It's not that I'm fashion conscious or I want to maintain a sense of business decorum. I'm just plain lazy. I also hate wearing separates, especially button-down shirts. (It must be residual trauma from being forced to wear the ugly Catholic school uniform my entire youth.) It's also much easier to slip on a dress after a shower and to slip it off when I come home. It's also fewer materials I need to wash.
Speaking of washing, a co-worker, who regularly dresses in jeans and casual shirts recently commented, "Your drycleaning bill must be through the roof!"
I replied, "Actually, I rarely dryclean. I wear my dresses about 2-3 times and then I handwash them in the tub."
My co-worker grimaced and said, "Ewwww. You don't wash your clothes after every wear??"
"No, why? Am I malodorous?"
"No, but it's just so unsanitary!", my co-worker exclaimed.
That got me really paranoid. Am I really unsanitary by not washing my clothes after ever wear? Am I just engaging in the extended college-ritual of wearing anything that passes the "sniff" test?
I thought carefully how and why I developed my current clothes-washing habit:
- I'm lazy;
- I don't have a washer-dryer in my apartment unit. I need to walk 2 flights of stairs plus an additional 50 ft (one-way) to the laundry room. Hence, I try to minimize the amount of laundry I do with the washing machine/dryer;
- I don't think washing after every wear is necessary, especially if I'm just wearing it to the office and I'm not sweating in it;
- Washing after every wear would "wear-out" the materials more quickly;
- It's cheaper to handwash vs. machine wash/dryclean;
- It's probably more environmentally friendly to handwash vs. machine wash/dryclean;
- I use less energy by hanging my clothes to air-dry.
Have I sacrificed clean living in the name of frugality (and laziness)? How often should I be washing my work clothes without being disgusting? Now I'm concerned!