Shopping and Wardrobe Goals Update – April 2014

Back in January, I created a series of goals for the year regarding my shopping, my wardrobe, and my life at large.  At that time, I also provided a recap on how I did with my 2013 goals.  This year, I decided not to wait until the year was over to share how I’m doing with my various goals.  Instead, I’m going to do three updates:  one a third of the way through the year (this post!), another at the two-thirds point, and a final update at the end of the year.

Shopping and wardrobe statistics

In today’s post, I share how I’m doing with the shopping and wardrobe goals I’ve set for the year. Later this week, I will update you on my progress with what I’ve termed the 2014 “Full Life Project.”  We all get busy with life and our lengthy to-do lists, and goals can sometimes fall by the wayside as a result.  My goals updates will help keep me on track and moving powerfully toward the objectives I outlined for myself as 2014 began.

This update will be structured as follows… I will list each of my ten shopping and wardrobe goals for 2014 as written in my January 27th post.  Below each goal, I’ll provide a brief summary of my progress thus far toward achieving the goal in question.  Wherever applicable, I’ll share statistics (my favorite!) to support my updates.

Goal #1:  Spend a maximum of $3000 on clothing and clothing-related items.

At the time of this writing, I have spent $820.57 so far this year on clothing, shoes, accessories, and alterations.  My budget through the end of April is $1000, so I am quite a bit ahead of my budget at this point.  I don’t expect to spend any more money this month, but I will report my final total in my April accountability update.

Goal #2:  Buy a maximum of 38 wardrobe items (garments, shoes, and handbags).

As I’ve shared in my various accountability updates, I’ve struggled quite a bit with this goal.  I was hoping I could use a yearly item limit rather than having set monthly item limits on my shopping, but I don’t think I’m ready for such freedom just yet.  During January through March, I purchased 18 wardrobe items and was on pace to reach my yearly limit well before the year ended.  Thus, I opted to divide my remaining 20 items among the nine months left in the year instead of keeping things open-ended.   I can now buy two items per month during April through November and four items in December.

I have purchased my two items for April (I’ll share about them in my next accountability update), so I’ve now bought 20 new items during 2014.  I have 18 items remaining and plan to adhere to the shopping priorities list I outlined last week.  Hopefully, between this list and my new monthly item limit, I will stay on track and reach this goal!

Goal #3:  Everything I buy will fit my current body, lifestyle, and personal sense of style.

This goal is far more subjective than the previous two goals outlined above.  My progress on this goal has been mixed at best.  While all of the items I’ve purchased fit my current body, some of them are not a good match for my present lifestyle and sense of style.  Sadly, three items that I bought have already been donated or consigned, as they just weren’t wise purchases to begin with. I fell prey to my longtime mistake of buying things for the wrong reasons, namely because I liked the price, the color, or the brand.  While I am usually able to return retail purchases made in error for a refund, that’s not generally possible with resale buys.  Resale items bought in error are basically a “write-off” and both the dollars in my budget and the items in my allotment are lost.

Looking on the bright side, I believe that many of the pieces I’ve purchased so far this year were wise buys.   Some of them have already received a good amount of play and I feel that others will be worn regularly once warmer weather arrives. I will soon do a purchase analysis post for what I’ve bought thus far during 2014.  In that post, I’ll share everything I’ve bought and whether I believe each item was a wise purchase or a buying mistake. Stay tuned…

Goal #4:  Items I buy will either fit me perfectly “off the rack” or will only need very basic alterations.

One-fourth of the items I’ve purchased so far this year have required some sort of tailoring.  However, all of these alterations were very straight-forward and not at all risky in nature. The alterations included lengthening sleeves (letting down sleeve hems) on one top and two jackets and taking in the sides of two cardigans.  I also had an unattached lining of a shirt sewn to the top layer of that garment.  With the exception of the last modification mentioned, all of my 2014 alterations are things I’ve had done successfully many times before.  I feel that I’m doing well in avoiding “The Dark Side of Alterations” I wrote about last December.

Goal #5:  Return any new items that have not been worn or used within 30 days of purchase.

I’m glad I’m reviewing my shopping and wardrobe goals today, as I haven’t done too well with this one.  As of today, I have seven new 2014 garments that were purchased over 30 days ago and have not been worn!  In the case of four of these pieces, my reason for not wearing them is weather-related.  It just hasn’t been warm enough yet to wear my new warm weather items, but I feel confident that I will wear them.

However, the other three garments haven’t been worn because they are styles that are new to me. I tend to be a “slow adopter.”  Instead of wearing new styles immediately after buying them, I tend to hesitate when venturing out of my comfort zone.  I don’t really want to return these three items, as I do like them.  What I really need to do is push myself to wear them – and soon!

I want to retain this goal, as it’s already been helpful to me in terms of returns I’ve made thus far.  I’ve returned at least four or five items before they were even included in a monthly accountability update.  I generally allow myself a week or two after buying something to decide whether I will keep it or return it to the store.  During that time, I try the new pieces on a few times and assess how I feel about them.

I tend to be moody and indecisive, so I want to be as confident as possible that I’m making the right choice. That said, I’ve still made mistakes, but I do feel that I’m learning and making progress.  I don’t make nearly as many returns as I used to, as I previously returned at least half of the items I bought!   These days, the bulk of the returns I make are for items ordered online that I wasn’t able to touch, inspect, or try on.  It’s very difficult to determine whether or not something will work for us based upon a photo and a description on a website, so I cut myself some slack in regards to e-commerce returns.

Goal #6:  Reduce my wardrobe to 200 total items (including clothing, shoes, purses, and scarves).

As of today, my “grand total” for clothing, shoes, purses, and scarves is 221 (see my last closet inventory here).  I have 147 garments (not including workout wear), 34 pairs of shoes, 11 purses, and 29 scarves.  Since I’m able to bring 18 new pieces into my closet before the end of the year, I will need to let go of 39 items in order to reach my goal of 200 maximum wardrobe pieces.

I still believe this goal is achievable, as some of my new items will be replacements.  In addition, at the end of each season, I’ll assess what hasn’t been worn and decide whether or not it should remain in my closet. I will also continue to regularly purge anything in my closet that I don’t love and which doesn’t suit my body, lifestyle, and style aesthetic.

Goal #7:  End the year having worn everything in my closet at least two or more times.

I have worn very few of my warm weather items thus far, as we’ve only had a few unseasonably warm days this year (I know, that’s better than most folks have had!).  Since I’ve mostly been wearing my cooler weather pieces (my Fall through Spring wardrobe, as I call it), those were the only items I assessed today.  At this point, there are 48 items (36 garments and 12 pairs of shoes) that I reasonably could have worn two or more times but have not.  While many of these items have been worn once this year, 22 of them (13 garments and 9 pairs of shoes) have not been worn yet at all.

The good news is that I’m doing far better this year in wearing all of my clothes than I did during the past three years (see those statistics HERE and HERE).  It helps a lot that I’m wearing more of my “regular clothes” when working from home.  I feel confident that I will end the year having worn at least most of my clothes and shoes two or more times, if not all of them. The few dressy items I own may still end up being “wardrobe benchwarmers,” but if that’s the case, I may decide that it’s not worth keeping such pieces around!  Time will tell, but I’m happy with my progress thus far.

Goal #8:  Wear at least a third of my wardrobe pieces 8 or more times and half of my wardrobe pieces 5 or more times.

Since we’re only a third of the way through 2014, I have very few items that have been worn five or more times so far this year.  My wardrobe is still too large for many pieces to receive that much play in just a few months.  At this point, there are 12 items that I’ve worn five or more times and 6 items that I’ve worn eight or more times. All of these items are pants, shoes, or coats.  While some of my tops have been worn three or four times thus far, no garments in that category have reached the five-wear mark as of yet.

I’m not as confident about reaching this goal as I am about some of the previous ones.  I know I’ll wear many of my pants, skirts, shoes, and toppers (coats, jackets, and cardigans) at least five times before the year is through, but I don’t know how many of my tops will reach that benchmark.  In truth, I still have far more tops than I need!  I’m now being more ruthless in purging this wardrobe category, but I don’t want to let go of any garments that I still like.  We’ll see how I’m doing at the end of August when I do my next goal update.  I should have a much better read on the situation at that time and it will be easier to make predictions then.

Goal #9:  Every item in my closet will be at least an “8” on a scale of 1-10 by the end of the year.

This is another very subjective goal, but I believe it’s useful for us to rate our closet pieces and aim to love as much of our wardrobe as possible.  It’s difficult to make the call about “8”s or higher when the garments in question are not on our bodies, but I did my best to assess the state of my wardrobe on their hangers and racks.

I think I have fewer than ten “sub-8” pieces at this point.  A few of them are “placeholders” that are waiting to be replaced later this year, while others have comfort issues that may lead to their ultimate demise.  I have already released a number of items this year because they didn’t meet my ever-increasing standards for fit, style, and comfort, and I will continue to do so moving forward.

Goal #10:  Reduce the size of my jewelry collection by at least one-third.

I dove right into this goal in February, beginning with a jewelry inventory and an initial cull.  You can read the specifics in this post, but here’s a brief summary…  I counted all of my watches, rings, brooches, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other miscellaneous items and ended up with a grand total of 282 jewelry pieces.

After looking at each item and asking myself two powerful questions (“Do I love this piece?” and “Can I see myself wearing it within the next month?”), I was able to purge 65 pieces on the same day of my initial inventory, all of which I consigned or donated shortly thereafter.   So I reduced the size of my jewelry collection by 23% right off the bat!  I haven’t done any further culling as of yet, but I feel confident I’ll be able to let go of at least another 10% of my jewelry inventory in order to reach my year-end goal.  I plan to do another round of culling very soon and will report on my progress.

In Conclusion

I feel it was very useful for me to review my shopping and wardrobe goals today and write up this update.  Although I advocate reviewing our goals on a regular basis, I hadn’t looked over these objectives in quite a while.  I guess it’s time for me to practice what I preach, huh?  From this point on, I commit to reviewing my 2014 goals every month when I prepare my monthly accountability updates.  This should help me to keep my goals top of mind – and me on target for achieving them.

All in all, I feel I’m doing fairly well with my 2014 shopping and wardrobe goals.  Next we’ll see how I’m faring with the goals for my life at large. Sadly, I don’t think my progress is quite as stellar there, but I promise to tell the truth even if it’s not pretty!  Stay tuned for that update later this week…

Your Thoughts?

How about you?  Have you set goals in terms of your shopping and wardrobe for this year?  If so, how are you doing with those goals?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, updates, and comments on what you’re hoping to accomplish during 2014.  In addition, if you have questions or comments on my goals, I welcome those as well.  All I ask is that you be respectful and kind in your communications here.  Feel free to question and challenge me or your fellow readers, but remember that we’re all on the same side. We’re all looking to shop more consciously and wisely and cultivate workable wardrobes.  Let’s all do our best to help each other succeed!

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