I own 173 items of clothing. One hundred and seventy three dresses, skirts, pants, shirts, blazers–and that’s not even counting winter clothes. Oh, and twenty two pairs of shoes.
(If you’re curious, the average American woman apparently has 90 items in her closet, but apparently, I go big or go home.)
Over the weekend, I read “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker, which I seriously recommend. The author outlines seven areas of excess & eliminates each for one month. The book absolutely wrecked my thinking on excess and waste. I complain about the lack of money in my life, but honestly, I think it’s just because I’ve been wasting it!
I mean, clearly, I just have to take a look at my closet at my 173 items of clothes and 22 pairs of shoes to know that’s true. I love thrift shopping and the thrill of the cheap purchase, but who am I kidding, usually the novelty of the price lasts longer than my actual interest in the item. I’ve always enjoyed fashion and style (throwback to when I was a fashion columnist for my university’s newspaper) but this is ridiculous. I could clothe 5 women plus me with all the things I own and never wear.
So many people go without proper clothing or shoes–how can I be so greedy? When I was in Mexico this past June, I learned that those who are homebound and cannot work sell whatever clothing they can find as their sole income–something I seriously take for granted as I peruse my closet and have “nothing to wear.” My “trash” could be someone else’s lifeline.
As Jen Hatmaker wrote, “I’m tired of calling the suffering “brothers and sisters” when I’d never allow my biological siblings to suffer likewise. That’s just hypocrisy veiled in altruism. I won’t defile my blessings by imagining I deserve them.”
I don’t need or deserve to have a huge wardrobe. So, I’m reducing my wardrobe by 25%–that means giving away nearly 50 items of clothing or shoes. I’m not sure if I’ll hold a block party garage sale & donate the money, clothing swap, or just donate them to a ministry, but I’m doing something!
Stay tuned! (I need the public accountability!) Anyone want to join in?