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The Simple Life

The Simple Life

My month-long experiment in mutiny against excess: I only wore 7 items of clothing for 30 days
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This morning my seven-year-old Caleb went to school in "matching clothes:" a green camouflage T-shirt, brown camouflage cargo shorts, and a gray camouflage hoodie. Back in the day I would've marched him upstairs to change into some Gymboree collection. But now? Three real kids later? I'm over it. This is not the hill I'm going to die on when I have bigger fish to fry, like raising them to leave my house one day and not move back.

Frankly, I've always taken my son to Target in his Batman costume and let my daughter wear a leotard and boots to church. It was never worth the drama—plus, there would likely always be another mom pushing a little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle around.

On any given day I wear jeans and a T-shirt. My style is utterly unsophisticated; I look like a college girl who rolled out of bed five minutes before class and has prematurely aged. Anyhow, I'm a simple, lazy dresser who doesn't spend much time thinking about my wardrobe.

Clothes are just not a huge deal to me.

Although that sounds true in my head, my closet tells me a different story. I counted, and have 327 items from which to choose. You read that right. No other category even comes close to this one in quantity. If I spent $20 on each item, that's $6,540 spent in the last five years. If the average is closer to $30, that means I've spent $9,810. This doesn't include anyone else in the family.

Sadly, I only wear a tiny percentage of these clothes. So while my mouth is yammering about my laissez-faire attitude toward my wardrobe, my hand keeps reaching into my wallet to buy more. If I am serious about addressing overindulgence and irresponsible spending, I need not look any further than our closets. I spend more just on clothes in one year than the average Ethiopian family earns in five.

Simplifying my wardrobe: 7 items for 30 days

So I decided to simplify my wardrobe. Here are the clothes I selected to wear for one month:

  • One pair of jeans, dark wash, kind of plain
  • One long-sleeved solid black T-shirt, fitted
  • One short-sleeved black 'Haiti relief" T-shirt with white print
  • One short-sleeved gray "mellow Johnny's Bike Shop" T-shirt with yellow print
  • One pair of gray drawstring knit Capri pants
  • One long silk dark brown dress shirt
  • Shoes: cowboy boots and tennis shoes

In case you don't fully understand some of the core items I chose to leave out of life for a month, here are a few pieces I left in the closet:

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