Sunday, October 17, 2010

Challenge: Express Lane Checkout -- Starting today!

Again, obsessed with my own consumerism and "stuff," I am taking up Duchesse's challenge, which comes out of the Six items or Less challenge.

From October 17 to November 14, I'll be wearing the same rotating series of pieces. To work, to social events, etc.

First, my 15 items (After all, express lanes are 15 items or less, n'est-ce pas?):
  1. straight-leg jeans (of course!)
  2. black trousers
  3. black pencil skirt
  4. black gored skirt
  5. white V-neck tshirt
  6. black V-neck tshirt
  7. white shirt
  8. blue shirt
  9. red silk tunic
  10. purple pullover tunic
  11. black V-neck pullover
  12. black turtleneck
  13. black sweater dress
  14. black open cardigan
  15. long blue cardigan
Obviously, that's a lot of black. Especially for Big D. But I wear a lot of black anyway, and this will make me focus on using my accessories--especially scarves and shoes--creatively. The tshirts are staples for me: I wear them as layering constantly, under pullovers and shirts in a climate that is always cockeyed in terms of temperatures.

One of my decluttering goals is to eliminate duplicates and extras in areas like clothing. Do I really need three red sweaters, all with different necklines or weights? Can I get along with one? Ditto blue, and turquoise, and purple, and gray, and brown, all my go-to colors.

The philosophical issue here is also key. I am someone who loves clothes, style, dressing up, experimenting with different looks--always have, from the first moment I started making clothes for my Barbies and saying a definitive "no!" to saddle shoes (had to wear them anyway, and did not like it!). But style is different than fashion, yo, and as a woman now in her mid-life, short, and battling weight, I am aware that I am not the demographic for designers. And anyway, who wants to be owned by her clothes?

When I went back to teaching after my '08 sabbatical (pardon me, research leave), I spent a semester actually living this experiment without knowing it. I wore only the following: jeans (2 pair), black pants, black pin-striped pants, black cashmere pullover, brown cashmere pullover, white tshirt, black tshirt, gray tshirt. At least four days a week I rotated these options (8 choices). I didn't even vary accessories: I wore the same two scarves, same two pairs of ankle boots, same two skinny belts, and a few pairs of earrings.

The result: No one noticed!

Or at least, no one said anything to me. Somewhere around March, I thought, "Is this a problem?" and went on. Threw out the tshirts in May and bought three duplicates (at Target). Sooooooooooooooo.... ???

My goals here:
1. to disconnect from clothes I don't wear so I can consign/Goodwill them
2. to utilize scarves and throws to the max, and discard the ones I don't wear
3. ditto earrings, necklaces, pins, and other jewelry
4. to spark creativity in a new way
5. to re-think my relationship to clothes, style, and my body
6. to save money by not spending on clothes (especially clothes I don't wear!)
7. to develop appropriate and appealing outfits for the life I live, not the life I used to live or don't live.

Reports and updates every week, probably on Friday or Saturday.

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