[the 7 project] month two: clothes

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

April 2, 2012

[serialposts]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?

Then we want to hear your stories! Feel free to jump into the discussion here in the comments anytime throughout the month. If you have blog then you can use the banner image below to show people that your [the 7 project] stories are a part of this project, and then use the linky tool to share the links to your blog post (or Facebook Notes) so others can visit and encourage you.

Our hope is that this online community will become a sort of virtual ‘council’ where we can support and encourage each other as we walk this out together!

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

(Note: Right-click and “Save as…”. Then upload to your blog linking the image back to this or any of the other [the 7 project] posts.)

21 Comments

  1. Debbie Kelly

    I love your committment to this project….as a funny aside to the clothes blog…there is an ad on the side bar for Jos A. Banks, the male clothing company!! LOL. Miss you!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      LOL… and the food ads on last month’s food month post were killin’ me!

      Reply
  2. Maja Burton

    I’m so glad food month is over. what a challenge! I loved the simplicity of the food, though, and will try to keep close to that – just with a little more variety.
    Really excited for this month – kind of. The fast will be easy for me (as long as my jeans don’t get too tight after going back to “regular” food). I’m a stay at home mom and am almost never involved in anything where jeans and a t-shirt are not appropriate attire. But like Jen said, it’s going to be a challenge to stay focused on God and aware of what He’s trying to show me. I’m ready!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      i told @jenhatmaker:twitter how happy i was now that food month was over. it was definitely tough, but i learned some pretty deep lessons and gained perspective that i wouldn’t have been able to any other way. glad i did it.

      i look forward to hearing more about your experience this month!

      Reply
    • Deirdre

       I’m also a stay at home mom and did the clothing fast a short while ago. God had a funny way of surprising me. Just when I thought I had chosen the right clothing, I had some unexpected events pop up in my schedule and suddenly I felt very self conscious of my clothing. My friends gave me a free ticket to the Mandisa concert and I did not have “glam” clothes to wear to it. It was a good, challenging experience.

      Reply
      • @bibledude

        how did you deal with the need for “glam” at the Mandisa concert? i just ran into a similar issue with an Easter party that my wife asked me to wear something not in my clothing list. and honestly, i broke the ‘fast’ for the event since i didn’t think through my picks to make sure that i was color coordinated for everything that might come up through the month. the good news is that it was a simple as adding a ‘special Easter event’ shirt… i was able to maintain my clothing list for pants, etc.

        Reply
        • Tessy Fuller

           Ran into the same thing when I attended a NeedtoBreathe concert.  I ended up painting my fingernails wacky colors to compensate.  🙂

          Reply
          • @bibledude

            LOL… I’d probably look pretty funny if I painted my fingernails a funky color…

  3. Deirdre

    I would have to agree with Jen, clothing was the easiest in comparison to the other months, but it did bother me slightly when I would wear ‘not exactly clean fresh out of the closet’ clothes. 

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      ugh… i hate it when i can smell myself… i get paranoid that everyone else within 50 feet of me can smell it much stronger than i can…

      #thingsthatineedtogetover

      Reply
  4. Brooke F

    i would love to participate this month, but it’ll take a bit of creativity on my part.  as Jen said, I’m one of those ladies that wear many (figurative) hats.  I need business casual stuff for work, workout clothing, and casual stuff for going out with friends or meeting my husband’s clients for dinner (he only ever wears jeans, so i like us to “match” as far as level of dressiness when we go out).

    God’s already been dealing with me in this area – i’ve already purged boxes of stuff but there is till plenty more where that came from!  

    when i offered to lend my friend dress pants (she was losing weight from having a baby and didn’t have any in the size she needed) i had no clue she was the size i wear currently – i was hoping to pull from my skinny clothes.  instead i found myself giving her half of my current rotation.  turns out – half my wardrobe was plenty for each of us.  

    i’m sure the more i pair down the more i’ll realize how much easier life would be, its just so overwhelming at this point!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      yeah… i’m kind of in the same boat. but i decided that i’m already buff enough, so i’m skipping the workout clothes. it’s tough limiting myself to one pair of work pants when i’m used to wearing a different pair every day of the week. but so far, so good… nobody has made fun of me yet!

      i’d probably say that you could build in a little clause for special ‘utility’ items for stuff like workouts, etc. that might help you get the big experience with the rest of the day to day…

      let me know what you decide, and how it goes for you if you decide to jump in this month!

      Reply
  5. Jo-Anne Mazurat-Orlesky

    Starting my journey today with 7. Started my own blog on it so I am accountable for what happens and when I want to quit which i know will happen I will have ppl there to tell me to keep going.

    Reply
    • Maja Burton

      It really is helpful to have people that know what you’re doing to keep you accountable to it. I really needed that to make it through food month! Clothes month has been easy for me, but I know I’ll need the “peer pressure” to get me through some of the other months 🙂

      Reply
      • @bibledude

        Clothes month has been a little easier for me too… but I definitely still have some ‘revelations’ that are stirring up this month. But at least my stomach isn’t grumbling all day long!

        Reply
    • Tessy Fuller

       What is your blog url?  Would love to follow!!

      Reply
    • @bibledude

      Please share your posts over here! I’d love to keep up with how it’s going for you, and try to send a few other readers your way…

      Reply
  6. Tamara

    The food month wasn’t so bad…but clothing month for me, I REALLY stuggle with.  I love my clothes and my accessories!  I decided to ‘clean out’ my closet this month instead were anything I haven’t worn in 6 months gets tossed (unless it’s a weather reason) and then readdress clothing month at the end of the series (yes, still in denial of how much I love my clothes and accessories).  I was surprised at how FULL my closet was after filling TWO large garbage bags full of clothes….UG!  Yes, talk about over indulgence!

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      Wow! That’s crazy! I’m having a much easier time with the clothes thing in DOING it, but I’m still blown away by the excess I have. I have to actually count it still, but I don’t even consider myself ‘excessive’ in this area… until I look at how much I have that I never use…

      Do you have a blog or anything where you’re sharing more details of your experience? Maybe a Facebook note? I’d love to have you share any links you have here… Regardless, thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  7. Tessy Fuller

    Jumping in with this group!  Jen sent me over.  I am flip-flopped with you at the moment.  I did clothing last month and this month I am doing food — but next month will be where everyone is. 

    I am laughing at reading everyone’s comments about being “smelly”.  I ended up only having about 2 shirts to wear b/c spring decided to come early and that put my plain long sleeved shirt as unwearable.  I’m pretty stringent so I wouldn’t even allow myself to swap out. 

    Coming out of that challenge a lesson was learned – instead of buying new Easter outfits for the family (we usually do every year) — I found perfectly nice outfits we already owned and what I didn’t spend we are sending to help build a school in the Congo. (DRC) 

    Reply
    • @bibledude

      Thanks for checking it! It’s great to hear more voices and experiences here with a project like this. I love that you’re sending your savings to help build a school in the DRC! That’s just really cool! I’m planning on a couple of related posts here this month that take a look at some other cool projects and initiatives that people can get something more out of clothes month.

      And I have to be honest… I’m not looking forward to next month… I’m glad to have someone else following along who I can commiserate with… 

      Reply

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[the 7 project] month two: clothes

by Dan King time to read: 3 min
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