Materialism or What Will I Wear Today?

In preparing to come to the Czech Republic, I was determined to pack as light as possible.  I generally loathe excesses of objects.  It is something I must live with as a visual artist, but I try to remedy it as much as possible.  Every time I move I experience a wave of self-disdain when I realize the sum of my.  So in coming to the Czech Republic, I committed to bringing a carry-on and a “personal item,” and checking only one bag.  This was difficult to do and you’ll see from my packing post how taxing I found the whole process.

When I arrived, I was grateful for the reduced volume I had to transport to my new city.  In general, I have been content with my decisions.  There are some things which I have packed which I haven’t used yet—cookbooks, some office supplies, a couple of clothing items that I thought I would suddenly start wearing—but in general, I brought the things that I use and the clothing which would be adaptable to many settings.

Perhaps, because I am a female, my next statement will not surprise many of you: I am a little tired of wearing the same outfits again and again.  I am enjoying the change of season because it necessitates that I wear different clothing.  Since arrival, I have purchased very little clothing-wise.  The only things worth noting are a coat and a white top.  As I enter passing moments of boredom with my wardrobe, I often consider what I have observed among Czech fashion.  I have noticed that my colleagues and students don’t necessarily have a great variety in their wardrobes either.  Rather, they spice up their ensembles with handmade jewelry, ample scarves, and a surprising variety of tights and hosiery.

In such an environment, I have permitted myself to invest some money in various tights myself.  Currently I am sporting some grey knit tights that display some different cabling patterns.  Having recently attended a jewelry “workshop” with my colleagues, I now have some handmade jewelry to also diversify my wardrobe.  Moreover, every once in a while I find myself discovering a new layering order and deceiving myself into thinking I am wearing something new.

The fruit of my labor

I suppose that the sum of these musings reveals some of the less pleasant general characteristics of Americans—materialism, entitlement—of which I also share.  Though I consider purchasing more clothing—especially at the rumor of thrift stores—I am reminding myself that not only is abstaining a good exercise of self-discipline, but it is also an investment in a more positive packing experience upon my return to the states.


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