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 money’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 wouldn’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?