If you’re just joining us for The Stuff Series, welcome! This is a series all about our stuff, how we relate to it, and what we should do with it. I say “we”, because it’s been a great dialogue between myself and my readers. Just go back and read the comments for suggestions, insights, and some inspiring stories.
In this post, let’s chat about our wardrobes. Those who have purse habits and entire shoe rooms are sweating right now.
Don’t worry, though! The purpose of this series isn’t to encourage you to purge everything and live a minimal lifestyle. The purpose is to encourage you to really think about your stuff and why you have it.
How does your stuff make you feel? Do you love it? Does it serve you is some way?
Or does it make you feel overwhelmed? Is it a burden? Are you surrounded by things in your home, in your sanctuary, that draw out negative emotions like failure and sorrow?
That’s why we’re talking about stuff. And, since I’m in the process of moving, I am hip-deep in making decisions about stuff, and it helps me to write about it!
Now, I thought talking about our wardrobes would be pretty simple, but I realized that there are a lot of emotions even when sorting through jeans and socks. Well, maybe not socks…
But, what I found as I was sorting through my closet, is that I am holding onto a lot of clothes that, quite honestly, make me feel like a failure. They are folded monuments to weight-loss ventures that didn’t stick long-term. It’s nice to have “goal jeans”, but a stack of “goal jeans”? An entire group of clothes that are off limits until I “get my act together”?
And what if I have that one pair of goal jeans that I never get back into? Should that be the only measuring stick for success? Let’s say I exercise and I eat sensibly and I feel strong and amazing and I never fit into those goal jeans. Is that failure?
Then, there are the clothes that we love, but they don’t fit properly. It’s not that they are too small, but maybe they are too big, the shoulders pull, the neck gapes, or they are just unflattering. We keep them hanging in the wardrobe, because we are sure that they will look amazing the sixth time we try them on!
And what about those cute strappy shoes that you can wear for 30 minutes max before a blister starts to form? Or the boots that were an impulse purchase, but the heel is too high for you to walk without looking like one foot just bumbled into a pothole?
All of the clothes and shoes that fit in those categories just suck joy and contentment out of our lives.
I could wear that shirt if my shoulders weren’t so broad. I could wear those jeans if my hips were slimmer. I could wear those shoes if I didn’t have bunions.
These clothes can stuff us into the box of wishing and wanting. Wishing we were thinner, taller, shorter, younger, etc…
And our stuff, that is there for us and we voluntarily bring into our homes, shouldn’t make us feel that way.
Think about your favorite outfit. The one you wear when you want to conquer the world. Imagine if all, well, let’s say even 80%, of your clothes made you feel that way. And that becomes your deciding factor when you’re staring at a frock in the dressing room mirror.
Can I conquer the world in this?
Imagine how much better at clothes shopping we would be and how much more we would love getting dressed in the morning if the answer to that question was “yes”.
Since I’m moving, I started sorting through my wardrobe a few weeks ago. I pulled out all of the things that I don’t wear regularly…anything that wasn’t a “go-to”. Some went to the yard sale and some went in boxes. Once my wardrobe was thinned out to just what I wear regularly, I realized how much more I enjoyed it! It was almost alarmingly sparse compared to a typical American female’s wardrobe, but it was more than ample. I didn’t have to dig through shirts to pick out my favorite. There wasn’t angst as I was selecting an outfit for church. I could reach in, almost without looking, and pluck out something that I could slip on without a second thought. It was refreshing.
So, let’s comb through our wardrobes with a new goal in mind. Your clothes are there for you and they should make you feel confident and beautiful and amazing. And if they don’t, they are no longer there for you.
If getting rid of clothes is hard for you, just remember that dress, blouse, or skirt in question just might be the article that will help another woman feel like she can conquer the world.
And you wouldn’t want to deprive her of that, now, would you?
Disclaimer: The definition of “conquer the world” as used in this post simply means you feel good about yourself and how God made you. I have no intentions to actually conquer the world and I hope you don’t either.