Wardrobe Project Update 2013

Sweaters I bought this year

Sweaters I bought this year – at typical Canadian retailers: The Bay, Sears, Wal-Mart, Reitman’s and Northern Reflections!

On January 1, 2012, I began a new clothing inventory project. I had 480 items of clothing, if you count every single scarf and pair of socks! I said that 264 of them were “substantial” items of clothing. By April 30 of this year, I had finished my wardrobe pare-down, and reduced the number to 170 items.

  • 104 tops (-76)
  • 24 pants (-2)
  • 0 suits (-2)
  • 3 dresses (-1)
  • 4 skirts (-2)
  • 11 coats and jackets (-2)
  • 24 pair footwear (-9)

Total 170 (-94)

Since then, I have been trying to buy thoughtfully, with varying results, as you saw in yesterday’s post!

My current clothes inventory is:

103 tops

  • Work T-shirts 10
  • Home T-shirts 21
  • Golf-style T-shirts 2
  • Long-sleeve T-Shirts 10
  • Short-sleeve “tops” 4
  • Long-sleeve shirts 8
  • Pullover sweaters and pullover hoodies 16 (10 suitable for work)
  • Cardigans, zip hoodies and zip vests 27 (15 suitable for work)
  • Work jackets (blazers) 5

24 Trousers

  • Work trousers 11
  • Jeans 5
  • Sweatpants 2
  • Yoga pants 2
  • Shorts 2
  • Workout shorts 2
Best summer update: Airwalk espadrilles

Best summer update: Airwalk espadrilles

18 Footwear

  • 3 pairs practical boots
  • 2 pairs fashion boots (probably with less than 1 year of life in them)
  • 5 pairs work shoes (3 everyday and 2 occasional)
  • 2 pairs dressy sandals
  • 2 pairs casual sandals
  • 1 pair espadrilles
  • 1 pair Teva-type river sandals
  • 1 pair sneakers (will need to be replaced in 2014)
  • 1 pair old sneakers for yard work

3 Dresses

5 Skirts (4 + 1 skort)

10 Coats and Jackets

Total:  163 (-7)

I’m pleased that with all my buying this year, I haven’t increased the size of my wardrobe. I suppose my next goal will be to get down to 150 items, which I should be able to do this year through “attrition” – items will wear out and not be replaced. I am enjoying having a smaller wardrobe. It’s easy to see at a glance, I can find things instantly, and with less clutter, I am more tempted to try out different combinations. The best thing, though, is knowing that every single item is in good condition and actually fits me – not last year or next year, but now!

I thought some of my regular readers might get a laugh from my Little Stuff count – these are not major wardrobe items, but “under-things” and accessories. At the beginning of 2012, I had 216 items. Right now I have:

  • Socks 40 pairs
  • Tights and stay-ups 6
  • Panties 22
  • Bras 10
  • Camisoles and slips 4
  • Lingerie 4
  • Pajamas 4 pairs
  • Pajama pieces (unmatched tops or bottoms) 10
  • Bathing suits 4
  • Winter hats 6
  • Hats/caps 3
  • Silly costume hats (Domo, etc.) 3
  • Gloves 7 pairs
  • Mittens 5 pairs
  • Winter scarves 8
  • Fashion scarves 7
  • Belts 9
  • Tie 1
  • Purses/bags 5
  • Backpacks/ day packs 4
  • Umbrella 1

Total: 163

Thereby doubling my wardrobe count 🙂 So my “Total Total” of all items, big and small, is now 326.

If you’ve been trying to “right-size” your wardrobe, are you happy with your progress? What are your next steps?


  1. Alice

    This is an interesting topic- it is remarkable that you are prudent with purchases and downsized your wardrobe! I am on the other side, I try to enrich my wardrobe but this isn’t that easy as I am always on limited budget due to unemployment. At least, I managed to buy and replace the ones I needed so spending for clothes was really reasonable in 2013! Of course, gifts or swapping with my sisters are always welcome! 🙂

    • I am very aware of how fortunate I am to spend this much money on clothes. I have had tough times as well when I wasn’t able to buy anything. I try not to over-compensate!

  2. Strangely fascinating topic! But 40 pairs of socks?!! I always have about 14, enough for a fortnight’s holiday, plus 2 pairs of thick walking socks. Perhaps you need more in Canada or go for longer holidays?

    • LOL, you are very generous in thinking I must have a good reason for the socks – I don’t! I have 14 pairs suitable for work and 10 pairs suitable for walking/gym/weekends. The rest all have silly prints like tea cups or frogs on them, and I mostly receive them as Christmas gifts from my mom and mom-in-law! I could tell them to stop but I like them and it’s a fairly harmless collection!

  3. I pared my wardrobe right down this year- it almost entirely consists of leggings and dresses! However, when I got a new job I realised that I needed some new clothes- so I have added two dresses and new leggings to the collection. I’ll try and do a clothes count in the next few days- I wrote this http://bettybeesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/20-80-of-time-or-how-many-clothes-do-i.html last year, so it will be interesting to see what has changed!

  4. Fiona

    I’m deeply impressed with your organisation, Dar! I’m still “right-sizing” in that I don’t have enough clothes (!) but will be adding more next year. I love Tevas – that’s the kind of thing I find irrestible to buy! I’m very tempted to send you some extra socks with koalas or kangaroos on them 😉

  5. haha, your sock collection comments make me want to count my socks to see how many pairs are actually work appropriate vs. the smiling pumpkin and dancing bear type socks that I get for Christmas and my birthday. My wardrobe could probably use a few more items (like I’ve been considering buying a pair of tights for a few months now) but clothes shopping is just not that exciting to me and I usually put it off as long as possible.

    I didn’t realize you’d pared down so much – you’re doing great! 🙂

  6. I can’t even remember the last time I bought socks – since the climate in Brisbane is so warm that I rarely wear anything other than sandals or thongs (flip flops). But yes, people give me funny ones with animals on them for Christmas too 🙂

  7. I can’t imagine giving, or getting, funny socks as a gift for Christmas!

    Good counting Dar. I lost count with my tops. May have another try.

    So with all those tops, you won’t do patterns?

    • I realized I have a lot of striped tops, one plaid, and one patterned. I took a closer look and I have 2 patterned hoodies, skinny jeans with a paisley print, and my “snakeskin print” coat. And of course my large T-shirt collection all have pictures on them like Hello Kitty. Does that count?

  8. I had a big clean out in July and now can’t find a pair of jeans I really like, oops! Well done on paring down your wardrobe, it feels good doesn’t it?

  9. Definitely counts. And the snakeskin print coat sounds very striking.

    And isn’t it funny how we think we don’t wear/do certain things, and then find we actually do.

  10. Wow you are soooo organized! Since I havent been working in ages my wardrobe consists of: jeans, t shirts. That’s all!

  11. I’m thinning down my 45 pairs of knickers, cause I know I have so many, and when they don’t sit ‘well’ they get tossed, as with bras that continue to slip off my shoulder due to lack of elastic. I had too many socks too, so I took some out of circulation. Thankfully they are mainly all plain black for work, or white for running. I have way too many pairs of tights, but I am loathed to thin the collection, as in cold climates I need pairs for every day (this would be when I travel).

    I should do a recount too – I have more dresses year on year, thanks to getting back to regular church visits which means I know I will wear them regularly. I will also get to collating all my receipts for purchases tomorrow, and reflect on that.

  12. What an interesting project. Since I have three closets full of clothes, I can’t even imagine counting everything. I think I must fall into the hoarder category.

    • Hmm, it depends – Do you wear them? Can you find things? I can’t imagine keeping 3 closets of clothes any more, but I think I once did…before one household move, I gave away 17 garbage bags of clothes!

  13. Alix

    This has really got me thinking! I have absolutely no idea how many items of any type of clothing I have – clearly more than four (as that is what I am currently wearing) but not very many more, I’d think, based on my inability to find anything to wear for most occasions! I’d probably be surprised though! A stocktake might be in order..

  14. I think my wardrobe has gotten bigger over the last year. However, it was much needed since we moved to a slightly different climate where I actually need winter-type clothes. I’ll have to count it all and get back to you, but I think I have around 100 between clothes and under things (I only have 3 pairs of socks!). You’ve done such great work in such a shot amount of time 🙂

    • The whole process has been 2 years now…quite a long time! Now that I’ve been through the seasons a couple of times, I’m getting better at remembering what I really like to wear (and not what I think I will wear ‘someday”)! If you are around 100, that’s great!

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