February 25, 2012

Little Red Dress Experiment

Little Red Dress, Day 1

I'll be wearing this Little Red Dress for forty-five days.

I want to connect in a small way with impoverished people around the world. There are women who only own one or two outfits; who wash them at night and wear them over and over. I want to see what that's like: feel the frustration of wearing something stained; of having to replace buttons; or knowing others will see me, yet again, in the same thing. I want to find out more is not more. I want to set aside this time to limit myself and go without. And even though it's only a taste of what some go through, my hope is that it will make me more compassionate, more grateful and more willing to let go of my consumerist mindset.

When will you wash the dress?
I'll wear pajamas at night so I can wash my dress and there is a small vacation time that I may take a few other dresses with me to alternate since I may not have a washing machine. Otherwise, I'll be sporting the Little Red Dress. I am allowing myself accessories and other articles of clothing to add to it for warmth and experimentation to discover that one article of clothing can stretch a long way.

How come you decided to do this now?
I timed it in connection with Lent which began on February 22 (2012). I'm not Catholic, but I like the concept of spiritual disciplines and thought it was a good time to join friends of mine (who are giving up things of their own) to journey together.

Where did you get this idea?
I'm not the first to do a project like this. Some have done it with a little black dress and one with a little brown dress for 365 days. I'm starting out small, well, big to me; but small in the scheme of a year. We'll see where it takes me.

What made you choose a red dress?
Honestly, it was one I already owned and the only button-down dress I had. I thought a button-down would add more versatility to my outfits and I like the classic look. Plus, I love color and thought it would help me persevere if my dress was bright and cheery. Red makes me smile and oddly enough, I have many complementary-colored things in my closet to go with it.

Is this a fashion blog?
No!! *laughs* I don't know much about what's in. I just play around with my wardrobe, so some things I wear may be heinous to you. I simply enjoy experimenting and this is a fun experiment in limiting my wardrobe.

Will you still be doing your Beyond Sweatshirt series?
For forty-five days, this will be my Beyond Sweatshirt feature since I'll be dressing up and technically out of sweatshirts. I'm looking forward to seeing how many different ways I can wear the Little Red Dress and will share my journey each week along with pictures.

Can we join you?
Of course! I'd love to have you join me. No red dress required, pick whatever you want to wear.

Click here to see days 1-7


  1. I'm glad you have the comments on! I love to comment and I think this is a wonderful venture. We all need things like this to help us put things into perspective. Please keep us updated. :) HUGS!

    And BTW - I love red too!

  2. Leigh, originally I was going to make this a static page with no comments but forgot to remove my note until you said something. Ha. Thanks! I'll be updating once a week with photos.

  3. I like the idea and will think about how I can incorporate this into my life. I love red, too, and wear a red jacket on most days.

  4. Wow! I have never heard of such a project before. I'm very interested to see how this plays out. I wish you lots of luck! (And I hope you don't get tired of explaining yourself to everyone who asks you about this in person) ; ]

  5. This is very very brave, and what a sweet meaning behind it too.. it's lovely that you're trying to feel the same things as someone that has no choice but to wear one outfit every day

    I really admire you for this!

  6. I think this is an awesome idea! Good luck to you and your lrd.


  7. Wow, you're really diving into character. I think it there are a lot of things you can learn from this, learning that we really don't need as much as we have. I feel gluttonous all the time with materialistic things. I hope you take a picture of yourself every day. I think it would be neat to see a 30 day photo collage. Can't wait to see how it's going.

  8. Pretty amazing! I often think I'd really benefit from the discipline of only owning an outfit or two. Not that I shop too much, but I do reach for something new if I need a little "pick me up." I bet something inside you will really change permanently for doing this. It will be interesting to read your thoughts as you go. Oh, and to see how you change it up with accessories. Let me know if you run out of colorful socks or scarves!

  9. This is such an interesting experiment. I look forward to hearing how it goes and how it makes you feel. Will you hacky and hula hoop in it too? ;)

  10. Melissa, I actually AM planning to hacky sack-hula-hoop in the LRD but I'll have leggings or pants on underneath. :) Hoping to get it shot today.

  11. Wow love, you are strong! I can't wait to hear of your journey. Lots of blessing your way!

  12. Catherine!!!!
    this is so cool I love it!

    will be watching with great anticipation

    love and light

  13. I have a friend who serves rice only for dinner every single Tuesday. This is a good idea and it will definitely force you to think of other while you are doing it.

    May your clothes still smell nice once you are done. : )

  14. Oh wow, you are AWESOME, Catherine!! I have heard of this experiment before. Actually, this really convicts me because I've been feeling so ungrateful for the clothes I have. In the morning I always find myself muttering: "I have nothing to wear. I need to go shopping. All these clothes are horrible." Blah blah blah. I think my (kind of pathetic in comparison) version of this challenge is to be happy with the clothes I have and not to buy a single new thing this month, because really, I don't need it.

  15. Well you are just marvelous!!! I cannot wait to see you dress up your red dress, and good for you too!

  16. This is wonderful and inspiring, Catherine!

  17. How awesome are you? So cool to have done this - I don't think I'd last very long with a challenge like this :)


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