Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Wed, Dec. 11

Column | Are you throwing away too much clothing?

Remember when big news meant scientific breakthroughs, assassinations and economic meltdowns?

Now the international headlines are reserved for the scandal (or heroism, take your pick) of Meghan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex) wearing the SAME GOWN she wore on a tour two years ago!

(“Glycemic index, celebrity fashion statements. Which shall I watch today?”)

This fashion development dovetails nicely with a Wall Street Journal report about consumers (especially wasteful Americans) buying ever-increasing amounts of clothing, wearing each item an ever-diminishing number of times and consigning the castoffs to the overburdened landfill.

(Yes, the landfill – or incinerator. For various reasons, less than one percent of the fiber used to produce clothes is recycled into new garments.)

Perhaps it’s because of frugality ingrained by parents who grew up during the Great Depression, but I feel ashamed that the duchess’s commonsense actions must raise so many eyebrows.

Granted, some of the clothes I can’t part with have sentimental value as souvenirs (like the T-shirt that Jerry Robinson, co-creator of The Joker, autographed for my wife at the Chicago Comic Con in the early 1990s). But mostly, I work hard for my money and want to get my money’s worth out of my apparel purchases.

Everything in my wardrobe can eventually be repurposed, as lawnmowing clothes, painting clothes, Halloween party clothes, pet bedding, etc. Would you believe this pirate eyepatch was once a London Fog overcoat? Arrr, matey!

There is no shame in sticking with something that works, as I have done with the perfectly usable mug shot that adorns this column in most newspapers. This was taken back when a photographer was a photographer, and instead of yelling, “Cheese!,” the subject had to recite, “I’ll be glad when some enterprising hunter-gatherer learns to domesticate cattle!”

I’m not a snob who insists on astronomical thread counts, whether in sheets or garments. I can give the Tootsie Pop owl a run for his money. (“One…two…it takes TWO threads to get to the center of Tyree’s jacket approval.”)

I wish more schools taught budgeting. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard some spendthrift explain, “But what if my friends see me in last month’s fashions when I go to the payday loan office?” …

Vanity of vanities. It’s demoralizing how wrapped up some people can get in chasing the will-o’-the-wisp known as Trendiness. Folks, I don’t care how good someone looks in those Daisy Dukes, if they start up that hipster “Yellow matter custard is the new pus-pocket puce” nonsense, make like my favorite slacks and SPLIT.

I’m sorry that some people are bored out of their skulls if they aren’t constantly buying brand-new ensembles. If you want a real adrenaline rush, try walking through a dangerous neighborhood wearing old jeans with worn-out pockets that leave a trail of keys, credit cards, etc. Hijinks ensue.

At least current anxieties about What Really Matters in Life have opened up a new interest in World War II. (“Oh, no! I’ve worn the same outfit twice on Instagram! Fetch me my ceremonial hara-kiri sword. Unless it clashes. Then I’ll have to wait for a drone to bring a different outfit.”)

No need to thank me for sharing my insights. That’s just the sort of guy I am. I would gladly give you the shirt off my back, except it’s sort of bonded there now. Help!!!

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