Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Au Naturelle

Yesterday one of my daughters, whose diet is even more restrictive than mine, exclaimed in frustration, "Sometimes I think it would be easier to just NOT eat!" I understand her sentiments exactly and often feel that way myself, not only about eating, but about other activities as well, including dressing. On days when my back injury is bothering me or I'm having an arthritic flare-up, clothing can be so uncomfortable. Add to that the challenge of buying clothes that aren't laced with chemicals or someone else's perfume, and one is almost persuaded to just go, as the the French would say, au naturelle.

Fortunately (not just for me, but for all my friends and family), I have been able to find other options than running off to join the Naturists. My most recent discovery is a small company in Seattle called Decent Exposures, which sells apparel for women and children (sorry, guys, you're out of luck) made from organic cotton or a cotton/polyester/Lycra blend. They are most well-known for their uniquely designed "unbra." All of their clothing is made-to-order, so they can accommodate odd shapes (like mine). Check them out at www.decentexposures.com.

For years, I have purchased most of my clothing second-hand, but my last couple of experiences with that have been less than positive, as one of our local thrift stores has started running all used clothing through a dryer with scented dryer sheets. We've quit shopping there, but we still run into the problem of smelly clothes, even if we buy them new. This brings me to my next great discovery, grapefruit seed extract. A small bottle of this concentrated liquid seems a little pricey, but just a few drops in the wash water with a batch of clothes is sufficient. I have found that if I use this in the wash, with or without baking soda, and then hang the suspect piece of clothing out in the sunshine to dry, I can eliminate all but the worst chemical/perfume odors.

The truth is that though I have a closet full of clothes, I really only wear about a half dozen outfits all the time--cotton knit pants with cotton sweatshirts in the winter and t-shirts in the summer. After all, comfort is the ultimate luxury.

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