7 Weeks of Less - CLOTHES
I'm in the middle of a 7 week experiment inspired by the book 7 - An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. I'm calling my journey 7 Weeks of Less. I'm three weeks in. Read on to see how it's going - and join me if you'd like!
I will choose 7 items of clothing to wear this week. That's it. Wash and wear. All week long. Underwear & socks don't count. The only jewelry allowed are my wedding rings. No makeup (ouch). Hair gel is allowed.
- pink ribbed tank top
- black & pink running shorts
- black sundress
- blue sundress
- turquoise ribbed tank top (changed to white camisole tank)
- tennis shoes (changed to turquoise dress)
- flip flops (add tennis shoes. Jen Hatmaker counted two pairs of shoes as one item...so will I!)
I will also take inventory of my clothes and try to get rid of as much as possible. I've done this recently, so I'm curious how much more I can prune.
I feel like this week won't be too hard (though kind of boring). Since it's summertime, I won't need things like jackets, hats, jeans, sweaters, etc. Having only one set of workout clothes is going to be the hardest. That will require daily laundering. And I'm going to miss wearing earrings.
Dang. And I just realized I'm scheduled to drive to Nashville this weekend for a bachelorette party. No makeup & no jewelry? Jazz.
Aside from my wardrobe this week, which was simple, easy and predictable, it was the most insanely busy week that we've had in a long long time. So I barely had time to think about what I was wearing, let alone worry about it! And truthfully it ended up being a less-than-typical week where normally I would have worked out 3-4 times and changed clothes more often. But it was a plenty social week, so I had to parade my simple self all over Birmingham (and Nashville), visiting with people who see me everyday as well as many who only see me on occasion.
Here's what I came away with this week:
- I completely failed to go through my clothes and get rid of anything. Not a single item. I'll get to it. One of these days.
- I only cheated once, in the name of nostalgia. I put on my brother in law's Carbondale Terriers baseball jacket for about a minute as I was unpacking their coat closet in their new house. :)
- I was so thankful that underwear and socks weren't included in this week's rules. I totally changed underwear just for fun...several times.
- I was much more aware of how my hair looked all week, and did the best I could to keep my eyebrows tweezed. Makeup and jewelry can do a great job of distracting from blemishes and insecurities.
- I really missed earrings.
Did this week make me closer to God and more thankful for my physical blessings of clothes and accessories? If I'm being honest, not really. I felt more like I was on a trip and forgot to pack half my stuff, so I was making do. Which was fine, but I was too preoccupied with life to use that situation to ponder the inequalities of clothing availabilities for the world. I was however very thankful for and aware of our washer and dryer. I would not have liked wearing dirty clothes.
Day 1 - Sunday, June 3, 2012
Here it is. My wardrobe for the next 7 days:
- Blue Dress
- Pink Tank
- Black Running Shorts
- White Camisole Tank
- Turquoise Dress
- Black Dress
- Tennis Shoes & Flip Flops
Ben calls this "Hobo Week." I don't really think that's funny.
Harder than wearing and washing only these items of clothing, I'm also not wearing any makeup or accessories. No jewelry, no cute flower pins, no scarves, and only functionality switches allowed in the handbag department. For me, this week is less about having an excess of clothing and more about realizing how much time and effort is spent into "vanity" and "variety".
Sometimes I stand in my closet for 15 minutes or more trying on different combinations of clothes, trying to find the "right" thing to wear. I change earrings or necklaces or shoes several times before deciding. Makeup only takes about 5 minutes, but it's a nice mask for blemishes, mascara and eyeliner makes me feel stronger (I don't know why!) and I always feel like I need a little bit of blush.
Heading to church today with just my turquoise dress & flip flops, I felt a little naked. And I have to confess, to try and compensate for no makeup and jewelry at church this morning, I went to the tanning bed yesterday for a little bit of extra color and straightened my hair this morning. I have a problem. Or just a dependency. This could turn out to be a more interesting week than I anticipated! Especially because it's a very social week where I'll see lots of people I don't see every day, and would normally try to make a good visual impression for... Why? I don't know. They don't care what I look like. But I'm a girl. I guess that's what we do.
Day 2 - Monday, June 4, 2012
Most of today I was entirely too busy to even consider what I looked like. My blue dress, flip flops and pony tail with no makeup or jewelry matched the no-nonsense mood I needed to get it all done! By the evening though, when it was time to take the kids to VBS at Riverchase, I had a clothing "fast" moment. The church was going to be COLD. I knew it. And I couldn't change into jeans or bring a sweater. So I shivered instead.
I took inventory today of my clothing. Here's what my closet & drawers contain:
- 36 sleeveless shirts
- 35 short sleeved shirts
- 27 dresses
- 27 pairs of shoes
- 19 long sleeved shirts
- 9 pairs of shorts
- 9 pairs of yoga pants
- 8 scarves
- 6 pairs of jeans
- 6 pairs of pants
- 6 skirts
- 5 sweaters
- 5 "fashionable" jackets
- 3 hooded sweatshirts
- 3 pairs of leggings
Grand Total = 204 items
That doesn't include underwear, socks, pajamas, swimsuits, or coats.
In addition to taking inventory of my own clothes, I went through the kids' closets and pruned out clothes that are too small, too stained, or too crazy looking to wear. :) We've been blessed to have several friends and family members give both kids LOTS of hand-me-down clothes. We love it. The kids love it. It's wonderful.
Day 3 - Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Yesterday, as I was going through Ayla's clothes I found three pairs of her jeans, all with a hole in the right knee. They still fit in the waist, but the knees were well beyond repair. So we turned them into shorts. Perfect way to have another few months of use out of them before she grows 3 or 4 more inches and they'd be too short.
I wore my black dress today, with the white tank underneath it. Today was a work day, so I was cutting wood and working at my computer all day. Then this afternoon I took the kids to see a Roger Day concert and then VBS was tonight. The only time I was uncomfortable in my dress w/no makeup and no jewelry - VBS. Cold again!
Day 4 - Wednesday, June 6, 2012
I helped my brother in law move across town all day today, so my workout clothes were just right for all the lifting, hauling and stair climbing. Then tonight I switched to my turquoise dress for VBS.
I'm still missing makeup and jewelry the most. And since today was the first day I repeated clothes, I do admit to being a little bored with my options. But thankfully I still like all my options. I just might not wear them for a few weeks after this. :)
I did break my clothing rule once today. As I was unpacking the wardrobe box full of coats, I TOTALLY had to put on my brother-in-law's Carbondale Terriers baseball jacket and parade through the house - just for a minute! We all went to the same high school, so it was nostalgic to pull that out!
Some things I've noticed this week - my face feel so much cleaner and my skin so much softer all the time without all that makeup on! And I definitely don't miss having raccoon eyes at the end of the day. Plus, my contacts haven't bothered me near as much as normal.
Day 5 - Thursday, June 7, 2012
Got a blob of black paint on my blue dress today (I painted signs all day today). Thankfully, it was small and mostly came out. I think perhaps 7 days isn't long enough for this clothing fast. I'm only having to re-wear each dress once. And since it turned out to be an abnormal week, I didn't end up working out as much as normal, so even my workout clothes haven't gotten worn as much as I thought they would.
I suppose the true test is tomorrow, when I head to Nashville to see old friends and attend a bachelorette party. I do wish I could wear makeup/jewelry/different shoes for that event. But I won't. I'm okay with the natural me in semi-sparkly flip flops.
Day 6 - Friday, June 8, 2012
Today I left for Nashville to meet an old friend for lunch and then meet up with about 12 women for a bachelorette party. I wore my black dress and straightened my hair, but was bummed not to be able to wear makeup, jewelry or fun shoes.
I was definitely overly aware of everyone else's makeup & jewelry and cute clothes & shoes all night. But still, I felt okay and comfortable in what I was wearing. And one of the girls mentioned in passing that I looked so pretty and carefree like I was ready to go to the beach. She didn't know about 7 Weeks of Less, so that made me feel pretty good. :)
Day 7 - Saturday, June 9, 2012
Last day! I slept in my workout clothes last night (since PJs weren't on my list of clothing options and I was sharing a living room floor with 4 other girls). It made me wake up and want to immediately go run! Ha! I didn't. I forgot to pack my running shoes and we were on top of a mountain!
I wore my turquoise dress and flip flops all day. We went out to lunch at Chuys and then walking around the mall for a while. After about 15 minutes of "shopping" I realized it is absolutely NO fun at all to walk around a mall when you aren't buying shoes, jewelry, clothes or makeup. No fun. At all. So I headed home to B'ham a little early while the other girls continued shopping.
Next week is Waste. I'll be a recycling fool...