I'm always amazed at how an outfit can be made glamorous with a hat. The dress I wear from wooland.com is 'plain Jane' in terms of style, but therein lies its attraction. It's a blank canvas that can accommodate multiple creative flourishes that a printed 'statement' dress would never permit. So, with a scarf and a hat, I feel ready for tea at the Ritz! Meanwhile, I'm sequestered in my 500 square foot apartment feeling like I'm in solitary confinement. A romp at the Ritz would be a welcome distraction from my isolation, to be sure.
The dress itself, apart from being a ‘challenge’ -- as if anyone needed extra challenges during a pandemic! -- has helped me think differently about my postage stamp apartment. It's a humble space, though with a breathtaking view. Given my commitment to simplicity, it is functionally empty. Only the necessities populate the space. Like the dress, it is a non-descript canvas and can accommodate multiple creative flourishes. I might, for example, create my own Ritz at the empty writing desk near the window. With an orchid on the corner of the desk, my teapot and a china cup, a 12 hour crackling fire on my laptop, Debussy or Massenet playing softly in the background; I could don my hat, my scarf, a beautiful piece of jewelry and 'take tea' at the Ritz. While this cannot match the creativity so many throughout the world have exercised during the pandemic, it is, for me, an extension of the value of the 100 day dress challenge and of simplicity as a life choice.
Many of you know I'm a gypsy -- always traveling -- never in one place for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Yet, I've been alone in my tiny apartment for nearly a year. If I had been surrounded by clutter, the small space would have felt more limiting and constricting. Simplicity has made it possible for the space to feel 'big' -- expansive -- filled with possibility. Not everyone would want to follow my path of simplicity, or wear the same dress for 100 days, or live in an apartment such as mine. But, we can all benefit by finding places in our lives and homes where we can touch the hem of simplicity in order to see what spaciousness we are missing because we are surrounded by clutter. It might be a window seat, a closet, our car, our sock drawer, our email inbox, our iTunes playlist. The truth is that simplicity is about providing spaciousness. It isn't about 'going without,' or sacrificing what you really want just to say you're a minimalist. It's a choice for less so that more is possible.