You are not your clothes

Siva Shanmugam
Oct 19 · 6 min read

It’s Diwali.

A nice family time; Sharing sweets, bursting crackers and even buying new clothes.

And there is nothing wrong with buying clothes.

But, have you ever asked yourselves, Why do buy new clothes on Diwali?

This is what I found online

Do new clothes, bury old painful memories of bygone years?

If so, you could wear new clothes whenever you’re undergoing a painful experience. Then you are relieved of all your pain.

Is it so?

Even though it’s only a symbolical gesture is it worth the money you are spending on it?


This is why you are poor

Do not go into trends. Do not allow fashion to take you over. Choose who you want to be and what do you want to show with your clothes and lifestyle.

-Gianni Versace

It’s time to accept that you have lost reason when it comes to buying clothes.

Take a look at your wardrobe. It’s a goddamn mess.

It’s filled with several items that you hadn’t worn in several months, even years.

Let’s assume (other than the essentials) you spend over 4000 rupees for clothing every single year.

And you’re 20 right now and let’s assume that you live up to 80. (Yeah I am pretty generous on this one, heh…)

You have 60 years in-between.

Do some calc. 5000x60(Gosh when did math become this hard)

5 times 6 equals 30….

30,000 rupees (What? No wait…)

3 lakhs.

But you’re spending 3 lakhs on useless crap.

And this estimate is low.

More than half the Indians spend from ₹500 to ₹2500 on clothing every single month.

On a global scale, an average human spends $ 1932 dollars a year. ($161 each month)

Thinking about cutting back on unessential costs?


Finding your cup of tea

Find your own style. Don’t spend your savings trying to be someone else. You’re not more important, smarter or prettier because you wear a designer dress.

-Salma Hayek

Start minimizing your wardrobe.

Why?

Choosing something to wear becomes less of a daunting task

And you save up a lot more money to spend on things you love.

I own

  • 6 Shirts
  • 4 T-shirts
  • 3 Trousers
  • 1 pair of Track-pants
  • 2 pairs of chinos
  • Other essential items like socks, underwears etc… That’s it.

The point of all this is not owning as little as you can, nobody is going to give you a fucking trophy for it.

You’re choosing what is essential for you and discarding away the rest.

And it’s different for different people.

Joshua Becker wears the same V-neck t-shirt, pants and black shoes every single day.

Matt D’Avella wears an olive green T-shirt and a pair of jeans every single day. And he has a total of 24 t-shirts.

“That isn’t much of a minimalist wardrobe…”

That’s where you go wrong.

Matt uses all his 24 T-shirts and he does his laundry once every two weeks, that’s why he has so many of them.

Kate Rose, the director of the Digital Defence Fund wore the same dress straight for a year, 365 days.

“Are you suggesting me to throw out all my clothes and wear only the same dress every single day?”

No, you have to find out what works for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3 or 24 t-shirts, it must serve a purpose.


Do they care?

“But what will people think about me?”

This is the hard part.

Believe me, I tried an experiment of wearing a black shirt and grey chinos every day for a month.

I thought everybody would notice and I was a little timid. (Ok honestly…) I was worried about what others would think of me.

A handful of friends were keen about why I did this but other than that

NO ONE GIVES A F*CK.

Why?

People are busy with their own lives, that they would fail to notice you.

But even if they notice, how long do they care?

Is the way of our dressing gonna hit the Deccan chronicle’s headlines?

Then why should you dress to impress other people? Can’t you dress the way you love?

Regaining control of your wardrobe

1. Accept

Accept that you own way too much clothing. Only then you can gain back control of your wardrobe.

2. Start trimming down

To start minimizing, pick out a piece of clothing and ask yourself,

  • Do I love this?
  • Do I look great in this?
  • Do I wear this often?

If the answer isn’t HECK YES to any of them, then it is a candidate for elimination.

If you’re clinging to some pieces of clothes whether to throw them off, ask yourself

If I didn’t own this already, how much would I spend to own this once again?

Choosing 2 or 3 classic colours, that you love may help you cut much faster.

Source: pinterest.com

Find out what works for you and repeat

3. Prefer quality over quantity

Don’t rush into a clothing store and buy something as there is a good discount.

Invest in good quality clothing. This doesn’t mean buying a ₹2500 shirt but make sure you don’t invest in the ₹100 one.

Minimizing your wardrobe is not a one-time ah-its-done-voila process. And finding your style does take time.

Try out different things and find out what you love.

The Best Advice about money I have ever received

“Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”
― Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi, (one of the legends of personal finance) tells you to spend on things only you love.

If you wish to be rich, enjoy and spend your money guilt-free, you have to cut back on shitty expenses relentlessly.

He loves spending on starters and clothes, cutbacks on everything else. He owns an old computer and doesn’t give a shit about it.

And everybody has different things they love to spend about and it’s okay.

Even if you loved spending on clothes (like Ramit Sethi), then go for it. But don’t spend mindlessly on stuff you don’t wear.

If you feel less need to impress people by your clothing, then maybe you should stop.

What’s next?

This Diwali, try to create a minimalist wardrobe. Try to discard the stuff you don’t wear and have only the things you use in your wardrobe.

If you already own the stuff you like, don’t buy clothing this year. Save up that money and do something you love.

If you don’t own good clothes, go out and buy some new quality items that you would love to wear.

Donate your discarded clothes to charities, organizations and people who need them. Bring joy to your surroundings.

Imagine what would your life look like if you have saved all that money that you have spent money on buying crap.

  • You could go on vacation with your friends
  • Buy your kid the bicycle he has been pestering you for
  • Take your husband on a surprise trip to some foreign country
  • Buy something useful for your parents.

After all,

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

-James M.Barrie

And advance happy and prosperous Diwali to all of you!

Siva Shanmugam

Written by

Hi, I am Sivashanmugam, a 20-year-old crazy guy who loves writing about habits, life, philosophies and psychology in the intention of helping my fellow humans.

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