Clothes When You Are Living Off Grid


When you are Living Off Grid you don’t have tons of chances to get dressed up but rather need hardy clothes that last. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the one or two classy outfits for weddings, funerals, or going out, nor does it mean you can’t have style but since you will be, in general, not dressing to impress you are looking for clothes that will last the long haul.

As I was growing up we washed most of our clothes by hand really scrubbing them over rocks in a creek or over a wash board (yes they have a purpose besides mounting them on a wall or to be used to make music) which is very hard on clothes thus most of our clothes were of thicker cloth usually either cotton or for pants and long sleeves the canvas variety.

When we live off grid we need to produce our own energy for doing laundry to both run the washing machine and pump the water but also to heat the water thus we figure out that having fewer clothes and rewearing the clothes a few times/days means doing less laundry. Thus spending  thousands less money for our home energy system. How many times do you wear something before you wash it? I know our work and/or winter coats got washed only when being put away in storage. Yes they would get filthy looking but who are you washing them for if you care about appearances? So by having fewer clothes and not caring about appearances as much when you are working on your homestead you greatly reduce time and energy maintaining appearances.

Since I was the oldest I don’t remember many hand-me-downs, but I am sure my siblings would feel differently about getting to wear something an older sibling had worn, once they had out grown it. It seems to me that this didn’t happen too often as we tended to wear out clothes.

Of course when we go to the thrift store to buy, we buy what is available which is not always the highest quality but that is part of the treasure hunt of thrift storing. Never have the mentality that I should buy this just because it is cheap but rather think how often will I use it and how long will it last before it wears out. Last week, I got two really nice for going-out shirts; one was a silk shirt from the West Indies and the other was a linen shirt from Barbados. I paid $5 each for these high quality very nice shirts and I expect them, unless I gain a bunch of weight, to last me at least 5 years if not 10 years as I won’t be using them regularly. Thrift stores or second hand stores or consignment shops are great to visit when you are traveling as different areas tend to have different types of items in the stores. Once, in California, I came across a pair of Italian dress/dance shoes for $10 and they were having a half price “sale” for certain things. I didn’t find out about the sale until I was at the counter so that was a pleasant surprise. Those shoes were of such high quality that even though I wore them every weekend when I went out they lasted my more than 10 years when the soles started cracking and than I got them resoled for about $50 as they are so comfortable and nice looking. 

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