Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms


Barbara Sibbald

Lessons learned: A clothes-free year, part 4

By Barbara Sibbald

In just a few weeks, my year will be up and I will be free to buy clothes. Free, but not inspired. I won’t be reverting to my old habits. A year of self-imposed doing without has made me a reformed and better-informed consumer. If you too want to save money and time, while still dressing well, then my lessons learned might be of interest. Continue reading “Lessons learned: A clothes-free year, part 4”

Temptations: A clothes-free year, part 3

By Barbara Sibbald

Summer sales beckoned. I spotted the “50% off” sign in my favourite women’s clothing shop. It couldn’t hurt to just look. But do I need the temptation? What about my clothes-free resolution? Casting aside the lure of saving some dough, I tried to recall previous end-of-season bargain purchases. The three that immediately sprang to mind had subsequently been given away: those French dress pants that fit perfectly but were an appalling shade of beige that showed every mark; that brightly hued sleeveless tank that was impossibly garish in the sunlight; that asymmetrical, slightly snug skirt that seemed so au courant, but turned out to be a tummy-enhancing reminder of my failure of will power. They all went out to St. Vincent de Paul where I’m sure they found a good home. When I thought about it, I realized that nearly all the clothes I’d recently given away were bought on sale. Continue reading “Temptations: A clothes-free year, part 3”

My closet is bare: A clothes-free year, part 2

By Barbara Sibbald

I’ve got nothing to wear. It’s a common-enough complaint that women (primarily) utter, especially at the end of a long season (i.e., winter). Of course, it’s hyperbolic. There are lots of things I could wear, just nothing I want to wear. The usual solution is a shopping trip and a big VISA bill. But that’s against my New Year’s resolution to go without buying clothes for a year. So instead of turning outward to the shops, I turn inward and take a closer look at the contents of my cupboard. And not just my bedroom clothes closet, but also the overflow in the spare room. Continue reading “My closet is bare: A clothes-free year, part 2”

A clothes-free year

by Barbara Sibbald

No, I won’t be leaving a wake of 911 calls when I walk down the street. Clothes free doesn’t mean au naturel, it means free from the burden of buying clothes. Burden. I choose the word carefully now, a quarter of the way into the year. It is the right word.

It began in mid-December when I was overcome by post-shopping remorse after dropping nearly $500 at a pre-Boxing Day sale on a new (albeit very warm) winter coat and various irresistible accoutrements, including a circle scarf and a light-weight “high performance” (what dat?) down vest. I justified my purchases climatically: I live in Ottawa, I need to keep warm and the frigid winds were flowing through my old coat. But still: $500? Continue reading “A clothes-free year”

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