Friday, May 18, 2012

An Experimental Mutiny: Part Three (Clothes)

 [my "uniform" for a lot of April]

If you missed my first post on the subject, Peyton and I are reading this book.  The basic premise is that over the course of seven months you tackle seven different areas of excess in your life.

I mentioned in my previous 7 post that we didn't go in order with the chapters.  Anyway, we decided to do clothes in April.  Once I agreed to involve the kids, I knew April would be the time to do it. Per usual, my rationale was decidedly shallow- they have *so* much Summer stuff and I didn't want to do it in the middle of Summer and "waste" it all and since I'm (for the most part) a traditionalist, I wouldn't be breaking out the seersucker and sailboat motifs before Easter anyway.

So, here's how it played out.  I'll do myself first.  I picked seven items of clothing.
1. Gap white jersey cotton blouse
2. Old Navy pink v-neck tee (I think the rouching makes it a bit more dressy than a standard tee)
3. black and white jersey dress from TJ Maxx
4. Lucky jeans (not my dressiest, but not my grubs, either)
5. Lucky khaki shorts
6.  royal blue gym shorts
7. sister's prom t-shirt circa 2006 (yes, it's a favorite)

Here are my honest disclosures:
- Underwear, socks, and bras were "free" items.  They didn't count.  Period.
- As far as outerwear, I stuck to one white hoodie for casual and a black cardi for church.  Jen was much more hardcore, but she admits she's not cold natured.  I also stuck to three pairs of shoes- a dressy pair for church, leather flops, and tennis shoes.
- I chose two additional tshirts, another pair of shorts, and one pair of pajama pants to serve as sleepwear.  Being as my job sometimes allows for it, I may or may not have changed into my sleepwear upon returning home from something at say, 3 PM.
- Lastly, I picked a few occasions at the beginning of the month that would be exceptions.  These included: one Junior League function, the kids' birthday party, Easter Sunday, and our NOLA trip.  Again, I could have done this way more hardcore, but I decided that as long as I didn't add any additional events, I would allow myself these frivolous allowances.

Overall, it went really well.  For one thing, I was impressed with how it simplified my life.  Although, I obviously was washing the same things more often, my laundry load clearly cut down.  Additionally, I didn't have the worry or stress of freaking out over OH.MY.GOSH.WHAT.TO.WEAR?

Related to that, it also made me aware of how shallow I am in my judgement of other people and their attire, but mostly of myself.  I want to look cute, and of course, that's not evil, but there's a point at which I do not need to be wasting so much mental energy on it. Which brings me to....

The kids.  Whoa.  That was harder.  Like a million times.  I actually came up with the idea to include them myself, but Peyton was very encouraging and so supportive of what was probably a much harder sacrifice than it should have been.

The details in case you're interested: I chose five outfits for each of them, meaning full outfits (some were bubbles, some were two piece outfits, ect.).  I just thought for them it would be easier than trying to pick an arbitrary number of things to piece together. I chose five because I really thought any less than that would mandate a whole lot of washing....because little kids are messy.  Also, I chose one Sunday outfit for each of them.  We ended up missing a couple of Sundays due to sickness and traveling and a part of me was (ashamedly) glad to not have to bring my kids to the nursery in the same little outfits four weeks in a row. Another honest disclosure: Peyton and I agreed that if AP requested to wear a certain outfit, we'd oblige since she's really too little to understand this and we didn't want to "punish" her for our project.  This happened a few times, but really wasn't that frequent.  It probably helped that she liked most of the things I picked.  Also, I made a couple of exceptions for a few occasions with them, too.  The only one I can remember is their birthday party, though.

To be fair to myself, there was a part of me that did enjoy the decreased laundry load with them, too and as they were wearing my most favorite things, I felt like they looked sparkling most every day.  But...

I was sad I didn't have thirty options to choose from.

It was revealing.  Humbling. Convicting.

I'm glad I did it.  So glad.

Peyton's wardrobe was what you'd expect- a pair of jeans, a "nicer" tshirt, some shorts, and then work clothes.  He did decide that he'd just wear a white shirt and khakis to work, but so as not to completely stress me with laundry, the commitment wouldn't necessitate they be the exact same shirt and slacks each day.

Whew! I think that's it.  As I said, the month was pretty humbling, especially in regards to the kiddos.  It was really enlightening. 

We actually didn't do anything 7 related for May.  We had a lot going on and are behind in actually reading the book and just didn't want to rush committing to anything.  I've already decided June is going to be "media month" and Twitter is on the top of the hack list.  I'm unsure what all the month will bring, but I think it will be at least as much, if not more, beneficial.


Carrie said...

You know what's weird/funny? I didn't even notice you or the kids repeating outfits all month. I usually notice that kind of thing too... maybe I'm becoming less shallow! ;)

The Taffs said...

Clothes are a big struggle for me. I don't necessarily buy "expensive" clothes/brands, but I don't like to wear the same things over and over again. I think I make others out to be they will think less of me or something if I wear the same things around the same people all the time. I really liked this, and may try this exercise on myself! Thanks for sharing.