Rolling it out with 6 Items or Less

7 Jan

So…here I go with my new blog for 2011, where I will chronicle the adventures of my 30-Day Experiments throughout the year. If you’re wondering what this is all about, or just what possessed me, you can try to make sense of it on the About page.

Heidi Hackemer models her monthlong, six-piece wardrobe. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Hackemer)

First up is Six Items or Less, which began as a small experiment between friends and quickly grew to become a global movement questioning the power of what we don’t wear. I read about it last year in the New York Times. Heidi Hackemer and Tamsin Davies, who work in advertising in New York, got in a sort of double-dare to see if they could go an entire month with only six items of clothing; the first experiment was just them and a few friends (aren’t you glad I didn’t rope you into this with me?).

It was sort of a combination exercise in simplicity, frugality, taming the urge to buy, and how we define ourselves with fashion. The idea caught on, and later in the year they did it again with about 100 participants. Anyway, I thought it rocked and signed up for the next round of the experiment, which starts on Monday, January 10.

Here’s a little of what the Six Items or Less website has to say about the experiment:

What do our clothes say about us? Why do spend so much time on what we wear? What happens when we don’t?

We’re really interested in looking at the clothes that we use to define us, and exploring a life of less.

Watch the NY Times video about 6 Items

The experiment itself is simple: Each participant gets to choose six (and only six) items of clothing and pledge to wear only these six items of clothing for a month. They’ll track their experiences and feelings at the 6 Items website – here is my page.

As of this writing, there were three other people in Austin participating. Some people seem to be doing it as an anti-fashion statement, others as an exercise in frugality and/or simplicity. Still others are looking at the effects of over-consumerism, the mass manufacture of increasingly cheap clothing and quality vs quantity. More is less, however you look at it. I’m going in with these thoughts in mind, but no expectations. I’ll just see how it affects me most.

And in case you’re wondering (as I did, immediately!), there are exceptions that don’t count towards the six: undergarments, swim wear, work-out clothes, work uniforms, outer wear (rain slicker, winter jacket), shoes and accessories.

8 Responses to “Rolling it out with 6 Items or Less”

  1. MultipleMum April 5, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I started this challenge on Mar 28. Going well so far but the washing is starting to drive me a bit mad! Enjoyed reading your posts x

    PS I friend of mine is trying to spend nothing for a month (google Little Eco Footprints!)

    • Shelley Seale April 6, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Interesting – I did look up your friend’s blog and just spent some time reading through it. I have thought about doing one of my 30 Day projects as something like this, but I don’t know how realistic or easy it is to spend no money for a month. What about food? It sort of seems to me (or maybe it’s just me) that one would just stock up before something like that, so there wouldn’t really be much of a savings. But maybe I’m wrong and, if I did it, would find out how much I really saved. Would be an interesting experiment!


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