For years, I saw clothes that were the "wrong" size. Clothes that made me feel too fat, too tall, too dumpy, too trampy, too old, too young, too . . .
These feelings were particularly strong when I am in the process of gaining weight (as in for baby-making) or losing weight or being all gross and pre-menstral. If it is true that "clothes make the man," then I feel it is just as true that "clothes can un-hinge a woman."
They're just clothes, right? How can clothes make you feel anything?
Well, of COURSE, it isn't my Ann Taylor Loft obsession that is to blame for the frequent breakdowns of my fashion psyche. Nor can I fault my ever-expanding collection of 'layering tanks' for the fact that I can never find something to wear that will alter my unfortunate self-image. It is just than in a vain (get it? Vain?? Never mind) attempt at appeasing the Bad Self Esteem monster, I had acquired a ridiculous amount of clothes. PLUS I was terrified to purge the ones I had outgrown/shrunk out of in the hope/fear that I might be "that size" again.
About 6 weeks ago, I was reading an article about a movement called Six Items or Less. The idea was that people all over the world limited their clothing choices for an entire month to six items. (This did NOT include pajamas, workout clothes or underthings). The "creators" stated it was a way to get back to basics and to curb consumerism.
Whatever it was supposed to be about – I just thought it was a cool experiment.
I was extremely intrigued about the idea but decided to "sit on it" for a bit. I tend to get really "excited" about things but then the next shiny toy catches my eye and that initial excitement fades pretty quickly. This one, however, stuck with me. The Bruce would walk into our bedroom and catch me staring at the clothes in my closet. As I would fold laundry, I would think "do I really need this?" I would joke about which 6 I would pick if I were to do it.
It just wouldn't leave my head. So I clearly had to do it.
Much like making the decision to do was tough, the paring down of my wardrobe to the 6 items was also challenging. A lot of people who did the diet previously stuck to an all black wardrobe but I am not all "all-black all the time" kind of girl so I did NOT want to do that. I pared it down to 10 pretty easily. It was those last 4 pieces that took about a day and a half of deliberation to finally settle on. Because of my job, I had to make sure that any clothing I had would be audition/callback appropriate. This one caused me no end of grief. Finally I went to the website sixitemsorless.com and found out that "work uniforms" did not count against your 6 items. Perfect! I grabbed a simple brown jersey dress, called it my "audition uniform," decided on the brown versus cream colored slacks and we were off.
A huge initial benefit that I found was as I was paring down to the 6 items, I also purged everything from my closet that no longer fit. I am currently a size 10 and I had clothes in my closet that were size 18!!! Before even starting the diet, I had cut my wardrobe almost in half!
The actual diet itself was shockingly easy to follow. For the first three weeks, I took pictures every day to document. Then, honestly, I got bored with the pictures. I had already documented every possible combination and didn't see the point of continuing to do that. PLUS, we got REALLY busy and I would forget.
Some clothing combinations worked better than others and I bought some belts to try to spruce things up but that only lasted about a week or so. In the end, what seemed to work best for me was the simple top/bottom with no real accessories to speak of. I am not a "jewelry" girl so that seems to work just fine and I didn't feel like I was putting on a costume.
As the month was nearing its end, I was more and more convinced that I could pare down my "regular" wardrobe even more. In the end, I cut back to about 4 of "everything." 4 jeans, 4 tanks, 4 t-shirts (long and short), 4 sweaters, etc. I kept more pants than I originally planned but I have toddlers who like to share their lunches with my lap so that seemed reasonable to me.
The best part?
Right now, I look in my closet and all I see (other than about 50 empty hangers) are clothes. Just cloth and thread and buttons and zippers. Nothing more.
|The Diet Menu|
|What is left of the wardrobe|