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Jean's closet 'sixperiment': 4 days in and not 'giving up'

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky committed to the six-items-or-less wardrobe experiment. Find out how she manages to dress with only a few items of clothing:Jean Chatzky writes: Day 4: Khaki shorts (5), white tank (2) and black sweater (3). Fun scarf to pull it together.I didn’t post yesterday because I ran off to give a speech to a group of financial planners in Boston (you didn’t miss muc
Jean Chatzky / Today

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky committed to the six-items-or-less wardrobe experiment. Find out how she manages to dress with only a few items of clothing:

Jean Chatzky writes: Day 4: Khaki shorts (5), white tank (2) and black sweater (3). Fun scarf to pull it together.

I didn’t post yesterday because I ran off to give a speech to a group of financial planners in Boston (you didn’t miss much clothing-wise; I wore the same thing I wore on Day 1). What was interesting to me, though, was that getting dressed didn’t make me as crazy as it had the couple of days before. I knew it would take me less time to choose so I gave myself 15 more minutes on the treadmill – and felt better as a result throughout the day.

On my ride home, I caught up with Barry Schwartz , author of "The Paradox of Choice: Why Less Is More" and asked him to weigh in on my "sixperiment." He explained that because I had decided to understake this challenge, I’d be less likely to feel it as an imposition than someone who was forced to do it. “The thing that makes people crazy about not having choices is who decides that you don’t have a choice,” he said. “If you control the agenda and you limit the number of options you may get bored, but you won’t get crazy. People want and need control and autonomy. If someone else imposes the system, you’re depriving people of autonomy.”

That made total sense to me. I had decided to take this on voluntarily. What’s making me a little nuts (not today, but other days) is not the fact that my items are limited but that they’re limited to 6. I’d rather have 10. Or – because my life at home is so different than my life at work – 6 for work and 6 for home. I would have preferred to set my own number. Which is not to say I’m giving up. The first weekend is upon us, which means my shorts, tank-top and bathing suits (which do not count, thank goodness), will get a decent work-out. And my washer will as well.

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