I'm Heather - lifestyle photographer & homeschooling mama. We choose simple and slow. Freedom and fresh air. And I like to make things beautiful.

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Permission: Granted

The other day I posted about my new routine of wearing one skirt, all summer. What I forgot to mention was "why." After I posted, someone saw me in my jeans, and all of a sudden it was "where is your skirt? Shouldn't you be wearing your skirt? Aren't you supposed to wear it everyday?" Well, the beautiful thing about this liberating habit of mine, is just that - it's liberating, not a restricting rule. I didn't want rules. If I did, I'd still be mixing and matching everyday so people thought I spent money. For me, this whole thing is a general guideline. If my skirt is in the wash, I wear a black wrap-dress. The other day I wore jeans while the winds and the rains howled through our city. It is meant to be a flexible guideline.

While I love my skirt and the freedom it brings me, I still like my other clothes. I don't want to ignore them for the sake of ignoring them. This is not a diet. This is not a restriction. This is not a fast. I'm not making a statement. What I really want is to give myself permission. Permission to wear one skirt, everyday, and not be bothered by what other people think. I like my skirt. It looks good on me. Who the heck cares if I wear it all the time? I give myself permission to wear it every day if I want. And more importantly, I give myself permission to wear anything at any given moment. Because I want to. So there! 

Now, I still see the value in using a guideline in the first place - obviously, this isn't a free-for-all. Mine originated out of inspiration to feel content, easy, and confident in how I chose to dress myself without wasting a lot of time and self-esteem in my closet, and also stemmed from my severely shrinking budget. But the need to be economical also spurs the desire to be economical. I no longer crave shopping or the new-purchase-high. I am no longer (constantly, anyway - I still have a lingering thing for Target) enraptured by consuming. I'm content wearing "the same old" because I bought it for a reason and it looks great on me. 

I wish I could say there were nobler efforts behind my minimalist wardrobe changes like consumption fasting for spiritual or environmental reasons, but they seem to be more of a byproduct than a motivator. I find with my limited budget and decision to grant myself permission to wear the same thing regularly, that I'm less infatuated with mindless consumption, and especially the idea that buying things all the time is normal. I'm convicted of my role and responsibility in practicing good stewardship, and I'm beginning to see how I've created false idols out of my wardrobe, devoting my attention and heart to the GAP family and VOGUE instead of my God.

I'll admit, it felt like going through withdrawals during the beginning of our new life with one income, a mortgage, and a baby, but such big life changes helped me shift my focus from petty self-centered worries to taking care of my baby and making sure my husband felt loved, respected, and came home to a home worth coming home to. I'm sure some might roll their eyes, but I love keeping our home and taking care of my little family. I realize in our American culture this sounds unambitious as a woman with two degrees and her whole life in front of her, but I can't tell you how fully satisfied I feel when I get to cook dinner, clean my house, do the laundry, edit a photoshoot, and eat ice cream on my porch swing after working in the garden with my esposo and hija. It's the best thing in the world. It took this drastic change for me to realize there is more to life than working and being well-dressed. There is being happy. And oftentimes happiness = consume less = work less = live more. 

I'm spoiled by my skirt and the freedom my decision brings me. My closet, my heart, and my mind are no longer spilling over with empty concerns. I still take pride in how I look, but I like to think I am no longer drawing my self-worth from being on top of the fashion wave. I am content to look my best with less. 

In the end, there is no guilt here. Just permission. 

Excerpt to Alice | 8.25.12

July | 2013