As we move from hot weather to cold here in the northern hemisphere, it can be useful to revisit this question. Without this foundation, I can lose myself to my wanties when faced with all the "new" that is fall fashion.
Each of us may well answer this question differently. For some, clothes are purely functional. For others they are a playground. On the most base level, my clothes cover my body + protect me from the elements. At the same time, I do like my clothes to be a sort of artistic representation of who I am. I like to play with color, shape + style. I believe that clothes are for wearing. I'd like to chose pieces well the first time + wear them often.
I also find it useful to take note of what I do not need my clothes to be. For example, I don't see endless outfit options as an ultimate goal. I don't need my clothing to be trendy, and I don't have a desire for my clothing to communicate status. Conspicuously expensive jewelry, watches or bags embarrass me.
In my mind, my clothing represents a love of beautiful shapes + fabrics...a commitment to materials + craft...a love of simple beauty...a recognition of simple pleasure + the abundance of enough.
Clothing connects us to farmers, garment workers + our planet. Pulling thread through fiber naturally brings to mind all that goes into bringing clothing from seed to store shelf. Searching for secondhand treasures encourages me to savor all that has already been created.
As I move into a new season + take stock of my wardrobe, I have found great value in this reorientation.