My latest column for Visual Thesaurus looks at new (and not-so-new) terms for belt-tightening, making do, and living the downsized life. To read the article you’ll need to be a paid-up subscriber (just $19.95 a year!), but you frugalistas are in luck: I’m giving away a free sample today.
Sixers. Maybe you’re “sick and tired of consumerism” like Sally Bjornsen, author of The Great American Apparel Diet blog, which challenges participants to abstain from shopping for a year. Maybe you’re obsessed with efficiency like Dean Kakrides, who works for a product-innovation company and who told the New York Times that minimizing his wardrobe “freed a lot of bandwidth in my head.” Or maybe you’re just game for a creative challenge, like the two 30-something ad-agency women who earlier this year launched Six Items or Less, “a global experiment examining the power of what we don’t wear.” The 100 or so people who signed up at Six Items or Less took a vow to wear only six items of clothing (excluding shoes, underwear, and accessories) for a month. Participants called themselves “Sixers,” and sometimes referred to their shared activity as “fashion fasting” or “the shopping diet.” (A book titled The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More was released in August of this year. Its author is Philip Block, a “premiere celebrity stylist,” which is certainly amusing if not strictly ironic.)