So I have made it through week 2 wearing the same 6 items during my Six Items or Less Challenge with only a few (teeny tiny!) confessions to make, but some rather interesting revelations about our perceptions of image and the psychology of choice.
I must say it has proven quite a lot harder than I first thought! If you’ve spent a spring in Wellington you will be familiar with the ever changing weather that is totally impossible to predict or properly plan for. So when we were blessed with some lovely rare sunshine during the weekend I realised that my original 6 did not cater for anything remotely summery, so I was forced to drag out some shorts and a singlet that were not part of the selected 6. But never fear! I dutifully put them back in the drawer after the trip to the beach, ready for week 3 back with my beloved (and rather familiar) super 6!!
Here is a pic of the black Country Road dress that is getting a bloody good run for its money this month!
And the trusty black jeans and kilt merino top make yet another star appearance together! (Sorry for my very crap poses people! I clearly need a lesson with some next top model divas….)
But what has been really interesting are the epiphanies that have come from forcing myself to wear such a limited section of my wardrobe. The first thing I noticed last week is that apart from my close friends who know I’m doing the challenge (and who very kindly ask me how stinky my clothes are getting!) pretty much NO ONE I am regularly around has noticed I have been wearing the same clothes every day! How funny! Which leads me to the conclusion that the obsession with our image, clothing and fashion is mostly for our own indulgence. Sure our clothes say a huge amount about who we are and how we want to be viewed in the world, but in fact the world does not notice whether we are updating our ‘look’ from one week to the next, or whether we are wearing the latest designer dress. And this realisation has been so refreshing! I feel like I can concentrate more on styles that I like and that suit my body and my personality, without worrying an inch about what people think or whether I’m keeping up to date enough with the latest trends. NZ eco focused Good Magazine has a great new article on ‘slow style’ that closely looks at the benefits of concentrating on being ‘stylish’ rather than being ‘fashionable.’
The other thing I realised last week is that having less clothes to choose from has actually decreased my stress levels each morning as it was so much easier and quicker to choose what to wear. Could it be that less is actually more?! I started thinking about other situations where having too much choice has actually stressed me out (choosing what music to listen to from my i-pod, deciding between 25 almost-the-same-but-different types of sushi, and being overwhelmed in the toothpaste section at the supermarket) and wondered if maybe these feelings around pressure of choice are symptomatic of our capitalist society’s fixation on providing so many options for everything we consume.
And whammo! I found this amazing video on TED, where a dude called Barry Schwartz talks on “The Pardox of Choice” – he estimates that having so much choice has actually made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
And now its back to deciding on which scarf to wear with the black dress tomorrow – the same dress one I wore today, and yesterday, and last week…..