Friday, February 10, 2017

A Change of Clothes - Learn from the Past

There are some ideas we can take from women of years gone by and apply them practically in our modern life.  In some cases, the old practice may be totally impractical, but the modern twist can make it a smart idea.
Wealthy women of the past changed clothes frequently.  According to this link on "The Manor House," a well-to-do Edwardian woman might switch outfits up to five times a day.  Fashion dictated what a lady wore based on meals, the time of day, visitors, excursions and events.  While that is somewhat ridiculous, one benefit of this was likely that she didn't have to have her clothes constantly laundered because they were worn for only short periods of time.  There is also some wisdom to tying your outfit to the event if it means preserving or protecting your better quality pieces.  Personally, I will never wear anything white if I plan to eat spaghetti!

I like this idea and use it regularly, although a bit more practically.  One thing I always try to do, is take off my work clothes as soon as I get home.  If there is an item I can wear again without washing, I hang it up outside of my closet for a day to get some air.  You might also opt to just toss it in the dryer for an air-fluff.  I'll also take off my bra and give it a quick rinse in the sink and let it air dry in the bathroom.  Joan Rivers had a great idea which I'll admit to using in a pinch -- when you wear pantyhose or tights, just wash the crotch and feet!

Each night, I come home and put on sweats.  As if that's not enough, I have schlubby sweats for when I'm doing chores, and then more presentable sweats or what one in the past (say, 1970-80) might have called "leisure-wear," which, for instance I wouldn't mop the floor or make bread in.  Unless a set of these gets really dirty, I don't wash them after every wearing because they are only on for a few hours.  Saturday is when my schlubby stuff generally gets dirty enough to wash.

One way to shorten the life-span of your work clothes is to wear them until you go to bed at night.  If I cook dinner in a work-blouse, I inevitably spatter grease on it.  I even plan what color dress-up clothes I'm going to wear based on what kind of food or drink I might spill on  myself!  If I go to an event that is just a couple of hours, I hang the outfit up to air out or I air-fluff it, then I put it away.  The less you wash a garment, the longer it will last.

So, maybe I'm not going to reach the ridiculous level of changing clothes five times a day, but I'll probably continue to do it twice a day.  It's a worthwhile lesson from the past we can adapt for today.

6 comments:

  1. This is totally how I approach clothing. If I'm just hanging around the house/working, I wear sweats or shorts depending on the season. If I'm going to the store or running errands I'll wear something more presentable, but take it off as soon as I get home. And then if I'm going out I'll wear something nice and always take it off when I get home. Not only does it save your clothes, it's sooo much more comfortable!

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    1. I always have to layer at home too, once I get working and warm up, I pull a layer off. The challenge to remember to pick everything up after I take it off!

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  2. i do exactly what you do, I have suits I have worn for 15 years and they are still new looking as I change immediately and hang things when I get home. Now my work in the garden clothes are really pretty....

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    1. I have a cycle for worn sneakers and their last leg of life is in the garden!

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  3. I also think about what type of food we'll be eating when out. If it's Mexican I usually wear black because there's often a slip between the dip on the chip before it gets to my lips. I also have a certain blouse and pair of slacks that I wear if there will be bleach being used for anything. They are what I wore during a past bleach incident.

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    1. I totally wear so much of what I eat!

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