Lent is the season leading up to Easter where in the catholic church you choose to give something up for that period of time – a fast. While Bethel Church is not catholic, we are taking part in lent in a way… a different way. Instead of fasting the same thing for the next 40 days, we are going to be fasting 5 different things for 7 days. So for the next 5 weeks my life is going to look a little unique. We’ve been encouraged to journal our experiences with the 5/7 Fast, so I figured blogging is one of the best ways to do that! Now each week the fast will look different, but this week will be clothing. I know, let your mind go there for a minute. I bet you’re thinking that I’m going to be very cold and very inappropriate this week! Okay, not like that!!! I will wear clothes, but I will wear only 7 pieces of clothing for 7 days (undergarments do not count in the total – can I get an AMEN). The book that this fasting experience is based off is called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. She decided that for 7 months she would do 7 different things to get rid of the excess in her family’s life and bring the focus back on to things that really matter. I can’t imagine doing each of these fasts for an entire month. 7 pieces of clothing is going to be hard enough for one week!
Jen counted her clothing and discovered that she had 327 items in her wardrobe. When I first heard that number I thought “Wow, that is excessive. I don’t have that many clothes.” Well, I felt convicted to count my own clothing before I started this journey (tomorrow will be the first day of my clothing fast). I have part of a walk-in closet and I have a dresser. Just looking at my closet and dresser you would think that I don’t have a lot of clothes… compared to some… but I guess it’s all comparison. What might seem like not a lot to some is a lot to others… like people in third world countries.
I started to count my clothing and came to a place where I struggled. Do I count hats, scarves, and gloves? To me these are accessories and not “clothing”. My mind went to places in the world that are cold and where people need these items on a regular basis. I think if you asked a child who was freezing in another country if a scarf was clothing, they would probably say yes. Same thing with gloves or hats. I knew at that moment I needed to add these items to my list. They are not just accessories they are necessities to some.
I am boldly going to share my findings with you – you might think it’s crazy that I have so much of some items, but I’m just being honest and I think you’d be surprised how things would add up in your own closet. So here is the break down of my wardrobe:
- 22 jackets/sweatshirts
- 17 dresses/skirts
- 5 vests
- 11 sweaters
- 41 shirts (not counting t-shirts)
- 8 tank tops
- 6 pairs of dress pants
- 8 scarves
- 8 hats
- 9 pairs of gloves
- 13 camisoles
- 27 t-shirts
- 4 pairs of sweatpants
- 9 pairs of jeans
- 4 pairs of shorts
- 3 pairs of capri pants
- 16 pairs of pajama pants
- 30 pairs of socks
- 16 pairs of shoes
- 30 undergarments
- Grand Total of 292 pieces of clothing
I couldn’t believe it! I was slightly relieved to see that my total was under 300, but not by much! Going from 292 options to 7 will be an interesting experiment. I’ve been giving my 7 items a lot of thought and I figured I would share with you why I picked each piece.
- North Face Sweatshirt – It’s warm and comfy. It also has a hood. This might seem silly but the Washington rain really messes up my hair so if I don’t want to look like a drowned rat all week I’ll need something with a hood. The compromise is that this jacket isn’t waterproof. I really struggled with this sweatshirt or my waterproof Columbia jacket. Overall I decided for warmth and comfort this was the best pick.
- Polka Dot Shirt – I decided this shirt because it is nice enough to wear to work. It is also modest enough that I don’t need another layer (like a camisole) to wear with it. I layer with so many of tops that I needed a shirt that could be fine all on its own.
- Jeans – My favorite pair of jeans (enough said)
- Nike sneakers – This was another category I had a hard time with. I realize that sneakers aren’t going to match my work shirt the greatest, but I can only wear one pair of shoes the entire week so they better be comfortable. I like the boots I wear to work, but wearing them the entire week made my wardrobe too formal – with sneakers I can dress my outfit down a bit and not have to stay in work attire the entire week.
- Chicago T-shirt – This is my favorite t-shirt at the moment. It’s navy which is my favorite color to wear and matches the two other items I am about to list. I like the fact that I have a t-shirt that I can change into after work and not be dressed up for hanging out with students or at home. This t-shirt will go well with my sneakers and it wouldn’t go well my dress shoes.
- Pajama pants – I can’t live without pajama pants. They are comfy and I knew that some how I needed to work them into my list. I will wear my pajama pants and t-shirt while I wash my work outfit.
- Socks – They match my pajama pants and add a pop of color to my very navy/gray choices. I know that there will be a period of time where I will have to go barefoot so I can wash my socks, but I guess with blankets and heaters, I should be fine.
This week will be challenging for me in a couple of ways. My wardrobe doesn’t completely match – I’ll have mix what I view as comfort items with professional items. Normally I have two different wardrobes, my work one and my home one. I’m OCD and things that don’t go together like my work shirt and sneakers are going to have to for this week. Another challenge is I normally have 3 outfits a day – my work one, my evening one, and my pajamas. Usually I’ll come home and get into sweats before I change into my pajamas. If I want to get into my comfy clothes, I’m going straight to pajamas – even if that means changing into them at 4:00pm. The last thing that I think will be a challenge is that I have items that make me feel good – like my Tillamook sweatshirt. I decided that it wasn’t the most practical thing for the week, but I love it. It makes me feel happy. I’m actually wearing it today since I know that I won’t be wearing it again for a while. My sweatpants will be another comfort item I’ll miss. There are lot of clothes that I know I will miss this week. These are the challenges I think I will have. I’m interested to see if they really will bother me or not. I wonder what other things will come up from this challenge! I’ll be documenting and sharing the journey, so stay tuned!