Limited Edition: How to Use Limitations to Your Advantage


Picasso's Blue Period

There is nothing more exciting than achieving greatness with limitations. Would Picasso's “Blue Period” be so famous if he used every other color around? Would “Stomp” be so impressive if they could make music with regular instruments?  “Green Eggs and Ham” was written as a bet that Dr. Seuss couldn't write a children's book using only 50 unique words. Even the first blogger to post outfits wearing the little black dress for a year made headlines around the world with the Uniform Project.

Limits. They don't limit your creativity, they unleash it.

The Uniform Project

The Uniform Project

Having unlimited funds and time doesn't make you a better blogger. Think of all those movies with massive budgets that tanked in the box office, ahem, Lone Ranger. Following a formula and supplying the money to make it happen won't guarantee success.

Everyone has their limits, if it's not funds or supplies, it's time, technology, or access. The trick is to find those limits and instead of ignoring them, use them to your advantage.

What kind of limitations can you use?

Ironically, the sky is the limit here… you can use everything or anything as the foundation of your limited project. Go from an actual limitation you have to deal with, or a limitation that addresses a problem, or a limitation that creates a solution. Get creative here, because the more unique, the more exciting the project can be.

  • Write about a very specific topic (duh, niche)
  • Found Fashion: Use only original images found at flea markets
  • Do projects using only sustainable items
  • Make your entire fashion blog about a particular color (wouldn't it be cool to see a RED fashion blog?)
  • Focus on your region, narrow it down to a neighborhood or even a street
  • Fashion Foraging… Do a fashion blog using clothes you were able to find for free (NO PR gifting! That's cheating!)
  • DIY new fashion trends out of old clothes
  • Make a blog entirely out of trends that died
  • Architecture Attire: a personal style blog consisting of outfits that match architecture (bonus points for being at the building your outfit is inspired by)
  • Write a haiku or limerick for each of your posts and nothing else (except, an image)

Ask, “What makes this limitation impressive?”

Painting the date once? Meh. Boring! Painting the date every day since 1966? THAT'S impressive!

Having a brilliant idea is one thing. But making it impressive? That takes work. Even something as mundane as writing down the date can be impressive. Artist,  On Kawara made dates impressive with his Today series by painting the date every day since January 4th, 1966. He is 80 years old and plans to keep painting until he dies. Painting the date once? Meh. Boring! Painting the date every day since 1966? THAT'S impressive! The sheer dedication it takes to create something of that volume makes a cool story.


The Today Series

What will it take to make your limitation impressive? If you can think of several other people who have achieved your idea, then your limitation needs to be approached from a different angle. Plenty of people did their spin off on the Uniform Project, but did you know that even the Uniform project has been done before? Artist, Andrea Zittel had her own uniform project back in 1991. So nothing is really unique, except your own take.

So… what's your limit?

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10 Responses

  1. Heidi

    I think some of these suggestions are very true. I started sharing more of my outfits and focused on items that are made in the USA and that struck a cord with people. Now I only buy American made and it’s opening up my eyes and I hope my readers enjoy my journey.


    As soon as I decided to only post my own black and white photography to my blog, the whole world opened up!

    It’s easy for me to be inspired with just that little limitation and discipline.

    If you want to see it, you can go to! I’m not trying to spam, haha, I just think this post is super relevant to the way I think about my blog. And I definitely think some limitations help expand creativity, not stifle it.

  3. moiminnie

    Haha, these sound so similar to my blog!
    Out of those listed, my limitations are:
    – A particular color (not really, but it is rather monochrome with a pop of one color at times)
    – DIY new fashion trends out of old clothes
    – A personal style blog consisting of outfits that match architecture – I ALWAYS do this with my posts, for me a good background and flawless photography are very important.

    Also, my clothes are mostly thrifted, from mom’s closet or selfmade, so I guess that could count as a limitation. And my readers love it! Quoting: “It’s amazing that almost all of your clothes are second hand, you put those high-street/branded ladies to shame!”

    Loved the post Jennine, you’re so right about everything here. The idea is what’s the most interesting. And in the sea of similar blogs – a one with a clear message is bound to pop out!


  4. CL

    Reminds me of the time my camera broke but I still needed to shoot photos of some jewellery I had been sent, so I used my scanner to photograph them instead. The images turned out so nicely that it was at the time my most viral post ever! In fact, I’d use the scanner again even if my camera was still working.

  5. April F

    I cover my hair for religious reasons. So I have to figure out how to be fashionable with head wear included in the outfits. Its fun but not always easy!

  6. Asia Mays

    This is incredible. I believe that when you think you’ve hit that point of “what shall I look to next.,” this layout of limitations is definitely inspiring and helpful!

    Great posting.

  7. Maya

    Such a cool idea to shake things up a little! Gonna take these into thought for future posts 🙂