Baby Steps Towards Plain: Definitions

One of the things keeping me from jumping whole hog into wearing "plain" clothes is that "plain" as traditionally defined by the religious groups that practice it, is almost "costumey". One of the motivations is that they be "distinctive from the world".

However, in my little project, I need to find a happy medium. What does "plain" mean for me in my more urban context (people do dress differently here than they do in small town USA)?

I came across a wonderful definition of clothing versus costume that I want to share:
Costume could be anything we're wearing that is about deliberately projecting an image that's not aligned with our spirit & environment.
And in thinking about all of this, the other thing that comes to mind is that it's more about what's in my heart than what's on my body, although I believe that the outside will reflect the inside.

So my baby steps towards plain are going to involve more musings about my vanity, my attitudes, my simplicity of heart than they will about revamping my wardrobe or making/acquiring new clothes.

Having said that, I did make a wonderful brown jumper the other day and it is SO COMFORTABLE. And it feels "plain" when I wear it. Sort of a modern day plain. Not old fashioned. Not fashionable at all, but rather nondescript to the point of not even being "unfashionable". THAT is what I am aiming for: No drama. Just clothes.


Rebecca said…
I'm going to be listening to what you have to say on this topic with interest! I've always been drawn toward dressing plain ... and while we were in WI, I went that way a lot, but I didn't stick out because we were in the midst of an Amish community. But when we moved to the West Coast, in a city, I had to put away those clothes, because they would stand out way too much, and be confusing. And costume-like.

Right now, with my weight in flux, I'm mostly wearing workout clothes (blah), because we can only afford to buy a few things at a time, and those can be a little baggy while we are waiting for the next size down. :-P But I want to do something else, someday.
Anonymous said…
My humble opinion in this area is that plainness refers to not obsessing over how one will 'look' in the outfit, but that it covers the requirements for accomplishing ones' work here on earth! When my small son played in his concerts, I made his outfits in interesting fabrics, with fit and maneuverability in mind since he was a violinist, as well as the silhouette, plus functional in a way that his older cousin could wear them first so he could wear 'hand-me-downs'. That was a challenge! His older cousin by a year was a girl! Unisex (slacks and a bolero or vest or other top) clothing fashionable for a small young boy or girl... .

I needed a new eyeglass prescription, so after the exam, the optometrist asked if I would want new frames. I thought at first, no, but then remembered that the previous pair kept for a spare had a 10 year-old prescription, and decided the present pair would be an acceptable spare. So, I told Patty, the eyeglass specialist, that it was time for new frames and that they would need to be a. metal (flexible instead of breakable), b. flex-hinges (again, flexible instead of breakable), c. rolled on the bottom so it wouldn't cut into my high cheeks, d. not too trendy--since I intend to wear them easily for the next decade and need to be timeless to a certain degree, but common enough to find replacement lenses when the prescription changes, and f. within $50.00 - 100.00 price range. Other people have different criteria, but those were my 'plain' qualifications, and not based solely on whether or not they enhanced my features, matched my hair tones, or in my favorite color. So, I guess my definition of plain is 'not ostentatious enough to have to maintain an image to continue wearing'.

Take care--it's nice to enjoy a cuppa decaf this morning.

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