Don't forget what you already have

I've been thinking for the last couple of months that I wanted something like a micro-grid fleece jacket to wear for a little extra warmth around the  house and in daily wear. Most of my clothes are still in boxes somewhere since the move to Chattanooga, but it seems that winter clothes are especially likely to get buried away forever. 

It makes sense that you would put your winter clothes in storage. For half or even three quarters of the year, depending on where you live, they just aren't necessary. I always end up buying new gloves and hats. Fleeces and vests get lost too. If you put all your winter stuff in the same place, you'll be less likely to lose things during the warmer months. 

Thinking about digging out my winter gear and what I wanted as it gets colder made me realize that I wanted a thin, light jacket to wear for a little extra warmth. After spending so much time hiking for the last year and a half I immediately thought, "a little micro-fleece grid hoody would be perfect". No zipper, or even a quarter zip, super light and simple. Well my mindset was a little off. Instead of thinking, "what clothing do I already own that could do this job" I was thinking, "what can I buy?"

Meanwhile, two nice sweaters that I never wore were just sitting in the back of the closet behind my button downs. These sweaters are very nice. One is 80% cotton and 20% cashmere. The other is a cotton/poly blend of some kind.

I wore the cashmere blend sweater with a button down two days ago at my niece's baptism, and was surprised by how nicely it kept me warm. I didn't overheat either unless I kept my sport coat on. Hey, this is exactly what I wanted!

How dumb of me to not think of a simple, thin sweater instead of buying yet another piece of clothing. I've never been much of a sweater fan in the past, honestly. Maybe its because I thought they looked nerdy or even just a little too preppy? For whatever reason, I ignored the utility of what I had available to me. Not very minimalist thinking.

So here I am today, hiking sneakers, brown denim pants, a bright blue hiking T-shirt, and a creamy-tan cashmere sweater. My old housemate would probably laugh at the combination, but I think I look pretty nice. The sweater looks much less preppy without a collared shirt. I'm starting to think I just don't like the preppy look?

So, I guess the moral of the story would be that you can look at your belongings through a minimalist lens by asking "do I already have anything that does 'X' job for me?" but also asking "am I ignoring something that would work because I wouldn't normally think of it as a solution to my problem?"

I'm sure all of us have a number of things, like my sweaters, that we ignore the utility of because our frame of mine is just a little skewed.

We would do well to find the forgotten sweater in every problem.