Wednesday, 4 August 2010

White August

One of the most salient lessons I learned about frugality from Amy Dacyczyn, in her Tightwad Gazette was to appreciate, and even enjoy, limitations.  I took this away from several of her articles and find I use the idea to make all sorts of strange entertainment for myself.

She pointed out that games are only fun because you have to obey the rules and still reach the goal. Another editorial talked about how, when framing a picture, matting is used to create the space that allows the eye to appreciate the art.  This was an analogy she used to remind us that the first piece of cherry pie is more enjoyed than the last, only for her it was that if her kids didn’t seem to enjoy their ice cream treats very much, she took that to mean they need to have less ice cream, not more.  Scarcity creates value and so a more occasional ice cream would be more thoroughly appreciated.

This of course goes completely against a lot of the thinking these days when we feel entitled to have all we want, whenever we want, no restrictions whatsoever.   I’m afraid that approach not only bores me rigid but also creates such a confusing level of greed that I begin to crave some sort of discipline. Children need boundaries to provide security and apparently I do too.

One of my games is to assign a colour for each month and to try to wear that colour every day if I can.  July’s colour was cream, but I needed to expand that a bit to include beige and taupe. I didn’t dress in beige from head to foot, not having things that coordinated that well, but wore a cream top and cardigan with brown slacks or a beige skirt and wedgies with an orange sweater, and so on. In August I will put the cream/beige/taupe items to one side and pull out everything I own that is white. I’m allowed to use the beige items in the unlikely event that I need them, but I will focus on wearing white. I anticipate teaming the white items with navy or other blues a lot, but I expect to find other combinations that work as well. 

For me, the way to not be dissatisfied with not buying many new clothes is not only to wear everything I already have, but to make myself think about wearing those items in new ways. This game helps me to do both. It’s also a game to pretend that August will be so warm here that white is the natural choice, but we might continue to be lucky with the weather. It has been quite warm, if not sunny, this last month.

I think this is a variation on the currently popular game “Shop Your Closet”. I sometimes think that is the grown up (I started to say adult, but sadly that word has been kidnapped by another connotation) version of “Playing Dress-Up”.  (And Polyvore is my 54-year-old version of paper dolls!  Talk about fun!  I just haven't figured out how to make it larger, not yet...  This is roughly what I wore into town yesterday).

Find me on Polyvore

Do you ever play these sorts of games with your clothes?

1 comment:

Jo said...

I am always looking in my closet for different things to put together. Variety is the spice of life.