A previous Sixer from Austin

19 Jan

Dean Kakridas

The New York Times article about last year’s 6 Items experiment mentions an Austinite who participated: Dean Kakridas – yes, a guy (I discovered that a lot of men participate in the experiment – some of whom seem the most anxious about their fashion limitations).

I contacted Dean, and he was happy to share with me (see below). But first, here’s what the Times said about Dean’s experiment:

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. “Anything that removes complexity or cycles from your day is really valuable. I have freed a lot of bandwidth in my head.” The most interesting thing to many of the Sixers was how few people noticed what they were doing.

On his personal blog, he says this about the results of his experiment:

As one of the original early participants of the Six Items or Less challenge, I quickly learned the value and relief that having less choices and clutter in my closet brought me on a daily basis. It’s taken a bit of time, but last week I purged at least 1/2 of my closet and will be making a massive Good Will delivery to ring in 2011. From this point on I will scrutinize every garment I consider for purchase and ensure that it fills a real need and fits the profile of what I want to put on my body.”

Here’s what Dean wrote in an email response to me, about what he found to be the best and hardest things about the experiment:

Hardest Thing
For me, this was choosing six items to be able to cover me for around town as well as professional settings like business trips and presentations. I’ve always strived to wear close to the same things at work as other settings, but that’s easier with the full closet behind you. During the 30 days, I went on two business trips and had four total client presentations/ meetings without missing a beat — although it required some timely washing and ironing to get by.

Best Thing
Other than all the press and visibility it got, I think the most important thing about the challenge is that it pushed me into simplifying my wardrobe and pruning all of the clothing that I never wore. It’s given me a whole new outlook on what colors/ fabrics/ quality I like, what I buy, and how I get dressed. It’s made some lasting positive changes to my fashion sense for sure.

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