Challenge Update: Week 27

Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet

This week, I did something kinda scary and kinda revealing: I went into stores.

I did it on purpose. I went into stores, touched things, took them off the rack, held them in front of me in a mirror, looked at price tags.

I intentionally left my wallet at home (I still need those guardrails!) But, for the first time in 27 weeks (more, probably, but, for our purposes, let’s say 27) I went into a store to look around. I did not allow myself the liberty of trying anything on. That would have been too tempting.

Honestly? I found some really cute things. A zebra dress, which was the perfect mix between my rainbow dress and another little strappy summer dress I adore. (ZEBRA, people. A ZEBRA dress.) I found a lacy winter sweater that made me wish I liked cold weather.

But I came home with nothing. I wasn’t even tempted to come back home, get my wallet and pretend I’d forgotten about my Buy No Clothes in 2021 challenge.

No, it was fun to look. Fun to imagine being the kind of woman who would wear a strappy zebra summer dress. Fun to imagine a quiet winter’s afternoon with a cup of tea, my cat, and my manuscript in a gray lacy sweater.

But it is even more fun to be a woman who made a pledge to herself that she would buy no clothes in 2021 and sticks to it. Keeping a promise I made to myself is more rewarding than anything else.


Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

In my original Inventory, I had made notes of items that had been given alterations or been mended. As I waded deep into my attempt to wear everything at least once, I hadn’t kept this up.

This week, I went through about a third of the Inventory and updated the notes. It was fun to see how one item had been worn three times before getting altered, and then discovering that in the six months since they had been altered had been worn fifteen times.

It’s data that serves no purpose other than making me feel good about my progress.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Hah, this is funny. One day this week, we went to an amusement park with the scalawags. I wore the rainbow dress. Later that night I had to go to a rehearsal. Rainbow dress and team Nigeria dress (it had been clean, but some ruthless muddy pirates wiped their hands on it by “accident” when they got home from the park the day before. Scalawags!) were in the washer, green skirt and black dress were hanging to dry and yellow dress was being reserved for the next day.

So I gave myself carte blanche to wear anything in my closet that floated my boat. I stood in front of the Boudoir paralyzed. Too many choices!!!!! I don’t know how I will ever go back to wearing everything in my closet. In the end, I wore a refashioned top and jeans and felt like a million bucks, you know why? Because I love EVERYTHING in my closet.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

With only four and a half items in the rotation, this, aside from laundry emergencies relating to little boys and mud, is working AOK.

Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

Ooooooofffff. Socks. Socks. Socks. I am having a sock emergency. We are beyond mending now on a few of these. But I said I would buy no clothes or accessories, and darn it, I will go sockless before I break that rule.


So far, so good. The heart-change is starting to feel less like quicksand and more like I’ve gotten down to some solid footing. This makes me very very happy.

In Other News:

This upcoming week is going to be a big one for the podcast. I am very very excited to start putting this together. From the feedback I get about my little one-minute videos, and the ladies who are joining me on this quest to pursue our Ideal Lives in a very specific corner of the social media world, I have to believe that there is a need for what Poppy and I will have to say to a broader audience.

Our goal is still to launch in September, so stay tuned!

Join me on Instagram to follow along with the Ideal Life Reels!!

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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