You might think I made a big sacrifice giving up money, scaling down my fashion sense. No, no, no, quite the contrary! Living moneyless taught me to love fashion! Living moneyless brings out parts of your true character you weren't so aware of previously. Maybe it's my queer eye.
Yeah, I wasn't so creative fashion-wise in my money days. Clothes for men in conventional stores are usually quite boring. And thrift stores throw the cool, funky stuff away. If a piece of clothing catches my eye but doesn't fit, I cut it and sew it to fit. I like sewing. I once found a wool blanket and made a hooded monk's robe with it, which could also fold into a very warm and fashionable winter jacket. I designed a black raven swirling with a white dove on the back, in a yin-yang pattern. It could be used for sleeping or as a jacket.
I feel good wearing something freely acquired, or what I custom-designed, custom fit, more than I ever felt buying ready-made stuff.
And when something wears out, it is exciting not knowing what fashion the universe has in store for me next.
I almost always have a nice pair of shoes or boots I either find on the streets or in dumpsters. And thrift stores must not be able to sell socks and underwear, because I find lots of clean pairs in their dumpsters.
I once needed a hat and found a child's black cowboy hat that in no way fit me. I watered it down and stretched it out with a large rock, reshaped it, and, voilà, I had a custom-fit bolo hat!
Yeah, I find and wear funky fashions I didn't have the nerve or the thought to buy in my money days. The Universe knows how to dress us by its laws of randomness better than we could ever dress ourselves by our own calculations. Lilies are dressed much more fashionably than Solomon in all his glory!
People are always wanting to give me clothes, too.
Look around, Nature doesn't dress her creatures in austere robes or rags or penitent shaved heads. Austere robes and rags are great for times of mourning or protests over excess and attachment. But when your mourning and protest is done, and your Holy Bridegroom is here, you go girl... and boy! Life is not in vain; it's meant to live, and live abundantly! If you doubt me, simply look at all nature's creatures around you, above and below you! And listen to their songs of praise!
Bees and butterflies and birds-a-humming bless beautiful blossoms. And angels fly to you to taste your blooming. Okay, I'm sounding silly, but it's true.
Why conform to the world and its dictates? Conform to your heart. Your heart sometimes tells you it feels wonderful dressing like people around you, and other times it tells you to dress totally uniquely! Maybe it'll tell you to dress in austere monk's robes or rags, or maybe not.
Some folks have asked me why I don't wear special mendicant or religious-order clothes. The only reason I could see of wearing them for myself would be to distinguish myself as different, to get people to treat me differently. They might more likely give me food in a begging bowl if I dress like a Buddhist Bikkhu, a Hindu Sadhu, a Muslim Faqir, or a Christian Mendicant. But the point of my living this way is to join Humanity, not separate. I don't want the food or respect of somebody who gives to me because they think I'm "holy", but because they regard me as human. The point of living moneyless is not to manipulate, not to put on an image or to do anything to get reward. Why should anybody not help a frazzled bag lady as much as they would help me?