End of July 2014. All my clothes are freshly washed and ironed, waiting to be put on hangers and nicely arranged for customers. Alright, not all of them, I kept my favorite ones enough to fill in a small luggage.
Me and my friend create outfits, take pictures and post them on the Facebook group event, especially created for my first Summer Yard Sale. Reservations start to appear.
I am about to leave Bucharest for the ever sunny Barcelona where I am supposed to do HR work in an international company. So I want to keep the essential stuff and get rid of the unnecessary one in a win-win manner. I sell to my girl-friends and Facebook followers my clothes, accessories and shoes and they buy nice, almost brand new stuff at cheap prices.
The day of the event comes. Tens of girls call on the phone and knock at the door, trying out my clothes in the improvised bedroom and bathroom fitting rooms. Out of almost 300 different pieces of clothing, around 60% of them are sold out by the end of a long, exhausting, but rewarding yard sale.
Out of the 40% of the pieces of clothing that have left, 10% are given after event as gifts to my friends who couldn’t be present that day, I keep 10% for me and the other 20% left go to the Swedish Humanitarian Organization.
The 10% of my clothes and the other few favorite garments saved before the sale fit in 2 suit-cases. Not to mention that I also added cosmetics, books and notebooks, shoes and some electronics, all in two suit-cases.
This event took place 9 months ago. I lived in Barcelona quite happily with a few things and I learned something from this experience. It might be useful for the next time you want to buy something.
- I do not need many pieces of clothing to be happy. I do not need 10 pairs of blue jeans, 5 types of brown eye shadow and 20 pairs of shoes to find a great outfit and feel good in it. It is much easier to match my clothes and create an outfit when I have less clothes, the ones that matter. In fact, very few were the moments when my happiness did depend on shopping. I became aware of the fact that that looking and feeling sexy/ cool is more about the attitude than about the clothes I wear.
- I spend less time on creating the right outfit. In the morning I used to sped looong minutes staring at my closet and asking what matches with what, what colors are the best, and I was rarely satisfied. When I kept the clothes I loved the most, the time invested in matching the white shirt with the red skirt and grey necklace decreased considerably, so I gained more time for chatting, writing or wandering around the city.
- Sometimes we need to get rid of useless stuff in order to achieve simplicity. I have a deep admiration for men’s closets; they are so simple, organized and airy. They leave space for thinking simple and clearly and that helps creating simple and chic outfits. We might learn from men that sometimes less is more.
- It’s more important what I buy than how much I buy. In other words – quality above quantity. I now go for well-designed and quality material/textile blazer/ pair of jeans/ T-shirt/ boots. I prefer an organic face-cream rather than a chemical-laden one. Leather shoes instead of synthetic ones.
- I created my first fashion rule. With every couple of new pieces I buy, one should be taken away, given away – donated or given as a present to a friend who would like and use it. In this way I make space for the ones that truly matter and feel good wearing them. This way I leave old things back and I make space for novelty.
It’s funny how a travel experience taught me a lesson about wise shopping choices. Next time I think travelling is only about culture, people and self-discovery lessons, I will think again.
Hi Roxana, I remember seeing this blogpost earlier this year and I have long wanted to read it. So I had your website opened in the browser of my phone many weeks as I was looking for a quiet moment to fully enjoy the reading.
It seemed I never had the time to read it.
Now, many months after it was written I managed to do it. And I must say I find your writting style very appealing. Really easy to focus on the text and to understand the message since most of the times I am rather skipping paragraphs than reading them, even in my leisure lectures.
I believe you have an interesting fashion habbit to maintain the same number of clothes (margin of error permitted!) by giving away the old pieces. I am curious if you did manage to keep it since then 🙂
Also, why the Swedish Humanitarian Organization? This is not a judgmental question, it’s for finding my own personal social cause to root for.