Some of us feel like we do it unintentionally, but more than 100 people recently wore just six items of clothing for a month, on purpose. After their "shopper's diet", many realised just how much clothing isn't all that necessary.
Scanned image (from 1941 clothing survey) via New York Public Library.
You can read the rules and read the participants' results at Six Items or Less, but the basic idea was that men and women picked out six items of clothing and stuck to them for 30 days. They could have multiple copies of single items, if they needed them for laundry purposes, and there were allowances for accessories, gym clothes and the like. But six items was six items, and many dieters learned that very few of their friends or acquaintances noticed, if any, and that their own lives could feel a lot more light and agile. From the New York Times' write-up:
Sneha Lakshman, 32, a founder of Dig Design, a Web and mobile products company in Bangalore, said by phone that she had decided, "That's it, I'm going to wear only black from now on."
... Another Sixer, Dean Kakridas, 42, the director of business development at Frog Design, an innovation firm in Austin, Tex., said that he was obsessed with efficiency. "I kind of question everything," he said, including why he was spending 20 minutes every morning figuring out what to wear.
He wanted to identify the clothes that made him happiest and fit his lifestyle. He chose a pair of G-Star jeans, two button-down shirts, two short-sleeve polo shirts and, cleverly, a pair of shorts from Life After Denim that are reversible (one side is solid charcoal; the other is plaid). Speaking like a programmer, he said: "Anything that removes complexity or cycles from your day is really valuable. I have freed a lot of bandwidth in my head."
After the diet was over? We're sure most people went back to expanding their wardrobe and likely doing fewer loads of laundry. But by learning to vary, accessorise and generally make the most of a few outfits, they probably learned a lot about the false "necessity" of six pairs of jeans and four similar blue shirts.
Done your own style of clothes diet? What six clothing items could you get by on for a month?
Shoppers on a ‘Diet' Tame the Urge to Buy [NYTimes.com]