Halfway into my 6 Items or Less experiment, and several thoughts and feelings have been crowding into me, as I’ve worked with a wardrobe of only six pieces of clothing.
First, I have found many benefits and extremely worthwhile realizations/outcomes to doing this:
- It’s really nice not having to even think about what I’m going to wear every day.
- It’s kind of fun and creative to make my outfits different by dressing them up with jewelry, belts, shoes, scarves and other accessories.
- Even though most of us (myself included) have a lot of things in our closet, we still tend to wear the same things over and over. Maybe not just 6, but I bet most of us don’t regularly wear half of our wardrobe. So what do we have all this stuff for?
- Quality is more important than quantity: it’s better to have fewer things of higher quality, than a bunch of cheap crap.
- Simplicity, for the most part, is an incredibly freeing concept and practice.
However, on the flip side I have found this bizarre side effect in myself – I want to buy new clothes, plain and simple. Two weeks of wearing the same two tops, two pants, and one dress over and over have taken their toll on my boredom factor. I like these clothes, and they are wearing well. But I have to admit I’m getting sick of them.
The desire to buy new clothes, the urge actually, is not common for me. I’m not a huge shopper, and I usually only want to get new things when I’m traveling or on a few vintage shopping runs a year. But due to my limitations of what I can wear for this month, I guess it’s triggering this real urge to acquire different stuff. Weird – and I wasn’t expecting that.
I guess I’ve figured it out to mean that, while simplicity and resisting the overly consumerist lifestyle are wonderful things, there is such a thing as too many limitations. Discipline yourself too severely, and you’ll not only be less happy but it can have the opposite effect in the long term. It’s sort of like the super rigid, strenuous diet – you might lose a bunch of weight and do really great for weeks, but when you fall off the wagon you usually binge, and in a big way.
For me personally, I believe that the goals of simplicity, inner happiness, finding contentment from within and especially not from material things, are all great things. But it’s also okay (even necessary) to treat ourselves to the little things that bring us pleasure without over-indulging, and to not regiment ourselves so austerely that our inner chaotic self rebels.