Friday, October 8, 2010

The Necessity of Clothing (On Simplicity)

A while ago, I posted a few reflections on why we wear what we wear. I ended the series with some applications. I read the last post again today. I can barely recall anymore why I wrote some of the things I wrote.

So, here is another go.
And here is another resolution.

Resolved, to keep my wardrobe simple.

Uncluttered, keeping only clothes that I regularly wear.
With a few "special occasions" items.
Clean, practical, pleasant to the eyes (especially of my husband).

(Hans is going to read this and know I have a lot of purging to do. *yikes*)

So I would not allow what I wear to define who I am.

I am grateful to know a few older, godly women. One of them befriended me during my time in New Haven. When I first met Judith, I certainly did not think, "My, she dresses so modestly!" In fact, what she wore was of little significance to my first impression of her. Instead, I noticed how friendly, how kind she was to me. She asked thoughtful questions, and was genuinely interested in my responses. She invited me over for lunch, or tea, as she called it; she was from the UK. I remember feeling so comfortable, so grateful, so happy, even though our meeting was brief.

As I got to know her, spent time with her three children, and attended church with her family, I began to notice her wardrobe -- because there were very few items. She had two skirts, a few tops, a few pairs of pants, and a very nice pair of tall black boots. Simple.

Modesty and humility are very similar virtues. C.S. Lewis describes humility so well, in the following quote and elsewhere:
To even get near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.
Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.
If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
(Mere Christianity, p.128 of this edition)
A modest woman would not be occupied by how modest she looks,
she would not be thinking about herself at all.

Now, there is something to aim for.

Here are the links to the series:
Part 1: In the Garden
Part 2: Shame
Part 3: Sackcloth
Part 4: Bridal garment
Part 5: Christ
Hunger: Modesty is not just about clothes


Anonymous said...

i, too, have been attempting to keep a simple wardrobe.. makes life so much easier.

Seda said...

simplicity does have its benefits. =)