Things I Bought That I Love highlights the (hopefully) rare, carefully considered new purchases that spark joy in this aspiring minimalist.
When I first KonMari'd my life, I thought it'd be a one-and-done deal. The marathon tidying session would signal the start of a blissful stasis where I'd be perfectly content with my possessions, never feeling tempted to buy anything new again; however, reality is more nuanced than that. I've still been shopping here and there for new clothes, albeit much less than I used to and mostly replacing pieces that have worn out or don't fit anymore. However, my Kowtow Building Block Scoop Tee ($79) is not one of these conscientious replacement purchases. I have plenty of striped tees already, but I knew I had to have this one when I saw it on the sale rack at Still Life and I wouldn't regret it either.
One of the lessons I've learned the roundabout way is that cheap T-shirts are just not worth it. A couple of new T-shirts a year doesn't seem like much, but compounded over five years, ten years, a lifetime, they add up. Conventional North American fashion wisdom holds that for everyday basics like tees, it's best to just buy 'em cheap and toss 'em when they wear out, but I was sick of doing that and literally throwing money into the garbage, then spending eons hunting down the perfect replacement. The cheap T-shirt is the epitome of the expression "Penny wise, pound foolish."
I'm ashamed to say my twenties were a wasteland of semi-disposable cotton tees. As I hit my thirties I resolved to stop this vicious cycle and buy better, looking for thicker materials that would hold up in the wash, good stitching, and a price tag over $35. The Kowtow tee ticks all of these boxes, and even though this is the most expensive T-shirt I've ever bought ($79!) it's worth every penny.
I like how the sturdy organic cotton holds up in the laundry and doesn't feel wilted like thinner tees do if you wear it multiple days in a row without washing. (Sorry, was that TMI?) The torso of the shirt is generously cut—loose but not boxy, with drape and movement thanks to a wraparound bias seam and roomy shoulders. (This is a must as my tees and jackets always seem to stop fitting in the shoulders first.) And perhaps most importantly, it has that insouciant French-girl vibe we all hunger for when we buy striped tees. Did I need another shirt? Not really. But the Kowtow tee came into my life serendipitously and, fingers crossed, it'll stay there for the long haul.