I’m in the process of cleaning out my closet. Again. It feels like I’m always doing this. I can’t remember what prompted it, but I’ve made the decision to only buy quality items from now on. No more trying to be thrifty and winding up with stuff that doesn’t last or is ‘only okay’. It started with clothes (hence the closet cleaning), but I want to extend it to all future purchases. We bought a sofa and love seat for the living room after we got this house, and although they seemed decent (and they’re comfortable enough), the fabric has not held up well. After only two years, the seat cushions are pilly, and the backs sag where the cats (+ Nova) sleep. And the cat hair! My old sofa (which is now in Rob’s skyroom) used to collect a certain amount of cat hair, but it always vacuumed right off — these new ones embrace the cat hair, inviting it to become one with their weave. Yuck. Anyway, I’m setting aside part of my tax refund to go toward the eventual purchase of a Chesterfield sofa and chair (I think — Rob and I are agreed on the Chesterfield part, but we haven’t talked actual arrangements yet). Hopefully, they’ll last for decades and get better with some wear.

I’m trying to replace parts of my wardrobe with durable items as it makes sense. I bought Sorel boots last spring, and they got a lot of use this winter. When we were in Texas, I stopped into a J. Crew outlet store and found a few shirts and a pair of shorts that I’m very happy with. I’ve never shopped at J. Crew before, but it seems like a step up from the Gap — I bought several tops at the Gap earlier this year, and some of them are already starting to look tired, which is disappointing. I already wash everything with cold water, but what else should I do to help clothes last longer? Would tumble drying on low/no heat be better than medium heat? I can’t really stand the feel of line-dried clothes (with the exception of jeans, since I daren’t tumble dry jeans and risk having them get shorter), but maybe I just have to deal with it and try to soften shirts up with a minute in the dryer before I wear them.

I’ve just ordered a pair of well-reviewed leggings, and I’m waiting for yarn to arrive to knit this cardigan (in a ‘if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself’ move). I’m not suddenly a millionaire, so I’m not going to replace everything just for the heck of it, but what quality items are ‘musts’ for you? I think we all have a few items that make us feel like we’ve struck gold, right? (I sort of love this spray conditioner.)

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6 Responses to Quality

  1. Ann says:

    I tend to spend a chunk of money on bras from Nordstrom. Good bras are NECESSARY (for me).

    Also, many years ago I splurged on a pair of 8-eye Doc Martens that have taken me through many winters. And I get argan oil for face moisturizer, though I’m not sure if it actually, you know, works.

    • Anna says:

      Yes, bras are on my list! I don’t suppose I’ll buy a bunch until I’m done pumping, but it would be nice to have ONE real bra that fits like it’s supposed to. I used a size calculator on one brand’s website, and it’s pretty different from what I usually look for.

  2. aarthi says:

    I also think expensive but quality stuff is way better than the other.
    But sometimes I do buy Ikea stuff from craigslist etc,atleast it won’t go to landfill.

  3. MookiePie says:

    I’m going through my closet too :) I was going through organizing it and decided instead of some of the crappy, mismatched bins I had to get some nice, neutral bins. Granted they weren’t super expensive, they match, look nice, are sturdy, and hold what they are suppose to ;)
    I agree with having nicer things. Especially when you think of what you spend buying/replacing things over and over through the years. That if you would have used that money in the beginning, you would have a nice piece still going strong and some money left over :) Or at least that’s what I told myself when I got a Vitamix late last year ;)

  4. Cyrene says:

    Hello Anna,
    I do agree so much with you on the quality of the things/clothes we buy. I always went for quality and always had few clothes. When I was living and working in London UK, my job paid even for some clothes! Because we had lots of rich and famous people (kings, princes and princesses) visiting! Anyway, I’m so ashamed to confess that I splurged on designers’ clothes/bags/shoes. I never went over the top or put myself in a debt but still some of the bags and shoes I bought cost up to $ 800! And the funny thing is I never got to wear most of these clothes/bags/shoes because I felt embarrassed wearing such expensive things, then I moved to Italy and lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere. In 2011 I had to leave the farmhouse and search for another house and when I looked at my very expensive clothes/shoes/bags, I was overwhelmed. I got more ashamed of myself and depressed that I wasted a lot of money on them, so I decided to get rid of them. I gave most of the bags and shoes to a poor Moroccan who came from time to time to sell few cheap, Chines-made stuff. I’m glad that I snapped few photos before I gave them away, to remind myself of that big occasion (for me). I was tempted to take the Moroccan man’s photo too because the look on his face when I told him to take all the stuff for free was priceless. I kept few pieces hoping to sell them and donate the money to an animal shelter. The sad thing is Italians will never buy secondhand stuff, even if they were brand new, like the stuff I have. Now I wear my well-made (by a local crafter) cloth bag and feel so happy and confident. I will blog on this experience one day, one day.

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