Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Minimalism and the Patagonia Better Sweater

I have been having a multi-month dilemma over this sweater. It's the Patagonia Better Sweater Hoodie and I have been wanting it since last year. I have been fighting my want of buying it for this long. It really peaked when I came back to Ketchikan because I see women coming into the coffee shop all the time, wearing various colors of it. I had decided long ago if I ever owned it I would get the natural color with the feather grey accents.

Enter my newly-taken-on interest in minimalism. I have been doing really well with not buying things lately. Putting money into my savings account is like a high. This sweater is a want, not a need. Especially once I started reading minimalist blogs I knew the best thing would be to not get the sweater. Leo Babauta said in his Mnmlist blog, "Avoid new gear." He says in his "A Guide to Escaping Materialism and Finding Happiness" post on Zen Habits, "If you still really want to buy something, put it on a list, and write down the date you added the item to the list. Now tell yourself you cannot buy that item for 30 days. It might be difficult, but you can do it. When the 30 days have passed, if you still want it, then buy it."

Well, I bought the sweater on Tuesday.

I feel good about it. I know I am buying something that is well-made that I will own for a long time. Years, even. Is it the most minimalist thing to do, to buy something that is not replacing something else? Probably not, but I feel good about my decision. I feel like I am okay treating myself to something I will get some good use of. (I also bought a pair of Grunden's Bib Rainpants, but you don't see me fretting over those. ;o)



  1. Sometimes the perfect hoodie can replace the three hoodies that are not-quite-right. Sometimes we need to acquire something to be comfortable getting rid of even more things. It's weird. That doesn't even begin to address the complexity of why we crave certain colors and textures as though they were nutrients. I think it is good to trust your instinct on these matters. I think you do need that sweater, but for mysterious reasons that are being kept secret from your conscious mind. :)

  2. I gotta say, I'm giggling about your post, but it totally makes sense! I know that this has the ability to replace a couple slightly-ill-fitting cardigans I own.

    I think you are right. I have bought multiple not-so-great cardigans at Old Navy because they were cheap. They don't fit the greatest, but, hey, they were like ten bucks. And then I never wear them, but I tell myself, "Thank goodness I have a charcoal sweater" Just In Case. (The power of Just In Case.) But then I rarely wear them! I've been wanting to replace my things with nicer, more quality options. I'm no label whore or anything, but I know my more expensive clothes fit a lot better and last longer than the cheap stuff.

    Thanks for letting me mentally work this stuff out. Ha ha!