Thursday, October 15, 2009

I think I'm going to try this

Ever since I read that article (see blog post below) and related articles (see comments links) I've been thinking about this concept, of wearing one dress for a month (or more!).

I want to try this. I want to see what would happen to me. I want to see if I can.

Perhaps it's just clothes. But this I do know: I've never had a comfortable relationship with clothes. (I've never felt comfortable in my own skin, for that matter.) Something is always skewed between me and my wardrobe. I often look at my available choices and wonder what idiot put them in my closet, and why would anyone want to wear that stuff? When it comes to clothes, I definitely suffer somewhat from a "mulitple personality" problem. The fact that I don't "fit" into the clothes in my closet(not talking about size here) is ancient history for me, and I bet you anything has something to do with being a "third culture kid".

What if an experiement in simplicity becomes a journey to acceptance? What if I go through it, and get beyond something in trying this, in doing this?

What if it is good for me????

I've looked at the little brown dress blog. I've looked at the uniform project. I referenced that article this morning. I even read a blog about someone who did it from a Christian perspective and then put up a nice little booth in what looks like an emergent "worship setting". All very interesting.

And I do have plenty of jackets, and cool scarves and such. But I wouldn't want this to be all about accessories.

Instead, I'd like to do this, and reflect on virtues of simplicity, acceptance, finding one's identity in Christ, dealing with the internal restlessness that wearing the same outfit day after day will bring about (I know me, it will).

I have one friend who almost lives this way, anyways. It's just who she is. I'm not like that, though. For me, this would be hard. But perhaps beyond the hard, it would be good for me, and on some level easy.

I want to do this, and blog about it.

But first, I'm going to need to find the right dress. Why not pick something I already own, you ask? Well, for one thing, I don't own a dress, and skirts and tops are invariably less simple and more cluttered.


So, I'd love suggestions on the perfect dress. Wes thinks I should order two...for practical laundry purposes. Seriously, give me suggestions.

Here are my ground rules for style: it has to be long. It has to be one solid color (I'm thinking very dark brown would be appropriate. I'm open to black (a bit too monastic, though) and I'm also open to dark gray. I tend to look best in A-line styles, but everything I've seen is above the knee, which is ugly on fat me. I wear a size 20.

One of these dresses might do, but I wonder if they are "current" enough:

Land's End

Not like anything much is going to look fabulous on me. Acceptance of which is part of the point of the exercise, I think....

20 comments:

Joi said...

What about a jumper? You can "accessorize" by the shirt you wear underneath it. I would love to do this, as I have the same love/hate relationship with clothes. I am all about comfort and have never really understood all the hullabaloo over fashion.

Brigid said...

A wrap dress might work. You could put pretty patterned shirts under it, and nice sweaters over it. I saw some pretty ones online.

A jumper would be a little more versatile, though, in terms of customization.

Just pick something you don't hate, okay?

Prisca: said...

how about any of these:
http://www.jjill.com/jjillonline/prodnav/viewall.aspx?pfid=31&BID=S20092890208473459134125F7486D89076B&h=W&sk=W

Xenia Kathryn said...

Awesome, Alana! This sounds great. I've been intrigued by the very idea, too. I look forward to what you learn and discover through the project. I think Brigid has good advice; pick something you don't hate :D

Alana said...

No Jumper: screams homeschooling frumpy mom. I know I AM a homeschooling frumpy mom, but it looses the simplicity of a dress because it requires a shirt.

Wrap dress: The police would come and haul me away if I wore any sort of wrap dress. A mile of cleavage is NOT winsome on an overweight 39 year old. Not the look I want to project.

JJill: Excellent suggestion. Except I'm not thin. At. All. And the lovely black A-line number is DRY CLEAN ONLY.

I wish I could find a dress of good quality and construction that was black or dark brown, with some stretch to it, 3/4 or long sleeves, ballet neckline in a simple A-line that falls just above the ankle, which would be challenging to find since I'm tall.

Perhaps I should be looking at the fabric store.

Rebecca said...

This is the dress DH and I picked (not exactly for a project like this, but for my practical purposes): http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M5535.htm?search=M5535&page=1

Best wishes!

Mimi said...

I actually really like the Land's End dress you linked.

Marsha said...

I love the Lands' End dress. I practically wear the same thing all the time anyway, I think I'd love it. No accessories either, just maybe different shoes...but then that's not my struggle LOL.

I'd rather have blue or even brown than the black, though, but then again that's just me.

Laura said...

I like the Lands End dress as well. Good luck!

Alana said...

OH yeah, totally the brown. Not black. Too austere. (I'd like the red one for Christmas, though.)

Victoria said...

http://www.travelsmith.com/jump.jsp?itemID=9142&itemType=PRODUCT&path=1%2C2%2C253%2C260%2C363&iProductID=9142&sortBy=0

How about this, in garnet?

I'm dismayed about limiting the field to brown, black, and gray! You're heading into winter when the *world* will be dark and gray. You would be beautiful in lovely dark crimson. Dignified but vibrant.

elizabeth said...

Hmmmmm.... I remember years ago one of my coworkers saying when she lived in England everyone wore the same things all the time and that this was NORMAL. sounds good to me.

The dress you linked to looks warm which is a good start for me! I get cold alot so I often avoid dresses/skirts unless I can wear pants underneath!!!

Ruth said...

Alana, I have really been intrigued by this idea and the links you posted. I hope you do blog about it - I will be following with interest.

Veiled Glory said...

Brave Soul. I like the Land's End number in brown. They have a ballet neck knit dress...but it is too short. Bah!

Ruth said...

BTW I blogged about this too.

Maria said...

Hey, Alana--I did this once for Lent before I was Orthodox. The entire time of Lent, except on Sundays, I restricted myself to two shirts, two pairs of pants, and a sweater. It was supposed to encourage me to focus less on vanity and more on prayer. An interesting experience, and humbling.

thegeekywife said...

Very nice project. Looking forward to hearing about it!

mary@evlogia said...

This is so interesting to me. I will be following along and seeing what you learn from your experience. I was just talking to a matushka friend of mine who told me that she had a friend who had only four outfits. It's seemed like a brilliant idea. I don't know if I could wear only one thing for a year, but I am also trying to struggle to find that which is simple and necessary. A very difficult struggle, indeed.

Amy said...

Very interesting! I've been trying to pare down my wardrobe to essentials for a long time now but I'm not very successful at the moment (too much up and down weight with babies, I think, to do it well).

I personally do not like corduroy in dresses, it doesn't hang right (on me) - too stiff and always winds up catching on the tights and hiking up weird. For every day I would want something I could practically forget I had on. :)

Best of luck with this project! I've always wanted to wear a habit, myself. ;-)

Rebecca said...

I wish you well on your experiment and on choosing the dress. Lands End washes well...

This is not particularly relevant but I grew up in Ireland and we didn't change clothes much - but it was always jeans. After college in America I lived with a girl with an extremely limited wardrobe (the 4 outfit type) - I was so intruiged and impressed but guess what? *I* got really tired of seeing the same thing day in and day out (she was fine). It felt physical. The funny thing is my husband wears one particular turtleneck after work and it has the same effect. By the end of winter my eyes hurt. But it's striped... Breakfast on the other hand... I could eat the same thing day in and day out my entire life. In fact I do. :) Along with my poor kids.