fashion,  vintage

Six Items or Less

The New York Times recently published an article about consumers who decided to go on a fashion “diet.” On the website Six Items or Less, people from all over the world committed to go an entire month wearing only six selected items of clothing from their closets.

It sounds daunting, until you dig deeper into the rules. There are exceptions that don’t count towards the six items: underwear (obviously), swimming suits and work-out clothes, outer jackets (like raincoats), shoes, and accessories. You can get multiples of the same item for laundry purposes, but they must be exactly the same. When I read the rules, I thought, What? Shoes and accessories don’t count? I know plenty of women who choose what shoes to wear first and then get dressed. Ditto on purses.

Many of the people who submitted comments to the Six Items website said they took up the month-long challenge to curb their shopping impulses. I think it’s an interesting experiment. In a similar vein, I recently challenged myself, after a serious weeding of my overstuffed closet, to buy mostly secondhand items. It’s been fun and budget-friendly, and I like to think it’s environmentally sound, too.

My six items, which already hang in my closet, are shown above: Banana Republic black shift dress, Joe’s Provocateur Jeans, gray suit pants, slouchy black cardigan, and multiple quantities of the same black T-shirts from Target and black tank tops from Forever 21. And then of course, to dress up this blank canvas, I’d add the most outrageous accessories I could find in my closet: leopard-print flats, wide belts, chunky layered necklaces, a red purse, and loud scarves. But my picks are imaginary of course (you didn’t actually think I was going to do it, did you?). What would your six items be?


  • Ruta

    THis is interesting but I couldn’t do it. It’d just get boring and no fun. I think not spending at all and wearing what you have is more important. Why not wear what you already have. I think a no shopping ban is better than a 6 item challenge.

  • Zhanna

    Would my wedding dress count as one item, ha! I would probably be willing to wear it on multiple occasions πŸ™‚

  • Susan

    Absolutely. Cocktail rings are the best. I have a Bakelite one I found at a local vintage store that would go nicely with my 6 items.

  • style maniac

    I saw this too, I believe via Style Statement. I’m with you, Susan — as long as accessories don’t count this is easier than it seems, as I basically have a uniform for each season anyway. This summer it’s sundresses (both mini & maxi), leggings & tunics, and lots of bathing suit coverups worn as tops or dresses.

    Red & leopard are alsontwo of my favorite things, but I’d have to add an over-the-top crazy cocktail ring to your accessory list.

    The only problem? Who wants to do laundry that often?