Last winter I posted that I was bored with my winter wardrobe and it needed a big boost. The best time to buy would have been last year’s end-of-winter sales, but I couldn’t bear to think about chunky sweaters when Spring had finally arrived! Woe is me: now I still need the clothes, and I am faced with full prices.
Last month I got a head start by shopping consignment stores. I bought 2 cashmere pullovers for $35 each. The price at The Bay for similar sweaters is $130-$180 so I was most pleased. I also bought a super-thick cotton rib-knit tunic-length hoodie for the same price. So I am well on my way to building up my collection of better-quality winter-weight sweaters in natural fabrics.
It is just as well. You may remember that my cat Luna has the regrettable habit of chewing on fabric. My sweaters were all stacked neatly on a shelving unit. Luna snuck in and chewed the sleeves off three of my sweaters while I slept! I thought I would wake up if such a thing happened, but no such luck. I had stacked my least-valuable synthetic sweaters on the bottom shelf of the unit, so those are the ones she got. Not the ideal way to downsize your wardrobe! I have 6 other winter sweaters that escaped the Kitty Attack, and none of them are synthetic, so that was a strange way to meet my “natural fibre” goal all at once.
I wear the same pants (trousers) and shoes year-round for work, so there’s no winter rush on those.
Last winter I noticed how few winter items I had, so I recently decided to take a look at my whole wardrobe and divide it both by season and by use. With great difficulty (cats notwithstanding), I have kept my wardrobe to 150 items this year and not let it creep up. But here is my analysis of what I have available for given occasions:
I have counted items multiple times. For example, I have 8 pullover sweaters (total), 3 of which are good for Spring/Fall and 5 of which are good for winter only (heavy weight). I have one pair of work-worthy jeans which I wear all year. I have 10 T-shirts I wear only in the summer. I have skirts but I don’t wear them to work. I have 9 button-up shirts I could wear in the winter if I had appropriate jackets and sweaters to layer them with. But as is, my work wardrobe for each season is small and capsule-like!
Meanwhile, I have a whole other group of clothes that is not work-worthy, and is my home/casual/errands type wardrobe:
This group includes hoodies, jeans not suitable for work, cargo pants and sneakers. As you can see, it is very skewed by my stack of cartoon- and rock-band printed T-shirts (which I have reduced by more than half in the past two years!)
Finally I have a small assortment of “dress-up” clothes which I wear for holidays, vacations and nice meals out:
Here I have a couple of semi-sheer shirts and a couple of sparkly sweaters. I have 4 skirts: I only wear close-fitting short ones with tights, I think because then they function like jeans – I don’t like flow-y, drape-y clothes!
Some readers may remember I had two dresses tucked away, despite not having worn them for over 5 years. They were bought for weddings. I thought a decision on them was due. So I took a deep breath and tried them on. First of all, my hair colour has changed – to grey! Second, I have lost 20 pounds since then. It never even occurred to me that the dresses wouldn’t fit or look right any more. So I have happily moved them out. If I were invited to a wedding now, I would want to wear something like a long tuxedo shirt with black dress pants.
This exercise was helpful to me because I often think, “I have 150 items of clothes and I shouldn’t need any more,” but now I can see “I only have 5 winter sweaters and 2 dressy shirts.” The next step should be keeping this info on my iPad so I can refer to it when I’m out shopping, and not get distracted by more cartoon-print T-shirts and button-up Fall shirts! So, StyleBook, here I come.
Does your wardrobe lean toward too dressy or too casual?
Do your clothes meet with mishaps and damage very often?