6 for 30?

(Carrie from SATC’s Famous and Fictional Closet. Image via Google Images)

Thanks to a few lovely readers (thanks guys!) this article in the NY Times was brought to my attention. It’s about a group of people who are wearing 6 items of clothes for 30 days. They have been chronicling their journey through blogging, some have enjoyed it, others have struggled. And you thought remixing 30 items was tough, right??

For me, this article and the 6 Items or Less project brings about so many questions to mind. As a style blogger (if I can call myself that) I struggle with the balance of real life necessities and blog life necessities. I post my outfits 4-5x a week and if I’m not careful, I will start mouthing to words “gimme gimme gimme” and “I need that” to various items on the non-sales rack. I know that if we get to the core of my needs, I only need something to cover my top, my bottom and my feet. I also know deep down that I would not get fired for wearing the same thing every day to work, or even if I rotated out 6 items of clothing each week. So where does that leave me as a person with minimal core needs, as a style blogger and as a consumer?

When I started my blog, I simply wanted to show others what I was wearing. Plain and simple, there was no philosophical reason behind it — I just simply wanted to blog what I wore. As I started gaining readers (much to my disbelief), I began to feel more pressure to buy more clothes, because who wants to see a repeat outfit right? Wrong. I quickly learned that I do not have the means to not repeat an outfit, not everything that I wear can be brand new and full-priced. So that’s why I started the original 30 for 30 challenge. To remind myself that I am a real person with a real budget and if I didn’t stop shopping I’d have some real debt. So here I am again, remixing and not shopping once more.

Some people have questioned the 30 items — why 30? Is it really a challenge? I’ve had some people comment that they didn’t even have 30 items in their closet, so this is just ridiculous to them. My whole point was not to change the world with this challenge; it was simply to tell myself to look at what I have and to use it with a little elbow grease, creativity and a few accessories to come up with 30 different looks. I added on no shopping to encourage myself to stick with it and to remind myself that I have enough right in front of me. To me 30 items (shoes included) was a realistic amount that someone would have in their closet or could easily acquire if they were starting out at and building a new wardrobe. I wanted to show people that you can buy just a few essential pieces, remix them and really get your moneyโ€™s worth from a piece may it be from Target, J.Crew, Anthropologie or Forever 21. I hope that is what has come across to readers and participants of the challenge.

So then we come to a place of need vs. want as someone who doesn’t need a closet full of beautiful clothes in order to survive. I think this is something every American struggles with, as it is our culture to consume, to strive to have the biggest and the best. This is no different for me in style blogging. As I said before, I wouldn’t be fired for only wearing a few articles of clothing each day, as long as I was kempt and clean. I wouldnโ€™t die if I only had one shirt and one pair of pants. So what gives? Why the need for more clothes than I can wear in a week’s time? I don’t think that I could ever come up with the eloquence needed to answer this question. Furthermore, I think it’s been said before that there are people who understand the importance of fashion and those who don’t.(The September Issue, anyone?) I believe that if you dress well, it can give you more confidence; can give you a better outlook or attitude. Maybe this isn’t true for everyone, but it is for me. However, after reading this article perhaps there is another side of the coin, that I ignore at times, namely responsibility as a consumer and as a blogger. I should buy to consume, not just to have or just to waste. How many times have I bought an item that I wasn’t crazy about and let it rot at the bottom of my closet? How many items of clothing have I given away that have been worn once or twice? I should never buy something that never gets worn or gets thrown to the bottom of my closet. That is not the reason to why I buy. I buy based out of a need to be dressed and since I have to get dressed everyday, why not enjoy it? I hope that the purpose of this 6 Items or Less project and article was to make people think about what they really need and why they consume, because if so that is what was accomplished on this reader. I will be more aware of what I am buying and for what purpose I am buying it for. I don’t know if there will ever be just 6 items hanging in my closet, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what is hanging in there.

What are your thoughts on the project and article? Do you think that you could only wear 6 items for a month?

NY Times article can be found here.
6 Items or Less Project can be found
here.

81 Notes

Leave a Comment

  1. Taylor says:

    What a great post.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  2. Vanessa says:

    I started my blog several months ago, and often feel that twinge of "ugh…is it really important to talk about clothes??" But I remind myself, I love fashion and it's a great form of art and expression. Nothing I own is over $100, and I'm a fairly modest person when it comes to how I dress.

    But I still find myself a little uncomfortable taking pictures of me and my clothes, and I more often than not focus on cooking and health and other things…

    That being said, I love the fashion blogs I read and I get the fascination and popularity of them for sure. I just have to muster up the courage to go for it, I guess.

    6 for 30? I definitely think I could swing that. One pair of jeans, one skirt, one dress, 2 shirts, and one pair of shoes. I might have to try this…do accessories count for them?

    07.23.10 · Reply
  3. I think this is a good reminder to all of us.
    I also started my blog because I just wanted to show my sister what I wore everyday.
    Sometimes I feel the pressure to purchase new things, but usually I just talk myself out of it.
    I have more clothes than has ever been shown on my blog. Maybe our next challenge needs to be wearing things we don't wear as often?

    I would fail at only wearing 6 items. I get bored too easily!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  4. Sally says:

    I just recently (2 days ago) started my blog and haven't posted an outfit post yet. Although my blog will focus mainly on fashion & clothes, this post has definitely given me some food for thought.

    Thanks for taking the time to dive into this issue with an open mind. I enjoy your blog immensely, keep up the good work!

    Sally
    http://ursaminor-sally.blogspot.com/

    07.23.10 · Reply
  5. Karolina says:

    Great post. The idea of wearing 6 items for 30 days is great.
    I love shopping but my budget is not unlimited.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  6. I think I have so much to say that I might write up a post but for quick statement: I must love and wear everything that I buy and if it goes unworn it must be passed on to someone else who will love it and wear it.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  7. Jameil says:

    I read the article and thought about it. For me 30 is realistic and fun but 6 is just masochism. Really??? No really, why would you do that to yourself? I haven't started my 30 yet because I only have spurts of leaving the house for more than groceries right now since it's summer. My friend said I should wait until after August since I'm going to a new university & these people don't know I have way too many clothes yet & everything will be new to them. For me that kind of negates what this is about, n'est รงe pas? So I can't wait to start! ๐Ÿ™‚

    07.23.10 · Reply
  8. ag. says:

    Fantastic post!
    I think you did a great job of getting some really interesting points out, lots to think about!
    I definitely think I would struggle with 6 items…unfortunately, I think we are judged based on what we wear whether we like it or not and if I wore the same 6 things to work on a rotating basis, I'm sure it wouldn't seem as professional as I need to be. That being said, I think it's really great to actually appreciate what we have and realize the difference between need and want.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  9. Cynthia says:

    I was fretting about overspending a few days ago, and in the fall I'm probably going to try a 30 x 30 of my own, but then…what if being fabulous daily is just one of my hobbies? Like dancing or blogging or traveling? I am lucky enough to have discretionary income after I pay my bills and put the max into my retirement. Now I sound terribly spoiled but, I always keep in my mind that I have been lucky so far and remain thankful for what a combination of luck and hard work have brought me.

    Even if I buy things that later don't work for me and sell them cheap while they're still pretty new, then maybe someone who isn't able to afford full-price or even sale-price fashion gets a super thrift bargain courtesy of moi and I'm kind of OK with that.

    Anyway, 6 for 30 would be the kind of thing I would fall into accidentally because I'm depressed, or cope with if I were forced — not something I'd want to deliberately impose on myself.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  10. this article makes me think that there are so many sides to the issue of consumerism, aren't there? And I spend most of my time trying no to think about all the sides, because then it's difficult isn't it? Not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone or even on myself… just saying there's a lot going on here.

    6 items for a month. I could do it, but I wouldn't enjoy it!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  11. DWJ says:

    I actually just stumbled on your blog 2 weeks ago and fell in love with your 30 for 30 concept. I am an accessories and beauty blogger and I do a lot of posts on how I accessorize what I'm wearing. I actually repeat a lot of stuff and show how my accessories really do make the outfit. There's a lot of pressure when you blog about style to blow your budget, but in reality we're all working folks who do this for fun (usually that's how it starts out) and aren't celebrities getting new wardrobes comped to them. I'm hoping to participate in the next 30 challenge but do what makes you happy and don't worry about anything else ๐Ÿ˜‰

    07.23.10 · Reply
  12. Melissa says:

    Wow. This is really fascinating. I'm going to check out both the article and the project itself.

    I like the idea of challenging yourself to only a few articles of clothing, to encourage creativity and frugality as well.

    Thanks for posting about this!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  13. Ashley says:

    I could certainly wear only 6 items for a month, a year, or forever (if I never changed sizes and they never wore out). However, I, like many bloggers and yourself have said, feel like clothing is part of who I am – I enjoy the act of getting dressed, trying new combinations, and wearing old stuff in new ways. There are times that I feel waaaaay too dependent on clothing, shopping, and my appearance. But I see it as a hobby. Or maybe I'm just sick in the head.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  14. Kendi, what an insightful and intriguing post!

    Depending on your budget/lifestyle/personality, a great wardrobe can include 6 items, 30 items, 100 items, 300 items, etc. My personal wardrobe (including shoes) is probably close to 150 items. But my wardrobe includes items that I have collected over many years, not just this season's current and cute pretties. When I shop, I think about three things: Do I love this? Will I wear it? Is it reasonable?

    As a fellow style blogger, I understand how tempting it is to buy things and showcase them to a larger audience. Right now, I could rattle off twenty things that I want to buy, but I know my personal limits. Other bloggers may have a bigger clothing budget, and more power to them! That means I can see my wishlist clothes in real life (although not on me).

    I agree that dressing well gives you more confidence. Dressing well is loosely defined– it doesn't mean you're wearing head-to-toe Prada, or all new stuff. To me, dressing well means wearing clothes that fit and flatter you, and you feel comfortable and happy in them.

    Thanks Kendi!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  15. Kristin says:

    I have been wrestling with these thoughts for a while now, so this post really hits home for me. When I started my blog about 6 months ago, I just wanted to join in all the fun that I found going on with amazing style bloggers. It just looked fun and I thought that I could learn something about my style and how to shop more intelligently. I did end up buying more things than usual, in the name of blog interest. Even though many of them were from the discovery of local thrift stores, some were pieces that I really didn't want to wear more than once or twice. I'm hoping to switch my focus now from shopping and consuming to appreciating what I have. Honestly, I think I could do a 6 for 30 challenge … it might be good for me.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  16. you bring up excellent points, and I am pretty much in the same boat you are as far as your thoughts on this go, and your financial means not to buy new clothing just for the sake of not wearing the same items in your blog, etc.
    I for one however, could probably not make it with only 6 items for 30days…heck I won't even allow myself to wear the same item to work unless at least 2wks have passed. And is it wrong? but i talk about people at work if i see them wearing something like the same top within the same work week…so yeah, pretty certain I would never be able to handle the 6 items, 30 day thing.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  17. aj says:

    Kendi,
    Not only do you have great style, but you are an amazing writer! I loved this post. I just read the NY Times article & browsed around the "sixers" website. I'm still sifting through my own thoughts about the project, but maybe I'll write about it on my own blog when they fall into some sort of organization. You're inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚
    AJ
    all-aboutaj.blogspot.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  18. I think it's great that you are trying to mix up your 30 items and would've joined in myself except I keep needing new clothes as my old ones are getting too big! AAH. Anyway, it's normal to feel like you want something new and I think you are struggling with the same thing that lots of bloggers do trying to "please" people who read and still be yourself and not mortally broke. Keep it up because you are one of my style inspirations.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  19. Excellent post!

    6 items in 30 days would NOT work for me as I tend to let my laundry pile up for more than a week!

    You make some really great points. I just started my blog recently with the purpose to help me purge my wardrobe keeping only what makes me feel fabulous and hopefully putting more thought into my purchases.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  20. I think we all have the same problem. You start your blog to share your style and somehow along the way start feeling pressured! This is a great reminder.
    On the 6 for 30 thing… I"m not sure if that's a reasonable or realistic challenge. I've been thinking about it a lot since reading the article yesterday and I just think 6 is too little. The thing I like about your 30 for 30 is that it's a realistic and reasonable amount of clothing that someone may have in their wardrobe – so it's a great exercise to figure out how to wear them in different ways. But 6 items? My husband would struggle with 6 items. It just seems a little extreme!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  21. I find this idea intriguing. I might try it for the rest of the summer, but allow myself 8 pieces.

    I have been struggling with fighting the urge to shop and the fact that I don't wear/love half the things I buy. I feel like this experiment would benefit me greatly.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  22. KT says:

    So interesting… I started my blog to show it was possible to mix and match items in a variety of ways that creates completely different looks without needing an endless wardrobe.
    But at the same time, as the months went on, I found myself more inclined to buy something I didn't really need because I wanted to feature it on the blog or add it to the combination pile. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is made me stop and ponder 'do I really need this' and 'do I have something similar to this already.'
    It's a difficult balance, which is partly why I love this challenge. It forces all the bloggers participating to realize they really can create so many looks from just 30 items. I'm sure most of us could come up with more than 30 outfits. Would they all be amazing, no. But that's part of the fun – In My Opinion.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  23. Emily says:

    I was thinking just yesterday, "You've got a problem" as I stuffed my Nordstom bag into my purse as to avoid the inevitable eye roll from the Manfriend.

    I watch my carbon footprint everywhere – where I get my meat & produce, I compost & recycle and yet I CONSUME clothes from the far reaches of the world without a second thought.

    I think we'd all do a bit better to not only think about the way things we put into our bodies affect the earth but on as well.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  24. Excellent post Kendi. Blogging and chronicling my oufits has really showed me what pieces in my actual closet I wear and which ones just sit unworn.

    I actually found that blogging has slowed my shopping habits because I have found that the best outfits aren't the ones that are brand psaking new items but rather ones that are inventive and creative.

    My do still shop more then I should and it something I think about often and I don't feel good on it. Blog posts like this and when Erinn Wasson garage sales her remind how I need to focus on less is more!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  25. Anonymous says:

    I actually read the article last night and found the concept interesting but un-doable for me. On the other hand, I also had a hard time actually picking 30 reasonable things for your challenge. C'est la vie.
    Olusola

    07.23.10 · Reply
  26. I don't think I could ever do the 6 for 30 challenge, but I totally get the idea behind it!

    I like to think I buy clothes simply because I love clothes and I have an interest in fashion. However, if I'm truthful, there's always been a part of me that hasn't felt "good" enough and dressing well tends to squash that little voice.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  27. Stephanie says:

    You would love this.
    http://www.theuniformproject.com/
    This women wore the same dress (actually, seven identical dresses. She has to wash them) and wore it every day for a year. It's so cool seeing how she styled it differently, and all the money she raised went to putting kids in school, in India I believe. Really cool story, and a great site. Check it out.

    -Vern
    churchclothes.blogspot.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  28. Stephanie says:

    You would love this.
    http://www.theuniformproject.com/
    This women wore the same dress (actually, seven identical dresses. She has to wash them) and wore it every day for a year. It's so cool seeing how she styled it differently, and all the money she raised went to putting kids in school, in India I believe. Really cool story, and a great site. Check it out.

    -Vern
    churchclothes.blogspot.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  29. Sarah says:

    Very well written. I love reading what you have to say because it always comes out just perfect. I have definitely felt the pressure to continue to shop constantly as I fashion blog. My husband even made the comment that I would have to shop all the time in order to keep my readers interested. However that's the exact opposite theme of my blog. My blog is to show people that they don't have to constantly shop but can be thrifty and cute in the way they dress. I always try to keep that in mind and hopefully my readers appreciate it and won't leave me because I'm a cheapskate!

    http://wearingitonmysleeves.blogspot.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  30. jenny says:

    Great post. I definitely think the 6 for 30 challenge that those other bloggers are doing is a great thing to show people that you don't need much to feel happy, though I probably wouldn't follow them daily on what they're wearing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Though I can honestly say that I'm 2 for 364.25. I wear a black tee and jeans everyday because I work in my studio by myself. Nights and weekends I'll mix it up a bit with a skirt or shorts. Maybe a ruffled black tank.

    If I wanted to follow someone can do 6 for 30, I would just peer over at my brother and boyfriend and all their male co-workers. They literally have the same 5 outfits that they wear in order every week. It's because they don't care about what they wear to work (and nor do their co-workers, 80% male). Boring.

    That's why we follow you. You can take 30 cool pieces and remix them into more interesting pieces, and that's inspiring! And the fact that your co-workers aren't into fashion make for better stories.

    So however many pieces you'd like to remix, go for it, but please keep it over 10. Because otherwise I may unfollow you.

    Just kidding. You're awesome. Back to sewing.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  31. I don't think I could do 30 for 30 let alone 6 for 30. I think it's a great thing you're doing though! But then again, I kind of like it when people tell me "I've never seen you wear the same thing twice" ๐Ÿ˜ก

    07.23.10 · Reply
  32. christa says:

    i just found out about the 6 items or less last night. and wow. it was definitely thought provoking. i did like how the lady was saying that accessories are what make your outfit yours and give the appearance of wearing something different everyday.
    it made me want to focus on gettings some real quality essentials (just like tim gunn always says) and then spend my money on accessories.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  33. I had just read that article before reading your post…crazy. I think you made a lot of good points and I really enjoyed reading this post. Everyone has different means, needs and wants in life and no one person will view a situation in the same way. I think that besides all of those differences just being conscious of what you need vs. what you want in life is a step in the right direction.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  34. Jasmine says:

    wonderful post kendi–so eloquently put and inspiring! i agree, i went on my 21 for 21 challenge to make me remember those days when i used to buy everything from the sale rack and would be fine with repeating items week after week. but the pressure of blogging really does take its toll and i'm ashamed to say i have bought solely for posting reasons and those items are collecting dust in my closet. going through this challenge though (i'm getting ready for my 10th one after i post this comment), has really taught me how to stretch each item and that while yes, looking good does give me confidence, but i can do it on a budget as well. i'm already starting to crumble now that i'm almost halfway through so i don't think i could do 6 for 30, but maybe one day ๐Ÿ™‚

    07.23.10 · Reply
  35. Judy says:

    Kendi, you are truly an inspiration! I follow your blog everyday. You're not only one of the most fashionable people but also very funny. I love your comments! Don't be afraid of repetition on your blog – no one will probably notice anyway (as proves the 6 or less challenge ;-))
    When you started the 30 for 30 I began to list the clothes I wore during this time – to my surprise I wore only 36 items so far. Maybe we Europeans have less clothes because we have smaller closets? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I will silently cheer you on from the side even if you do a 6 for 30 ๐Ÿ˜‰

    07.23.10 · Reply
  36. Funny, I read that article earlier this morning and thought of your 30 for 30 challenge. I think in your own way, you've inspired many others to be realistic and creative with their own wardrobes by focusing on what we have in our closets versus what we want to buy (and don't usually need).

    I'm not a fashion blogger, but I'm thinking of giving the 30 for 30 challenge a go, now! So, thanks for the inspiration!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  37. I completely agree with you in that I hope the purpose was to make people think about what they need and what they consume/waste. When I first started reading fashion blogs and then started my own sort of lifestyle blog, I went on a shopping bender because I finally wanted to update my wardrobe after I had been stashing all my money in savings for a few years (like I literally allowed myself $100 a week from my paycheck for groceries, gas, clothes, and going out).

    Recently, I finally worked up the nerve to start posting my own photos, and it's kind of curbed the shopping. You know why? Because now I won't buy ANYTHING that I wouldn't be willing to take a photo in. That means everything needs to fit perfectly and I have to LOVE it enough to wear it, show it off, and keep it for quite some time because I would never photograph and post something that I wouldn't normally wear in my everyday life. My general rule when I'm shopping is that I won't buy anything that I wouldn't rather wear home than what I wore shopping. So I always dress my best when I shop and it helps me keep my spending under wraps. I love my clothes though, and when I'm done with them, I try to re-sell them at consignment stores or on eBay, or give them away to friends and charities. I never pay full price, and I love hitting up consignment stores and eBay to score good deals on high-quality items.

    I don't think I could ever wear 6 items for a month. The weather is too screwy here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe a pair of jeans, a skirt, a white sleeveless button-down shirt, a cardigan, a pair of black or khaki pants, and a white tank or t-shirt. I don't know – it would be tough. I think I could do 10 items, but probably not 6. ๐Ÿ™‚

    07.23.10 · Reply
  38. I love shopping and putting new items together everyday. I have fun with clothes and don't think I would be able to make it through a month with only 6 items. Maybe 30, but I don't wanna try and find otu ๐Ÿ™‚

    07.23.10 · Reply
  39. Haven says:

    SIX items? ๐Ÿ™

    I think after 4 days I'd start trying to steal other people's clothes while they were wearing them. I might even welcome going to prison just for the outfit change. (But then after the 3rd day of orange jumpsuit I'd probably just kill myself.)

    07.23.10 · Reply
  40. kskeen27 says:

    Whoa! I am blown away by all of your thoughtful responses! I have some very smart readers indeed.

    I guess I should have caveated the post by saying that I will not be doing the 6 items of less project, not that I couldn't (technically anyone could) but that I don't think that I would make it through. Call me weak, I can take it.

    You guys have made some great points. One for example on the fact that some of you buy LESS now that you fashion blog. I have to say that I agree with you on that. I don't know if I buy less per se, but I am definitely more in tune with what I buy depending on how it will look in a photo. So my purchases now have more weight than they did before. (In all honesty, my closet size hasn't grown since I started blogging, it's actually shrunk. But what I buy has changed. Now I buy 2 high quality items instead of 5 lower quality items. So my budget might be larger, but the quantity of items I buy is less, if that makes any sense.)

    Keep the conversation going! I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.

    Kendi

    07.23.10 · Reply
  41. I love that you are posting this – my favorite style blogs are ones that discuss consumption and responsibility because I think it's something we all struggle with. I started my blog for 2 reasons – 1) to objective look at what I wear and pare down to only things that work for me and 2) to look at some consumption somewhat objectively and reduce my wardrobe size/stop shopping as much (even second-hand stuff counts, which I think people forget because the environmental cost is so much less than new).

    And even though those were my goals and the mission of my blog, I still found myself coveting *more* based on what I saw other people wearing because, of course, I liked what they were wearing and I wanted it too. I think not talking about that is really dangers — from the following standpoints:

    1) environmental/just getting more (even if it's re-used/pre-loved)
    2) supporting trades/more encouragement to buy sweatshop stuff on some sites
    3) financially/I usually try to post about responsible money habits because I had gone into debt for clothing previously and it took me a while to dig myself out of that – I don't want to perpetuate the idea that it's okay for women to be dumb about money or not talk about it
    4) mental energy with the excess/it takes a lot of time to sort and distribute your cast-offs, even if you're doing it responsibly!

    I always read your blog but I think this is one of the isolated times I've posted a response because I absolutely identified with your thoughts here!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  42. Liz says:

    I was introduced to the world of fashion blogs at the beginning of the year and now I am an avid reader of severalโ€ฆand over the past 6-7 months Iโ€™ve noticed how, just as a reader, it affected my shopping habits. I was getting all of these excellent ideas and seeing pieces I loved on my favorite bloggers and I started buying, buying, buying. Thatโ€™s why I decided to join the 30 for 30 Challenge โ€“ I figured it would be a great way to re-think my closet and challenge myself to be more creative with my daily wardrobe choices. Iโ€™m halfway through the challenge and I can already feel myself coming back to reality.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  43. Wow this is a doozy.
    1) Since I started my style blog, I WAS shopping more until I realized that I was spending WAYYYY too much. Then I decided to only thrift. And as I talked about it on the blog, it put more pressure on me to not dissapoint my lovely readers. And because I'm going to NY soon and want to buy some pricey shoes. haha i cant help it. have you SEEN karlascloset.com? you cant NOT want nice shoes after that. haha.

    2) 6 items in one month? I would die. and all my outfits would look boring and i would lose my title as one of the 2 best dressed girls at the office. haha someone at work said that to me and my friend. I was pretty excited.

    3) I completely see your point of view, dressing in good clothes = feeling good. Also dressing DIFFERENTLY than the masses feels damn good. Especially when you do it well. (hence my thrifting). I guess to each their own right? No one should go around criticizing others and everyone should do what makes them happy. So do what makes you happy Kendi ๐Ÿ™‚
    We all really enjoy your blog and I think your 30/30 is awesome. I couldnt do it. haha. i dont do laundry often enough as it is!!!

    Emily

    07.23.10 · Reply
  44. gen says:

    Love this post. period.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  45. Michele says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I just started reading your blog and you're already a favorite.

    I've been struggling with clothing and style for awhile now. I'm underemployed, so I literally have a zero dollar budget for clothing unless I work a few extra hours at my second job. I've also gained weight, so none of my old 'cute' clothes fit me anymore. I rely on gifts and my mom for clothing, so lately I've been feeling like everything I wear is so not me. I inevitably end up giving away most of my clothes because I don't feel cute or comfortable in much of it. Whenever I fill up a giant garbage bag of giveaway clothes, I feel so disappointed and freaked out by the amount of waste I generate because I'm too picky or cheap and keep buying and receiving clothes that don't fit right, are cheaply made, and are such a weird mishmash of styles that I can't figure out any decent outfits. I feel like I'm stuck in a weird consumerism limbo.

    I had a friend tell me years ago that she liked my quirky style, and I miss that about myself. You're right, dressing well definitely gives me confidence and I want to get that back. I want to do that by carefully building a wardrobe full of well-made items that I want to wear and will last longer. I don't want to waste money on fast-fashion that will just end up in the giveaway pile in six months.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  46. CindyRex says:

    It is an interesting idea, 6 items for 30 days.

    I made a deal with myself at the end of last year not to buy anything fitting in the category of clothing, shoes, accessories, or makeup for the first half of the year. I made it, and didn't spend a dime between just before January 1st and just after July 1st. It was sort of like a 45ish items for 190 days.

    On July 5th I bought the first few things in over 6 months, replacing the things that really needed replacing and getting a couple things just for something new. Now I feel like I don't need anything else. I have been considering joining in one the 30 for 30 challenge, but when I looked through my closet had trouble putting together 30 items. It just seemed like most of what I usually wore was in the pile and not much was left over. I already mix and match everything I have, and while people think my closet is massive, it really isn't.

    While I think choosing 6 items is a little tough, I feel I would be happy with trying out a 15 for 30 challenge. It would seem more challenging than the 30 for 30, and force me to come up with new ideas, preventing me from spending money in the process.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  47. Kelly says:

    There was something on TV about the 6 items this morning. I didn't see it (I think I was taking the dog out or something) but my boyfriend did and he said "and you thought 30 items was hard!" and proceeded to say that he could wear 6 items to work and no one would notice or care.

    Truthfully I probably could too. I could have one pair of black pants and one khaki skirt and four tops and just rotate them endlessly. That's basically what I did all though high school (I had more than 6 clothes, but I basically had eight "outfits" every year of high school that I just wore over and over and over). And I have enough clothes right now that I could just keep re-cycling my clothes over and over and probably be good for a couple years ("good" as in, I could stay covered and warm).

    But to me, clothes aren't just there to cover me anymore. It's one of the more creative things I do everyday. I'm not artistic or crafty so I express myself most through my clothes. To me they're more than simply utilitarian. So yeah, I *could* live with just 6 items of clothes, and it wouldn't impact my job or my social life, but I wouldn't be happy. So if someone wants to tell me that I have too many clothes, they might as well tell someone who paints for a hobby that it's a waste to buy paint and canvases.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  48. Alex says:

    I did this! I backpacked through South and Central America for three months last summer, and for the last month, my outfits were constructed from the same 6-8 items.
    It was quite nice, not having to think about clothes for that long, letting my hair air dry, wearing only mascara and lip gloss.
    But at the end of the trip, you can be sure most of those items went in the trash!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  49. jadan says:

    Hi Kendi, I have never commented before but I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and you just bring a smile to my face and you never fail to make me laugh (as my family looks oddly at me wondering why the heck I am laughing while on the computer reading your ootd posts).
    This post and your challenge is such an eye opener for me. I have enjoyed perusing through all the blogs participating in the challenge and seeing people remix things. It has been so inspiring too! After reading the article on the 6 items for 30 days–wow. It's really forced me to look at consumerism and what I purchase and why I purchased these particular items when I might have something so similar to it in my closet. Or maybe I wanted it because I saw somebody wearing it in the blogs or out in the streets. Fashion is something that I love because it is a way to express myself. It makes me feel good to know that I am wearing something beautiful. Plus, it is fun for me! But I now ask myself how much clothing do I really need as I have so many pieces in my closet with tags on it and unloved. Do I really need to buy another white blouse or a black dress…I think that you challenging your readers to do this along with a shopping ban is genius. I think as a society we always want more–and I am fully guilty of that! There is something about shopping that feeds something missing in me but that is my own issue to deal with ๐Ÿ˜‰
    With that being said, I am not 100% confident that I am talented enough or stylish enough to pull off remixing 6 pieces of clothing but I think 30 pieces is something that is realistic and gosh I am surprised and somewhat impressed that someone actually emailed you saying that they don't even have 30 pieces to participate in your challenge. Although I do agree with Kelly above about dressing in "outfits" and I could probably survive with a couple of pairs of pants and couple of skirts and rotate my tops around. So maybe 6 for 30 is something that I hope to aspire to one day.
    Thanks Kendi for this post and for all that you do in this blog of yours!!

    jadan79@gmail.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  50. Tara says:

    I think when you start wearing too many brand new, hot off the full priced rack items your blog starts to look like a catalog or a Modcloth advertisement (sorry, but once they start sponsoring a blogger I get bored). Please don't take on a bunch of sponsors just to buy new swag! I like bloggers who recycle outfits by changing accessories and mixing combinations creatively. A mix of vintage and new is best. Are you thrifting? Two weekends ago I bought a full designer outfit (including shoes) for $10 at my local Goodwill. Showing people how to repurpose unloved clothes and stick to tight budgets is interesting. More compelling than wearing something new each day, even.

    Also, maybe you could partner with a couple other bloggers (like academic chic, for example) and rotate postings so you don't start to feel pressured to reinvent the wheel everyday. Or you could mix in posts about style inspirations or include snaps of people on the street a la The Sartorialist. You didn't really ask for advice, of course, but I love your blog and want it to stay around! Love it and keep up the good work!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  51. Julia says:

    Great post, Kendi – it's never a bad idea to think about what we buy and why… I'd also like to be a more mindful consumer. This post and your blog in general are very thoughtful and inspiring – thank you!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  52. Em says:

    Great post! I think we all need to think about this!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  53. anna says:

    kendi,
    i feel the same way that you do. the more i blog, the more i read blogs, and the more i want. i see something beautiful on another blogger and while i may not have noticed it before, i want it. it's the best free marketing EVER.

    however, i have also become much more "choosy" in what makes its way into my closet. if i'm not in love, it goes back. i have a small closet so things can't get lost in there. just looking at the $60 blouse hanging there, unworn, makes my stomach turn. so i return it.

    still, i definitely have much more than i could ever need. and i need to watch my spending more closely.

    07.23.10 · Reply
  54. Melissa says:

    Could I wear 6 pieces for 30 days? Of course. Would I want to? Not really.

    The 30 for 30 challenge has made me realize so much. I was using new clothes as a form of self esteem before. New clothes made me feel special and I was able to hide my insecurities and hatred for my body behind something shiny and new.

    The only challenge i'm finding with the 30 for 30 is trying to be creative on days where I feel lazy (for some reason i'm feeling pressure not to 'bore' people with my outfits) but other then that rotating the 30 pieces has been pretty easy.
    It's helped me realize that clothes are not something I need (no matter how much I want to convince myself otherwise) and therefore are not something I should be using the Visa for (who knew Visa's weren't free money!? ;)).

    I'm honestly surprised by how much I have learned in the first 18 days of this 30 day challenge that will hopefully stick with me forever.

    6 pieces though? The only point that will prove is that you can physically survive without a lot of clothes… which I think we all know. You won't drop dead if your closet is suddenly limited to 6 pieces… although you might die from boredom.

    Melissa
    http://www.missmelissa912.blogspot.com

    07.23.10 · Reply
  55. Erica says:

    6 for a month, hmm. I could do it, but it would be hard and I would complain. I have too many clothes. I try to pare down my closet, but I have a real problem with 'what if?' This comes from getting rid of something, then 2 weeks later realizing it would have been perfect for this or that. But I survived those moments. I'm not going to perish because I didn't have a skirt to wear.

    I'm not doing the 30 for 30 because I thought it would be too easy. I'm working our busy season on a farm. I've been living in the same six bottoms, six tops, and two pairs of shoes (approximately). Not because I look great in those things, but because I work 12 hours/day, 6 days/week and it's practical for the kind of work I'm doing.

    Ok, I'm talking too much. But also I am impressed with Delightfully Tacky for selling like half of her wardrobe to take a great cross-country trek. I know that's not easy!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  56. Thank you so much for posting this!! I have a brand new blog and one of the reasons I made the conscious decision to NOT make it strictly a style blog was that I was afraid I would run out of interesting outfits in a month! But you're so right, mixing and matching not only spawns some awesome outfits you might not have had the urge to create otherwise, but it also helps you value what you've got. Yay for women with real budgets and real style!

    07.23.10 · Reply
  57. Jeanna says:

    Kendi, thanks for posting this. It's very interesting, to say the least! I will likely be doing a follow-up post on my blog and linking back to yours because my thoughts on this are really just too long for a comment! I'll comment when it's up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    07.23.10 · Reply
  58. Great post. I think the whole question of consuming is very complex and the downside of not consuming (lost jobs, income, etc) make this far from easy to define. But you're right to say that we often have too much and don't make use of what we have.

    Personally, I definitely couldn't manage 6 for 30 (30 for 30 was too far for me) and I do feel pressure to wear something interesting every day (see today's post for a discussion on that).

    Not repeating an outfit hasn't been a problem so far. I blog every day and haven't repeated yet (been going since January). So I think the conclusion here is that I have too many clothes.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  59. LyddieGal says:

    Six items just seems unreasonable to me, and after reading the article, I think I would be the woman who became so bored with the items that she didn't even feel like getting dressed.

    I've done a seven day style challenge with five items, and while I had no problem remixing, and could have even come up with more looks, I was really bored with them by the end of the week.

    I know I have a bad shopping habit. I know I have things in my closet I don't wear. But they are there, and to stop wearing everything but six items for a whole month almost makes it worse.

    Chic on the Cheap

    07.24.10 · Reply
  60. Kate says:

    I'm pretty sure my husband would laugh in my face if I said I was pairing my closet down to only 6 pieces. But, he has been impressed with my ability to come up with new outfits in the 30 for 30 challenge. I've always struggled with remixing my clothes, once I find an outfit for the pieces of clothing, I usually only wore that one shirt with that one outfit. This has really made me re-use my items and get more worth out of them. Although I never, ever buy anything full price, those little price tags add up and eventually you have a closet that is only 50% used. I understand about the pressure. At my work, I constantly get told that I look nice, well eventually I felt like I HAD to look nice otherwise people would think it is all just a hoax… I would hate to repeat outfits. But, it is unrealistic. And your challenges and weekly postings have really made me think about the clothes I have and now I ask myself now before I buy anything, "Will I Love this article of clothing more than just in one outfit?" and "Will I care about my budget enough to remix it?"
    So have you changed the world? Probably as much a style blogger can… but you have really made an impact on women and their closets!
    Even my Japanese friends (who don't read your blog but hear about your challenge from me) have been more aware of they can remix their clothes and be more creative with accessories!
    So your impact it more widely felt than maybe you thought.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  61. angeline says:

    Six items for a month would be horribly hard. I think it would be an amazing learning experience though. I'm actually doing the Great American Apparel Diet (also mentioned in the article…no shopping for one year), which isn't as hard, but I'm already learning from it. It actually feels pretty nice not to have to worry about keeping up with what's out there and has made me think more creatively about what I already own.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  62. I just started by blog about a week ago because I wanted to have a reason to wear more of the clothes I own. I am a shopaholic. I love clothes. I love shoes. I love accessories. I never have enough. But I've been thinking about the issues you brought up for a few weeks now, ever since I stumbled upon the Wardrobe Refashion website, then your 30 for 30, and yesterday the 6 for 30. All these challenges have me thinking about what it's my closet, what I really need, what I should just get rid of because I never wear it anyway. Okay, I should just write a post about this instead of a novel length comment ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for being an inspiring writer.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  63. Christy says:

    I find this really interesting because I've been thinking about this kind of thing lately. the balance of not being "gimme gimme gimme" and letting blogging influence my style with the things i own, not make me go crazy and buy more.

    it's a touch balance….

    Dress Rehearsal

    07.24.10 · Reply
  64. Jinah says:

    Kendi, thanks so much for being so honest and insightful. I feel like this is a constant plight for the fashion blogger and you addressed it in a personal but nonjudgemental manner. I definitely feel much the same way about slowing down and really appreciating what already exists in my closet, but constantly feel pressured to wear new and shiny things to keep up with the bloggy Joneses.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  65. Jeanna says:

    As promised, here's my take on the Six Items or Less idea, as posted on my blog:

    http://thirdfloorcloset.tumblr.com/post/852437383/six-items-or-less?ref=nf

    Thanks for getting us all thinking!

    07.24.10 · Reply
  66. Jacinta says:

    Hi Kendi!
    Thanks for the thought provoking post. As a reader, it seems that some fashion blogs are trying to out-do each other with the most amount of clothes to show off.

    I'm a SAHM. I have a modest budget. I have chosen not to go clothes shopping so much now (compared to when I didn't have kids) with my two little babies because first it is just PAINFUL. I always found clothes shopping to be fun and refreshing and something I enjoyed doing. But try pushing a pram around in crammed store or having to worry about your child pulling things or whinging about food or throwing a tantrum.. then it ain't fun!

    So now if I want to go shopping I must organise in advance with hubby to look after them so I can escape for a few hours.

    However I do make quick shopping trips to Target and local stores for cheap items that I know will fit in with my current wardrobe and will still get a good amount of wear.
    I also get clothes from thrift stores.

    I make do with whatever I have in my closet. I have to. But I'm really glad that when I did work and had more money, I usually purchased items that were good quality, stylish, classic pieces that now I can still wear years later.

    I think that alot of fashion bloggers dress only for themselves… as in, they don't need to worry about any extra factors when they decide on their outfits. When I dress I need to consider things like "can I run in this and not like look an idiot if my 2yr old decides to do a runner and I need to grab her while pushing my other baby in the pram?"
    OR more importantly, "can i breastfeed my baby in this outfit?" So that means alot of the time I'm in jeans/pantsskirt and a top.
    BLAH BLAH.
    I've started a blog about being a SAHM and some of the outfits I've worn and I can nurse in.. and jeans have been featured a few times already but that is what i live in right now.
    Being a SAHM in alot of cases means you need to be very realistic about your outfits and ability to buy new clothes (for me it does at least).
    I do enjoy reading fashion blogs and finding inspiration from their outfits to create my own, more practical versions.

    http://www.modelmumma.blogspot.com

    07.24.10 · Reply
  67. Anna says:

    I'll just admit now that I have no fashion sense to speak of. Your site is great and the outfits are perfect inspiration for the fashion challenged. I recently discovered you but I intend to come and visit often. bonne chance cherie. xo

    07.24.10 · Reply
  68. Thanks for this. So interesting and thought provoking. I will have to think more about it and write about it myself, I think.

    Because it's true, we don't really NEED all the clothes we have. But it is fun, isn't it? I think I like to have options, many many many (too many) options!

    Anyway, I have no idea how I was not aware of the existence of your blog before today. But I must tell you: I am now aware and shall follow henceforth!

    ps: isn't it funny how despite the myriad of articles of clothing we all (well, you me and most girls) own, we still end up having "favorites" we wear over and over? I can never figure that one out about myself!

    07.24.10 · Reply
  69. Jade says:

    Great post, Kendi! I would say the last line is what is important to me- appreciate what you do have and if you have it, wear it!

    07.24.10 · Reply
  70. Elaine says:

    I think this is a great post and it is a hard concept for people to realize that we are ALL consumers and are guilty of wanting more than we need. I realized that as my husband and I settled into marriage, we had to be careful with our money and we documented every penny we spent because we simply had to. It made me realize clothes were not important. I need the basics and classics that I can wear over again and I'd be okay with. The point of my blog was to show that you really don't need a lot of clothes and a lot of money to look good. You definitely don't have to keep buying clothes whether it's "cheap" or not to feel stylish either.

    P.S. There are a lot of replies here. It would be great if you could pick and choose some of the best ones and post it as a reply to your post.

    07.24.10 · Reply
  71. Ejiro O. says:

    Lovely post, the 30 for 30 challenge for me is about learning that I have everything I need right there, and I don't need to rush out to satisfy an urge to follow trends or what not. Everybody will get something different from challenges such as this, it should be expected we are all different. Thanks for such an opportunity!!!

    07.24.10 · Reply
  72. This post is fantastic Kendi. I have ot yet read the article you linked to, but your blog post made me think about the disposable fashion culture. I don't think excessive consumerism is limited to Americans – it happens in Australia too.
    Thank you for setting this challenge. I am going to see if I can do it in August?

    07.25.10 · Reply
  73. Sometimes I feel like I already do wear only 6 items a month! Just the other day I was astonished at the outcome of my laundry: 3 pairs of shorts, 2 dresses, 8 t-shirts and 30 something pairs of undies! (I must disclose how I work from home, so I dont have the usual office attire to worry about). I tend to fall in love with things, either for comfort reasons or style reasons, and I wear them out until I am embarrassed to be photographed constantly in the same outfits. Mind you, I am one of those people who stares at their overflowing closet and cant find a thing to wear :/

    07.25.10 · Reply
  74. Mikaela says:

    6 items in one month would be hard, and maybe too hard. i think i would binge after that!!

    though i noticed that they didn't count jackets, shoes, or jewelry in the 6 items, so it wouldn't be as bad (still bad though) as i first thought.

    07.25.10 · Reply
  75. I've been doing the 30 for 30 Challenge, too, and it's been nice to realize that I need less clothing than I thought to have a good wardrobe.

    That being said, 6 items won't cut it. I understand the point about consumerism and blah, blah, blah–but at some point it goes too far. If Carrie Bradshaw is one extreme, then these people are the other.

    I prefer staying in the middle.

    07.26.10 · Reply
  76. Great post. Although I started out my blog as a fashion blog I soon realised that I had a lot of other things I wanted to express other than just my "style". So even though I started writing 6 months ago, it has only been in the last two weeks that I've even posted any outfit photos.

    This is not to say that fashion blogs are bad or wrong, I love going through fashion blogs and seeing beautiful people (such as yourself!) and clothes. And if anything it has taught me to be more conscious of the clothes I do own. I'm hoping that it will force me to make the most out of the clothes I have and mix and match a lot more, although there is also the potential that I will just buy twice as many clothes as normal so that I don't repeat the same items too often. Sigh.

    07.27.10 · Reply
  77. Lydia says:

    I read that article on the weekend. I have to say I'm really happy to hear that some people are doing this. I'm always happy to hear that the move against consumerism might be a part of the zeitgeist. Could I do it? I guess so…but I think the 30-for-30 is accomplishing the same thing for me, except it means I still get joy from dressing. Right now my goal is to balance the time/money I spend buying and thinking about clothes, and the 6 rule would be too extreme – I'd be obsessing about what I'm NOT wearing.

    "I buy based out of a need to be dressed and since I have to get dressed everyday, why not enjoy it?"

    Exactly. And if we can do it responsibly, all the better. I love that you posted this.

    Lydia xo

    http://buttonjar.wordpress.com

    07.27.10 · Reply
  78. Emily says:

    Hmmm, 6 for 30 would require me to do laundry a lot more often, which apart from wasting water would probably lead to those 6 things wearing out a lot faster…. ; )

    But if you think about it, our grandparents did something similar all the time, and it was just called living. Or great-grandparents for some of you (my family has really long generations). But people used to own two or three dresses: one or two for the week, and a good one for Sundays. It's all part of our accelerated culture that we now get bored with seeing the same thing all the time.

    Good article.

    http://rubyslipperjourneys.blogspot.com

    07.27.10 · Reply
  79. Kendi, This is such a thoughtful perspective on the different types of style bloggers. I always try to emphasize to my readers that I'm just a regular girl, too. I have a small budget and work with what I've got, and I choose to blog about it because I don't have girly roomates anymore to share the fun of finding the perfect outfit with (my husband can only contribute so much!).

    I love following along your 30 for 30 challenge because it emphasizes that you can look fabulous without buying everything new. Shopping mindfully is so important, and I'm glad to share the blogosphere with others that are sending this message to people. Confidence doesn't have to come from new clothes, just from feeling good in what you've got.

    xo

    07.27.10 · Reply
  80. Courtney says:

    I would only if I had a washer in my house (I do not).

    –Courtney
    http://beautyandtherecession.blogspot.com

    08.07.10 · Reply
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    10.04.11 · Reply