Writer :: Mother :: Lover :: Freedom Fighter

The Lean Closet

I’m in the market for a new purse. This summer I started using a beautiful vintage clutch that I won as part of a giveaway from Aliya&Lucas. The clutch has been amazing, but now I carry a water bottle around with me wherever I go and I want something a little larger for said water bottle and possibly some of Valentine’s things. I immediately knew what I wanted :: a simple, leather tote. It would be big enough, but not too big. Not too many secrets pockets and dividers, just one simple space for everything. The design would be minimal enough to withstand the passing of other trends. But when I started shopping around, I couldn’t find anything in my price range!

Feeling exasperated one day, I turned to my brother-in-law and father-in-law who were sitting in the living room with me. “How much should I expect to spend on a leather bag?” I asked. My brother-in-law, who researches everything, responded almost immediately. “About $300.” My father-in-law was a little more conservative. “It’s been awhile since I priced leather, but if you spend less than $150, it probably won’t last very long.” Their answers surprised me. I’ve never dreamt of spending that much on a bag!

But then I got to thinking. Logan doesn’t bat an eye about spending $100 on a pair of shoes, or $150 for a bag, but he’ll use those shoes and that bag for at least five years. (I’m not exaggerating.) My usual shopping philosophy goes something like this :: Spend as little as possible on clothes and accessories so that I’ll have money to switch them out once they go out of style. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on my shoes, because I want to be able to buy a new pair of shoes in two years. But lately, I’ve started to change my mind.

The company Cuyana has launched a new idea that they’re calling Lean Closet. The idea is to focus on quality, not quantity, and style, not fashion. They encourage you to buy fewer and better things. (Everlane is another company with a similar mission.) Even Courtney Adamo, one of my style crushes, once said, “I’m a believer of less is more. My closet is teensy; all my clothes fit into that little space to the right of my bed, and I like it that way.” And I really loved when Jordan Smith talked about buying clothes because of their story. He said, “I love hearing from makers, and many times I’ll decide I want to buy their product before I even see it.  It’s the person or story behind the object that makes me want to invest.” 

I’ve said before that I’m a notorious spendthrift, and my meager fun budget is usually gone by the second day of the month. But I think I’m going to challenge myself to save up awhile and buy something with value, something that will last, something that doesn’t play to the rampant consumerism of which I’ve been such an enthusiastic participant. 

What about you? Do you think there’s any value to this idea of a lean closet? Or does it seem like a self-righteous way of spending more for your clothes? :) I’d love to hear your thoughts!

(Photo via 4BildCasa)


Posted by Aanna on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014


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