I just read a very interesting piece in the New York Times this evening on a few different challenges people are taking up to make do with less in their wardrobe. And when I say less, I mean much much less, like six pieces (excluding underwear, of course) for 31 days, or committing not to buy any clothing for a year.
I had been thinking along these lines recently as I gazed at my closet. I don’t consider myself a compulsive shopper at all, but even so, it is amazing how full your closet can get over a few years. I think some of the excess is due to being in those in-between years when you’re either pregnant, nursing, or trying to get rid of weight. My pants themselves tell a saga of these years. There are still maternity pants hanging up that I like to wear, even when I’m not pregnant or have my pre-pregnancy body back – I know I’m strange in admitting this, but I like the comfort of them, as well as the fact that they lie much smoother under shirts than do regular button up pants or pants with belts.
And then there are the pants that reflect the time last winter where I was determined to shed the rest of my baby weight, and had just joined a gym, but they also couldn’t be pants that fit too tight, so I got them in a larger size than normal. I also got a few workout tops to go with them. A little bit later, some cargo pants also jumped on board as we moved to a beach locale. In my closet, I sometimes see not who I am, but the type of feeling I want to have, or the lifestyle I want to live.
What was interesting about this article was that for one person who took the six item challenge, their spouse didn’t even notice that they were wearing the same six items for 31 days in various combinations. Now who knows, maybe it is because they have the kind of spouse who doesn’t notice such things, but I think there’s some truth in there to be found. In some cases, people do pay attention to what you wear (think my husband’s high school students pointing out his fashion faux paus), but in many cases, they don’t, or they don’t remember after a day or so.
I don’t think that encourages me to run around in my pajamas all day, but it helps a lot when I feel like I don’t have enough t-shirts, even though I really have more than enough.