Sustainable Living: Live Like a Euro


If you didn't read the post about Spain, you should know that I lived there for a bit when I was 20. There were a few things that I noticed when I lived there:

MC Hammer pants were huge summer of '09 



 If you smile at someone in the street, they're not likely to smile back

Running with the bulls is apparently not acceptable for women. I say screw it, run with the bulls, ladies!


Women do not blow dry their hair

The men are tiny



People tend to have only a few outfits and a couple pairs of shoes. 

The last one was the one that I thought about a lot when I came back to the U.S. and tried to adopt myself (I still can't whistle). People don't own as much, not because they don't have the money to spend, but rather because culturally, they are don't find it as necessary to have as much "stuff" as we do. Also, the cost of housing is usally much more expensive than most places here in the states. The average home is much smaller in size which means they would have to have a bigger apartment to store all the junk that they didn't need.

I found that many Spaniards, and Europeans in general, have a tendency to only have about 5 nice outfits. They mix and match them so they all look fresh. It's also not considered unacceptable to wear the same outfit two days in a row. Unfortunately that's not the cultural norm in the U.S. If I wore the same outfit two days in a row to work, I'd probably get reported to HR. 

I'm not suggesting you sell most of your clothes and live in a Tiny House hitched to a dually, but there are definitely things you could do to live more simply, like a European. In the process, you'll simplify your life AND save money!

TIPS:

Remove anything from your closet that doesn't fit right now. Quit telling yourself you'll lose the weight to fit in it. Life's too short to wear tight pants and there's no need to waste the room in your closet and drawers.

When buying new clothes, stick to neutrals that will go with everything. For example, I have 4 mid-weight cardigans that I wear through all seasons. One navy, tan, black, and gray.

Take inventory before you shop. This will help you realize what you already have and prevent you from buying something very similar to what you already have.

Invest in accessories. I have a pretty hefty collection of scarves, earrings, and necklaces that help kick my outfits up a notch.
Every time you buy something, make yourself get rid of something. I keep a strict 1 in 1 out rule-helps me decide whether I really want something enough to get rid of something else.

When investing in clothes, make sure you can wear it to work! I spend the majority of my life at work so if I can't tuck it into a pencil skirt or throw a cardigan over it an make it work appropriate, it's not coming home with me. I haven't bought novelty t.shirts in years because of this.

2 comments

  1. I love this, in theory, but I have SUCH a hard time applying it. Every time I feel proud of myself for donating another bag of clothes, my bf will look at the rest of my closet and shake his head in disappointment. I know I have a lot, but we live in a climate with four distinct seasons. And my weekend clothing is very different from my work apparel. I need to get better about this!!

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    Replies
    1. Girl! I entirely understand. I have two closets...I know, I know. But like you, our weather is super seasonal so I keep one closet for workout clothes, stuff I'm not wearing for the season, purses, accessories etc. But the other I organize for dresses, work tops, work bottoms, and casual stuff. I feel like as long as you're working towards accumulating less but higher quality pieces, you're doing better than most. Good job, lady!!! Thanks for the comment, I love hearing from people!

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