7 items of clothing: 7 days

7 for 7
(Click on the picture to enlarge if you’d like to see the outfits in more detail.)

I’m reading the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker and participating in the Bible study version of it as well. The premise of the book is that Jen picked 7 areas of her life to ‘fast from excess’ in for a month each. For instance, in food month she only ate 7 foods. The whole month. (Chicken, eggs, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, spinach, avocados, and apples, if you’re curious.)

The Bible study replicates this on a weekly basis, so for clothes week we each picked 7 items of clothing to wear for the week. (There are alternatives available, too, so I personally didn’t eat only 7 foods during food week:)) Underwear/socks/bras didn’t count towards the seven items. Shoes were one item and she allowed for a dressy pair and an everyday pair to count as just one. No accessories allowed unless you picked them as part of your 7 items. No coats, either, but I was doing this in Iowa, in April. I let coats slide.

My seven items were:

get link Red fit & flare sleeveless dress
Blue short-sleeved shirt with button detail
Solid black long-sleeved shirt
One pair dark wash jeans
One pair black capri-length yoga pants
White cardigan (I was a little overly optimistic this could sub in for a coat. Then the temperatures plunged to the 30’s.)
Shoes: black Puma flats, black Born boots

This project was a little dicey the first few days when I was still figuring out how to keep everything clean. There was a rough moment on day 3 when everything but the jeans and shirt I was wearing was in the wash and (surprise!) someone had a diaper blowout that ended up all over the carpet and mommy’s clothes. Also, it rained for 48 hours straight on days 4 and 5 and there’s nothing I want more when I come home with my jeans soaked up to the knee than to put on new pants. Alas, I could not.

The hardest part was no accessories. I love wearing scarves and necklaces and consider headbands essential for drawing the eye away from the grease in my hair on days when I don’t feel like showering. I caught myself even using my glasses in an accessory-like manner by the end of the week just for something to break up the monotony.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this. Most of the items I picked are among my very favorite clothes and it felt good to wear things I feel great in for seven days. Plus, with 7 as an excuse I could wear what was recognizably the same dress three different ways in a week and have an explanation that made sense. I retrained myself out of throwing clothes into the hamper the second I took them off instead of checking to see if they’d be OK for another wear before washing. (Although with snot-smearing small children around, that doesn’t happen often.)

I even wanted to keep right on going and wear the same clothes for another week, but decided instead to take a break and participate in RA’s Mission: Put Together and (hopefully!) the associated 31 for 31 in May. I’m a little nervous – I didn’t realize you actually had to wear the clothes 31 different ways with no repeats!


  1. I rarely wash my clothes between washes, most of the times I go 3-4 times between cleanings. I guess it helps that my kids don’t really get me dirty so I just have to worry about me (although I can be messy so sometimes it’s enough to worry about me). Kids clothes: washed every wear. Me? eh.

  2. Ooh, I hope you do the M:PT 31 for 31! I’ve never done anything like this, so I’m a little nervous going in. But I’m being fairly lax about parameters overall. I’m including shoes in my 31 items; you don’t have to do that. I limited my accessories, but you don’t have to do that, either. It should be challenging but not miserable, you know?

    • By biggest worry is selecting the items in advance and then not having the right thing available for the prompts! I’ve never done M:PT, so I’m not sure exactly what they are. For instance, do I need four days of bright colors? Four days of stripes? All without repeating a full outfit?

      • So, the weekly themes/weekend challenges involve incorporating something that meets that criterion. For the first week, the theme is color, so you’ll need to incorporate color every day (4 days), plus do a bright pairing on Saturday for the weekend challenge.

        For the second week, the theme is pattern. You just need stripes on that first Sunday, and then any patterns you like for the rest of the week until you mix at least 2 of them on Saturday for the weekend challenge. And so on with weeks 3 and 4 with their respective themes and challenges.

        For the last week, you’ll need to incorporate all 4 elements in each look.

        And yeah, the 31 for 31 means no repeats. This is in line with Kendi Everyday’s original structure, and I know it makes the M:PT part pretty hard. But I don’t think there will be THAT many people participating, so if you are successful, your odds at winning a pair of jeans are good. 🙂

  3. I have a really small wardrobe and even smaller maternity wardrobe. I practically do this 7 item thing every week. Also I wear the same jewelry every day. Boring town. But getting dressed is really simple and quick at least!