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It literally drove my wife nuts. As I was preparing (the day before leaving) for a mission trip, I needed to pick up a couple new pairs of ‘missions pants’. I was in and out of 3 stores in about 30 minutes, and had tried on several pairs of pants, and ended up purchasing the two best pairs.

Granted, I know that shopping for clothes isn’t that simple for everyone (especially those of the non-male gender). But one thing that I won’t soon forget in this example is how easy it is for me to deal with my need for clothing.

But when I say ‘need’, I feel like I need to qualify that. I mean, the idea that I somehow ‘needed’ some separate pants to wear on a trip out of the country that weren’t part of my regular wardrobe either says something about my wardrobe or my need to protect certain images that I have of myself. After all, I’d hate to get Haiti mud all over something that I’ll have to wear to work when I get home.

As I read through Month Two: Clothes in Jen Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, that’s one thing that stands out in my mind (and heart).

This whole clothing thing has a lot more to do with how we view ourselves than what other people actually think of us. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, then we’d have to admit that we all have some serious self-image issues. And before I walk out a single day in clothing month, that’s something that I’m already thinking and praying about.

So this month, I’m limiting my wardrobe to seven key items. Like Jen, I’m not counting under-garments. The only accessory that I’ll be wearing is my wedding band (so that the ladies don’t get any funny ideas). But unlike Jen, I’m not counting shoes as an item. Why? Well, I’m a dude… which means that I don’t have piles of shoes to choose from. Shoes are merely a utility item, not a fancy accessory. So the pieces that I am focusing on for my wardrobe this month:

  • 3 pant items: one pair of dress pants, one pair of jeans, and one pair of shorts
  • 4 shirts: one shirt with a work company logo, two dressy-ish shirts that could go with any of the pant options, and one (#theunlikelymissionary) t-shirt

I might just even go through the closet and take a bunch of my gently used items to the ‘Acts 5th Avenue’ clothing closet that my church runs. But I’m wondering if I can add those to my counts for next month (possessions month) when I’ll have to give away 7 items per day…

What are you doing? How are taking on this challenge this month?


Are you a participating?

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[the 7 project] at bibledude.net: an experimental mutiny against excess

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