So, as I tooled around on the internet, looking at Web sites about living simply and within your means, I stumbled upon Alex Martin's project, Little Brown Dress. One women made the decision to wear the same dress for one year. It was her own way of combating the culture that tells people what to wear constantly, feeding off their insecurities and driving them to consume, consume, consume!
Well, I loved this idea. While I'm not ready to only wear one dress for the year (though doing so in Texas would be a lot easier,weather-wise, than in Alex Martin's home, Seattle), I am tired of worrying about how I look, what I'm wearing, and if I'm cool enough. I already know the answers: I look fine, I'm wearing clothes that aren't tattered or torn and therefore generally presentable, and I'm never going to be "cool" enough for some.
Upon reflection, most people don't look that "cool," and most people are more worried about something in their own lives to notice that I'm not hip. Or maybe not, but that's what I tell myself.
But here's what I've learned in my 22 years... In Ghana, I had one week's worth of clothing, half of it home-made, that I wore for 4 months. The same A-line skirt pattern with a variety of breezy cotton fabrics, cotton t-shirts, and one pair of cotton pants were rotated in order to make my wardrobe work each week. For a while, I washed them by hand. And I learned that I didn't miss the rest of my clothes. When packing for trips, I tend to select the items that can be worn on several occasions with various pieces. When I went to Egypt for 10 days, I wanted more room for souvenirs, not clothes. So I wore my jacket on the plane, and packed a few tops, some slacks and a few skirts. My only regret would be packing clothes that were more tailored to my body. (I operated under the assumption that I needed to dress VERY modestly in Cairo. Most women were well covered, but their clothes were closer-fitting than mine. But hey, at least I wasn't asked to wear a robe in the mosques, like some tourists were.)
The point still stands, though, that I don't really NEED all the clothes I have. I already cleaned out my closet recently, and am looking forward to pulling out my sweaters from last fall/winter. It will be like shopping from my own closet! And I'm going to try to look at Goodwill first, for all my clothing needs.