Woman Wears 6 Items Of Clothing For A Month — Nobody Notices

Wondering how many clothing items you really need? The answer may be 6. Well, probably not, but it is rather interesting that one woman went a month with only 6 items of clothing and nobody, not even her husband (who does the laundry) even noticed.

From the NYT:

During her experiment — something called a “shopping diet,” actually — which ended on Wednesday, Ms. Brennan made do with the following: a black blazer and pants from H & M; two button-down shirts, one black and one pink; a pair of Old Navy jeans; and one well-worn pink T-shirt.

How she settled on those items was complicated by the fact that she has two young children, a golden retriever and three cats, and that she was starting a new job last month with an hourlong commute. She said she needed “six items that are animal-hair-, kid-, food- and wrinkle-resistant. I need these items to be professional, but also work for playing football with my son and tea parties.”

She agonized the longest over the T-shirt — the button-down shirts and suit separates were for work, but the right T-shirt could be worn casually with jeans or dressed up with the blazer. Her revelation at the end of 31 days, after her husband still had not noticed, even when she wore her floral-printed pajamas to do yard work: “Obviously, I didn’t need all of these clothes.”

Could you make due with 6 pieces of clothing? Seems like a lot small loads of laundry to us.

Shoppers on a ‘Diet’ Tame the Urge to Buy [NYT]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. chaesar says:

    wish my wife did this

    • fourclover54 says:

      I’ve done it too! I spent a semester in the Czech Republic and brought three shirts, two pairs of pants and a jacket for a three month period. One of the pants fell apart, but that was more due to the walking I did than anything else. You really don’t need to wash clothes as often as you’d think.

    • It'sRexManningDay! says:

      wish my husband did this. he has at least 30 long-sleeve button down shirts, almost all of them in varying shades of gray. Why can’t 5 suffice? There are only 5 worldays in a week!

    • My Head Hurts says:

      Mine wears 6 things per day.

      :(

  2. mikeyz says:

    “no one noticed” or “people only talked about the crazy lady behind her back”

    • GMFish says:

      I’m picking the latter. People definitely noticed. And by “people” I mean other women.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        If all people have to worry about is what clothes I choose to wear, it completely explains how we’ve ended up with such crap politicians and corporations.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Haha. I think in some areas, it’s acceptable to wear the basics all the time, but even people who aren’t fashion-conscious notice when you’re wearing the exact same suit and shirt combo day after day. In DC a lot of the lawyers and Hill staffers tend to wear the basic “uniform” of a black pants suit or skirt suit, but I doubt those people have exactly one suit they wear every single day. I bet someone did notice eventually, and just never said anything.

      • sonneillon says:

        I dunno if she works with a bunch of guys and she wasn’t “important” company wise they may not have noticed what the secretary has been wearing for the past month.

        • Fidget says:

          I was thinking that this poor woman was so sad to find out how little people notice her that she had to turn it into a “shopping diet experiment.”

    • FigNinja says:

      Yep. I worked with a couple guys who did this. I noticed. And black is not really resistant to animal hair. It shows it worse than any other color.

    • Kris with a K says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Even in outspoken NYC, people don’t say, “uh, I noticed you’re wearing the same three outfits every week. Is everything okay with you?”

    • MameDennis says:

      One of my friends in junior high wore the same pair of jeans every day, because that’s all she had. (It was *very* obvious it was the same pair, because she had written on them. Not the brightest thing to do under the circumstances, but, hey, we were ten or eleven.)

      The thing is, as cruel as kids are, she only got picked on about it ONCE. Believe me, though, everybody noticed. EVERYBODY.

  3. pantheonoutcast says:

    I’m assuming she either didn’t count the underwear as “clothing” or she went commando.

    • katstermonster says:

      The original article notes that underwear, shoes, and accessories were not included in the count.

    • dangermike says:

      yeah, seriously. I would never want to own less than 6 pairs of underwear. And I can’t stand what socks feel like after they’ve been through half a dozen or so wash and dry cycles.

  4. spazztastic says:

    I wish I could get my son to do this…he may wear six pieces in a day…

  5. SOhp101 says:

    Most people aren’t bitchy enough to actually call you out on wearing the same things over. As for husbands… well they know better than to comment on their wife’s clothing choices.

    • Capta76 says:

      Yeah, I’d have kept my mouth shut..

    • Geekybiker says:

      No kidding. Even if I noticed I know better than to say something about my wife’s clothing choice if I don’t want to sleep on the couch.

    • johnperkins21 says:

      One day my wife put on overalls, and I laughed at her. It did not go over well. However, she never once tried to wear overalls again, so it all worked out ok in the end. And she now knows to never ask my opinion on clothes as I am willing to be completely honest.

  6. GuidedByLemons says:

    She’s a real trooper for not wearing undergarments or socks for a month!

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      Yeah I was wondering this myself. Don’t those count?

    • GameHen says:

      And apparantly she doesn’t work out and sleeps in the nude

    • DorsalRootGanglion says:

      Apparently people don’t read the article, in which socks and underwear are allowed. I can’t imagine going outside while braless in this heat. Too sticky. :(

  7. Cicadymn says:

    I have 5 work shirts, 3 work pants, 2 pair of jeans, and a mess of T-shirts that I’ve had for like 8 years.

    • Bativac says:

      Yeah that’s me. 3 pairs of pants, 4 or 5 work shirts and a pile of T-shirts. Couple pairs of shorts for the weekend.

      If I wear undershirts, I can get 3 wears our of each work shirt. If I starch my jeans I can wear them three times too. Giving me 3 workweeks of clothes before I have to do laundry.

      My wife on the other hand owns 6.2 metric tonnes of clothing.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      Ditto. I think the last time I bought new clothing was when I went from a “casual” job to a “business casual” job and necessitated the need for khakis.

    • chaesar says:

      I telecommute so I’m in underwear basically all day

      right now for instance

    • jvanbrecht says:

      I used my 1 free internet, all I got was this lousy tshirt.. I want my money back :)

  8. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Does that only include what she went out in, and not wore round the house? I also notice no underbritches listed, as well as socks, and nothing of shorts, given the heatwave this country seems to be having.

    That said, I usually wear the same two pants out all the time. They are each a pair of camo BDU pants. As for shirts, I wear the same old work tee shirt(s) of which I have 5 of each of. If I took the time to wash them every night, I could probably get away with wearing the literal same shirt, but I usually switch between one of my gray mb na ones and one of my blue Foodtown tees.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      I would think most people have something they wear when they are not at work and are just at home. That could provide an excuse for the husband. I’m sure something like this was going on.

    • Cameraman says:

      My mission for today is to somehow work the word “underbritches” into a conversation at work. Bonus points if it’s with a customer.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        I live in a house built in the 1900’s so I think the house and I have a shining thing going on, and I find myself using old time country words like that from time to time.

      • curlyfro says:

        Great, now I want to try that too. .

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      In the article it says “underwear and shoes were not counted in the challenge.” Otherwise my reaction would probably be ew. I rotate between maybe 10 work tops, 4 pairs of work pants, one skirt for when I need to be dressier, and a few sweaters. Accessories and shoes make the difference. Because I live in currently (and mostly) freezing, foggy San Francisco, I layer a lot so I could potentially use the same shirt and just rotate pants and sweaters, throw in a scarf and voila, completely new outfit. My work tops and sweaters also go well with jeans for casual days . As someone trying to cut down on my wardrobe to the clothes I actually wear and get rid of or donate everything else that I haven’t touched in years, this experiment may be good to try, but I think 6 is pushing it. I think I’ll try the however many articles can fit in a regulation size carry on suitcase works experiment method of the shopping diet and report back.

    • chefboyardee says:

      i also have 2 pairs of cargo pants that i rotate when i feel like it, but i mostly wanted to post to thank you for introducing me to BDU, i’m about to order a pair on the strength of your recommendation – never heard of them before, but after some researching, they seem like exactly what i should be wearing. so, thanks for that!

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        I bought my first pair in college(1996) with a paintball gun, and the second pair recently from someone selling her son’s Army stuff after being discharged. They are genuine GI Issue, and the way I see it is, if any kind of clothing has more testing and built to be tough, it’s military clothing. Plus, when they do fray,wear down, or something, they are usually in areas that have double layers, so it’s easy to repair. I think the biggest failure points are the buttons, but a little thread re-attaches them.

        • chefboyardee says:

          that’s awesome to hear. i have a young german shepherd, and i’m CONSTANTLY putting holes in my pants from all the playing on the carpet and wrestling outside with her. granted, it’s not exactly what the military’s intended use, but anything that will keep me from having to replace pants every 6 months to a year sounds great to me. i can’t get over their price compared to the quality, i was expecting to pay upwards of $80 a pair when i saw the description. i already placed my first order and am extremely excited for their arrival!

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Also check out your local flea markets/Army-Navy store. They may have genuine issue that are only slightly used that will still last.

        • Big Mama Pain says:

          AHAHAHA! I’m glad you think that Steve. You know, about thinking that military clothing is well tested and tough. Cute!!

    • seanjustinpenn says:

      Everytime you go out you wear two pairs of pants?

    • WagTheDog says:

      Try mixing it up with a skirt every so often. Trust me, you’ll get noticed!

  9. Coe-Stanza says:

    Wear whatever you want, but the shoes make the outfit.

  10. what says:

    I guess this experiment didn’t apply to undergarments?

  11. Amy Alkon says:

    The French generally have far fewer items of clothing than we do and are more likely to buy one or two really beautiful things than tons of crap. I’ve learned from them — from a Parisian girl named Marie who had little money but wore the same beautiful silk multicolor skirt and matching shawl about every day I saw her one summer, just with different skirts.

    I wear evening dress skirts from Loehmann’s, Goodwill, eBay or designer resale as daywear (with boots and a leather jacket, to run mundane errands to the drugstore, etc.), and it’s possible to do the same thing as Marie.

    • Amy Alkon says:

      Whoops, meant with different SHIRTS not SKIRTS.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      I had a small wardrobe when I lived in France, but when I moved to America things changed. The weather here was so much hotter that I could easily go through all my shirts in a matter of days thanks to sweating, and it was either do laundry constantly or buy a lot more shirts. I still only have two pairs of jeans and five skirts, but now I have dozens and dozens of shirts!

      • kutsuwamushi says:

        It costs me $2.50 a load. If I did laundry every week, that would be $130. I do laundry about every other week, though, so I save $65 a year and about 52 hours of not doing laundry. It probably about evens out for me, since I tend to buy inexpensive shirts and keep them around for years.

        Of course, buying things you never wear is wasteful.

    • maztec says:

      Absolutely. Most people don’t pay attention to what other people wear on a repeat basis. My wife has about 20 articles of clothing, but complains when I have more than 5 or 6 (and starts throwing mine away after that…. I have never figured it out.) On the other hand, I buy expensive suits or suit pieces to supplement my wardrobe about once a year.

      After I started doing this I started watching other people. I made sure all of my tops and bottoms go together, if possible, and I alternate through them. There are only one or two pieces I have that stand out as abnormal and someone would notice if I wore day after day or week after week. However, I found almost everyone wears at least two or three things repeatedly every week – it’s like a comfort zone. And many people wear the same four or five things every single week. However, they keep it so they only wear items once a week, change the top and bottom they go with, and nobody ever notices. I started doing the same thing and have never had someone comment on it in several years.

      • maztec says:

        Er… my point was I agree with the French.. and with the other followup poster. If you live in a place that is hot and you sweat a lot, you are going to go through more clothes. However, you don’t need too much stuff in the wardrobe.

    • Jevia says:

      This is definitely correct with the French. My french in-laws can fit all of their clothes in one small wardrobe and about 3 drawers, each. My sister-in-law probably has half the clothes I do. They also don’t quite have the hang-up that many Americans do about wearing the same thing two days in a row (barring stains or excessive sweating).

      But, in France, their clothes are a lot more expensive as well. When my in-laws visit us, they usually will bring an extra empty suitcase to fill up with clothes purchased here.

  12. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Maybe they did notice.

    Also, I’ve seen plenty of people that wear the same two pairs of pants and four different shirts all the time. I did that in high school all the time.

    In fact, because I gained 10 pounds – for the last month, I’ve only been wearing 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts & a few tops because i can’t fit into anything else until I lose this weight.

  13. brianisthegreatest says:

    I’m thinking people noticed. It’s not really something you say to someone, especially a new hire at your place of work. The husband not noticing is pretty obvious as well. I don’t think I’m one ot have an expansive range of clothes, but jeans can be worn a few days out of the week probably without notice, as long as their clean. I’m not sure about other items.

  14. johnva says:

    Americans buy way too many clothes in general. The very idea that we can debate whether it’s “weird” to only wear a few articles of clothing for a month is a function of our surplus wealth. Personally, I hate shopping for clothes and I hate having to decide what to wear according to some idiotic, marketing-driven, arbitrary rules of “fashion”. I’d like it if society would just go back to having a single basic traditional garment that is worn by everyone. It would solve a lot of issues, be less wasteful, and so on. If lots of human societies throughout history can get by with variations on just wrapping a piece of cloth around your body, why can’t we? Why do we need clothes that require a specialized factory to make?

    (And don’t even get me started on completely non-functional clothing items such as neckties and suit jackets just for the sake of appearance).

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      “I’d like it if society would just go back to having a single basic traditional garment that is worn by everyone.”

      What, like a Snuggie? It can’t happen. The only societies wherein all people can get away with wearing the same clothing are religious cults and supervillains’ henchmen.

      • johnva says:

        Haha, no.

        Until the relatively recent past, no one but nobility had closets full of different clothing. It doesn’t really serve any functional purpose. I don’t care what other people wear, and it doesn’t “impress” me or anything to see someone with expensive or otherwise flashy clothes. I only wear the clothes I wear because other people would whine if I didn’t.

        • curlyfro says:

          What clothes do you wear do prevent others from whining? What would you wear otherwise? Are you talking about work? I’m just curious. I am not a fashion plate and never have been. Not once have any of my friends commented on my lack of fancy branded clothes. My spring/summer wardrobe is much varied. But in the cold months I wear the save five shirts with different tanks underneath and five pairs of pants. I now have a few more pants because a coworker gave me some of her daughters old pants she found.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I pretty regularly have people who whine about the fact that I wear one pair of pants with a tiny hole in the center of the crotch.

            The real question is: Why are they staring at my crotch? And why are they examining it *so closely* that they can see this small hole?

            The way I see it, if other people want me to wear certain clothes, they’re free to buy them and gift them to me.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      I completely agree. Coming from a female’s perspective, it is even more difficult with the expectation of women to look “their best” which usually means wearing the most current trends — and for every season, of course! I hate shopping, too, and yet is unfortunately one of the bigger expenses in my budget. Don’t get me wrong — I like to look good and I admittedly want to wear the current trends, but the cost and effort to do so makes me resent it. The pro-spending demographic of Prada and Gucci has become the majority and if you’re not on that boat, you might as well be wearing mom jeans. That’s an overstatement of course, and I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of those $$$ purses or shoes, but the sentiment’s the same.

      • johnva says:

        I’m sure it’s even worse for women, yeah. Men only have a few ridiculous fashion trends to keep up with, and it seems to move at a slower pace.

        What bothers me the most is the consumption part of it. The whole phenomenon of fashion as it currently exists seems explicitly designed to keep people on a permanent treadmill where they’re always buying more and more clothing. It’s ceased to be about individuality and now is more about money, conspicuous consumption, conformity, and showing off how much excess cash you can waste in order to flaunt your status. It’s like the ultimate planned obsolescence: your clothes become obsolete on a rapid, planned schedule, and social pressure is exacted to keep you caring about it.

        • theycallmeGinger says:

          Absolutely. That’s why I mentioned Prada and Gucci, brands which simply stand for affluence. The only reason these bags cost so much is to maintain elitism; it’s not like the quality justifies the cost. But most of the people I see showing off these items are not wealthy, in fact often the opposite and often young.

          These brands are just examples of the vast epidemic of overspending. Look at our nation’s obsession with celebrities (or more appropriately, those who have achieved celebrity status simply because of their massive wealth), and the idea that every person can become a celebrity with an expensive and expansive collection of adornments. The impression now is that social popularity is more important than real achievements, and you can buy that with credit.

        • Shmonkmonk says:

          Dear John and Ginger,

          I don’t know you (obviously) but I’m assuming that there is something you enjoy spending money on, be it food, technology, vacations, cars, whatever. All the comments you have made poo-poo-ing fashion can be applied to ANYTHING.

          There are lots of people out there who LOVE fashion. They see it, not just as self expression but art. To say that fashion should stay stagnant so it doesn’t confuse you and make you feel inferior in some way is like saying music should stay the same. “Oh, I don’t like feeling ‘uncool’ for not knowing all these new bands! No one should make any music anymore. We already have so many music out there! It’s a waste of precious natural resources to produce all these CDs with their liner notes and plastic jewel cases! All it does is convince sheeples to waste their money on a false sense of identity! How pathetic!”

          You don’t like fashion? That’s cool. Don’t worry, you can continue to wear polo shirts, khakis, and jeans until the day you die and no one would care. People who care about fashion don’t care about you and you don’t care about them so where’s the problem?

          As for clothing being “ultimate planned obsolescence”, um no. You are dead wrong on that one JohnVa. Technology is the ultimate planned obsolescence. Fashion is far from obsolete. For one, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that what’s out is in and what’s old is new. Like my brother used to say, wear something long enough and it’s bound to come back in style. Vintage fashion is a hot trend and most thrift store customers are fashion conscious folks looking for retro pieces.

          Sure, there are folks who use clothing as status symbols but they use EVERYTHING as a status symbols, including what ever it is that you like to spend YOUR money on.

          And yes, I like fashion. But no, no I do not care what you wear. I do not care what you think of my outfit. I don’t care if you notice my outfit. I don’t care what brand I wear. I don’t care what brand you wear. I like fashion and clothes and accessories because I love the way certain fabrics feel, the way certain colors and prints look with each other. I like knowing I own pretty things because I like pretty things.

          If you want to think less of me that’s fine. If you want to jump to the conclusion that I’m some air head, too stupid to realize that I’m deeply in debt, risking rent money to pay for a few scraps of leather sewn into a purse that I’ll use for a few weeks before jumping onto the next new thing, go ahead. You can assume that I’m some nasty, catty, secretly miserable person suffering from low self esteem, I don’t care. But, you know, you can’t get angry at “society” for judging you when you judge them back.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Society has always had fashion, even when it seemed like everyone was wearing the same thing, there were always ways of customization and standing out from the pack.

      I love wearing different kinds of clothes and different colors. It’s not just fun; it brightens up my mood to walk out the door and be really happy with what I’m wearing and knowing it was put together well.

      Mr. Pi also dresses well and when we met, he had two dress shirts in basic white and blue. Now he has a dozen or more, all in different colors, and a dozen neckties and vests. He still only has three pairs of shoes though :)

      • johnva says:

        I’m not saying that society didn’t have fashion in the past. And of course different clothing is more functional for different sorts of activities. What I am arguing against is the ridiculous excess to which it’s been taken. Again, people managed to vary their clothing to provide individuality in the past without having enormous closets full of different articles of clothing.

        Also, it’s one thing to enjoy different kinds clothing on an individual level. That’s fine. What I hate is all the perceived social pressure to consume so much purely for the sake of appearance, even if you don’t want to. I DON’T like wearing new kinds of fashion, and I would argue that I dress just as “well” as someone like your husband. I just have a different standard for what that means.

    • GirlCat says:

      You want a silver jumpsuit, don’t you?

    • maztec says:

      Suit jackets help keep you hot and sweaty!

      Er.. I like wearing one once in a while, but usually it’s an item for my hanger. Never own more than four.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      ‘I’d like it if society would just go back to having a single basic traditional garment that is worn by everyone.’

      That time never existed. Clothing has always featured variations that signal status/tribe/faith/other affiliations and indicators; it’s just what humans do. Even nuns have variations in habit and veil.

      • johnva says:

        Of course there were variations. But it didn’t vary as widely as it does today; no one except for the very rich had hundreds of different articles of clothing.

    • CookiePuss says:

      I was actually just thinking about this the other day. Even had a conversation with my dad about the absurdity of the necktie. Completely useless piece of clothing. I personally go commando myself. Never understood the notion of wearing boxer shorts underneath a pair of shorts.

      But I agree. I’d be happy with even Middle Eastern wear–a simple draped sheet. Ladies can hem it to show some leg, buff dudes could go the toga route, etc. They look super comfy too!

  15. nbs2 says:

    Excluding undergarments (including socks), I usually wear 9 items a week. A pair of slacks/dress shirt/tie to church on Sunday (3), maybe a pair of shorts/t shirt on Monday when I telecommute (5), one pair of slacks for Tues/Wed/Thurs with a different shirt each day (9), same pair of shorts/ t shirt telecommuting on Friday (9), and the same shorts/shirt on Saturday (9).

    Holding to that nine for a month wouldn’t be that difficult. Although, I do find some issues that would need to be addressed:

    How old are the kids? With the infant, the above routine would need to be a Sat-Fri plan, as I always have baby snot/drool on my shirt by Sat night.
    Does she wash her shirt every day? I work in DC and every evening, by the time I walk the 20-25 min to catch the train, my shirt is soaking. I suppose if I was rich and could afford to drive and park everyday, that might be a different story.
    I’m confused by the yard work comment at the end. Was she wearing different clothes to do that, but not counting? This last month I can honestly say I didn’t wear different clothes to do yard work. Of course, with the heat and lack of rain, my yard isn’t doing anything requiring work.

    I be confused.

  16. Engine-B says:

    I have sometimes wondered if people would really notice (or say anything) if I wore the same pants/shirt combo everyday for a week. If someone in my office did it, I don’t think I would notice.

    • Muddie says:

      I’ve done it. No one noticed. Of course, I work in a large industrial complex and in 3 different labs with rotating people, but there is a core group of about 20 people who see me every day.

      I also wouldn’t notice if they wore the same thing every day (unless my olfactory senses alerted me).

  17. Traveshamockery says:

    My wife has a couple co-workers that rotate only one or two pairs of clothing a week. Yes, some people notice, and yes, they get talked about.

    • johnva says:

      Is there any real reason for “talking about” them? Or is it just petty gossip based solely on them not following a pointless social norm? What difference does it make whether someone varies their wardrobe as much as other people? I would just assume they’re frugal or something.

      • Traveshamockery says:

        I wasn’t defending the talk…I’m just saying that the assertion that “nobody noticed” is unlikely. Regardless of whether people should or not, people do talk about people that go outside norms, and in a business environment, it’s a bad idea to stand out by wearing the same clothes all the time.

        • johnva says:

          As a practical matter, yes, of course it’s a bad idea to stand out too much. I’m just annoyed that social norms like that based purely on pettiness and wrongful assumptions exist.

  18. goodfellow_puck says:

    Haha, that’s great. I’m sure people noticed, but it depends on how much you care about that. If you wear a suit or uniform to work, then having less clothes is a lot easier. I imagine keeping your wardrobe classic style and solid colors helps too.

    Personally, I only shop for clothes maybe once a year (and not at all last year) to replace things that might have worn out. I might buy a cool tee or two in a year, but yeah…don’t need all those clothes and HATE shopping for them (I’m female, btw).

  19. maruadventurer says:

    Interesting, but quite honestly this is not much different than say, doing strategy packing for a trip. You pack on a central theme and accessorize against it to minimize your luggage to a single carry on. Business travelers do this every day.

    Only difference here is she did it for a month and didn’t pack.

    An no would not want my wife on that kind of dress diet.

  20. KillerBee says:

    It’s really not surprising that her husband didn’t notice.

  21. Raekwon says:

    I wear the same pair of pants all week at work and the same jeans when at home. Wash once a week or when they get something spilled on them. Only a couple shirts would be too hard but pants-wise I can make due with a couple pairs.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      I have a hard time fitting jeans. I’ve never owned more than three pairs at a time and usually they are all the same kind (if I find one pair that fits I’ll buy three of them because it could be a couple of years before I find another pair that fits.) I don’t think people notice jeans. I have maybe five tops that I switch out and one or two “nice” outfits for things I can’t wear jeans to. I don’t have the closet space for much more. My guy, however, has 9 billion band t-shirts and work out pants combos.

  22. smo0 says:

    I generally wear the same work clothes… I have a closet full of clothes but I only wear a few pairs of pants and various shirts throughout the week, on the weekends, if I never leave the house – tshirts and pajama pants….

  23. Floppywesl says:

    Floppywesl Life Tip #345b – Wearing your GF’s panties on mondays helps not only the environment but feels great in a heat wave.I just wish they were the edible kind so i could save cash on lunches.

  24. WagTheDog says:

    “Experiments” like this puzzle me. Is she searching for material to write a book? Does she have a case of “look-at-me”-itis? Does she want to have something cute to write in her blog? It just seems pointless. If you think you have too many clothes, then get rid of some. Problem solved. (And no, I won’t buy your book.)

  25. captadam says:

    Did she wash these clothes over and over? Sounds like they’d wear out more quickly.

    And does she exercise? Jog? Ride bike? Anything?

    • RandomHookup says:

      It’s not that uncommon for an adult with kids to do nothing that constitutes real “exercise”, though she does mention playing football with her son.

  26. aloria says:

    I have 5 pairs of work pants and 4-5 work-appropriate tops. If people find my lack of variety bothersome, they are more than welcome to go out and try to find clothing that fits my scrawny ass and isn’t butt ugly.

    I’m here to do a good job, not participate in a fashion show.

  27. 50ae says:

    Well, I think I could do it but I would hate it. I have an absurd number of cool t-shirts from Woot and would hate to not be able to represent my geek pride in a different way every day. I think my wife wouldn’t notice but my co-workers would.

  28. LuckyLady says:

    So the moral of the story is…. people really aren’t looking at you that carefully.

  29. mac-phisto says:

    i could get away w/ 6, but i’d have to do laundry twice as often. my wardrobe is already pretty lean, but i have extra clothes so i can get away w/ only 2 trips to the laundromat each month.

    i’d hate to be doing laundry every weekend…

  30. RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

    Pssst.. “Make do”.

    I saw an article about this at the beginning of her experiment. I think she’s on to something. I’ve found that I can wear the same slacks to work every day and nobody will notice, if I wear different tops, and even those I can wash and change up every other day. (Before you think I re-wore them that much, I had three pairs alike that I came by accidentally, and washed them in between.)

    • WagTheDog says:

      There are a few people here who do that. Actually, yes, we notice. We just don’t care enough to say anything, or if we do care, we are too polite. I would guess that your coworkers feel pretty much the same.

  31. hymie! says:

    Once upon a time, I had a girlfriend and two identical shirts. One day I wore one of those shirts, and commented to the girlfriend that I didn’t have enough quarters for laundry. The next day I wore the other shirt. I didn’t realize it. She did.

    “Nobody noticed”? I doubt it. “Nobody said anything to her”? Much more likely.

    • kenj0418 says:

      Your story would have been way cooler if you had said you had a shirt and two identical girlfriends. But maybe this is the wrong website for that. :-)

    • Muddie says:

      Specifically commenting about how you didn’t have enough quarters for laundry probably drew otherwise absent attention to your clothing situation, and therefore, your clothing situation the next day.

  32. lain1k says:

    I kinda actually do this. I have maybe 6-8 shirts I regularly wear and 3 pairs of pants and 2 shorts. I cycle between 5 shirts or so and the 2 pairs of pants. The rest gets worn when I’m cleaning, doing laundry, or back from the gym. I just don’t like shopping for cloths and am frugal. I don’t find fashion to be a big deal (and I’m a gay man! *shock*) and even when I get something I think looks really good no one really seemed to care. The downside is lots of laundry during the week (usually twice a week).

  33. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Assuming your company only allows for jeans on Casual Friday…

    Monday – Blue shirt, black pants.
    Tuesday – Pink shirt, black pants w/Blazer
    Wednesday – Blue shirt, black pants w/Blazer
    Thursday – Pink shirt, black pants
    Friday – T-shirt and jeans
    *REPEAT*

    Sorry sweetheart, but they noticed.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m pretty sure whatever order it was, she had to have repeated Monday’s outfit for Friday in some false illusion that no one remembered her outfit from Monday. If you do it once or twice, people wouldn’t notice. But after a month of this, yeah, people would notice.

      • pinkbunnyslippers says:

        I know right? I wear two cardigans that are identical in style but varied in color in one week and straight men in my office start calling me out on it. This woman’s operating under delusions of grandeur! :)

  34. evnmorlo says:

    If you buy identical clothes you are unlikely to buy too many.

  35. legolex says:

    I’m impressed! I have to wear a suit to work and I purchase all black pants and blazers and alternate tops. I only have 2 pairs of jeans and a few t-shirts. I also have a pair of Etnies I purchased for a whopping $75 nine years ago and they still look good, some wear, but my jeans cover them. Talking about this makes me wonder where I’m spending my money..

  36. frak says:

    Her husband didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to deal with her response.

  37. jim says:

    no one noticed = people knew better than to comment on cheap attire

  38. three says:

    if you only have a few shirts & pants, just make sure you don’t wear the same top-bottom combo all the time.

  39. CalicoGal says:

    So, she wore the same slacks to work EVERYDAY, and rotated *2* blouses???

    Oh hells YEAH they talked about her!!

  40. topcad says:

    Is this where we write down how many articles of clothing we have? Cuz I have about 45 dress shirts and 12 pairs of pants and at least 75 ties. Probably 30+ golf shirts and 20 t-shirts.
    Disclosure: I used to be on TV regularly and so I had to update my wardrobe.
    Bonus: I wore the same tie everyday for a week and nobody noticed. It was a Jerry Garcia tie and had a rainbow of colors in it and so I changed shirts everyday but still….

    • misslisa says:

      Oh thank you – I was waiting for someone else to go first! I have lost count of my clothing, really, but at one point I had 20 pairs of jeans, 20 pair of dress pants, 75 pairs of shoes probably 75 work-wearable tops, numerous dresses and skirts, and around 10 workout outfits. Strangely, though I live in Phoenix, I only have about 5 pairs of non-workout shorts (can’t wear them to work, so why have them?)

      As another poster mentioned below, if you’re a savvy shopper, clothing can be so darn cheap – why not buy what you like and wear it? I might spend $75 per paycheck on stuff to wear, but shopping’s my entertainment and my vice. Other folks go to the casino or bar, I shop.

  41. SugarMag says:

    And here I thought I was smart for finding a pair of pants I like and buying three pairs of them. D’oh.

    I find (women’s) clothing wears out way too fast with constant washing (or not even that much washing) so I dont know how long six pieces would last (as long as they are machine wash).

  42. Azzizzi says:

    She has a husband, two young kids, a dog, and three cats and she’s looking to simplify her life through her selection of clothing?

  43. Mr. Mangold says:

    How the hell is this a “shopping diet”??? I wore different clothes every day for the last month, yet I have purchased no clothes. Does she usually just throw her clothes away after wearing them, instead of doing laundry and wearing them again? Maybe she should do an experiment on living like a sane person.

  44. s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

    Oh, they noticed. We notice at my retail job, too, but the difference is we’re mostly pretty poor and cannot afford numerous sets of work clothes on a $7.75/hr. before taxes pay rate, and no one really cares. I have one black collared shirt, one pair of khakis, and they get washed regularly. And until work offers to pay for my wardrobe, that is all they are going to get.

    Aside from that, I don’t have a ton of clothes. About five pairs of jeans that I really like ($4-6 each at a thrift store, $2.50 for the initial wash/dry), and a selection of comfy, flattering, fandom-oriented t-shirts. One nice skirt and top, one or two dresses. I don’t have a ton of shoes, either–work sneakers, comfy athletic shoes for the gym, Doc Martens, winter boots (I dare you to live in Colorado and go without them), flip-flops, one or two pairs of fashion boots. All in colors that go with pretty much anything and which have received plenty of wear.

    You don’t need a ton of stuff, but wearing the same six items and nothing else, for a month, would make me feel sick and gross–as much as having a closet full of shoes that I wear with one outfit once a year would.

  45. Outrun1986 says:

    I used to get along with just 2 pairs of jeans just fine, it wasn’t till I started yard sale shopping en masse that I accumulated more jeans. That and the price of jeans here has dropped significantly compared to where it was 5-8 years ago, now I am able to find jeans for $3-10 at retail and before there was never a pair of jeans under $20. $10 jeans are everywhere over here, and under $10 jeans are commonly found.

    If you wear less clothes then you will have to do the wash more, which means more soap, more water use and more wear and tear on your washing machine. You will eventually have to replace clothes that wear out, and since you are not alternating between more than 6 articles of clothing they will wear out faster. Since clothes are so cheap here it just doesn’t make sense to not have a lot of them, it means less laundry to do. My mom constantly picks up jeans and shirts at yard sales for under a dollar an item, and most sales have many 25 cent items of clothes to choose from (thanks for paying $25 for that shirt and wearing it once, now we are paying 25 cents for it!). We also have a bigger washing machine now, since our old one broke after 19 years of use, so it makes sense to do larger, more infrequent loads instead of smaller more frequent loads.

    I hope this person is washing her clothes (especially since it is summer and its hot here), and she obviously isn’t counting pajamas or undergarments. You can save wear on your clothes if you take off your good work clothes and change into pajamas or something acceptable for around the house.

    If you wear the same pair of pants every day, I am sure your co-workers are talking about you (and possibly your hygiene as well). This person has no way to verify if her co-workers are not talking about her either, since I don’t think anyone would be confrontational, but if you smell you might get contacted by HR eventually (happened to someone where my mom works).

  46. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    I did this my first two months at a job once. Third month, my boss called me in and asked me if I needed a raise. She even offered to go shopping with me.

  47. Dacker says:

    In my first post-college job, my work wardrobe consisted of four shirts and two pair of pants. I used the shirts on a rotating basis (1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4…) while alternating the pants daily (1-2-1-2-1…). I did this for four years. If anyone noticed, they never told me.

  48. suez says:

    I’m not sure how this is more economical and efficient if you’re having to run the washing machine constantly to keep up.

    Oh, and just because nobody SAID anything to her doesn’t mean folks didn’t notice–some probably did and were just being polite, or talked to others about it.

    Finally, some of us actually have dress codes at work, and half of her collection wouldn’t have been acceptible.

  49. hardtoremember says:

    My wife and I have a crap ton of clothes between the two of us. I bet I could do it because it is kind of a pita to look through so much stuff.

  50. sister says:

    Her husband does the laundry?!

  51. Miz_Ivy says:

    “when she wore her floral-printed pajamas to do yard work…”

    wait, so pajamas don’t count as clothes? apparently underwear and socks don’t either. I call shenanigans, she was obviously wearing more “items” than the six mentioned.

    plus this seems like a great way to waste a lot of time/money/water/electricity by constantly having to do small loads of laundry

  52. Miz_Ivy says:

    you know, timing this experiment to coincide with starting a new job was probably not a wise move. you would think doing something weird which will get all your new co-workers talking about you behind your back would not be the best way to leave a good first impression

  53. daveBEE says:

    During a busy month, I wore the exact same outfit everyday, working 10 hour days and seven days a week in a business casual call center. Not a single person noticed until i pointed it out. Then they all wanted to smell me.

  54. khooray says:

    I’ve been wearing the same pants for like 5 days. I haven’t been anywhere and if I did, no one would remember.
    My washer broke with all my clothes in it, wet.
    I always wear stuff several times before washing unless they get dirty or I’m really sweaty.
    Who cares????

  55. Echo5Joker says:

    I’ll guarantee that if someone was looking for her at work and didn’t know who she was, her coworkers just described her as “the lady in the black jacket.”

  56. Wrathernaut says:

    One outfit a day is great, but you’re still going to wear out your clothes faster.

    The only real advantage here is that your closet is more spacious.

  57. Wrathernaut says:

    I’ve been wearing the same outfit for the last 7 months. Nobody complains because they all do the same.

    GO ARMY!

  58. Just Me says:

    I rotate between about 5 outfits. My co-workers do notice, and we joke about my “uniforms”. Who cares, really? I am proud to be a cheapskate :) Also I can get away with this because I don’t work in a job that requires being fashion-forward or status-conscious.

  59. pot_roast says:

    It seems that the headline is a little misleading… FTA: “The rules were not hard and fast. If a person owned, for example, several similar black blazers — as Ms. Brennan, the Wisconsin executive, did — she could count them as one item. “

    So she had more than six items of clothing, because similar items were counted as one item. This makes the whole thing a lot less interesting, and I’m filing it under “Who cares, guys do this all the time.”