I have been sticking with my challenge and surprisingly, it hasn't been as difficult as I had thought. And yes, it may have partially been due to the fact that I was not actively window shopping (ignorance is bliss?), but I've been feeling a sense of liberation, even despite my initial fears of feeling restricted and limited.
I recently went into my closet again and did an inventory check to see what I could eliminate. Through this process, I discovered new "old" items that have gotten lost within a stack of clothing. This goes to show that I live in excess, even if I haven't spent much on each item, it is the hoarding mentality I need to free myself of. I have also found that deciding what to wear on a daily basis becomes more complicated when there are more choices in front of us. How many times have we told ourselves, "I don't have anything to wear," while facing a full wardrobe. I too have been guilty of such first-world statements...
My friend and I have decided to go on a fast together this month to help eliminate some of the garbage we've been feeding our self-image. The goal is to find contentment in the things God has blessed us with, and to stop thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. By saying goodbye to fashion magazines, fashion blogs and shopping, we hope to restore our souls, which are so easily entangled by the trivial joys this world has to offer. We covet what we don't have, when we live in the land of plenty. We focus on the single flaws on our physical appearances when we should rejoice that we are healthy, well-fed and unique in our own ways.
Having said all that, I still struggle with finding a balance between my love for styling and being free from excess. I tend to get bored quite easily and am always trying to reinvent the way I assemble my clothing. I don't think it's wrong to enjoy clothing and find creative ways to wear them, but I suppose it is the amount of time, energy and money we place into these things in which it can consume us.
Some simple tips and ideas I've entertained lately...
- Having good basic items will carry you far
- Accessories will take them to the next level
- If you get bored, try wearing your tops backwards (especially tops with a v-neck) and no one will ever know the difference
- It's okay to wear the same item twice in a row
- Sharing is caring- give some clothing away and let another person enjoy it in a new way
- Ask oneself, "How many times have I worn out a clothing item?" (which goes to show the practicality of it all)
- Take the time to look through your closet before buying a new item
- Mix your fancier items with casual items to dress down an outfit and get more mileage out of them (e.g. a sparkly top paired with boyfriend jeans, sweatshirt over a dress...)
- Cut off the bottom of old jeans to wear them cuffed at the ankles = Et voilà! Boyfriend jeans.
- Having Personal Style over Fashion Trends
Richard J. Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline, states that "Simplicity is freedom. Duplicity is bondage. Simplicity brings joy and balance. Duplicity brings anxiety and fear." How true of a statement is that? I started reading excerpts from this book, per recommendation from our pastor, and it has not been an easy, feel-good type of reading, but it is better than chicken soup for your soul.
I am still a work in progress and always will be until the day of eternity, but I am willing to accept that and will continue moving forward...