Know pain, know gain.

That’s what it says on the t-shirt I’m wearing, and for the first time in 6 weeks it isn’t one of ‘the six’.
I like this shirt and I thought this is quite appropriate to wear after weeks of clothing minimalism.
Was it painful? A little bit. I mean that inner sort-of-pain when you cannot do something because something is restricting you. In this case it was something as trivial as wearing clothes, but still. Especially, that I was putting that restriction on myself, so there was a bit of an inner battle going on. Wy am I doing it? Do I really?

It wasn’t helping when my friends were constantly reminding me of the fast that I’m wearing the same outfit AGAIN, or something isn’t appropriate to the occasion (it was fine!), or that I have so much clothing and I’m not wearing any of this. My boss told me that I don’t look like myself when she saw me after 3 weeks. That was one of the most surprising comments anyone made. I picked my favourite clothes and yet, they didn’t make me look like myself.

Half-way through the challenge I lost interest in what I was wearing. I would wear jeans and two tops for seven days straight. For me that was like not being able to enjoy my hobby. That’s what clothing is for me. My outfit reflects my mood, or I use clothes to put myself in a certain mindset. I guess that was partially because I picked clothing in a similar style and couldn’t play with them the way I wanted.

Another problem was my choice of fabrics. I picked a collection of vintage clothes, mostly made out of plasticky polyester. And while wearing fabrics like that is fine from time to time, wearing them for 6 weeks was a bit of a nightmare. I was ready to wear my pyjamas all day just so I get to wear something made out of a natural fibre.

That made me think, what if we would plan our wardrobes very, very wisely. so we can mix and match, so the fabrics are just right. Would that allow us to create wardrobes that are just perfect and need no addition? How many of us actually do that? Do we know what is the content of our wardrobes? There are phone apps designed to manage clothing, so we have all the necessary tools!

How about the ‘gain’ bit?
I’ve learnt quite a bit about myself and realised that I care about clothing maybe a little bit too much. It was easy for me to give up the most of my clothing at first, but towards the end of the challenge I was counting the days till the end. But I do know it’s possible, so maybe it’s just a matter of time… Maybe next time I won’t have any problems limiting the number of clothing I wear for a longer period of time.

Truth to be said, i did cheat a little bit with jackets, but on the day one it was -20 oC and now it’s like +20oC! There was no way to wear one jacket through out the challenge.
To me, completing this challenge was just a beginning. I think I have more questions than I have answers. It intrigues me how that challenge could be addressed by people in other environments? It was easy for me, because I work mostly from home and there is pretty much no dress code at my workplace. But let’s imagine a celebrity person wearing only 6 items of clothing? A woman in a men-dominated environment? A man or a woman in an image-based profession?

* the text was written on Sunday, on my way to Berlin. I finally got a hold of the Internet!

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