What a year it has been for clothes…if not fashion! I spent more than double my intended budget on things to wear. I didn’t see myself as hopelessly impulsive; I just “needed” a lot! We’ll see if I was right. The extra money was from unspent vacation savings, and what I would have spent on books and CDs.
I pledged to try a couple of techniques this year: first, to do more thrifting, and second, to buy more quality “investment” pieces. I also hoped to get my wardrobe down from the original 268 items to 134 items, a reduction of 50%. I was down to 150 sometime last year. I’ve been consistent about which categories I count!
I bought 4 new items this year that averaged $200 each with tax: a winter parka, a raincoat, a work jacket (blazer) and a tote bag. I am thrilled with the outerwear, both of which are completely waterproof and windproof, and ideal for the climate here. I haven’t worn the work jacket much because I only need it for formal meetings, but it’s still “good to have.” The tote bag serves as a giant handbag or a shopping bag, and is work-worthy enough to act as a briefcase.
Yup, it’s the cartoon characters that get me. I bought a Happy Face Canada Day T-shirt, a Pikachu hat for Halloween, and a Hello Kitty sweater to wear at Christmas time since silly sweaters are now de rigeur. Total shelled out: $40.
I had good intentions with a few items, but they didn’t love me. The Classic White Shirt, much mentioned in a previous post. The cheap black flats that wouldn’t stay on my feet. The cute brown boots that wore out in 6 months. A replacement pair of driving gloves that just weren’t warm enough. The beautiful black scarf that my cat Luna chewed up. And, sadly, one of the two thrifted cashmere sweaters that had an awkward fit and couldn’t be layered with anything. My worst “Grrr” moment was buying a pair of expensive grey tights that I snagged on their first wear. I can layer them under jeans on freezing days – but cheap tights would have done just as well! Money burned on duds: $257.
I am still loving my New Balance workout sneakers, my slip-on Converse sneakers, and the Converse hoodie I bought in New York! I bought a second hoodie, Tuff Athletics brand from Costco (I see people wearing them everywhere!) and I love it because it’s extra-long. I bought two vintage shirts with pearl snaps and I get a kick out of wearing them. As an over-the-top indulgence, I bought 4 pop art T-shirts at MOMA and Uniqlo in October, after it was too cold to wear them except Sheldon-style, but I adore them. My other cashmere sweater was a total win. I picked up a teal-colour jean jacket which I wore as a layer for work – a trend this year among women my age! And not knowing they were so popular, I bought my first pair of women’s oxford shoes (since I was 11 years old) and I wear them all the time! This group of lovelies cost me $396.
This year my gifts included 2 toques, 4 scarves – which I have taken to actually wearing – 3 T-shirts, and a stack of cute printed socks!
I don’t really “do” outfits. I just mix and match basic pieces. But I came up with one: after deciding I would never wear leggings to work, and that my one tunic sweater was too slouchy, I wore both pieces together for a conference and got several comments that I looked sophisticated. Huh? What do I know? So I have worn the same thing to work a couple of times to good effect.
I continue to weed out stuff. My wardrobe-minimizing project started in 2012, and anything going back that far without being worn is long gone. Now my max is one year. I crossed some barriers, like no longer owning dresses. I gritted my teeth and passed along the corresponding sandals. My hoodie collection is at a mere 9, after sending off 11 over the past 3 years. I keep topping up my T-shirt drawer. I have 42, of which 16 are suitable for work. Do I need 26 T-shirts for my days off? No, but I am sooo fond of them!
My current tally is:
- 99 tops
- 22 pants (trousers)
- 4 skirts
- 17 pairs footwear
- 6 outdoor coats/jackets
TOTAL: 148 (including 6 workout wear)
Then there are The Littles: socks and underwear, scarves and belts, hats and gloves, bags and backpacks, sleep wear and bathing suits. I have 200 items; no reduction this year. I just wear them out. I calculated I only wear or use 75 of them regularly. But why throw perfectly good used socks in the garbage when I have a lifetime supply?
The last question is: do I keep the bikini and buy my own tropical island so I can wear it?
For 2015, I have the same wardrobe goals as usual: spend less, thrift more, buy quality, and make fewer mistakes!