5 Days On The Shopper’s Diet

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on New York Time’s coverage of the “shopper’s diet” and included some humorously helpful tips on how to overcome the wardrobe fasting.

To recap, the shopper’s diet is a month-long closet withdrawal, in which you are exempted from all but six pieces of your wardrobe to wear for 30 days. To translate, it’s a one-man contest to see how creative you can get with the six chosen pieces, before your once-favorite pair of jeans becomes a reason to grimace – because chances are, it will been worn in 15 of the 30 set days.

I also agreed to take on this challenge under the following circumstances: a) it’s a pseudo-diet, therefore I’d do five days instead of 30, and b) as a result, I will utilize five staple pieces instead of six. Abiding by those guidelines, here were the following pieces I used in my experiment (by order of appearance):

Loose, grey tank – American Apparel
Rolled-up shorts – Old Navy
Jersey dress – BDG
Scoop neck striped tee – Rag and Bone
Indigo Skinny jeans – Hudson, who were kind enough to send us a pair for this experiment.

Before I break down the outfits by day, I want to profess how on-the-fence I was throughout my diet. On mornings when I cursed myself for sleeping through my alarm, the challenge took the stress out of picking an outfit. On the other hand, I got intensely bored with my shirts by day three and thought about wrapping my Hudson jeans around my chest to make some sort of avant-garde, Gareth Pugh-inspired tube top. In conclusion, I’m not sure I can handle 30 days of recycling a handful of clothes, but I did learn one thing: muted pieces are lifesavers to a “stylist’s block.”

Day One, fade to black: From what I can recall, this was one of the hotter days of August, so of course I went for the shorts and tanks. The beautiful thing about this American Apparel loose tank is that you can twist up one side of the tank sleeves to give it that asymmetrical sartorial jazz that once wasn’t there. Paired it with my Aldo wedges because I wanted to start off the week sky high.

Day two, cropped illusion: The semi-cropped shirt is actually a baggy  jersey dress by BDG. The secret: go wild with safety pins – or in my case, opt for bobby pins because going to a Duane Reade to buy a case worth is such a drag. Paired with the previous day’s shorts and roommate’s boots, this ultra-comfortable attire may be my favorite look of this experiment.

Day three, get into pattern: Self-proclaimed rule #3 states that one must stray away from patterns, unless they’re color blocks and stripes! So I pulled out my Rag and Bone striped shirt, which I snagged for a semi-bargain at the brand’s sample sale, and twisted things up. The problem is that although stripes are my go-to pattern, I’m not too sure I could get away with wearing this more than once among the other four pieces. Blue stripes are not hard to catch on.

Day four, belt it out: A valuable fashion tip I learned from BCBG Max Azria’s fall 2008 runway show is that knotted waist cinchers never fail to flatter. For some reason, I find that they look best on baggier dresses. My legs grew tired of heels, so I gave them a break with a pair of thrifted bondage flats.

Day five, accessories dominate: After maxing out all five pieces in four days, the fifth day brought upon a new tactic: accessorizing. Keeping it simple in the Hudson jeans and American Apparel loose tank, I busted out my lengthening Vince Camuto stilettos and got playful with a waist wrap from my I Heart Ronson floral romper. Makes a good hair wrap, no?

[Note: You can see all of Rika's diet outfits on her Style Sheets profile. And while you're there, upload some pictures of yourself, too!]

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