As 2013 comes to a close I’ve been thinking back to when this whole plan was born. It was nearly 5 years ago in May of 2009 during a car ride to visit my mom on her new to her Ericson 27. My how the time just slipped away, disappearing into our frugal memories. Though today it seems it was only a year ago but my faded and out dated clothing now acts as a reminder to just how long it’s been.
During that car ride I thought of all of things that would save us money and later worked up a monthly budget that would allow us to save for this trip, which considerably reduced our expendable cash and so *new* anything except for boat stuff was out of the question. Thank god Tate doesn’t have an eye for fashion (sorry babe, I’ve outed you) so I haven’t felt the pressure to have those super cute in-style clothes to be pleasing to his eyes. Over this time I’ve made my clothes last and last.
My family has put up with me wearing the same “few nice things” to holiday get togethers and birthday parties. I wear the same rotation of work clothes and shoes to the office for going on over 5 years now. The material on my shoes is literally damaged peeling off from all of the use. Luckily I work with all men in the construction industry and they don’t seem to care about fashion either and since I make a point to never wear the same outfit twice in one week things have gone ok.
I can’t say I’m not a little jealous though when a lady comes to a meeting or I see my sister/sisters in law dressed to the 9′s with shiny shoes, a matching purse and fashionable attire. What? I can’t help it, I like fashion! I always have.
Sometimes I get lucky and get a department store gift card for Christmas and am able to indulge in guilt free shopping. I have also been known to frequent thrift stores, “Plato’s Closet” and the “Buffalo Exchange” when something desperately needs to be replaced, an act I’m not ashamed of. In fact this whole debt free life and reevaluation on how I spend money has changed my outlook on clothes and *new* items in general. I am absolutely amazed by how much people spend on clothes, cars, big houses, lots of jewelry, eating out etc.
But that’s just because those things don’t interest me, right now. It’s all relative and subjective and I’m sure people are just as amazed at what Tate and I spend our money on, the boat and of course this trip so to each their own. Even the most frugal people in this country are comparatively rich to those less fortunate in other countries. I think as long as you are living within your means and are truly happy then spend away on whatever you like!
Now back to my corner. I always knew the day would come when I would get to trash my old and very outdated clothes (seriously I’m still wearing things from when I was 24, my style has changed damnit!) and build a new style with clothes for our trip. My excitement has gotten the better of me and that day has finally come!
But of course I still can’t bring myself to buy new so I’ve been combing Ebay for “Excellent Used Condition” deals and have neatly been storing them in the corner of our bedroom atop my Pile of Joy which includes other goodies reserved for the trip like our revamped boat cushions, Ultrasuede slipcovers, pillows, Basic Bags, Polar fleece sheets(recommended for hot climates by Behan), bathing suits and sandals.
I do all of the clothes shopping for both Tate and myself and I’m in the market for QUALITY above everything else. I want clothes to be durable, functional, easy to care for and dry fast. We are planning to spend most of our time at anchor and I can forsee lots of bucket washing and line drying in my future so I’m going for quick dry/mildew resistant, all synthetic items where I can. Heavy cotton and denim in my experience don’t work well with humidity and getting wet from the ocean.
I have taken the advice of Brittany from Windtraveler and acquired a few AWESOME pieces of Lululemon active wear. This brand makes really cute active wear that breaths and doesn’t mold (all synthetic). This stuff is PRICEY though, good lord, don’t go to the website! Pants run over $100 and shirts are around $60+ a pop. That’s just a bit too much for me but I’ve found the same pieces on EBAY for $30 or less a pop. Now that is something right up my alley. These clothes really are awesome, it’s not just hype. There is some kind of controversy about the material being see through or something, but the stuff I’m getting is older and I haven’t experienced an issue, so whatever.
I’ve gotten other great deals on Patagonia fleeces, Keens and Teva sandals for 1/4 to 1/3 of the price new. I love Ebay! It’s also where I scored the super cheap Ultrasuede for the salon slipcovers. To me just because clothing isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t still good and usable. I’m hoping to build up a base set of clothes to start our trip with and buy items along the way as they are needed, hopefully the local flare.
Space matters too though so I have to pick my items carefully. I’m thinking maybe 5 pairs of shorts, 3 skirts, 4 dresses, 5 pairs of yoga pants, a few pairs of non yoga pants/crops, 10 shirts/tank in a mix of fabrics, a few long sleeve sun shirts, long johns, underwear/bras/socks, a few sweaters(Polartec fleece baby!), foul weather gear, bikinis, a pair of Keens with a closed toe, a few pairs of open toed sandals, sailing boots and tennis shoes. That seems like it’ll do just fine and probably all fit in 3 square feet (excluding the foul weather gear and shoes).
While I’m sure that these *new to me* items will quickly become *used by me* boat clothes with stains, rips, smells and fading, at least for a little while I can treat my skin to the smooth and vibrant fabric of my new style.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to only have a year left! I’ve already started selling some of our things and putting clothes into a “Goodwill” pile. The time is coming and now I have my growing boat corner of joy to remind me daily.