Garment Life

What is a reasonable lifespan for a garment? There are huge variables. I think a thin cotton blouse will not have as long a lifespan as a sturdy winter coat, for example, just because of garment construction and fabric quality. But then again, the use a particular garment sees can play a huge factor. If you wear an article of clothing every week for 7 months out of the year, it will wear more quickly than something you wear two a month for 4 months out of the year. And then again, specific activities take their toll. Sportswear ages more quickly than fancy dress, I imagine.

How do you determine when to let go of a garment? Style? When it's looking shabby? A bit of both? What are your general expectations for the lifespan of garments?

I have several overfull boxes of clothes waiting to be donated and it's got me thinking about how long I hold on to things. I think I tend to keep things for a long time. The average age for one of my casual shirts must be about 7 years. I still have t-shirts, etc. that I've had since at least 2003. And I wear them! Often! But some are looking shabby now and I've put them in the box. :)

And so as not to have a post without pictures, here's how my knitting is coming along:


  1. Your knitting looks so neat! I love the colours that you have chosen.
    My clothes possibly have a shorter lifespan than most as I am a very messy person and mine seem to suffer from bleach stains,rips and tears before too long.I'm trying to wear aprons more now!!

  2. Oh my gosh, that knitting is absolutely beautiful!! Such lovely colours, blending together beautifully... I can't wait to seed the finished garment!
    With me and retiring clothes, it is a bit of both, both styling as in how out of date something is and whether I feel silly in it as I get older, and wear. If it is a "wear" decision, then I generally replace it fairly soon, as it is obviously a staple.

  3. You have had me thinking about how long I keep clothes for. I have a 1960s winter coat bought fifteen years ago that I still wear, and I tend to wear tee shirts and trousers till they fall apart! I am quite good at purging stuff that no longer fits though. I think having limited storage space helps. the kniiting look lovely.

  4. Very pretty knitting, the colors are lovely! :)
    I think I also hold on to things pretty long. I still have some things that I bought when I was 17 or 18 (which, being 25 now, isn't ages, but I guess it is pretty long if you figure in that it's mostly inexpensive RTW clothing from H&M...) For the past two years, I've been trying to cull all garments that haven't been worn in 1-2 years, or the ones that look too worn. Since I've been sewing, there has also been a change from jeans&tops to dresses in my wardrobe.


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