4o day fashion fast | introducing a Lenten challenge

40 days. 10 items of clothing.  The Goal?  Less stuff.  More Jesus.

With the Lenten season approaching, I thought I would revisit the unconventional clothing fast I attempted two years ago (instead of giving up my beloved sweets for yet another year). You can read the spiritual "why" behind my clothing fast HERE -- Sparknotes version: I love pretty things.  I love pretty clothes, specifically.  I need to love Jesus more than that. 


So here's the challenge: 40 days of wearing only 10 predetermined items in my closet.  Absolutely no unnecessary shopping (extra points if you have self control enough to forgo amazon prime + online browsing.).  There are no limits on my accessories, shoes, loungewear, and weather appropriate outerwear (because it will probably still be snowing in Indiana...). Other than that I must stick to wearing my 10 items and only those items. I started putting together my clothing picks and I'm excited to show you what's in my closet this time around!  

my fashion philosophy

So, what's changed since my last fashion fast attempt?  My style for one.  I think I am much more comfort conscious more than anything else.  Since having Pier, I've learned what works for me and what doesn't.  Motherhood fashion is a whole other beast that I'm still trying to navigate...but I think I've narrowed down my clothing criteria.  I tend to gravitate toward versatile items made of natural materials.  Fabric such as cotton, linen, and muslin keeps my body temperature regulated while also allowing me to breathe and move around freely to play with my kids.  Before this discovery I was an uncomfortable sweaty mama mess.  I've traded "trendy" for "what works for my lifestyle right now".  Heels, tight clothes, and buckets of makeup and hairspray will never be me nor will it fit into my day-to-day job as a mother to young children.  

Upon completing my first fashion fast, I've determined five simple rules for buying new clothes:

01 | Is it comfortable? 
02 | Is it functional and versatile? (Can I wear it when pregnant, nursing, and postpartum?)
03 | Do I feel like myself in it? I have to really love it if I'm going to keep it.
04 | Does it fit my style and aesthetic? 
05 | Is it ethical?

 ...which brings me to my next point...

ethical fashion

Another big change in my shopping is embracing the slow fashion movement (otherwise known as ethical fashion).  Over the past two years, I've gradually been exchanging my old store-bought clothes for those that are ethically made.  I'm not perfect at sticking to this, but it's a process that I hope I will get better at over time.  My friend Valerie has an entire series on her blog that details the heart of this movement and why she feels it's important to be a part of (see her whole list at the end of her post HERE). She's the one who educated me on the corruption in the fashion industry and the ethical fashion movement that formed as a result.  

Since learning more about it it's something I've felt the Lord calling me to pursue as well.  So far, the benefits of adopting a minimal, ethical wardrobe have been a blessing for someone like me who is so attached to the things of the world.  I donated or sold about 3/4 of my closet and what remains now are items that I wear non-stop.  The best part is that I actually enjoy wearing them non-stop!  I'm not sick of my clothes!  

My bad shopping habits are slowly changing for the better. The amount of "new items" in my closet has decreased significantly.  I don't randomly buy things.  If I do buy something, I think about it for a very, very long time.  If it's out of my price range, I save up for it, wait for a sale, or buy secondhand by patiently stalking e-bay, thredup, or poshmark.  And my absolute favorite part about buying ethically is that I get to virtually meet and interact with the person who makes my clothes. They are artisans, after all, which means you can feel the effort, care, and passion in the art that you're choosing to wear.  You can't say that about anything you buy in a fashion mall!

If I've peaked your interest, then you should watch THIS documentary on minimalism and THIS one on ethical fashion (both on Netflix!).  The ethical/minimalist fashion isn't part of the Lenten challenge, but I thought I would take this opportunity to continue my dialogue about it since it happened as a result of my first fashion fast. 


And if you decide to adopt this fast for your own Lenten penance, then let's do it together! Join me on social media under the hashtag #40dayfashionfast so we can encourage each other to look a little more like Christ by the end of it. I'll also be posting details on my 10 pieces, weekly outfits, and Lenten reflections here on the blog throughout the 40 day period. Until then, I invite you to pray if a forty day fashion fast is something you'd like to do with me. Honestly, I need all the help I can get ;).