My thoughts on Clothes

Welcome to jana’s three dresses! I am currently reading  “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. Here are some of my thoughts after pondering over her second chapter. I hope you will offer your comments at the end of this post or at my Facebook page.



I went tent camping over Labor Day weekend. I enjoy camping. I really do. My husband I backpacked and tent camped in the Pacific Northwest often while we were dating. He appreciated my sense of adventure and willingness to work hard. I appreciated his passion for nature and enthusiasm for new experiences.

Last weekend became my “experimental mutiny against excess” in the area of clothes {a phrase I am borrowing from Jen Hatmaker}.

Just before leaving, I threw into my bag three pairs of shorts, three t-shirts, two bathing suits, a few underwear, a couple of sports bras, and a set of pjs. Two pairs of shoes {flip flops and Keen sandals} and a few basic toiletries completed my packing list. I didn’t care if the shirts and shorts matched. I was going for comfort and a light pack.

Freedom from excess.

But, my daily life is not this easy, breezy.

The reality is that I require, I am sure like many of you, different “uniforms” for the different hats I wear. My husband’s career as an officer in the Air Force regularly requires that I dress up for luncheons, balls, meetings, spouse’s events, chapel, and socials. From ball gowns to comfy, casual {but not too casual}, I have got it covered.

With that said, it is rather unrealistic for me to choose seven articles of clothing from my closet to wear for the next month.

I am in awe of Jen Hatmaker who obviously pulled it off well! I admit, I tremendously enjoyed reading about her wearing wet jeans and the fact that she determined she had 327 items in her closet. She is laugh out loud funny in her prose and completely entertaining.

I often had to remind myself while reading this chapter, that her point wasn’t entirely to make me laugh. It is to make me act!

Okay. So, here is my first commitment. I am saying this out loud to you readers, in an effort to hold myself accountable.

I. Will. Stay. Within. My. Clothing. Budget.

Phew! It is on paper, in lights as they say. So now, I must abide.

Yes, I have a specific dollar amount designated every month as my clothing money. And, yes, I admit, I often go over it.

But, I do have a gracious husband, who kindly smiles and allows me to move money from another envelope in order to cover my lack of self-control.

“But, I really needed those shoes to go with that skirt.”

“I got a great deal on this dress. If I don’t buy it now, I won’t find another when I really need it.”

I am really good at justifying my spending when it comes to clothes.

My second commitment is that I will purge my closet. I thought I did a pretty good job at this before we moved. But, just yesterday, I pulled out two shirts I never wear.

I will be praying for self-control. I just don’t need any clothes. That is the honest truth. I have everything I could possibly require. Yet, temptation is all around me.

I receive a lot of clothing catalogs. Temptations.

So, I might look through them for fun, but I will immediately pitch them before I get any crazy ideas.

I am appreciative of the fact that Jen Hatmaker, in her witty way is reminding me once again that I am so fortunate. I don’t have need for anything. I take this for granted. Lord, please forgive me.

Finally, while I reflect on the excess in my life, I am realizing the burden I feel due to the bounty I possess.

More to account for.

More to fix.

More to take care of.

More to wash.

More to put away.

Over Labor Day weekend, I had 10 articles of clothing {not including my undergarments and pjs}. And you know what? I survived. Even better, I was free from the burden of caring what I looked like. I was at rest. Able to enjoy my husband and children and the great outdoors without wondering what kind of fashion statement I was making. I liked that feeling. Could this experience of freedom be something I could carry over into my everyday life? Am I missing something?

newly purposed, 




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4 thoughts on “My thoughts on Clothes

  1. I like the simplicity of vacation wear too – perhaps it’s because we only wear one hat during that time – REST!

    Re: clothing budget/purging. I saw a great link from Ann Voskamp’s blog yesterday on 52 organizing ideas. One was to hang the clothes in your closet with the hanger on the reverse side (you hook it on from the back, if that makes sense). Then when you wear an item replace it on the hanger the normal way. At the end of the year (or whatever time limit), the idea is to donate the clothes that never made it off the hanger.

    • Thank you, Andrea. I like that tip! I feel like I have come to a screeching halt in my “7” process. God is opening my eyes to see the excess in my home. I can’t help but feel the need to purge. It is a powerful force that cannot be denied. I have a big project ahead of me. But, I believe it going to be a rewarding one! jana

  2. Oh, if only we could wear camping clothes all the time! So comfy, so easy!

    After reading J. Hatmaker’s chapter on clothes, I decided to count mine. I consider myself fairly minimalist when it comes to clothes. I thought an actual count might help put me in perspective. So, I have 144 pieces of clothing including shoes, scarves, formals, snow gear, running clothes(a lot of running clothes), etc. I didn’t count underwear, socks, bras or pantyhose. Not too bad. If only I actually wore them! I have so many clothes that just never get used! I find that I wear the same 6 or 7 tops all the time. The rest just hang in the closet. I could absolutely live in Little House on the Prairie times–one work dress, one Sunday dress, one extra. So why do I have so many extras?

    I have an acquaintance, Abby Sasscer, who wrote a book called “Simplifying Your Domestic Church.”
    She spoke to our moms group when I lived in VA about simplifying our lives in order to make room for Christ. She sets a great example by keeping only a few pieces of clothing–no stock piles for each season, not even for her kids. When they outgrow something, she passes it on and allows God to provide for her family with complete trust, knowing that they will find clothing through hand-me-downs from friends, thrift shops, etc. I wish I had that much trust on God.

    • Thank you, Michelle. I began counting and reached 200 articles. And, I still wasn’t done!! Yikes. I plan to purge next. I thought I was doing pretty good. Clearly I need to refresh and begin again with a new perspective. jana

I would love to hear from you!