“Love It, Wear It” Challenge Debrief & Year-End Inventory: The Clothes

I am continuing with my year-end wrap-up posts for 2015.  Today is part one in a two-part series debriefing my “Love it, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI), which I took on throughout all of last year.  Part one will cover my clothes and part two, which I will publish early next week, will look at my shoes and accessories.  In addition to writing about how the challenge impacted my wardrobe and style, I will also share an inventory of my wardrobe in these two posts.

Love It, Wear It Challenge

An Overview of LIWI

But before I dive into my debrief, here’s a quick reminder of what LIWI was about (read more here).  The objectives for the “Love It, Wear It” challenge, which some readers also took on, are to wear what we love and to have the right types of clothing, shoes, and accessories for our lives… our real lives.  By this, I mean the lives that we are actually living in the here and now – not imagined, wished for, or previous lifestyles.

The goal of LIWI is to create a “working closet” by moving all worn items into a specific area of your closet space (or a separate closet altogether).   As much as possible (uniforms and dress codes aside…), you should only wear what you really want to wear.  Anything that is uncomfortable, fussy, or no longer in line with your personal style should be passed on for donation or consignment.

Although I have concluded my year of LIWI, it’s still something that you can take on at any time if you feel inspired to do so.   A lot of readers decided to take on the challenge after reading about how it helped me with my wardrobe, shopping, and style. Some of those readers have shared their updates in the comments section of my LIWI updates, and I hope that at least a few of them will opt to recap their experiences following either this or my next post.

What I Wore During December

Before I debrief my entire year of the LIWI challenge, I want to give you a quick look at what I wore during December:

Items Worn - December 2015

These are the clothing items and shoes that I wore in December 2015.

Here’s a simple breakdown of my December numbers (please note that my November numbers were covered in my accountability update for that month):

  • Clothing Items Worn: 41
  • Shoes Worn: 5
  • Scarves Worn: 1
  • Necklaces Worn: 2
  • Purses Carried: 1

My December numbers are higher than the ones for November, but closely mirror my numbers for both October and September.  I only wore 30 items of “out and about” clothing during November, as opposed to 42 and 44 in October and September, respectively.   This was mostly due to illness and not having as many occasions for leaving the house in November.  My shoe numbers declined in December over previous months (I wore 8 pairs in November and 9 in both October and September).  This can be attributed to my having far fewer cold weather shoes than those that are worn during the warmer months.   My scarf and necklace numbers for November and December are identical, whereas I carried one more purse in November than I did last month.

Here’s a look at the scarf, necklaces, and purse I used during December 2015:

December 2015 accessories

I carried this purse and wore these accessories during December 2015. 

My Year-End “Working Closet”

Now that we got the December numbers out of the way, it’s time to dive into the year-end debrief of my LIWI Challenge.  Let’s start by looking at how my closet appeared as of December 31, 2015.   Here’s what my “working closet” looked like after a year of LIWI (NOTE: there are a few pairs of shoes in there that either were not worn last year or have since been passed on):

2015 year-end "working closet"

This is what my closet looks like after a year of the LIWI challenge. 

The above represents my year-round wardrobe.   The only clothes that are not in my main closet are my casual jackets and coats, which reside in our entryway closet and can be seen below:

coats and jackets worn 2015

These are the coats and jackets in my “working closet.” 

The Clothes by Category – “Out and About” Clothes

Here’s a summary by category of the clothing items I wore last year – and opted to keep in my “working closet” (we’ll get to shoes and accessories in my next post), as well as how the numbers have shifted since my last LIWI update:

  • 2 pairs of pants (-2, one moved to closet staging area, one to my workout/lounge wardrobe)
  • 5 pairs of jeans (+2)
  • 11 skirts (same)
  • 15 dresses (+1)
  • 6 coats (same)
  • 5 short jackets (+1)
  • 2 vests (+2, one of these should have been included in my last update but wasn’t)
  • 16 cardigans (+4)
  • 21 long-sleeved tops (+1)
  • 18 short-sleeved tops (+2)
  • 21 sleeveless tops (same)

Now let’s look at some totals and compare them to my last closet inventory back in May 2015 (photos of each wardrobe category are shown as well):

  • Tops: 60  (+8)
tops worn - 2015

These are the 60 tops in my working closet as of December 31, 2015. 

  • Toppers (coats, jackets, cardigans): 29  (same)
toppers worn - 2015

These are the 29 toppers in my “out and about” wardrobe. 

  • Bottoms (skirts, pants, jeans):  18  (-2)
bottoms worn - 2015

These are the 18 pairs of pants and skirts in my 2015 year-end “working wardrobe.” 

  • Dresses: 15  (+5)
dresses worn - 2015

I wore these 15 dresses in 2015 and decided to keep them for this year. 

  • Total Number of “Out and About” Garments:  122 (+11)

My total went up because I added 8 more tops and 5 more dresses to my wardrobe since May.   I think my “out and about” number is still a little too high.  It actually stayed fairly stable across the year, as my total was 124 back in January 2015.   What changed was the composition of my wardrobe in that I now have fewer toppers (-7) and bottoms (-5) and more tops (+4) and dresses (+6) than I had at the beginning of 2015.  The actual items within each category have also shifted, as I let go of pieces that didn’t work for me and brought in new ones that better matched my evolving style.  More on that topic later in this post…

The Dedicated Workout/Lounge Clothes

My dedicated workout/lounge clothes were not included in my working closet number above, but the numbers haven’t changed much since my last update:

  • 14 short-sleeved tops (-2)
  • 4 long-sleeved tops (same)
  • 9 pairs of workout/lounge pants (same)
  • 5 casual jackets – worn for workouts, walks, and at home (same)

Most of these items are worn fairly regularly, but I could probably let go of a few of the short-sleeved tops and perhaps one or two of the pants as well.   I also wear a lot of my “out and about” tops while I am at home and pair them with the workout/lounge pants referenced above.   Many of the tops included in the above counts, especially the short-sleeved ones, are worn only for walks and workouts.   I plan to replace some of the items in this capsule with higher quality pieces this year as part of my efforts to place more attention on my at-home wardrobe.

Here’s a look at a portion of my dedicated workout/lounge wardrobe (I do not have photographs of all of the pieces):

workout and lounge items - 2015

This is a portion of my workout and lounge wardrobe. 

Clothes Not Worn in 2015

In my previous LIWI updates, I also highlighted what had yet to be worn in my closet. I finished out the year with six unworn garments that I have decided to keep as of the beginning of 2016.  These items were all discussed in my recent wardrobe “benchwarmers” recap and may not all stay in my closet long-term for various reasons.  Here’s a look at the clothes that I didn’t wear at all in 2015:

unworn clothes - 2015

I did not wear these six garments at all during 2015. 

At this point, I’m leaning toward keeping the three jackets in the top row, but I am less certain about the shorts and cardigans in the bottom row.  I’m going to try some alternate styling options for the cardigans soon (with pants instead of skirts) and try on the shorts again to see if I want to keep them. I can see the value in having a pair of shorts in my wardrobe, but I’m not sure that those are the right ones for me.

My Cool Weather Wardrobe

In my last LIWI update, I shared a basic look at my summer wardrobe, which consisted of 50 garments and 11 pairs of shoes, for 61 items total.   I mostly wear those pieces during the months of July through November, roughly 4.5 to 5 months out of the year.  For the remainder of the year, excepting some unseasonably warm days in other months, I wear what I refer to as my “cool weather wardrobe.”

Traditionally, there has been virtually no overlap between my two wardrobe capsules, but this is something I would like to change moving forward.   Up until this year, I generally wore skirts and dresses in the summer and pants and jeans the rest of the year, and the tops and toppers I wore with each were different.  I am not one to tuck in my tops (because I’m short-waisted), so I have found that I need shorter tops to wear with skirts and longer tops for my pants and jeans.  I think I can start to mix and match some of my toppers, however, as the short over long look can be quite stylish when done right (that’s the tricky part…).  In addition, if I belt some of my longer tops, I may be able to pair them with my skirts, and I may be able to find a way to make tucking work for me.

Although there are still a number of months left in the cool weather season, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on that portion of my wardrobe as a result of my LIWI challenge during the early and latter parts of 2015.   Here are my cool weather wardrobe items as of the close of last year:

cool weather wardrobe

This is a “bird’s eye view” of my cool weather wardrobe. 

Here’s a breakdown of my cool weather wardrobe by category:

  • 6 pairs of pants (1 knit pant, 5 pairs of jeans)
  • 45 tops (21 long-sleeved, 17 short-sleeved, 7 sleeveless – worn under cardigans)
  • 10 cardigans
  • 6 coats
  • 1 vest
  • 9 pairs of shoes (3 pairs of boots, 1 pair of sneakers, 5 pairs of flats/low heels)

Here’s a closer look at the pieces in my cool weather wardrobe:

cool weather pants

These are the 6 pairs of pants in my current cool weather wardrobe. 

cool weather tops

I wear these 45 tops during the cooler months of the year. 

cool weather toppers

These are the 17 toppers that are included in my cool weather wardrobe. 

To sum it up, my cool weather wardrobe includes 68 garments and 9 pairs of shoes, for 77 items total. I think that I have too many tops in this capsule for most of them to be worn as often as I’d like. I need to keep this in mind with any future shopping that I do.   I have already come up with a plan for enhancing my cool weather wardrobe, but I’d like to revisit my shopping priorities list to make sure it is still in line with my true needs (and even my wants).  I think the number of shoes I have in my cool weather capsule is good, but I would like to replace a few of the more worn out pairs with non-black shoes to enhance the variety in my outfits.

Lessons from LIWI

In my previous LIWI updates, I have shared some of the lessons I’ve learned from the challenge, but I would like to summarize them in this debrief post. I will focus just on my clothes today and comment on my shoes and accessories in the second half of this debrief, to be published early next week.

Over the course of 2015, I learned that these are the types of clothes/outfits I prefer to wear (you can see some examples toward the end of this post):

  • Slimmer fitting pants/jeans (usually straight-leg styles)
  • Maxi-length skirts and dresses (worn with flat or low-heeled shoes)
  • Shorter, narrower skirts (I have shortened a few of my midi skirts and dresses for this reason)
  • I now prefer dresses over skirts for the most part
  • Non-blazer style short jackets (such as moto styles)
  • Tie-waist cardigans (especially with dresses)
  • Vests
  • Bright-colored ¾ length coats
  • Black and jewel-toned clothing
  • Long open cardigans with slim-fitting jeans
  • Slim-fitting jeans with boots
  • Fitted tank tops with maxi-skirts
  • Long-sleeved fitted or semi-fitted tops (often waffle weave) with jeans

Through LIWI, I have seen that I am moving away from wearing these types of garments and ensembles:

  • Fuller midi-length skirts
  • Boot-cut jeans and wider-leg trousers
  • Grey and muted-color clothing
  • Jeans/pants worn with flat shoes
  • Open cardigans with boot-cut jeans
  • Knit blazers
  • Standard button-down cardigans
  • Dresses and skirts worn with blazers/jackets
  • Sleeveless tops worn with jeans/pants

I would like to add more of the following types of clothing to my wardrobe in the coming year (in small quantities):

  • Pants other than black and denim
  • Shorter, slimmer skirts (hitting no longer than mid-knee)
  • A few bright colored and/or printed bottoms (skirts, pants)
  • Tunics
  • Tops with special details (tops that stand alone and don’t need too many accessories or a topper to look “finished”)
  • Dresses and skirts to wear in cooler weather
  • Sleeved tops to wear with skirts, as well as some less fitted tops
  • Alternate toppers for pants/jeans beyond open cardigans and long coats
  • Higher quality, more polished lounge/workout wear (including pants that can also be worn for other activities – “athleisure” wear)

Conclusion

I definitely feel that LIWI was a worthwhile pursuit for me.  It helped me to better refine my style, edit my wardrobe, improve my outfits, and plan for the future of my closet.   I love a much great proportion of my ensembles now and it’s a lot easier for me to get dressed.  Even when I only have a few minutes to put together an outfit, I am generally quite happy with how I look when I leave the house.   For all of these reasons, I consider “Love it, Wear It” to have been a success!

While I don’t plan to specifically do the challenge again this year, I will continue to carry the spirit of LIWI forward into 2016 and beyond. As I have been getting dressed this year, I have focused on wearing what I most feel called to wear and putting together outfits that suit my style and my life.  Moving forward, if I find that I don’t love one of my ensembles, I’m going to either figure out an alternate way to wear the included pieces or I will designate them for consignment or donation.  I believe that through doing this, I will continue to improve my wardrobe and style.

Your Thoughts?

I know that some of you also took on the LIWI challenge last year. I’d love to hear about how it went for you, as well as what you discovered about your wardrobe and yourself in the process.   Please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.  For those who haven’t yet adopted the challenge but are interested in doing so, it’s never too late, even though I will be moving on to new wardrobe experiments this year (more likely multiple short ones rather than one big year-long challenge).  If you have any questions or concerns before you get started, I would be happy to address them. For everyone else, I hope you found this post interesting and I welcome your insights, too.

I will be back next week with the second half of my “Love it, Wear it” Challenge debrief, which will focus on shoes and accessories.   I will also share a year-end inventory for that section of my wardrobe and summarize my overall wardrobe totals and how they compare with my last closet inventory. Have a wonderful weekend!


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Comments

  1. I like the yellow/black/print tunic.
    I look for “stand-alone” blouses. We have long moderate temperature seasons in the Spring and Fall and tops that have details or styling are a good solution to the “what will I wear” moment as I get dressed in the morning.

    That’s quite an inventory!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Looking for “stand-alone” blouses is a good idea, Ginger. It’s great to have tops that don’t need toppers or too much accessorizing in order to look good. I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for such tops on future shopping trips.

  2. Debbie,
    Sorry to keep asking but have you had a comprehensive blood test yet? Have you been to an immunologist to see what tests would be good? Do you get migraines as they can bring on other health issues?
    But perhaps your health is now better?

    Best,
    Michaela

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for your concern about my health, Michaela. Sadly, it is not any better and is actually worse. I have had migraines for 31 years now and they are a big part of my problem. I have had a number of blood tests and other tests, but I have not seen an immunologist. That hasn’t been suggested to me before, but I do have some other doctors lined up to see and more tests to take. I am determined to get to the bottom of the situation one way or another.

      • Hi Debbie,
        My older daughter was diagnosed accidentally with leukemia when a blood test showed high white cell count. (She’s OK now.) But it sounds as if your blood tests are OK, which is great.
        For migraines, my younger daughter has much less severe migraines after Botox injections, which many doctors don’t know about for migraines. The Botox nurse should have at least ten years experience and know the muscles involved. It is about $400 for injections but you need fewer as you go along, so every 3-6 months to start with but you’ll be able to go for longer periods between injections with time. Otherwise she’s tried lots of things, as have most migraine patients. Her headaches are hormonal so she now has Seroquel for a certain number of days a month. The next best was Endep but that made her groggy and she still got some bad headaches.
        The immunologist looks to see if you have other conditions of an auto-immune type like lupus. My younger daughter sees an immunologist and a neurologist who cooperate. But in Australia we have a government subsidised health system so all this doesn’t cost the earth.(She has even had a lumbar puncture which can diagnose all sorts of disorders.)
        You’ll get lots and lots of advice but nothing beats properly qualified medical practioners.
        It sounds as if you are persevering with finding treatment which is really good as the whole thing can really get people down. One of my friends found her disabling headaches disappeared with menopause, so there may be light at the end of the tunnel!
        Very best wishes and love your blog,
        M.

        • Debbie Roes says:

          Thanks so much for the information and suggestions, Michaela. I have not yet tried Botox for migraines, but it is an option. I think that my migraines are hormonal, but I am hoping they will decrease with menopause (as happened for your friend – SO great for her!), which is probably right around the corner (I turn 50 this year!). I haven’t been to an immunologist, but I have been tested for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and both were negative. I wish we had government subsidized health care here, as the cost of a lot of things has made it hard for me to pursue all of the tests to find out what is wrong with me. I am doing things as I can and I am going to keep trying to find answers and get better. The whole thing really DOES get me down, but I try to just take things one day at a time and have hope. It’s not always easy but I do my best…

  3. Because “Deliberate” was your word for 2015, and “Balance” is your word for 2016, I had some thoughts, with regards to what you would like to add to your wardrobe in 2016, especially since the point of all of this is to exercise control over shopping…

    For the “pants other than black and denim”, I would get specific about the sort of style and colors that you love, and could easily introduce into the existing wardrobe. That way, you don’t end up with some random khaki pants that don’t match anything currently in your closet. I’d also consider what type of rise you prefer, and the shape of the leg, and what kind of pants would best suit the longer or shorter tops you would want to pair the pants with.

    For the “Shorter, slimmer skirts (hitting no longer than mid-knee)”… I think it would be helpful to have a shortlist, like Barb A, about what you DON’T want or intensely dislike, so you don’t end up with those midi-skirts you’ve kept getting shortened 😀 And also maybe chose 2-3 silhouettes + colors you really love, so that when you see an actual skirt, you can ask yourself if this is one of those preferred silhouettes.

    Same thing goes for the rest. And with the dresses, I would identify what kind of style works best, what sort of sleeves (or no sleeves at all) you would prefer, and think of three different places you would wear each style of dress. For example: Casual: Walk dog/walk on the beach/backyard BBQ/lounge at home. Dressier: Wear to meet friends for brunch/shop at the mall/air travel. Very dressy: Wear to the theatre/wear to dinner/wear to a movie (you’d probably want longer sleeves for this, or know that you can definitely pair a new dress with your existing cardigans or toppers). Over-the-top: Wear to a wedding/christening/company holiday party/dressy event.

    I find that Pinterest really really really helps me with this, because I have a photo collage I can refer to again and again.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I appreciate your suggestions, Mary Beth. I agree that it’s a good idea to get more specific about the types of clothes (and shoes and accessories) I want to add to my wardrobe this year. The list in this post was mostly just some preliminary thoughts on the topic, but I know I need to refine things before I shop. I do want to create lists like Barb did, especially since it was SO helpful for her. This will very likely be an upcoming post, as I think seeing my examples would be beneficial for others, too. I like the further refinement you recommended about where I would wear the various styles of dress I am considering buying. I often don’t think enough about that and that’s why certain pieces become “benchwarmers.” I like Pinterest but haven’t used it much in a while, but it does seem like it could be helpful in both style refinement and honing a shopping priorities list.

  4. Debbie–As I have said before, I enjoy reading everything you write even though I am not a shopaholic. I just don’t get how you can stand having so many clothes! I would give away all the ones you have found you are not gravitating to any more. Wouldn’t it be easier on you than dragging it out like this? Please know I am not being mean or disapproving. I am trying to understand. Every one of your topics is so fascinating. Best wishes with your health issues.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you enjoy my posts, Helen. I know it seems to you that I have an extremely large wardrobe, but it is MUCH smaller than it used to be (see my initial closet inventory here: http://recoveringshopaholic.com/the-cold-hard-facts-what-i-have/ – I even had probably twice THAT at one point…). It is all relative. I don’t really feel overwhelmed by the size of my wardrobe now, although I do feel bad sometimes about not wearing things as often as I’d like. I have been gradually letting go of the pieces that don’t fit my style or my life anymore. My main focus needs to be on buying less, as it doesn’t matter how much I give away if I keep bringing a lot in! Thanks for your wishes about my health. I hope things will improve in that regard this year…

  5. I did (and am still doing) a version of LIWI. I am wearing my pieces(and they are legion) one at a time and seeing if they really make me happy or spark joy when I wear them. If not, I try to figure out why not and if they cannot be restyled, they are heading out the door. My big problem is I am still buying way too many clothes. Everything I see suggests possibilities and I am not being realistic about how many opportunities I have to wear all the new things. I am really going to be fierce with myself beginning in February. The after Christmas sales of January just overwhelmed any resolve I had.
    I like what Mary Beth said about getting more specific with our clothing purchases. I think this would be very helpful to all of us shopaholics. I hope your health improves this year.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I agree that Mary Beth’s suggestion was very helpful, Lori, and I think I will do a post on that topic sometime soon. I have the same problem as you do in that I buy too many new things. If we could cut back on our shopping and continue to do a version of LIWI, I believe we would get to a much better place with our wardrobes. It’s hard to shop our closets effectively when so much of our focus is outward and on bringing new pieces in. You are on the right track with what you’re doing and I wish you the best of luck. My path for this year is quite similar. Please let me know how you are doing from time to time.

  6. Wow, you did great last year! I love how your wardrobe is so cohesive now, and the colors are both pretty and flattering to you. Since your numbers were pretty consistent all year, maybe you are close to your closet set point? I’m still working on mine. I see it as the elusive mid-point between being overwhelmed and being bored with the lack of variety.?

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Murphy! I’m definitely getting a lot happier with my wardrobe these days. I do think my closet set point has remained pretty consistent over the past year. I think I may want to reduce it somewhat this year, but I’m not going to force the issue. I’m going to focus on buying less, making better choices, and better utilizing what I have. I love what you wrote about “elusive mid-point between being overwhelmed and being bored the lack of variety.” That is the “sweet spot” I am aiming for, too!

  7. I’d love to see another piece on how you track your wears. I want to do this, but have definitely dragged my feet at the thought of creating the spreadsheet and tallying up my clothes choices each day.
    I’m also very short-waisted and often to do the quarter tuck. At first, my husband thought it looked “unfinished,” but after I pointed out others doing it, he’s come around. I think it looks cute and youthful. Sometimes I tuck my shirt all the way in when I’m wearing a cardigan or hoodie that covers probably three-fourths of my waistline. I add a belt for a little interest and it works with mid-rise pants and jeans.
    Thanks, Debbie for all your astute and fascinating posts.

  8. Short shorts have to go! Try Bermuda shorts – they will “fit” your style/age/overall dressing aesthetic much better. Your analysis is fascinating, so much work.

    • I respectfully disagree. She lives in a beach front, casual community. And, although they are short, they are not tight nor have frayed hems. They are nice and tailored looking.
      Sometimes bermuda shorts can be unflattering and age someone, IMO.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      The shorts really aren’t THAT short and Mo is right about the community in which I live. The shorts aren’t out of place at all here. I have tried bermuda shorts and I don’t think they are very flattering on my body. I prefer a 5-7″ inseam for my shape. I am not 100% sold on the shorts because I didn’t wear them, but I do think that it would be good for me to have at least one pair of shorts in my closet. Yes, my analysis IS a lot of work, Jess, but I get a lot of value from it and I’m glad that others like reading it. I wouldn’t do so much analysis every month, but on a yearly basis, I am willing to take the time for the benefit I receive from it.

  9. If you ask me, dying that Brighton purse black has gotta be one of your best moves. I love seeing that purse, goes so well with your outfits due to being a core color.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I agree, Jane, that it was a good move. If the purse were still brown, it would either be gathering dust in my closet or I would have passed it on at a great loss. I know that brown is a core color and very versatile for many people, but just not for me…

      • Debbie, could you post a link that discusses dying your purse? I did a casual search but without success.

        I quite enjoyed this post. You’ve inspired me to be more thoughtful with my purchases.

        Regards!

        • Debbie Roes says:

          Hi Theresa, I had to search for that post myself, as I didn’t quite remember when I dyed the purse! It was back in September 2013 and I wrote about it in this post (scroll way down): http://recoveringshopaholic.com/september-accountability-update/ I also dyed a pair of brown boots and a brown leather bracelet. All three items have been used SO much more after dyeing them black and it wasn’t all the expensive to do (I think it cost about $40 for the purse and boots and about half that for the bracelet). It was well worth it for me! I’m glad you liked this post and have been inspired by my blog.

  10. Hey Debbie, loving these posts as always!

    I like your characterization of “stand-alone tops”, which totally suit my lifestyle/climate, but find they are tricky to nail down in the store and are revealed more clearly once already bought and in use. I also dig Murphy’s definition of closet set-point as “the elusive mid-point between being overwhelmed and being bored with the lack of variety.” I am definitely at the point where I don’t have enough choice and have been bringing in pieces agonizingly slowly. Like, this is going to take years.

    Would love to comment more but we are moving again (8th time in 6 years) although this one s/be more permanent, finally! Your wardrobe is looking great – progress like this is the result of your painstaking hard work and hanging in there with this two steps forward, one step back process! As Winston Churchill humorously/wisely pointed out: success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. 🙂

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I agree, Claire, that it can be hard to determine which tops will be good as “stand-alones” while we are in the store, but I hope to get better at it over time. I also loved what Murphy had to say about closet set point – brilliant! I wish you the best of luck with enhancing your wardrobe – AND with your upcoming move. You have certainly moved a lot of times, but I’m glad this next one will be more permanent. Thanks for your kind words about my wardrobe and for the Churchill quote. I like that one!

  11. I am getting away from such detailed analysis myself, but still have a good idea of what is getting worn, what isn’t, and what I should be buying instead of what I want to buy. 😉
    No surprise, dressier pieces are not getting much wear. I find that casual but stylish items are my slam dunks. For instance, my new zip back flannel shirt has been worn 4 times so far. My Dalmatian print slip on shoes got tons of wear this summer. They both have style impact but are so easy to wear in so many of my life’s situations. That is key. I don’t need to find or make an occasion to wear them.
    By contrast, my blingy cuff jeans haven’t made it out of the closet yet, nor my silk snake print blouse. Dressier than most of my activities. Simple as that. Yes, I will wear them, and yes I’m keeping them. But I won’t be buying more of the same. I have enough ‘going out on the town’ wear compared to the number of times I actually go out on the town – ha! I need the ‘running around, living my life’ capsule tended to, you know?

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I hope to get to the point of not needing so much detailed analysis, too, Mo. You seem to be a few steps ahead of me in terms of having a cohesive and workable wardrobe and making good buying decisions. Casual but stylish items are good for me, too, over the dressier pieces. I think it’s a good move for both of us to just stick with what we have for “going out wear” and definitely tend more to those living our lives capsules. All of the items you mentioned sound great and in your style, but I can see how you would wear the flannel shirt and print slip-on shoes more often. I hope you get some opportunities to wear the blingy jeans and snake print blouse soon, as they sound very nice.

  12. I have just checked the archives of your blog.
    In January 2013 you had:
    Tops: 129
    Bottoms: 51 (skirts, pants)
    Toppers: 75 (coats, jackets, cardigans)
    Dresses: 17
    Total number of garments: 272
    You said in 2014 that your ideal wardrobe size would be:
    3 dresses, 9 skirts, 24 pairs of pants, 33 tops, 36 toppers
    Grand Total: 141 items
    And now you have 122 “Out and About” Garments and 32 “Workout/Lounge Clothes”. Amazing! 🙂
    I will start LIWI this year, because I have more than 300 garments. 🙁 I have some of my clothes since 10 years! I am also thinking about transforming clothes (especially old topps) with DIY to new clothes or something else.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Good observation, Dory! It’s interesting that my total is similar to what I was aiming for in 2014, but I see that the make-up is still quite different. I could use more pants and fewer tops at this point, but my skirt and topper numbers are pretty right on. Maybe I will need fewer pairs of pants if I wear dresses more often, but I still have too many tops if I want to wear things 8 or more times per year. I wish you the best of luck with LIWI and with your DIY projects. I always admire people who are good at transforming their clothes themselves. I feel fortunate to have a good tailor, but it can be a lot more costly that way…

  13. LIWI is my new mantra for2016! In fact I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon assessing clothing that color-wise, proportion or lifestyle just doesn’t work for me–in a pile for donations. Your site has been the best motivator for me. Thanks much!

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I’m so happy that my blog has helped to motivate you, Bobbi! How great that you spent a rainy Sunday going through your wardrobe. Congrats on getting rid of things that don’t work for you. Such items just take up space in our closets and give us a false sense of large wardrobe. So much better to pass them along! Best wishes with your mantra for this year. LIWI helped me SO much and I hope it will do the same for you.

  14. I think you need to balance the urge to refresh and improve your wardrobe, with enjoying what you have. As you have lots of outfits you are happy with and seem to have a few suitable outfits for each of your usual activities how about limiting your ‘freshening up’ to one pair of bright pants, one skirt, one dress, one tunic, one top, one sleeveless top and one new athletic set. This will give you numerous new outfits when the items are paired with your existing wardrobe. Maybe you could plan them in advance and identify when you will actually wear them, what you are wearing them instead of, and whether you will wear them as often as you think. If you are only likely to wear a bright shorter skirt once a week for 6 month of the year is there any point buying more than one?

    • Debbie Roes says:

      You are absolutely right, Lynn. Interesting that you used the word “balance” since that is my theme for the year. I really do need to place less focus on buying new things and more focus on working with what I have and enjoying it. I set an item limit for this year (see my latest post), which is still on the high side but I wanted to have a goal that felt “doable” for me. It’s true that if one is strategic about the new items that are added, a single new piece can create a lot of new outfits. I think that I have been focused on “more is more” for so long that it’s taking a while for me to take a different mindset, but often more is NOT more. It just leads to overwhelm and makes it harder to dress well. As I pare down, I feel that I am dressing better, which I never would have believed 3 years ago!

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