A Clothing Fast Revelation

I sat at my kitchen bar last week reading this note from Iris and crying happy tears. God has blessed me beyond measure with your friendships and I love getting to chat style and wardrobes and the way a few changes can impact an entire way of life. Thanks for being here! Now, on to the good stuff :)

There’s so much more to my story but basically one year ago I had been feeling discontent with several areas of my life. As a wife and working mother of two little ones I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out with the busyness of trying to balance my marriage relationship with my husband, caring for my then 4 year old son and 18 month old daughter, and teaching English to 5th-8th grade middle schoolers. Add housekeeping, ministry at church, and other family/social obligations and you can imagine how busy and tired I was (am!) I know many of you reading this can relate!

I had been searching for ways to simplify my life for several years and I realized that one of the areas of my life that needed to be simplified was my wardrobe. I was so discouraged waking up every morning with “nothing to wear.” Or needing to have outfits that could be functional yet stylish for the different hats I wear throughout the day.

So while perusing Christian style blogs I stumbled upon Caitlin’s blog. It was Black Friday (God has a sense of humor) and realized that I needed to fast from buying clothes. The reason why I was so discontent with my closet was because I had a closet full of clothes that were ill-fitting and poor quality. Many of the pieces in my closet were impulse buys. I told myself I would learn to be content and be a good steward of what God had already blessed me with.

At first I thought I needed to hoard clothes. “How would I be able to survive without buying anything new!?” was one of my thoughts. I began scouring Pinterest for outfit ideas to remix my closet like Caitlin and so many other style bloggers do. After more “research” I realized that the reason I was so discontent was because I had too much!

Over the past year I have learned to purge my closet, redefine my style, shop wisely for quality timeless pieces with a few inexpensive refreshers to keep up with the current trends, and then remix, remix, remix!

Today I am so content with my wardrobe. Sure, over the course of the year I was still shopping, but with gift money and gift cards from special occasions. And even then I would look for remixable or classic or functional pieces. I was also given hand-me-downs from family and friends, several who didn’t even know I was fasting from shopping.

I know that there’s more to life than clothes, but it is amazing how a comfortable, well-fitting, and yet stylish outfit can change the way you go about your day. I’ve included a before and after picture that kind of sums up what I’m talking about. Both are outfits with jeans, sweatshirts, and comfortable shoes, however the second one (which actually cost less than the first one) makes me just want to get on my feet, be-bop around the house, and get chores done. It’s also functional enough for running around with my kids, and still stylish enough to go out in public and look cute for my husband.

Iris Before & After

There’s so much more I can say about what I’ve learned over the year but then this post would go on and on. I guess one of the main things I’ve learned (or realized again) is that God is faithful. By trusting Him with this area of my life I’ve been able to witness His faithfulness and His goodness in so many other ways, too. By learning to be content I have discovered more of His purpose and will for my life, which is ultimately to glorify Him with every area of my life.

Doesn’t she look amazing?! Iris, thanks for sharing a little piece of your journey with us. You are inspiring, and even more beautiful inside than out!

PS If you liked hearing about Iris’s clothing fast, you might want to check out Ali’s or my thoughts throughout my year of no shopping.

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  • Essence Brown December 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I may have teared up a little at the end ;)
    She does look amazing, but more than that I think it is so cool to hear how you are encouraging so many women. Not just to be cool, stylish women but encouraging us to be content with what God has blessed us with. Way to go girl, Iron sharpens Iron.
    Thanks you for time and sweet words here on this blog,

    • Caitlin Author December 12, 2013 at 7:24 AM

      Thanks for your sweet words, Essence. It’s so humbling to me that God could take something as superficial as clothing and the decision not to shop to impact others. I love getting to do life with each of you, and am honored that you all choose to read along on my little journey!

  • Autumn December 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Love it! Lookin’ good, Iris! :) I haven’t shopped for clothes in a few months. It’s driving me crazy, but showing me that even though I do really want more clothes, I most definitely don’t need anything! Remixing is the best!

    • Caitlin Author December 12, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      Look at you! That’s incredible, Autumn. So proud of you!

  • Sarah @ Tucker Up December 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I love this! this challenge has been amazing!

  • Emily December 12, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Way to go Iris!! :-D

  • Felicia December 12, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Go Iris Go!!!! You are such an inspiration. I have tried this year to be more mindful of my spending. I did a spending fast for the first three months of the year then for about two months in the fall. I really wanted to go through the end of the year but failed. It’s more of a heart thing that I need to change and, like you said, trusting in God. I have SOOOO much. I don’t need anything- I could literally live on my closet for years and years to come. I definitely feel like you do- I have too much!

    • Caitlin Author December 17, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      Isn’t it crazy how much of a heart thing clothing is?! I had no idea until last year. Proud of you for searching your heart and utilizing your closet better, Felicia!

  • Iris December 13, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement, ladies! It’s been great getting to know several of you through all this. You all inspire me, too! May God continue to use all of you where He has placed you!

  • Carrie December 15, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Thank you, Iris for sharing your story. I stumbled on Caitlin’s blog a few months ago and have been very encouraged by it. I think I’m about to embark on my own no shopping year starting in 2014. Reading about how the Lord used it to reorient your life as well as a some of the other readers gives me hope and excitement to see what’s in story in the new year.

    • Caitlin Author December 17, 2013 at 7:35 AM

      Carrie- that’s so exciting! I hope you’ll share your journey with us if you decide not to shop for a time. Hope your week is off to a great start!

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