I have now completed five months of my “Love It, Wear It” Wardrobe Challenge (LIWI). I’m so glad I decided to take this challenge on, as I have learned a great deal about my wardrobe and myself through the process. I’m now in a much better place with both my closet and my attitude toward my clothes and shopping than I was at the beginning of this year.
I have a lot to share, so I’m going to split this update into two parts. In today’s post, I will cover what’s in my working closet as of the end of May and how I feel about my wardrobe and what I’ve been wearing. Later this week, I will address those items that have not yet been worn and my feelings and plans for that section of my closet. There will be a lot of photos and quite a few numbers in both posts. I hope you will be able to apply my insights and my lessons to your own wardrobe situation.
An Overview of LIWI
Before I dive into my update, here’s a quick reminder of how the challenge works (read more here)… The idea is to create a “working closet” by moving everything you actually wear into a specific area of your closet. You should only wear what you really want to wear and anything that is uncomfortable, fussy, or no longer in line with your personal style should be passed on for donation or consignment.
The objectives for the LIWI challenge 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 our imagined, wished for, or previous lifestyles.
What I Wore During May
Before we look at how my working closet has shaped up after five months of the LIWI challenge, I want to show you a quick look at what I wore during May:
I know the images are pretty tiny, but you can see a pretty consistent color story there… My main wardrobe colors are black, cobalt, turquoise, purple, green, and burgundy, with a bit of pink and grey thrown in. I am very happy with my color palette and I’m glad that I passed on some pieces in colors that didn’t work for me as a result of my recent “KonMari Process.” I don’t miss those other items and no longer have to feel guilty when I see them and pass them over. It’s nice to only have colors that I love – and which look good with my complexion – in my closet.
In all, I wore 44 items of clothing last month (this doesn’t include dedicated workout/lounge wear – I generally wear “regular” shirts with lounge pants at home) and 5 pairs of shoes. This is 8 fewer items of clothing and 5 fewer pairs of shoes than I wore during April. The main reason for these differences was that there were fewer weather variations during May. It was mostly cool and overcast, as May usually is where I live (and June is generally much the same – we call it “May Gray” and “June Gloom”). I only wore one necklace during May and I didn’t wear any scarves at all. Accessories will be discussed in the sections below.
Five Months In – The Clothes
After five months of the “Love It, Wear It” Challenge, here’s what my working closet looks like now:
The size of my working closet (for non-workout clothes) as of the end of May was 93 items. My April number was 100, so the number has gone down. However, I’m not really sure how I calculated my working closet number previously, as the numbers in my April update didn’t add up to 100. I think I included some tops that I wear for both working out and at home but didn’t include the dedicated workout clothes. For the sake of clarity, though, I’m going to separate workout/lounge only clothes into a separate category from this update forward.
Here’s a summary of the clothing items I’ve worn so far this year by category (we’ll get to shoes and accessories later), as well as how the numbers have shifted since my last update:
- 3 pairs of pants (-1)
- 6 pairs of jeans (-1)
- 8 skirts (+2)
- 3 dresses (+3)
- 5 casual jackets – worn for workouts, walks, and at home (same)
- 6 coats (same)
- 3 short jackets – motos, blazers (same)
- 8 cardigans (same)
- 23 long-sleeved tops (-4)
- 14 short-sleeved tops (-3)
- 14 sleeveless tops (+3)
My dedicated workout clothes were not included in my working closet number above, but here are those numbers just to be complete with this update:
- 14 workout tops (+1)
- 8 pairs of workout/lounge pants (+2)
Here’s a bird’s eye view of the garments I have worn during 2015 thus far (most of the workout items are not pictured – you can see the coats in an earlier update):
A Closer Look…
And because it’s almost impossible to see the clothes in the tiny images above, here’s a closer look at the clothes broken down into tops, toppers, and bottoms/dresses.
Five Months In – Shoes and Accessories
I’m also tracking of all of the shoes and accessories I’m wearing during my 2015 LIWI Challenge. I’m keeping a running list of shoes worn and I’m tracking my jewelry by moving the pieces that get worn to separate areas of my jewelry box. With my scarves, I’m moving them from being folded up on a shelf to being hung on a hanger in my working closet. Here are my accessory numbers as of the end of May:
- 16 pairs of shoes (-1)
- 35 pairs of earrings (+1)
- 12 bracelets (-1)
- 8 necklaces (+1)
- 4 watches (same – as pictured in my January update)
- 5 scarves (same)
- 4 purses (same – I didn’t end up switching my purse out in May as I did in previous months)
Here’s a look at the shoes and accessories I’ve worn so far this year:
May LIWI Wardrobe Observations
That’s it for the numbers and photos, but there are still a few things I’d like to share before I close this post. In my last LIWI update, I listed the issues I perceive with my wardrobe and those things haven’t changed. Although I let go of some of my excess long-sleeved tops, necklaces, and scarves through KonMari, I still have too many of each.
With the long-sleeved tops, I actually like all of them, so my plan is not to buy any more and just wear the ones I have until they either wear out or I decide I no longer like them. With the necklaces and scarves, I also plan not to buy more and see which ones I end up wearing. I will likely pare down more in those areas as the year goes on. I plan to do the same with my blazers, as I tend to wear them most often with skirts and dresses in the summer. I know I still have too many and I plan to only keep my favorites, which will reveal themselves over time.
I also wrote about needing to focus more on clothes for at-home and outdoor activities. That is still on my radar screen and I am evaluating my needs in those areas. I think even just a handful of new pieces could make a big difference here, perhaps a few more short-sleeved tees with some visual interest and a pair or two of casual shorts or Capri pants. I will likely add one or two items at a time and see how they work out for me before I buy anything else. I want a smaller workable wardrobe, if not necessarily a minimalist wardrobe.
Another thing I wanted to comment on here is that I have really honed in on the types of outfits I like to wear. My favorite looks as of late have included straight-leg (skinnyish) jeans and boots worn with fluid, semi-fitted tops and sometimes cardigans. Here are a few examples of my new outfit “formula” (I also commented on similar looks in one of my outfit journal posts):
The other day, I wore a type of outfit that I used to favor involving wider-legged pants (not jeans) and flat shoes. It didn’t feel like “me” at all anymore. I will probably feature that outfit in an upcoming outfit journal post, along with perhaps some other ensembles that I’m just not “feeling” anymore. I much prefer my casual jeans looks over anything that appears even remotely corporate or formal. I don’t even mind wearing similar outfits most of the time. I’d prefer to just wear what I like rather than go for a lot of variety at this point. I want to get dressed in something I feel good in and then basically forget my clothes and get on with my life and what I’m up to that day. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way and this is contributing to my lowered desire to shop.
Of course, we are moving into the summer months now, so I’m sure I will start wearing skirts and dresses more often. I mostly wore jeans during May because the weather was cooler. It will be interesting to see if I have much of a desire to wear some of my older skirts and dresses. I already let go of a few of the skirts last month, but some of them are still hanging around. I know I like the maxi looks I started wearing last year, but I may have moved on beyond the styles of skirts I used to prefer. Time will tell… I’m willing to pass anything on that doesn’t work for me any longer.
Coming Attractions & Your Thoughts?
That’s it for part one of my May LIWI update. This part focused on what I have been wearing, whereas part two will be centered on what has yet to be worn this year. There will be lots of photos and numbers there, too, as well as quite a bit of analysis about the other side of my wardrobe. In addition to looking at unworn clothing, I will also address the shoes, jewelry, and scarves that have yet to make their way out on the town this year. I might also include some photos of outfits that I haven’t loved as much and share my feelings as to why that was the case. I haven’t written that post yet, so it may shape up a bit differently than what I’m saying right now, but I will do my best to make it thought-provoking and helpful, as I hope this one was, too.
I know some of you have opted to take on the LIWI challenge this year. I’d love to learn how it’s going for you, as well as what you’re discovering about your wardrobe and yourself in the process. Please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post (or the next one). For those who haven’t yet adopted the challenge but are interested in doing so, it’s not too late! Although I started LIWI at the beginning of the year, you really can get going with it at any time. If you have any questions or concerns before you get started, I would be happy to address them. For everyone else, I hope you’ve found this post interesting and I welcome your insights, too.