Uniform No. 2 | Three Skirts + Three Summers
For the last two summers that I have not been pregnant (read: the calm in the midst of roller-coaster weight) I have enjoyed the freedom of wearing one skirt each summer. And it. Was. Marvelous.
The skirts in question?
My resolution and restrictions stemmed from a severely shrinking budget as a one-income family, but also from the deep need to waste less time and self-esteem in my closet. And I made some startling discoveries. As I contented myself with a single outfit, no longer did I crave shopping or that new-purchase-high - no longer was I consumed with consuming. Giving myself permission to wear the same thing every day enabled me to disentangle myself from mindless browsing and buying and the idea that excess is normal. Stewardship and simplicity were beginning to surface as solid values.
But I also experienced a very heartening epiphany: even with less, I can still be well-dressed.
This is where things get exciting! I relish the challenge of selecting just the right thing. It's a hunt - creative problem-solving at its finest, satisfying no small number of requirements such as: is it flattering? Easy? Pretty? Versatile?
I decided on one skirt each summer. One skirt every day. Like, only one. Too extreme for you? Let me persuade you otherwise. Mornings are easy. Laundry is minimal. I feel smokin' at all hours. I can dress it up for date nights with The Mister, but it's practical in that the littles can get their sticky paws on me and it's too dark to stain. Did I mention it's machine washable? ("Machine washable" = Hallelujah.) Those words are magic to this mommy's ears. My dry clean only things now hang in my closet for special occasions, too nice to give away and too expensive to use regularly. What a wardrobe tragedy! When I was working and without littles, it was justifiable enough - and at times necessary - to have items that required special laundering, but now it's just a burden - time-wasting and expensive.
In 2013 I wore a darling little number - one full, black, cotton skirt with beautiful cream embroidery on the hem that hit at the knees, taking it from simple to cultured and effortlessly put-together. Coming to my waist it emphasized the narrowest part of me and complimented my hourglass shape. Throw on any top, black flat sandals for daily adventures or nude peep-toe wedges for fun, and voila!: instant summer wardrobe. However, dun dun dun...last year I accidentally ruined it by trying to mend it. *Painful wince* The sun-faded black fabric needed a dire pick-me-up after all of those outings and washings, but the creamy eyelets turned a sad shade of purple upon dying. *sob*
So last spring I embarked on a new quest for a skirt to fit my needs and with a little (more like a lot) of help from a certain magical seamstress of a sister, I traipsed through the summer in a single skirt of simplicity. This linen midi skirt from ASOS fit the bill, and I was so excited for it to arrive! And then it did! And then I tried it on. And then I cringed a little. Buying from the internet is tricky business and this time I lost - initially. That's where my sister comes in and saves the day.
The problems? Too long (about 3 inches). Too fluffy (the pleats made my mama-tummy quite voluminous). Number 3? - no pockets. It never promised me pockets, but since Lyndsay is a sewing wizard, I thought I'd dream out loud. Wishes granted! Lyn sewed down the top 6 inches of pleats so they didn't "poof," she took the hem up 3 inches, and made me pockets. Pockets I tell you! Deep ones. Ones I can put my keys and phone into and reach my arms all the way in and feel ever so cute and cozy. The weight of the linen really is luxurious and the quality of the sewing is fantastic. With a few modifications, I got my One Skirt for the Summer after all.
This year I have a few surprises up my 3/4 length-sleeves and am so excited to share them! But for now I'll give you a hint - the word is no longer "skirt," but "capsule." :) Living with one skirt was such good practice and now I can apply those principles to a small collection of items. Stay tuned!
What do you say? Could you manage with less? Could you dare to wear just one? Or two? Do share!
I've been spoiled by my skirt and the freedom it 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, freedom, and happiness.
Amendment from the future: In July of 2018 I was over 200 pounds post partum and lamenting that I didn’t have a light skirt to wear. I kid you not, I walked into a Goodwill and there, hanging on the rack in the very front was MY SKIRT. The black one with the embroidery in a size large - exactly what I needed at that moment. The heaven’s opened up and you better believe I told every person who would listen that I knew there was a good loving God because of this skirt. Thank you, Lord!