Pursuing Simplicity in the Way We Dress
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about making every moment in our lives count for Christ. After identifying some of those “worth-it” things, I realized that every day I waste so much time on things that are rather pointless. We all do, really. Honestly, do we have to spend as much time as we do on certain things? While it seems like the world “simplicity” is virtually unknown in our culture, we need to embrace and pursue it and use the extra time we gain through that to serve the Lord.
Today I’d like to talk about pursuing simplicity in the way we “dress,” specifically in the areas of hair, clothing, and accessories.
I think that hair is a biggie for us girls when it comes to time-wasters. We tend to spend a lot of unnecessary time on our hair, even when we don’t mean to. But when you do the math, time spent on your hair really adds up… did you know that if you spend, let’s say, 20 minutes a day on your hair, that’s approximately 121 hours a year, which is over 5 days! And if you spent that much time on your hair over a period of 73 years, that’s a whole year of your lifetime spent on your hair alone! (Now, you probably won’t consistently spend the same amount of time on your hair for 73 years – obviously different times of life effect how much time you spend on your hair – but for the sake of making my point clear, 73 was the number I chose).
To cut back on time spent styling hair, my suggestion would be to have a couple of go-to hairstyles. These hairstyles could be as simple as a ponytail and messy bun. I really like doing wet hairstyles (is that bad?) since whatever I do to my hair is more likely to stay put when my hair is wet. These hairstyles include a messy bun and pigtail French braids. I sleep on the braids so when I get up and take them out my hair is wavy and has few tangles (it’s a second-day hairstyle that takes no time whatsoever in addition to taking out the braids!). When I let my hair dry naturally, I either just keep it down or put it in a high ponytail. Find out what styles work best for you and your hair! On days when you have extra time or are going somewhere more formal, then that’s a good time to do more elaborate things on your hair.
Sometimes simplifying clothing can be trickier than hair! In addition to having a go-to outfit, I would suggest making sure you have quite a few versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Black maxis, denim skirts, and chambray button-downs are pretty versatile. Then there’s the “little black dress.” Make sure you have a couple good staple pieces, as this can help with saving space, time (picking out outfits), and money!
Know what articles of clothing you like and what looks good on you, and donate the rest. It’s not worth it keeping tops that you don’t wear but don’t want to get rid of because you might wear them again “someday.”
I would encourage you to get rid of anything that might be a temptation in the area of pushing modesty standards. I know that sometimes I’ll see a piece of clothing and say, “Oh, I can make that modest by wearing ___ over/under it!” But I’ve found that if it needs help beyond a layer underneath (and sometimes a shrug on top, although I’m not the biggest fan of shrugs) it’s probably best to get rid of it.
Every girly-girl loves accessories! Necklaces are my favorite, although I do have some hats, scarves, boot socks, bracelets and such. My only tip would be to try and make sure your accessories are somewhat versatile, and your necklaces are at a length that works well with the majority of your tops. I love three-strand necklaces but they just work really poorly with some shirts (like cowl necks), whereas my pendant necklace works great with just about any top!
How exactly does simplicity translate to our accessories? I think that often we waste money and space on collecting accessories we hardly ever wear, and we waste time trying to decide which accessory to wear (c’mon girls, admit it). And sometimes our activities for the day just simply don’t work well with accessories! For example, I’m a pianist… bracelets and rings will usually come off as soon as I sit down at the piano.
Of course, I have to add a little disclaimer here since I often do not practice all of what I just “preached.” This post is for me just as much as it is for you. I often have to remind myself that I’m wasting precious time when I stare in the mirror, trying to figure out if I need to do something different with my hair, or switch my jewelry for a scarf, or something like that.
Don’t get me wrong -- taking care of our outward appearance definitely is a necessity! I believe that striving for femininity in our appearance is also important. But there is a point at which taking care in our outward appearance becomes an unnecessary time-waster and often even an avenue of vanity.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of simplicity in our dress in the comments below!