5 weeks down, only 1 to go! The Six Items Challenge has gone by so fast and it has been so much easier than I thought it would be. A big part of this was that I was able to pick out clothes for the challenge that are versatile and comfortable enough to satisfy my needs for six weeks. If any of you are thinking of taking part in the Six Items Challenge next year, or want to cut down on your clothes anyway, here are some tips on what sort of clothes you should go with.
- Choose comfortable clothes.
Your clothes need to be comfortable in two ways: they need to physically feel good on you, being the right size and a comfortable material, and they also need to make you feel good about yourself, looking good on you and showing your style or personality. If you’re going to live with a small amount of clothes, you have to make sure you feel good in all of them. If something doesn’t fit quite right, wearing it all the time will become annoying. If you don’t feel like yourself in it, you won’t feel good about wearing it often. The white sweater I chose for this challenge proved to be a bit of a mistake: it suits with my other pieces and it’s a basic, neutral piece. However, it’s a bit small for me and thus a bit uncomfortable. If I had chosen a softer, bigger sweater, I would be much happier wearing it. It hasn’t been much of a bother, but if I was devoting myself to this wardrobe for more than six weeks, I would definitely change that white sweater into a different piece.
2. Make sure all the pieces suit together.
Especially if you’re planning to go with only six pieces of clothing, like in the Six Items Challenge, you need to make sure you can get as many outfits as possible from so few items. Before I made up my mind about my items, I tested them all out with each other to make sure I can wear each top with each bottom, and possibly even combine tops to get more looks. A lot of capsule wardrobes are made up of really basic clothes in neutral colours, but if that isn’t your thing, but you want a minimal wardrobe, just make sure all your patterns and colours suit together. You can also go for mostly neutral clothes with a couple of statement items.
3. Try to find multifunctional pieces.
My saviour in many situations has been my Tuub, which is a multifunctional piece of clothing which can be used as a top, skirt, dress, scarf or whatever else you can come up with. During the challenge I’ve used it in many different ways, and the best thing about it has been that I have been able to use it as both a top and a bottom. There are plenty of examples of clothing like this that can be used in many ways, like reversible clothing or wrap dresses that can be twisted into many different shapes. Multifunctional pieces are like many pieces of clothing in one, so naturally they’re a good choice if you want to own less. Multifunctional pieces are also great while travelling, since they take less space in your luggage than having multiple items.
4. Pick clothes that suit your lifestyle.
You probably have clothes that you like, but that you can’t wear in your everyday life, because they don’t suit with your lifestyle. If you have to dress fancy to work, then your wardrobe should reflect that. Of course you can have items that are not for work, but realistically you won’t be able to wear those as much as the ones you wear every day, so the amount of those clothes should be significantly less than the ones you really need. For me the difficult part about picking clothes for this challenge was finding clothes that would be comfortable to cycle in. I live in a small city with quite bad public transportation (I got used to the best public transportation system in the world while living in Helsinki, so my standards are pretty high), so I have to cycle everywhere. Choosing dresses or clothes that are uncomfortable to move in for this challenge wouldn’t have been very smart in my case, so I had to take that into account.
5. Think about the clothes you wear a lot.
Your closet may be full of clothes, but you probably still have a couple of pieces that you wear a lot more often than others. Think about why: what is the function of the piece, what do you wear it with and where? Once you’ve realised why you wear those pieces a lot, you’ll probably see what you value in clothes and what sort of clothes you need the most. This will help you to figure out what sort of clothes should go into your minimalist wardrobe. An example from my wardrobe is button shirts: they’re comfortable, versatile, can be worn on many different occasions, and they’ve become a big part of my style. My friends know that button shirts are my biggest weakness at flea markets, and I usually go home with at least one. The more 80s or 90s they are, the better! So no surprise that one of my items for the Six Items Challenge was an oversized, slightly 80s, second hand button shirt.
I’m going to have to think about how I will transition back into my full wardrobe after the challenge: will I really go back to having so many clothes, or have I learnt enough from this challenge to cut back? I’m quite sure that I will be much more critical of my clothes, and will be getting rid of the stuff that isn’t practical or comfortable. And I definitely won’t be buying new clothes for quite some time!
P.S. It’s the last week of the challenge, so now is a great time to donate to Labour Behind the Label’s fundraiser, which this whole challenge is really for!
P.P.S. I also wrote a piece for Labour Behind the Label on the challenge, so check that out here!