Thursday, February 24, 2011

The simple life

With the second month of my challenge almost coming to a close, I must admit I am feeling pretty proud of myself! I am so thankful for the support of my friends and thrilled with the interest in this subject, but the biggest surprise so far has been the differing opinions on the difficulty of the challenge. The women in my life have been in awe of my commitment and ability to give up shopping for a whole year, whereas most of the men have been relatively unimpressed. From my guy friends, I have heard things like....."Good! You don't need more clothes anyway" or "No shopping for a year? Big deal....I could do that easily." I can't help but wonder why there is such a gender division when it comes to opinions about shopping? So I started to think about why I are my top reasons for shopping:

  • Boredom
  • To buy a new outfit for upcoming occasion
  • Feeling down
  • Celebrate a accomplishment
  • Reward good behavior ie. I went for a run everyday this week, so therefore I deserve a new dress.
  • New job=new clothes
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Replace an item lost/ruined
  • Something to do on a rainy day
  • For fun

Need I go on? The point is that women have so many more reasons to shop than men. So of course the women are more understanding of what it takes to give up such a big part of my life for a year! They don't like shopping anyway, so it would be easy to stop, right? I know there are obvious exceptions to this, but I remember reading a study in my undergrad Geography and Gender class entitled "Men buy, Women Shop". In a nutshell, the study showed that, generally speaking, men shop when they need something and would rather be in and out as quickly as possible, whereas women are more likely to enjoy the experience. I have definitely been on my fair share of mission-based shopping expeditions (you know the type.....I need a flowy, floral print shirt that buttons up and has short sleeves, in green or purple and I can't spend more than $40....then I wonder why I am disappointed when I don't find it) but I also know that some of my best finds were from aimless outings where I wandered into a cute shop on a whim only to find my new fave sweater. Hmmmmm, now that I think about it.....those are also the kind of outings that result in buyer's remorse....maybe us girls could learn a thing or two from the guys. Think about how different our wardrobes would look if we only shopped when we needed something and only bought what we loved....not to mention how easy it would be to get dressed in the morning! I think that is the other reason women find this challenge more impressive than guys. Have you ever thought about many options women have compared to men? Think about it.....every morning we choose between dress pants, shorts, skirts, jeans, casual pants or a dress then we have the options for tops....tanks, tees, blouses, long-sleeved tees, 3/4 sleeved tees, combined with something for warmth of course because I know I get cold so we have cardigans, pullovers, sweatshirts or blazers....not to mention the shoes....flats, flip-flops, sneakers, boots, or heels? Decisions, decisions, decisions....the combinations are endless and that is without even considering colour, season, style, occasion and feeling! Guys on the other hand have three decisions to make. Dressy jeans or casual jeans? Collar or no collar? Casual shoes or dress shoes? Ahhhh the simple life. Of course I am exaggerating for effect, because I definitely have a few guy friends with larger wardrobes than me and my husband has on occasion been known to take as long as me to choose an outfit! My point is that I can see where some of the guys' opinions are coming from because they see it as being easy to shop only in your own closet for the year when you have that many options! I know my husband never understands my need to buy anything new for this very reason....he thinks that the more clothes you have, the less you need to shop and buy more. I guess I am realizing that he is probably right! Most of us could probably cut our wardrobes at least in half and still have a variety of clothing to choose from. I know a lot of my friends have expressed that since reading my blog they are starting to be more aware of how much clothing they have and thinking more before they shop.......
so I hope that this post inspires you to start shopping and dressing like a guy......not literally of course. Pare down your wardrobe to what you love and wear often, then only buy what you truly need from now on! I guarantee that doing these two things will give your closet some breathing space, simplify your mornings and spark your creativity to accessorize and repurpose.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lindsay! Great to hear you're doing so well with your challenge. You're almost through the first quarter! :) Your posts are great.
    I'm doing a follow up on the six item challenge next week with the Marilyn Denis show and I told the producers about what you're doing and they would love to connect with you to chat about the challenge you're doing. Is it ok to pass along your contact info? If so, could you email with the best email and #? Thanks!!