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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Update to the Minimalism Challenge

Mark Kwak

I've been neglecting this blog for far too long my friends. If you're still with me God bless you- and yes I agree, I am the worst. But let me at least give you guys an explanation on my absence... And I think it's legitimate to some extent.

January of this year, I proposed a challenge to myself. A challenge that I shared with all of you during that time period. If you're not up for reading that entire post, the gist of it was that I decided not to buy anything (outside of the essentials, like toothpaste) for the entirety of 2014. It's now been a healthy 10 months into the year, and I'm happy to report that I'm still somewhat on track with that challenge. The reason "somewhat" is in that last sentence is because I think I might have found a loophole that I violated to some extent (cough, I bought a motorcycle for the "experience," not proud of it).

I'm a little backlogged on the giving away one thing everyday part of that challenge, but for the most part, it's been pretty liberating to depend less on material objects. You almost forget how much your possessions start to own you more than the other way around. True, the hardest part of the year is still ahead of us (the holidays), but I'm confident I can weather the storm.

Now to the main point: why I haven't been writing in this blog as often.

It turns out that when you block yourself off from buying any new clothing for the year, you stop thinking about clothing on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. And when you're not thinking about clothing, oh how much harder it becomes to write about it.

Okay, it's an excuse, but the good news is that I do have some things to report as a result of this experience so far, and I thought it would be a good reason to write a post. In case you're curious, here are a couple things I've learned from not buying any clothing for the year:

1. You are forced to be more creative with your current wardrobe.

So you don't own a leather jacket that would have been perfect for a particular event. So what? Because you're forced to work with what you have, you become a bit more creative in how you choose your outfits. You "shop your closet" more, if you will.

2. You end up discovering your "go-to" outfit far more easily.

I didn't expect this part, but when you don't shop as regularly, you gravitate towards your tried and trues more often than you think. I've realized black jeans, brown boots, blue oxford shirts, and olive green jackets have more usefulness than most of my other pieces.

3. You save a bunch of money / are more generous with it.

As a result of your reduced expenditures, you really do see your bank account gain a little health, but more importantly, you're more generous with how you use the extra money. I don't hesitate as often to pay for another person's dinner or dessert!

4. You don't write in your blog as often.


Anyhow, I'm not finished yet but I think that this challenge is something that everyone should attempt at some point. Maybe it's not for an entire year, but rather for just a couple of months. Or even just one month for the shopaholics out there. I swear it'll make a difference in how you live, even if it's a just a little.