my 7 experiment | month 5 | day 21

I made it! Seven pieces of clothing got me through the last three weeks and here’s what I’ve learned:

1- I own a lot of clothing that I never wear. They hide in the back of drawers and the corners of the closet, but they’re there. Whether it’s a shirt I just can’t let go of or a dress that doesn’t fit right but I paid too much money for it just to give it away, there’s a lot that gets unworn.

2- I “get” what it’s like to not have access to unlimited clothing. Growing up, we wore clothes from Wal-mart, the cool thing in high school was to shop in thrift stores, and I am not sure I will ever be able to walk into Anthropologie and buy something not from the sale section. I have never considered buying designer clothes, and my fashion sense is pretty much based on answering three questions– “Is it comfortable?” “Does it cover the essentials?” and “Do I look like a chubby mom?”  I have recently had to add, “would JB like me in this?” because he has opinions about these things. No one ever told me that boys cared about what we wear! I thought they just knew clothed or naked. There I go again with my generalized (prehistoric) male stereotypes. Oops.

My point is, I understand a little more what it must be like for that kid during the first week of school who only has 4 outfits. He’ll have to repeat one in that ultimately defining first week of school, and it probably won’t meet up to the standard of Jordans and Nike. I only had to deal with getting dressed for school 4 days, and even then I think college is past the age where you notice what people are wearing, unless it is unusual or is embarrassingly see through.

3-I do my laundry more often and with more care. I took the time to wash my precious seven about 3 times a week, and they were quickly dried then put away. When you have only a little, you learn to take good care of it.

4-I like dresses. I should wear them more. I must remember to forget my fear of overdressing!

5-Picking yoga pants as one of the seven was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. I even wore them to work once. I’m not sure if anyone noticed.

 

So what will I do now?

1. I will be more conscious about my purchases. I don’t want to buy something “because it’s on sale” or because I happen to have disposable income at that moment and I don’t need to justify my purchase (this rarely happens, but still). I want to carefully consider how a piece of clouting will fit in my existing wardrobe, and if it’s really worth x amount of dollars. I also want to be more conscious about not buying clothes that are tied to human trafficking. Slave labor = lower prices. With starting nursing school, our spending budget has gone way down and it would be so easy to try and forget this important fact when I just want a $5 pair of pants from Wal-mart. Perhaps following this rule will eventually lead to a more streamlined, hope-filled closet.

2. I’ll be having a big clothing swap! I am not sure when or where, but it’s happening. A contribution of clean and gently worn clothing  and $5 required to enter, and it will be a free for all with all types of clothing. The money and clothes left over will be donated to charities like SAFE and the Salvation Army, and we will hopefully all walk away with new clothes that didn’t put us back into the cycle of consumerism.

3. I’m finally going to fix the things that have ripped or torn. There are a few clothes of ours that haven’t been looked at for quite some time because we are avoiding their tiny holes or stains and can’t commit to a little problem solving. So, instead of letting the shirts and pants take up valuable space, I will fix them by the end of the month! And if they are unfixable, I will turn them into something new. huzzah!