The phrase "six items or less" usually conjures up images of express lines at grocery check-outs, but for 100 people around the world, it's more relevantly associated with the question: What am I going to wear today? Rather than the usual routine of picking through the plethora options stored within one's closet, this community of strangers opted to edit down their wardrobes, picking only six pieces to wear for an entire month, and share their experiences.
At first glance, the project might seem like a statement against consumerism, but Six Items or Less is more about asking questions: What do our clothes say about us? Do people really notice what we wear? And most of all: How do we define ourselves by our clothes?
Of course, it's not as rigid as its name might imply. Certain garments like underwear, swimwear, work-out gear, work-specific uniforms, and weather-necessitated pieces (like raincoats) are exceptions. Shoes and accessories are wild cards too.
The project, co-founded by friends Heidi Hackemer, a New Yorker, and Tamsin Davies, who's based in London, is currently halfway through its month-long run. "It's really interesting, especially at this halfway point to see all these strangers supporting one other," says Hackemer (aka "uberblond" on the site).
While each participant has his or her own reason for joining in on the project, Hackemer's own personal interest in this type of challenge stemmed from assessing her wardrobe during a move abroad, and taking count of how many clothing items felt disposable. "It got me thinking about the idea of refining a uniform, defining yourself with certain key pieces, or a single look to wear for an entire season," she explains.
It's too early to say whether or not these wardrobe constraints will stick once the project completes, but Hackemer already has some notable observations on the matter: "You'd be amazed at how many people don't notice what you wear. If you have on something new and different, then yes, someone might compliment you and that feels great, but if you don't, people don't care."
It's incredibly cool to see this kind of experiment have such a global outreach, from London to Dubai to Columbia, and while we don't know if we could do the same thing for an entire month ourselves, it does have us thinking about our top six wardrobe staples. A slouchy white tank and a floral dress would be right up there at the top of the list.
Follow the ongoing project on www.sixitemsorless.com