Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Little brown dress

Would you -- could you -- wear the same thing every day for a year?

This person did. And I'm fascinated by it:

So, here's the deal - I made this dress and I wore it every day for a year. I made one small, personal attempt to confront consumerism by refusing to change my dress for 365 days.

In this performance, I challenged myself to reject the economic system that pushes over-consumption, and the bill of goods that has been sold, especially to women, about what makes a person good, attractive and interesting. Clothes are a big part of this image, and the expectation in time, effort, and financial investment is immense.
She blogs all about her experience and insights over the course of the year, and as I read I found myself secretly wishing I could wear the same thing every day, realizing that it's not realistic in my world -- but then thinking, ok, what IS realistic? Ten items of clothing? Fifteen? Yeah, maybe, actually. Twenty? That's still a LOT less than what's in my closet right now. And it's also a lot more than most people in most countries in the world own.

Anyway, I have approximately one million more thoughts related to this topic. The idea of simplicity, of simplifying life, seems to be popping up every time I turn around -- in movies, music, and friends' homes.

So this post is kind of just a teaser. More thoughts on this later.


Rachel said...

I wore the same black suit for an entire week straight... more than once... in a 3 month period - ready and out the door in under 15 minutes. And, maybe/possibly my success in escaping notice has only encouraged continuation of said behavior...

Whitney said...

My initial thought is that I see her point (I went and did a little reading on her blog), but I feel such a huge contrast in my mood when I "get ready" for the day and when I don't. I guess I could still completely get ready, but just put on the same clothes, but I think I would feel like crap--you know? I'm sure in a way it is society that has made me feel this way, but I am a huge believer that putting effort into appearance helps enhance mood.

I think I fall in the middle of her and her brown dress and those that spend thousands a year on clothes. I am fine being in the middle and not on either end of this spectrum.

I'm interested to hear more of your thoughts (as always). If you are ever in the mood to visit the middle of no where Missouri, we have a spare bedroom and it is free when those who come provide good conversation (it is free all the time, it is just that I know you would be providing us with good, thought provoking conversations)!

Summer Beecher said...

In the last year, I've heard an a little phrase that has been repeated numerous times in our home, "there is strength in simplicity and power in purging." This applies to both the purchasing of new clothing and getting rid of that surplus which we have.

Can I join the thought provoking conversation at Whitney's? It's been too long since we've all been together!

Playful Professional said...

Never done this but I have started to wear my clothes in different ways rather than buying new ones, and it's making life much simpler. Or at least my closet.