Via Learnvest and the New York Times I found a challenge I thought would be fun and interesting to complete for the month of May. The Challenge is titled “Six Items or Less”, in which you wear six (and ONLY six) items of clothing for 30 (or 31, whichever) days.
As someone who just completed a huge move and had to pack up scads of clothing I realized I do have too much. Most of the time I don’t even like my outfit, or only like one part of it. I believe it’s because I have too many things to choose from, and so I end up wearing some things ‘just because I “haven’t worn them in a while” or whatever and it just makes me sick. I want to own things I absolutely LOVE. It really hit me when I realized I had fifteen (!!!) boxes stuffed with clothes I really wouldn’t care if I ever saw again.
As a recovering shop-a-holic (who battles….frequently…with this impulse on a near-daily basis) I know that over the years I have thrown out bags and bags of twenty dollar tops and dresses from Forever21. Then I grew up and got an office job and had to have office appropriate clothing…and even though I chose more carefully and picked out things based on quality rather than quantity..I still wasn’t really in love with everything I owned.
So with that in mind I decided to undertake the challenge……until I realized that I sent myself the wrong box of clothes home. I had two IDENTICAL boxes, one with sweaters and one with shorts and dresses in it. Guess which one I Fed Exed myself and which one is currently waiting to be shipped with the rest of my furniture?
So I ended up having to shop for a few pieces..and I came up with an idea for my own spin on this challenge. I allowed myself only TEN pieces of clothing for the entire month (this challenge includes only items of clothing: tops, bottoms, dresses), things excluded include underwear, gym clothes, bathing suits, outerwear, jewelry/accessories, and shoes. The “Six Items or Less” challenge emphasizes making the most of what you have, highlighting six versatile and interchangeable pieces. I wanna turn this on it’s head and say only wear things you absolutely adore–who cares if it’s something you’ve worn before, or something that stands out so people will notice you wore it the week before. If you truly love it, who cares?
I think most of us have a few go-to pieces that we always fall back on when we are in need of something that says “Wow” or something that will cheer us up on a bad day. Research shows we only wear 20% of our closet anyway. Why do we keep buying? My ten item challenge particularly worked for me when I was at the mall yesterday and wandered into a new store I hadn’t been to before. I was dying for this romper I saw, but then I remembered I had already picked out my ten items for the month-I have all that I need- and I took a big breath and put it down. This was a big moment for me and my shopping guilt can be assuaged..by only wearing the ten items I shopped for earlier in the week I can sleep sweetly knowing I will wear them more than once and will definitely get my money’s worth out of the price per wear. (BTW the picture at the left is what ten items hanging in your closet looks like.)
The only exclusions of this challenge for me are the suit I wear for job interviews, and a dress I had already flagged last month to wear to Anonymous Kayla’s wedding. Special Occasions are SPECIAL OCCASIONS after all. Other than that, I only have ten pieces from May 11th (the day I started) to June 11th. Woo!
Stay tuned for my next post where I detail the pieces I chose (with pictures!), and my daily outfit progress and thoughts. I know as someone who is unemployed I don’t have the added challenge of seeing many folks on a daily basis, and most of the time when I’m hanging out at the house it’s in my bathing suit or yoga gear, but I’ll be sure to update you either way.
Imagine your house was burning down and you could only grab ten non-accessory items out of your closet–what would they be?