Years ago, before I was diagnosed with celiac diseease, food allergies and other digestive problems, I attended a support group for people who were addicted to food. In order to control the addiction, we had to eat a certain way, attend meetings and call another member, when we were tempted to overeat or eat a forbidden food. Now that I understand my symptoms were caused by physical disease and allergies, I can't believe I was ever 'addicted' to food. I need to eat to live. I may undereat or overeat at times, but I basically eat to feed my body.
However, I do use other substances in amounts that may seem excessive to healthy, normal people. No, I'm not talking about drugs. I'm talking about fabric, specifically crafted into garments. My husband tells me that we want excessive amounts of whatever we felt deprived of as small children.
I was rather deprived of edible treats when I was a child. My mom took one look at my bloated (undiagnosed celiac) belly and decided I was getting too fat. She didn't seem to notice the rest of my body parts were normal sizes. Nevertheless she began restricting sweets so that I wouldn't get 'fatter'. Moreover, my mom often used my shape as a reason to not buy new clothes for me. She would often say "I will buy you new (nicer) clothes, when you are thin."
Because of early food restriction, I grew up wanting lots of sweets and pastries until I learned that I was allergic to gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, cane sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. However after finding safe substitutes for all those foods/ingredients, I now bake my own pastries and treats. I like to include sweets with every meal. Fortunately I now have normal metabolism and I like other healthier foods (fruits, vegies, etc.).
However, my childhood clothing restriction influenced my love affair (addiction?) with clothes, which began when I realized I really was 'thin'. I was never 'thin' enough for my mom to buy me fashionable clothes. So I wore really dowdy, unflattering clothes during high school. During my college days, I began to buy my own clothes without my mom's advice or money. Because I've stayed in the same weight range most of the time since my early 20s, I still have garments I purchased years ago. I altered some clothes when I was very bloated with undiagnosed celiac disease 15 years ago. So I had to give those away after I recovered and resumed a normal body shape. However I still have a few clothes (jeans, skirts, jackets, and shoes) which I wore during my 20s.
When I quit painting and marketing watercolor paintings (10? years ago), I started sewing. I literally taught myself to sew, just as I taught myself to paint, but for different reasons. I didn't NEED paintings. So I sold them and supported myself with my painting business. I NEEDED clothes ... sewing allowed me to have more clothes inexpensively and to alter store bought garments to fit my body even better.
Even now, when many women my age wear dowdy clothes and unflattering hairstyles, I make fashionable clothes, when I'm not buying what I like at H&M (my alltime favorite store), Loft Petites, Express, Nordstrom TBD, and occasionally Wet Seal (which I first discovered in Maui) or Forever 21. However, I prefer to sew simple styles (skirts, peasant blouses, sleeveless or short sleeved tops, shorts), which I can make for less than I would spend at a store.
My husband always knows what to get me for Christmas, birthday, any 'giftable' occasion. Often we spend my birthday 'shopping'. So he doesn't need to buy and wrap anything before my birthday. I also enjoy the 'chase' for the perfect item, but I sometimes go home empty handed.
Do I have enough clothes now? Well, actually I go through my closets annually to give away garments which I don't want to alter to fit better or clothes which are too worn or never flattering (what was I thinking?). If I don't get rid of clothes by giving them away or selling them in consignment shops, I don't have room in my closet for new items.
Currently I'm altering garments which I haven't worn for a year or so, but still like. Also I alter any garment that doesn't fit well, but I like the color or style. I almost like alterations even better than sewing a completely new garment. I alter garments which I already love and can easily coordinate with other items in my wardrobe. Finding old garments and altering them is like buying a new garment for free. Also I'm satisfied by the work I did to make the garment fit better.
Am I addicted to clothes? I sometimes wonder whether I'm addicted to shopping. However, I don't shop just to entertain myself. I usually have a goal garment or accessory, which I 'need'. Shopping also gives me ideas for garments to sew and save money. However, after awhile I feel 'shopped' out and want to go home and sew or bake cookies! LOL
I suspect my honesty is opening up a whole closet of opinions out there. I look forward to your responses.