When I started this one year “No New Clothing” challenge I had several worries. Can I really do this? Will my clothes last for a year? Will I stay the same size for an entire year? So yeah, lots of stuff to worry about but I actually had only one real fear. When will boredom set in?
Boredom is simply the act of losing interest in something…and even when I bought new clothes all time, I would still get “bored” with my closet. So how was I going to go a full year with the SAME clothes?
And it’s happened - six months into this challenge and I’m losing interest in my clothes. Honestly, I thought it would happen earlier than this. But since I’ve been mixing up my outfits and pulling out VERY old things from my closet, I’ve been able to be creative with what I have and it’s held my attention.
Recently the “thrill” of rearranging an outfit has been fading. Let’s face it – there’s only so many ways you can wear the same top before you just lose interest in it. And now I find myself just taking something from a hanger and thinking, “It’ll do.” Omg – YAWN!
In fact, I’ve been so bored with my wardrobe that I was beginning to wonder if I could really last the rest of the year!
And then a miracle happened!
Last week my parents came for a visit. One day we decided to take them to lunch and walk around a local art fair. We had a great time walking from booth to booth, appreciating the talent of all the artists. Then we walked up to a booth of clothing and my mom and I FREAKED the heck out!
The booth was called “Wicked Stitch of the West” and the owner creates one of kind creations by recycling and repurposing vintage clothing. Her work is simply amazing (she let me snap a few pics for my blog & they are at the bottom), and it sparked my own creativeness! I looked through her racks and smiled because I had found a solution to my boredom dilemma.
At that moment, I decided that I would “sacrifice” two of my tops and repurpose them to create something NEW. Omg – NEW! I haven’t had anything new in months and the thought of a new top is probably more exciting than it should be.
To get even more ideas on repurposing my clothes, I created a new Pinterest board - https://www.pinterest.com/misty1day/i-will-re-purpose-clothes/ And yes, I have LOTS of boards that I don’t follow through on (we ALL do), I really am going to do this. I already know which two tops I’m going to use. One has a stain on the front (did that the first time I wore it – Grrrrrrr) and the other is a sleeveless top that I can’t wear to work. So, I’m going to combine them and (HOPEFULLY) create something cute.
I promise – as soon as I finish my creation (good or bad) I’ll post the pictures here. I’m hoping I can complete this project before I leave on vacation next week. I’d love to take my “new” top with me!
Who knew recycling could be the cure for boredom?
I have six brothers and sisters and, when I was younger, I hated hand me downs. Didn’t matter if they fit and were still in good condition, I just didn’t want them. I’m not sure why I didn’t, it’s not like I was a fashionista at 5 years old. But something was already ingrained in me that wearing someone else’s unwanted clothes wasn’t “agreeable” – and doesn’t everyone want to be agreeable?
I certainly don’t have the reputation of being a disagreeable person (who wants to be that?!), but I’ve recently read an article that says being a “disagreeable” can be a positive personality trait. It doesn’t mean a person who argues every point or someone who is a jerk to be around. It means that they are people “willing to take social risks – to do things others might disapprove of.”
The article went on to talk about Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the furniture chain Ikea (who happens to be one of the richest people in the world). He is such a frugal man that he ONLY wears hand me down clothes that he has purchased at flea markets.
I think I like this guy already.
When Kamprad is asked why he is so frugal he says it’s just the nature of where he comes from, but Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2013 book "David and Goliath," argues that Kamprad's unusual spending habits are closely linked to his personality trait of being a “disagreeable”. He goes on to explain:
"Society frowns on disagreeableness. As human beings, we are hardwired to seek the approval of those around us. Yet a radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention."
And that’s why, at 5 years old, I didn’t want used clothing. I was already seeking the approval of the kids around me. The more I think about, the more I realize that this “approval” and “agreeableness” stayed with me all through high school and into adulthood.
Sadly though, agreeable people rarely make an impression on society.
So, let’s be…disagreeable. Let’s challenge convention and make people wonder WHY we do the things we do.
Heck, my first thought when I was reading that article on Ingvar Kamprad was “Why would a billionaire need to wear used clothing?” So, I kept reading. The WHY of him doing something different made me interested in learning more about him, and now I’m telling all of you about it.
That’s how this works! We do something different from everyone else (we become the disagreeable’s) and then people look at us and think “Why?” They ask, we tell them, they start to agree with our disagreeableness, they change, people notice and ask them why, and on and on and on it goes.
Are you willing to take a social risk? Are you able to live a life that doesn’t seek the approval of others? Are you prepared to do something others might disapprove of? Are you brave enough to be a disagreeable?
I have not purchased a new item of clothing in six months and it didn’t kill me. I know, hard to believe, but here I am – breathing and walking around.
I’m officially halfway through my self-imposed One Year No New Clothes Challenge, and I’ve learned some very important lessons. It’s funny because this is the most I’ve learned from NOT doing something. Some things I kind of expected, but there are few things that were pretty eye opening.
Since people love “Top 5” lists (I do too), I’m going to list the "Top 5 Things I’ve Learned So Far." Here we go:
#1 My closet is like a 16-year-old girl’s Facebook feed – a diary of emotional highs and lows. I have really been digging into my closet over the last six months. I have pulled out items that were bought as recently as December 2016 and some that were 20 years old. And the one thing I’ve started to notice is that over half of my wardrobe was purchased during “pick me up shopping trips." Those are the shopping trips you go on because you're down or blue and just need SOMETHING to make you feel better. I’ve come to the realization that my closet (as of today) doesn’t really represent my own personal style, as much as it’s a testament to my lack of will power and shopping impulse control.
#2 Not looking into a dressing room mirror has improved my body image. How many times have we taken an armful of items into the dressing room with a smile and high expectations, only to walk out with messy hair and a resolution to start our diet on Monday? Nothing will ruin your shopping high as much as trying to squeeze into (what you think is) your size and looking like an exploded can of biscuits. That experience adds unneeded anxiety to our lives, and I don’t miss that feeling ONE BIT. It’s been great not trying clothes on! I pick an outfit out of my closet and I don’t worry about it fitting or if it looks good. For the first time in a LONG time I feel good about my body. Which is sad because I’m a size 2 to 4 and you’d think I’d never have to deal with a poor body image, but I do. We ALL do. Maybe we should stop trying to feel better in a new outfit and just start feeling comfortable in our own skin.
#3 Stitching up a ripped seam makes me feel like Martha Stewart. It’s silly but true. Since I can’t buy clothes, I’ve started repairing mine. I had a seam rip on one of my favorite sweaters. I stitched it up and felt SO accomplished! For one second the thought of making my own clothes popped into my head, but then I remembered I’m not actually Martha Stewart and there’s no need to start wasting perfectly good material.
#4 Four pieces of clothing can be worn 72 different ways. Ok, so maybe not exactly 72 different ways but pretty close. I think the problem most women suffer from is not a lack of clothing but a lack of imagination. I’ve had to get really creative with my outfits and it’s been fun to pair things together I would have never thought possible before. I follow some other women on Instagram who are also not buying clothes this year and I love seeing how creative they are with their outfits. Check out https://www.instagram.com/ melcurves - you’ll love her! Not only is she not buying clothes for one year, she’s posting all her outfits.
#5 No one cares what I’m wearing. Again, hard to believe but true. Doesn’t matter that I wore the same top twice during the work week – no one noticed and the world didn’t end. For so long I’ve been worried with how other people “see me” and if I was dressed “right." I think all of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. Wasn’t high school a never-ending question of “am I dressed cool enough”? Here I am, 20 years later, still trying to wear the same clothes the popular kids are wearing. But over the last six months, I’ve come to the most mind-blowing realization - the ONLY person who cares what I’m wearing is ME. No one else is spending their time pondering what Misty is going to wear to work today. Not shopping and not worrying about new clothes has allowed me to start working on the other areas of my life that need the attention.
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.