The 30-day Closet Challenge has ended. And I’m a little sad about it.
I wore the same 7 pieces, mixing and matching them, for the past month (you can read more about it here). Two days ago people began posting questions to me on Twitter and Facebook asking if I was enjoying the rest of my closet now – but here’s the thing: I’m not. I haven’t gone back to all of my old clothes. In fact, I’m STILL wearing the 7 items. It seems that I’ve become a little attached to the idea of living with less.
For the entire month of September, Sarah Kroger and I challenged each other to wear only 7 items of clothing for 30 days — otherwise known on social media as #TheClosetChallenge. When we started this challenge , the idea of limiting my wardrobe to ONLY 7 items seemed almost oppressive. Now, it gives me anxiety to look at my old wardrobe and contemplate all the options.
We live in a world that is all about excess. We replace the new with the latest. From our phones to our clothes – everything is ‘good enough’ until the next version comes out – then it’s out with the old and in with the new.
I’ve learned that living with less gives you more. More peace, more time, and more simplicity. These past 30+ days have taught me a few things about being happy with less.
1. Less is more
Having fewer options to choose from has made my life a whole lot easier. You know that feeling you get when you’re starring at your closet stuffed full of clothing and think you have nothing to wear, or that nothing fits, or that nothing is in style? That feeling never happened once for me over the past 30 days. Setting aside a few pieces that I KNOW look good on me and fit made it easier to quickly get dressed and move on with my day.
We have this idea that more is better. More is just … more. Having more options doesn’t guarantee we’ll be happier. If that was the case, every time I walk into Sephora I’d feel amazing. Instead, I feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start to get the best red lipstick.
2. I’m not the center of attention
To be honest, I feared people would notice if I wore the same few outfits all the time. Outside of those who took on the challenge with me, no one noticed. Why? Because I’m not the center of the universe. And that actually feels good. The beauty of simplicity is that it is other-centered, not self-centered.
3. More time for what really matters
Since I didn’t have a daily wardrobe-therapy session (freaking out about what still doesn’t fit me since having a baby or not feeling in-style enough for the cool kids on the block), I had more time for what really matters. Like my husband, my kids, and even had more time to give others when I was traveling and speaking. Why? Because I wasn’t wasting any time on “what to wear”. I knew my choices, threw on an outfit, and got on with my life. I’m shocked about how much time I have wasted in the mornings, packing suitcases and in hotel rooms trying on multiple outfits just so I could attain a certain look. Making time for what really matters IS what really matters.
So, what’s the plan now? I think I am going to keep this up. I may change up the 7 pieces a bit, but am going to stick with another 7 items for the rest of the month of October. And who knows, maybe this will be what I do each month.
If YOU are interested in trying this challenge, you can join up with some amazing women RIGHT NOW who started their Closet Challenge yesterday coupled with prayer – find out more about them here.
The goal of The Closet Challenge was to simplify our lives. Our motto for this challenge was by the beautiful and sweet St. Therese, “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person.”
Without a doubt, Jesus did help me learn more about myself through this simplification process. Jesus helped strip me of the idea that my clothes make me or what people think of me/my fashion makes me. I am more than this. You are more than this. God has called us by name, He anticipates us and He has a plan for us. I encourage you to let Him into your life – even into your wardrobe.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I will tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? (Matthew 6: 25, 28-30).