came up: not just wearing a limited range of clothing, but wearing the exact same thing every day.
I wore a uniform in high school, so for me, it wasn’t a huge leap to envision the advantages of this. Obviously, there is the mental barrier of back then, someone made me do this, and now people are choosing to? But, there was and always will be more ease and simplicity when the what-to-wear question is taken out of the equation.
I’ve used this line before, but it deserves repeating, because things that are $20 and under are so. easy. to. buy. They are like the silent killer of your bank account or credit card bill, IF you’re not paying attention.
Photo: Whipping Post
I ran a booth once for dignify at a big Christmas market, and right across from us was a candle seller. Here I was, with these beautiful, hand-crafted items that were colorful and rich with an amazing story behind them. “People online love our blankets!” I thought to myself. “So many people purchase them as gifts; selling them here is going to be fun & easy!”
While I was setting up our booth, I glanced over at the candle shop. Jars of candles. Candles shaped like a banana loaf with 3 wicks. No special scent. No interesting story. Just simple, $15 candles. “Will people buy these things?” I wondered.
The answer, it became clear, was a resounding YES.
The way I think about money & spending has been impacted by numerous thinkers, ideas, research, as well as (largely) my own personal experiences. Here are two ideas that have challenged me over the years:
Being interested in the things that I am interested in – simplification & thoughtfulness in spending & life – naturally I have seen lots of internet murmuring on capsule wardrobes and minimalist fashion.
If those phrases haven’t appeared on your radar: a capsule wardrobe is a pared down collection of clothes, usually classic, timeless items or pieces that are very interchangeable to create many looks using few items. Sometimes the idea would be to augment the capsule with seasonal pieces, but many just stick to these key pieces to avoid owning excessive clothing.
I am no clothes horse, but I have the same kind of wardrobe as most of us have: a handful of items that I really like to wear (t-shirts that fit well, button-ups that look great when they are pressed, chambray shirts, fave jeans) and a LOT of other things that I… occasionally wear (when the tees are dirty and the button-ups aren’t pressed and the fave jeans have coffee spilled on them).
I think that most of these minimalist clothing projects started up in the same way: someone wading through a drawer (or closet) full of I-like-it-and-wear-it-sometimes-ish clothes and thinking, ENOUGH!
About 2/3 of Americans & Canadians own a smartphone, and in this crowd, I know that number is much higher. I am one of them, of course, and I am very thankful for the little computer in my pocket. It allows me to work on the fly, take photos for business & pleasure, and do a zillion other wonderful things (like call my mom).
The oppression of these devices is a well-trodden path, but regardless of how many convicting videos you watch, it’s much easier philosophized than done when it comes to cutting the chain between us & our phones.
This past year, I have experimented with limiting the notifications on my phone, and I can tell you that has been a huge, healthy step in the right direction!