Maybe all week is a bit of an exaggeration, but I DO wear my favorite pair of pants, gray jeans, 3-4 days out of the week. Here’s how I get away with it, and why.
Why, you ask, do I wear the same pair of pants so much of the week? Let me explain.
Cleaning out my closet was one of the most freeing aspects of simple living for me. I’ve never been a person who loves shopping for clothes and shoes to begin with. I like looking well dressed and put together just as much as the next person, but I didn’t want the process to take hours every day, nor did I want to regularly spend time and money searching for the newest pieces of clothes that were trending to add to my wardrobe.
Before I came across minimalism and Project 333 by Courtney Carver, getting dressed in the morning was a chore and a stress I didn’t even realize was there. Looking at all of the clothing hanging in my closet, trying to decide which pieces to wear, what colors went with each other and don’t even get me started on trying to figure out matching pattern pieces! It was just too much for me to deal with each day along with trying to get three kids ready too, so most of the time I opted for my favorite pair of jeans and a random shirt, after all, anything goes with jeans, right?
When I first headed down the simple living road, I came across Project 333, and immediately felt like I had been given permission to get rid of all those clothes that were staring me down everyday. Those pieces that I was supposed to like because they were in style, but I just didn’t. A huge weight was lifted, figuratively and literally, as I dumped almost all of my pants, shirts, skirts, cardigans, jackets and shoes that I didn’t really like into bags and took them to the donation center.
I had 23 pieces of clothing left between pants and shirts. I was free.
That was the beginning of my minimalism journey as it pertained to my wardrobe. Since then, I have been very careful to add only clothing that I absolutely love and feel like I look great when I wear them. I also employ the ‘one in, one out’ rule religiously, which keeps me on track with spending, since I have to decide what piece I am going to get rid of if I bring something new home, and it also keeps my closet pared down to what I actually love and wear.
Hence, the gray pants.
How, you ask, do I get away with wearing the same pair of pants all the time? Let me explain.
Pants, skirts, shorts, jeans…whatever you are wearing on your bottom half isn’t nearly as noticeable as you think. It turns out we worry about people seeing us in the same clothes 100% more than any other person worries about seeing us in it.
When was the last time you thought, “If I see Jane wearing that same black skirt she wore yesterday, I think I’ll just die of embarrassment”, or “If Bill shows up to the office with that blue tie on again, I don’t know how I’ll survive the day.” Right, it just doesn’t happen.
Unless you are working at a fashion magazine or high-end clothing store, no one is paying attention to what you wear each day as much as you are. The sooner you let go of the notion that people have so much extra time on their hands and they are going to spend it keeping track of what clothes you put on each day, the better.
Most mornings I don my favorite pair of gray pants, then I choose from various colors and patterns of shirts and maybe a light sweater or cardigan, all of which go with those same gray pants, so it is effortless matching. I normally put on some earrings and maybe a necklace to accessorize. I’ve never once had any comments about my outfits other than compliments, and I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now. It is wonderful to feel like I am looking my best each day, comfortable in my clothing, and there wasn’t any stress associated with getting dressed.
Even though I pared down my closet to only those items that were comfortable and fit well, I still struggled with what colors and patterns looked good on me for my skin tone and hair color. My mom and sister-in-law introduced me to a program called Dressing Your Truth, which utilizes a color card and pattern matching in line with your personality type to help you choose clothing that will look fabulous on you. It worked wonders for me and made my clothing shopping an even simpler experience! When I need to replace an old shirt, I just grab my color card and head to the store to pick something out that I know will match the rest of my wardrobe.
If you are like I was, stressed each day with something as simple as getting dressed, take some time and do this-
Remove all clothing from your closet and/or dresser that you have not worn in the past 6 months, unless it is seasonal. If you did wear it during the last season, then keep it. Put all the clothing you are not wearing in a plastic bag or box and move it to the garage or out of sight, or donate if you can take that step.
Survey what you have left. You probably have around 20% of your original clothing left. The Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule) usually comes into play in our wardrobes, where we actually wear only 20% of what we own. Do you absolutely LOVE the pieces in your closet now? If you still have some, ‘sort of like’ pieces in there, take them out and add them to the box or bag.
Before you run out and purchase new clothing to fill up the empty space in your closet, visit Courtney Carver’s Project 333 site, and Dressing Your Truth. You want to be very intentional about what you put back in your wardrobe from this point forward, it isn’t the number of pieces you own, it’s more about how you wear them.
Today, I have 17 tops and 7 pairs of pants in my closet. I do have a couple of pairs of shorts for the summer, and 3 light outer sweaters to wear during the cooler days. I also keep a few dresses around just in case I need them. I could probably still get rid of 3 more pairs of pants, but I like to keep them around for camping and cooking around the grill. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze, and I always love what I am wearing. I’m 99% sure people are noticing the smile that puts on my face much more than they are noticing my favorite gray pants I’ve got on, again.