Monday, 3 October 2011

Why Do The Project? Part 2: Pro-Simplicity

The second phrase in the October Dress Project motto is 'pro-simplicity'. This one is a little more straightforward than the last. I think it's also very easy for most participants to relate to: the need for more time, less complexity, and less stress in their lives.

The 'pro-simplicity' part of the motto is, like the last phrase, a two-sided coin. It helps women who are too busy (or too lazy) to put the time they'd like into their dressing, the women who throw on some jeans and a t-shirt every day and get on with their lives, to keep that simplicity of routine but to do it more beautifully. I think it is important to allow for a distinction between simplicity-- a beautiful unclutteredness-- and the kind of meager or impoverished living that is reflected by the habit of being careless in dress. On the other side, the Project helps the kind of woman who changes outfits three times before she's happy leaving the house, or who spends more time than she ought getting ready for the day, to question whether her concern for taking care of herself and for beauty develop into a lifestyle of vanity, shallowness, or selfishness.

'Pro-simplicity' also reflects a concern for and awareness of those who have less. Many people doing the Project find that they come away with an awareness of their abundance and blessedness. In the month of November, they may decide to clean our their closet and donate their clothes to a thrift store where it can benefit the less fortunate. Some people choose to support a specific charity through their Project the next year they do it. I find for myself, the occasions when I stare into my closet and say, “I have nothing to wear!” are much more rare now than they were four years ago when I first started the Project. In simplifying our approach to dress just for that one month a year, we make waves in our life of generosity and contentment that last all year.

Have a lesson you learned like this from your last Project? Is your Project linked to a charitable group or endeavour in some way this year? Let us know in the comments. Happy Day Three!

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