It’s time for my first accountability update of 2016! For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget and item limit. Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals.
In future months, I’m also going to include an update on how I’m doing with my theme for the year, “balance,” but this time around I will dedicate a separate post to that topic, to be published later this week. Since I will be packing so much into these monthly updates, the format is going to change somewhat over previous years. I will go into less detail in each section and in most instances will give more general summaries on what I bought and what I purged rather than doing an itemized account.
What Left My Closet
I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month. During January, I removed three items from my wardrobe:
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 1 long-sleeved top
Here’s a look at the items I opted to pass on:
I also exchanged one pair of jeans for a more comfortable pair:
Why I Culled These Items
In addition to posting photos of what left my closet, I also list why I decided to release those pieces. I feel that pinpointing our reasons for purging closet items can help us to notice patterns and avoid future mistakes.
My reasons for letting go of the items above are as follows:
- Pewter bow flats – I only wore these shoes once in 2015 and feel they are too “twee” for my current style aesthetic.
- Black low-heel ankle boots – These boots are worn out and I have other black ankle boots that I like much better and would rather wear.
- Red waffle top with grey trim – This top is too loose fitting and the tomato red is not the best shade for my coloring (I prefer more of a cherry red).
- Dark wash baby boot-cut jeans (exchanged) – The original pair led to “pins and needles” nerve pain in my legs. I exchanged them for a pair of straight-leg jeans that are looser fitting in my thighs.
What Came Into My Closet
This part of my accountability update will now be divided into the following sections:
- “Out and About” Wardrobe (to be included in my item limit for the year)
- At-Home / Workout Wardrobe
“Out and About” Wardrobe
Last month, I added three new items to my “out and about” wardrobe:
- Burgundy polka-dot top – This top is in a favorite color and pattern and is not like anything else I have in my closet. I like that the front of the top has two layers and that the back is solid burgundy and slightly longer than the front. This is the type of special stand-alone top that doesn’t need a topper or many accessories to look nice.
- Burgundy and Teal waffle tops – Waffle tops are go-to items for my casual lifestyle during the cooler months and are worn at both out and about and at home. Burgundy and teal are both key colors in my palette.
I have already worn all three tops, as shown in the photos below:
For my at-home / workout wardrobe, I purchased three long-sleeved tops:
I love the colors of all three tops and two of them include my signature stripes. I have already worn all of these tops at home, on walks, and to the gym, and feel they will be staple pieces during the cooler weather season. We are currently experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures, so I haven’t worn them the past couple of weeks, but I know we’re in for three or four more months of cool weather before summer arrives.
As I mentioned in my 2016 goals post last week, I’m going to keep my accessory purchases to a minimum this year since I have many items that aren’t worn very often. I bought just one accessory in January, a bright blue scarf:
I have not yet worn this scarf and it may have been a mistake for me to buy it, especially since I haven’t been wearing scarves a lot lately. I was basically seduced by the color and the low price, just $15 at a mall kiosk. I do feel that the scarf will pair well with my black and white striped tops, as well as many of my other long-sleeved tops, but time will tell as to whether or not it was a wise purchase.
I have decided to purchase no more than 36 “out and about” items this year (see this post for more information), as I already have a lot of pieces in this area of my wardrobe. I would like to focus more on my at-home clothing and shoes this year. Each month, I will list my “out and about” purchases, when I bought them, and how many times they have been worn so far. For the sake of completeness, I will also share how many at-home items, shoes, and accessories I have purchased.
“Out and About” Purchases:
- Burgundy polka-dot long-sleeved top (January, worn once)
- Burgundy waffle top (January, worn once)
- Teal waffle top (January, worn once)
- Blue-striped long-sleeved top (January, worn three times)
- Dark green long-sleeved top (January, worn once)
- Purple striped long-sleeved top (January, worn three times)
- Bright blue scarf (January, not yet worn)
Here’s a summary for the year as of the end of January:
- Items Added: 7 (3 “out and about” garments, 3 at-home garments, 1 scarf)
- Items Purged: 3 (2 pairs of shoes, 1 top)
January Budget Report
My clothing budget for 2016 is $2500, the same as last year’s budget. Like in 2015, I am working from a quarterly budget, but I have opted to allocate my money based upon my traditional shopping patterns:
- Quarter 1: $750
- Quarter 2: $375
- Quarter 3: $1000
- Quarter 4: $375
My first quarter budget is $750. As of the end of January, I had spent $223.43 on clothing and related expenses (clothes, shoes, accessories, alterations). Consequently, I have $526.57 remaining in my budget through the end of March. I would really like to move more toward seasonal shopping as opposed to shopping every single month. Last week, I outlined my shopping priorities for the year and I will update them periodically as needed.
What I Wore
I each accountability update, I do a quick recap of the items I wore the month before. Here’s a quick look at what I wore during January:
- Clothing items worn: 51 (note that some items worn only at home or to work out are not shown):
- Shoes worn: 4
- Scarves worn: 2
- Necklaces worn: 4
- Purses carried: 2
I do not track my earring and bracelet wears, as I have less of an issue with using those items regularly, especially since I have pared down my collection considerably over the past two years.
I showed three of my outfits above, as they featured new tops that I purchased last month. Here are a few more outfits from January 2016:
Lots of jeans, black boots, stripes, black, purple, and blue, but I was quite happy with almost all of my outfits. My wardrobe is working well for my lifestyle and it’s easy for me to get dressed each day. I’m in a much better place with my closet and my style than I was a year ago – or even six months ago. All of the attention I have paid to tracking, journaling, and writing these monthly updates and other posts is really paying off.
So that’s it for my January accountability update. Now it’s your turn to chime in:
- How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during January (and even the first half of February since the month is half over)?
- What successes and/or challenges did you experience?
I invite you to share your wins, setbacks, and any questions you may have for me or others in this community. Some of you have opted to share your accountability updates each month, too, which is great. There is strength in numbers and in declaring our truth on a forum such as this one (many readers also share their accountability in the “End Closet Chaos” closed Facebook group). We’re here to encourage and support each other, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it. I wish you all the best for the rest of February and throughout 2016!
Special Note for Readers in the New York City Area
If you live in the New York City area and are struggling with compulsive shopping, you may be interested in an upcoming 4-week Stopping Overshopping Group. This group, based upon the work of Dr. April Benson (author of “To Buy or Not to Buy”), will be led by two licensed social workers and begins on March 10th. Participants in the group will learn skills and strategies designed to eliminate compulsive buying and overspending. To find out more about the group, please click here.
Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and subscribe for free updates by email.
I also invite you to join the End Closet Chaos private Facebook group, where you can interact with others about the topics discussed here.