Last week, I ordered 3 pairs of pants and a shirt from Old Navy — and I felt a bit guilty. I tend to wear the same few pairs of pants and the same shirts over and over, and I didn’t really need any new ones.
Maybe I shouldn’t have felt so bad. I read an article informing me that the average American woman buys “64 new pieces of clothing a year.”
Really? Seriously? Because, I’m not sure I’ve purchased 64 new pieces of clothing in the past decade.
Granted, I have a few questions about the research: do socks, underwear, belts, etc. count as clothing? Also, I should admit that when I was working outside the home, I bought quite a bit more clothes than I do now. Still, when someone compliments me on a shirt, asking if it’s new, and I say “Yes,” mentally tabulating that it’s probably 5 years old — but that still counts as “new,” right? — I realize that I don’t do a lot of clothes shopping, that’s for sure.
Aside from the bit about not working at an outside job, there’s the whole aging issue. In my 20s and 30s, it was definitely fun to shop for clothes — trying on new things, imagining how to accessorize them. Sometime after I’d had all my kids, I stepped into the dressing room with a pile of clothing and was horrified when I glanced into the mirror. Had styles changed that much — or had I? I had a sneaking suspicion I knew the answer to that one, and it wasn’t pretty.
The article I read also stated that half of the typical American woman’s 64 annual new purchases are worn just once. Again, this is so unbelievable to me. I can’t imagine buying 32 pieces of clothing each year, wearing each one time, and then — what? Donate them? Although I suppose this does account for some of the like-new clothing pieces I’ve picked up at garage sales. For those, I am grateful to these typical American women 🙂
How about you? How many pieces of clothing would you estimate you buy in the average year? How many do you wear just once?