Challenge Update: Week 47

Five more weeks to go!

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

Aside from the usual and recurring coveting which I cannot escape, I didn’t do much of it this week. I was pretty busy, which helped immensely.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

Ooh!!! This is interesting, if you have been following along with the “white shirt” saga. To catch you up: many moons, many revolutions around the sun ago, I read on a listicle that every woman should have a white cotton button down shirt in her closet. I, therefore, believing this to be true, went out and bought one, which I promptly nearly never wore.

I had been keeping it around, and set myself a challenge that if I wanted to keep it, then I had to actually wear it. Which I have been, in spite of all my reservations about it, doing.

Well. In the last bounty of inheritance I received from a friend, there was a sheer-ish crepe-ish chiffon-ish white button down blouse. It has fancy French cuffs with little built-in cuff links, and is a bit longer than what I would have bought. But the material…oh, that sheer-ish crepe-ish chiffon-ish has the most wonderful weight to it. It is sheer without being floaty. It is unwrinkleable. It is quite elegant as basic white button-down blouses go. It is also from a real designer collection. So I can only imagine that it cost real money.

Now here is what is interesting about this, and why I am noting this under the “Inventory” section: That white cotton version of the basic button down, which I bought for very very cheap in a fast fashion boutique a million moons ago? I don’t love it and had to force myself to wear it. But this basic white button down, which is from a real brand and probably cost real money? I have worn it endlessly, every time it is clean, since it has arrived in my house.

The question is this: is it really cost-effective to buy cheap clothes that we never wear? Although I have been steadily whittling down my collection of little-to-never-worn items, I do think with regret about all the money I had spent on items that I maybe wore twice.

Now, to be fair, I would never in a million years go into a store where real designer clothes are sold. I would never have dared bought this beautiful white blouse retail. But…I tend to think that had I found it at a thrift store, even if it were found in the more expensive “brand name/designer section”, I would have snapped it up.

Quality vs. Quantity is a topic I have covered previously, and is one that I will need to begin thinking about again once my challenge is over. But this blouse debacle illustrates it perfectly. One cheap thing that I hate wearing, versus a higher quality item that I wear all the time? It should be a no-brainer. Learning to get over the cheap trap or the quantity trap is going to be a whole life lesson in-and-of-itself.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

It took long enough, but I have gotten into a habit of documenting the Go-To outfits when they happen. This is so helpful when it comes time to do mise en place!

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

Oh my goodness. My sister’s weekly planning system is genius. The trick is learning to refer to it throughout the day. I haven’t quite mastered that yet.

But when it comes to things like doing the meal planning and the planning ahead for mise en place when I can, it’s genuinely brilliant. While it may not be 100% challenge related, it is Ideal Life adjacent, and it deserves to be mentioned!!

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

I’ve given up mending socks. As they become unwearable I am putting them aside to use for dusting or a little craft project (repairing my littlest scalawag’s stuffed animals). I swear this now: I will never mend another sock as long as I live. The first thing I will purchase when this year is up is socks.

I will purchase socks, but not too many. I don’t ever want to go back to having an overflowing sock drawer, either. I do a load of laundry, at minimum, every other day. So if I have three or four pairs of wearable socks I will be happy. And my goal will be to keep it at that many wearable pairs of socks for the rest of my natural life.

I’ve been repairing more important things here and there, too. I needed to get a handle on some of my favorite items that had gone unworn due to little tears or loose seams. Loving what we own is time-intensive. I don’t think I counted on that when I started this challenge.

Oooh! I’ve also been working on a knitting project one row here, one row there that is rather dreamy. I’ll be excited to share it with you as it advances!


I have thoughts, so many thoughts, about the implications of this challenge on how I want to live the rest of my life. I’m sure I’ll have the occasion to share them as we head into the end of this year together.

In other news…

Not a ton to report in other news this week. It was very “little-boy centric”, what with little scalawag’s teacher being absent a few days and then the Thanksgiving activities I led at their school. (Yes, the one in which my eldest heckled me.)

That’s the beauty of our current configuration: I have the flexibility to have “little-boy centric” weeks and not get stressed out that I’m missing something. It sometimes makes my world feel itty-bitty, but then, good things do very often come in tiny little packages.

Oh! I did get a haircut. More about that another day, but I do love me a good before and after photo, so here! for fun!

Yeah, no, I hadn’t realized my hair was that white, either.

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.

One thought on “Challenge Update: Week 47

  1. The shot of your nape at the beginning made me so excited and happy! No, not in a weird way!! I knew looking at the back that the front was gonna be terrific~ And son of a gun, if I wasn’t right!! How does it made you feel? A little jazzier?? So sexy coming back maybe??

    Liked by 1 person

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