I could have included this part of my May LIWI update in with my last post, but it was just getting too long. I’m trying not to do such marathon posts anymore because I know not everyone has the time (or the inclination) to read them. I won’t go into this level of detail every month, probably just one other time towards the end of the year. But since I’ve done almost half a year of LIWI and summer is upon us, I wanted to take some time to look at what hasn’t been worn yet and why.
A few of you have commented on the level of detail to which I analyze my wardrobe and have marveled at how much time it must take me. But here’s the thing… It really only takes me a few minutes each day to note what I wore and to make an entry in my outfit journal. It did take a chunk of time to set everything up in the first place (see this post for the specifics), but now it’s pretty much second nature for me to quickly track what was worn and make a few notes about how I felt about it. And I believe that time is well spent, as I’ve learned a lot about what I like to wear and what does and doesn’t work for me.
What does take a lot of time is writing those blog posts that delve into wardrobe management and include a lot of numbers and photos. But I enjoy writing them and I’m glad that readers find my level of detail interesting and helpful. This will be another such post, as I’ll be looking at the clothing and accessories that haven’t made it out of my closet yet this year.
What Hasn’t Been Worn – The Clothes
Here’s a look at the clothes in my closet that have not yet been worn this year:
There is a good reason why many of these clothes haven’t been worn yet. The majority of the items pictured above are summer pieces, and that season doesn’t really start here until early July. Sure, we get some unseasonably warm days and I took advantage of that opportunity to wear some of my summer favorites early. But the bulk of my warm weather pieces are still unworn. I’m not worried about those, though. I expect that most of them will start making it out of my closet on a regular basis beginning next month. Those that don’t will be subject to culling as the season progresses. I believe that I will let go of at least a few knit blazers before too long, as I have too many and don’t love that style the way I used to.
See how many blazers I have? It’s just too many and most of them are knits. I have only worn the black and grey striped moto, the black and white striped blazer, and the orange knit blazer so far in 2015. Most of my blazers only look good with dresses and skirts, as they are too short to wear with pants and jeans (but I’m going to experiment to make sure).
I really love the black mixed media jacket (second row on the left) and don’t understand why I haven’t worn it yet. I think I often feel it looks too fancy for my ultra-casual life. I don’t go out much, but I should really push myself to wear it, even for a casual outing like an appointment, lunch, or going to a movie. Why not? As for the rest, I expect I will let go of at least a couple of them as I see what I don’t wear during the summer. Four black jackets is probably overkill at this point.
Unworn Cool Weather Items
There may be some good reasons why I haven’t worn a lot the clothes shown above, but the six items pictured below were seasonally appropriate and still didn’t get worn by the end of May.
I finally wore the black and white print top at the bottom left last week, but the other pieces remain unworn. Let’s take a look at them one by one to see if I should keep them or pass them on.
- Black blazer: This is an item that I have kept “just in case” for more formal occasions. Not only do I have very few of those, but I also wasn’t wearing it because the sleeves were too short. I recently had the sleeve hem taken down so I can easily bend my arms without the sleeves going over my elbows. I’m going to challenge myself to wear the blazer with jeans to dress it down. Sure, it’s good to have around in case I ever have a job interview or business event (you never know…), but I think I could enjoy wearing it for other occasions, too.
- Black sheer striped top: This top would be perfect for going out in the evening during the spring or fall, but I rarely go out these days. I really shouldn’t have bought it, but since I love the way it looks on me, I’m going to keep it. I’m going to challenge myself to wear this top for a less formal outing, with jeans. It is quite flattering on me (you can see it in this post) and doesn’t have to be reserved for a night out on the town. I need to broaden my perspective a bit.
- Black and white chevron stripe top: This used to be one of my favorites, but I haven’t reached for it this year. I actually tried to wear it the other day, but just wasn’t feeling it. I think it may be because the fabric is a bit shiny. If I don’t wear this top by the end of June, I will likely pass it on.
- Grey/black casual jacket: I like the way this jacket looks, but it feels a bit too short in the back. I am going to challenge myself to wear it in June and may opt to move it along if I either don’t wear it or don’t like it when I do. I’ve kept this jacket around for too long without wearing it, so I’m going to make a decision about it soon.
- Pewter flats with bow in front: I used to love these shoes, but I’m not wearing them for several reasons. They are totally flat and don’t work with most of my pants and I don’t love this more cute/feminine style much anymore. I have tried to wear them a few times and ended up changing into other shoes. I used to love wearing flats with jeans all the time, but lately I’ve been favoring my boots instead. I don’t think I’ll be hanging on to these for very much longer.
As you can see, it’s kind of a mixed bag with my unworn cool weather items. Some will likely stay, while others will almost certainly go. It’s worthwhile to take a few minutes to do the type of quick analysis I did above. Even if you don’t make any decisions right away, at least you’ll be considering your unworn items and why they keep collecting dust in your closet. Some of you will be ready to pass things on right away, while others may do it more piecemeal over time. There is really no right or wrong, only what works best for you. As you can see, I let go of things fairly slowly and periodically use strategies like the “KonMari Process” to facilitate the process. As long as we’re making progress, that’s what’s most important.
The following 9 pairs of shoes have not been worn yet this year:
I addressed the pewter bow flats above. The remaining eight pairs are all sandals of some sort and many of them will likely be worn during the summer. That said, I can see myself letting go of at least one or two pairs by the end of the year. Some of them are just too formal for my life and while I like to retain a dressy wardrobe capsule, I don’t need to hold on to too many pairs of shoes that I only wear for more formal occasions. I see myself wearing the following pairs of shoes during the summer for sure:
- Embellished pewter sandals
- Leopard print wedges
- Red heels
- Silver sandals
The others, I’m not too sure about, but time will tell…
Last month, I got rid of a lot of jewelry I wasn’t wearing through the KonMari Process, but I still have some other pieces that I opted to keep but still haven’t worn. Here’s a look at the 10 pairs of earrings I hadn’t worn as of the end of May:
I did end up wearing the turquoise and onyx earrings last week and found I still really liked them, but the other 9 pairs remain unworn. A few pairs, such as the two at the bottom left, are earrings I tend to wear more during the summer, so I see myself wearing those very soon. When I look at the other pairs, I see a few that I don’t necessarily love anymore, such as the crystal drop earrings at the top left that I originally thought were black but later learned were brown. I’m also not sure about the two-toned earrings at the top right or the balls at the bottom right.
I think that I will either wear or cull all of the earrings pictured above before too long. I’d really like to finalize my working collection very soon, both in terms of jewelry and clothing. If I find I haven’t worn something after close to a year has passed by, why continue to hold on to it? I really do want to be wearing – and loving – everything I own, or at least most of it. It’s okay to hold on to some sentimental pieces and special occasion wear, but I would like to have most of what I own be part of my “working wardrobe.”
I only have 5 bracelets that I haven’t worn yet this year:
The piece on the left and the second one from the right are both close to 20 years old. I hadn’t worn either of them for a while, but started wearing them again last summer. I see myself wearing those bracelets and the other three this summer as well. The beaded black bracelet is new, so I’m not sure what will happen with that one. I do think I will wear it, though. The one “wildcard” item is the silver ball bracelet in the middle. I like it, but it’s a bit annoying to wear because the balls are kind of big and my wrists are really small. That one (and the matching earrings pictured above) may end up being passed on this year. They were both gifts from probably 5 or 6 years ago.
I was surprised to see that I have so many necklaces that haven’t been worn yet this year. There are 11 of them and they are all in shorter lengths:
I have gotten rid of a lot of necklaces over the past year or so, but I clearly still have too many, especially since I just don’t wear them very often. I tend to wear short necklaces more during the summer, so I’m hoping that I end up wearing at least half of these soon. A few of them are quite old, even as much as 20 years old (the first, eighth, tenth, and eleventh), while others are only around a year old or less (the third, fourth, and ninth).
Now that I see how many necklaces have not been worn yet in 2015, I feel bad about buying new ones last year. I really had no business adding new necklaces to my collection when I had so many older ones I wasn’t wearing. But hindsight is 20/20 and I can’t go back and change what I did. However, I can stop buying new necklaces and try to wear the ones I own. I will see over the next few months what I do and don’t wear, and I’m sure I will find that I love some and am lukewarm about others. I see myself paring this collection down more before the end of the year.
And last but not least, we look at my unworn scarves. I have really pared down my numbers here, but I’ve also only worn 5 scarves so far this year. As you can see, there are quite a few scarves that remain unworn. Many of them are black or patterns with black, and the others include either blue or purple in the mix. Two of my scarves are winter weight and the others are all lightweight and suitable for warm weather wear. This is a good mix considering I live in a temperate climate.
I seem to go through phases when I wear scarves a lot and times when I don’t really feel called to wear them much at all. Lately, I haven’t been as into wearing them, but I’m sure their time will come again for me. I’m going to see if I end up wearing my scarves much this summer. Last summer I didn’t because it was much hotter here than usual, but it’s generally not all the warm here at the coast. During a normal summer, I like to wear my printed scarves to add visual interest to my plain tanks, skirts, and dresses. I can see myself doing that again and will see what happens as this year progresses.
I think it was a useful exercise for me to take a look at my unworn wardrobe pieces. I focused more on accessories in this post, as they tend to be far less seasonal in nature. Later in the year, I will look at all of my unworn clothing items, as well as any remaining unworn shoes, jewelry, and scarves. Hopefully, there won’t be many items to address by that point, as LIWI is really helping me to pare things down.
If you are doing LIWI, or if you are struggling with an oversized wardrobe, I encourage you to take some time to do this exercise. Even if you aren’t tracking what you wear at all, I’m sure you still have a good sense of what you are and aren’t wearing. Taking a few minutes to separate your favorites from the “also rans” can help you to get in touch with what you love and why, as well as what you don’t like so much and the reasons for that. I’m going to do a post soon on my closet favorites and what I can learn from them (see an earlier similar post here). Stay tuned for that, as well as a look at why some of the pieces that have been in my closet for a while have stood the test of time (a reader asked me about that, so I’m going to address it in a future post).
I’d love to get your thoughts on the topic of unworn items, both mine and your own. If you have any insights on the items I’ve featured in this post, I welcome them, but I’d also like to read about your wardrobes.
- What are some of the garments and accessories that you haven’t worn this year?
- What do you see as the reasons why those pieces have remained in your closet instead of making it out on the town?
I invite you to share your thoughts with me and your fellow readers. If you have any questions for me – or suggestions for future posts, please post those as well. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
There is a reason that your posts are long. It’s because you want us to fully comprehend the way you approach your wardrobe. It’s very helpful and inspiring for us who struggle with the same issues or we love inventory and doing things with the collection of the things we wear. I don’t mind a bit!
some things I don’t wear because I have so many and although I love there seem to be not enough occassions to do it. This is also a reason I do some posts at my blog, to keep me motivated to wear them all.
As for what I haven’t worn ,these are my jackets for spring and autumn. There seems that both seasons have disappeared .
I agree with you Angie. I find that I barely get to wear my lightweight toppers because the seasons go from very cold to very warm within a couple of days here in India. In summer, you can’t wear a third layer at all, and I find it hard to even wear scarves as that extra fabric at the neck makes me uncomfortably warm.
I’m hoping I’ll manage to wear a linen blazer and a knit cardi I love very much once monsoons hit. On long rainy days the temperatures drop just enough to add a lightweight 3rd piece – and only if you are going out; not at home. Fingers crossed!
I’m glad you appreciate my long, detailed posts, Angie. Like you, I have quite a few items I don’t wear often due to lack of occasions to wear them. I’ve often joked that I need a life for my clothes instead of the other way around. Sometimes the issue is weather, too, like last summer it was very hot here and I didn’t wear most of my lightweight jackets at all. I just didn’t need them. I hope this year will be cooler and I can wear them, at least so I can see which ones I still love and want to keep around. Having a third piece can definitely help to pull an outfit together, so it can be harder during the warmer months. I hope you get some cool weather in India, Maneera! And I hope you get some occasions to wear your jackets, Angie.
I want to second the idea of wearing dressier tops/jackets with jeans – that is a great look and why shouldn’t we wear “sparkle” in the daytime. You are making a lot of progress.
Thanks, Juhli. I agree that sparkle in the daytime can be a good thing. It takes a bit of an attitude adjustment, but it can look great.
Great to see this post today as I’m getting ready to go to bed.
I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this post. As we discussed last time, chances are that your dressy blazers and tops aren’t getting worn because you prefer a casual dressing style these days. But like you mentioned about your scarves – our clothing preferences change season to season, but our inherent style doesn’t change much, unless we want it to. So if you are going through a ‘casual’ phase, I suggest you don’t worry about not having worn ALL your slightly dressier pieces this season and wait it out. If you still like the fabric, fit and style, chances are you will wear them next winter.
I love the coral blazer and the black white striped blazer. Both would look lovely with your black maxi dress (which I love on you btw). I also love the black and cream sandals with ankle straps and hope you do end up wearing them and enjoying them soon. My favourite tops would be the black white floral print and the chevron stripes. Both are stunning and should go well with black jeans or even pants. I don’t like the ball earrings and bracelet too either. They look a little too ‘young’ to my eye, not elegant and classy.
I’m really looking forward fo your post on closet favourites!
I’m glad you liked this post, Maneera. I think you’re right about the dressier items. I will probably keep any items I still love even if they don’t get worn often. I like to have some dressier things on hand for those times when I want/need to dress up. Interesting you should mention the black and white floral print top and the chevron stripe top. I wore both over the past week and found I still really liked them. I just need to dress them down with jeans so they are better suited to my casual lifestyle. The two blazers you mentioned have gotten a lot of wear in past years and hopefully will this summer, too, as long as it’s not as crazy hot as it was last year. I hope to do the closet favorites post later this week.
I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a greater collective consciousness driving our choices, largely unnoticed by us. Seems about 5 years or more ago , embellishment and accessorizing and bling and platforms and More More More was the fashion movement of the time. Now, minimalism, sporty luxe, flowy (less bodycon) fits, neutrals, less patterns, flat shoes, etc seem to rule the day. And not surprisingly, a lot of us are feeling the draw towards less. Less ‘showiness’ for lack of better term, and just less amounts both. Hmmm, must mull this over a bit.
Very interesting observation, Mo. I think you may be on to something. It will be interesting to see if those who have adopted minimalism will stick with it once the next fashion wave comes along. Minimalism can apply to style details or wardrobe size. For some people, it’s both. I don’t know if I will ever truly have a minimal wardrobe, but I do find that I like fewer “bells and whistles” on my clothes these days. Yes, less “showiness” is a good way of putting it. I hope you decide to blog on this topic, as I’m sure it would be fascinating.
Mo, I often have the same fear that in a few years I will suddenly change my mind about everything in my wardrobe and be back in this uncomfortable state where I feel like my wardrobe isn’t totally mixable yet. Like a jigsaw puzzle with lots of middle pieces missing! And have wasted lots of money in the meantime. My ideal is to have a lot of quality pieces that will last a long time and mix well with each other, while only adding a few trend items each year. I think often about whether any of us will ever feel “finished” with this project. It’s exhausting… so I hope so.
I don’t know if we’ll ever really be “finished,” Sarah, but I do hope to get to a point where I feel very little angst about it all. I hope to have a mostly complete and well-rounded wardrobe such that I only need to add a few new pieces every season to stay current and add a bit of new excitement to the mix. It still seems like a bit of a pipe dream to me, but I do feel that I’m getting closer. At least it feels possible now…
It’s a trend. Yes, but it speaks to my heart these days. I have been troubled by the same thoughts. It remains to be seen. It seems very true in my case. maybe it’s a conspiracy to get rid of many things an d then we need to buy new. I’ll be watching.
Less is one of the better trends. And has brought me far more joy, and peace of mind than an abundance of clothes ever did. I’m positive I’ll NEVER go back to wanting, buying, owning, and maintaining a large wardrobe of clothes. It’s freeing feeling to have less, and it has been life-changing for me. I also believe that placing a focus on “getting rid of things” instead of deciding “what to keep” as Marie Kondo suggests, makes a great difference. When we shift our focus to choices about what we want to “keep” and release the things we no longer want to keep, it leaves us feeling that we have plenty, with a sense of abundance.
Debbie, you are making great gains! So glad to know this process is bringing you success. It’s all about finding what works best for us, and this clearly bringing you good results, and by the end of the year you will have a closet filled only with what you love, and love to wear. This past week I had my own “Love it, wear it” challenge in place. I worked/volunteered, participated in a six-day writers conference, with busy, fun-filled days where I had little time to “think or plan” outfits. I had to get up earlier than usual and out the door, with a goal of liking/loving my outfit each day, knowing that I would be wearing it for 10-12 hours. I had a good success rate and only one outfit failed me (didn’t like my skirt/top/shoes combo) won’t wear all three pieces together ever again.
I work this conference every year in June, and this is the first time I was able to get dressed quickly in the morning and feel happy, be in the moment with people, and not think about my clothes at all.
The minimalism trend speaks to my heart, too, Angie. I would like to get to the place that Terra describes, that of joy and peace of mind. I agree that placing the focus on what to keep instead of what to let go of can make a big difference. I will likely do the KonMari Process again later this year because I’m sure I still have things in my closet that don’t “spark joy.”
Congrats on your success with your wardrobe for the writers conference, Terra. I would like to go to a writers conference one day… How great that you were happy with all but one outfit, and that you know why you didn’t love the one outlier. Sometimes it does make a big difference how we combine our pieces. We can love the individual components, just not all together in an outfit. I would love to be able to feel confident about wearing my outfits for 10-12 hour days. Much of the time, I only end up wearing my ensembles for a few hours, but if I know I will be wearing something longer, I will always go with an outfit that has been tested and that I know works well. It’s so much better to be somewhere and not have to think about our clothes. That doesn’t happen to me enough yet, but I think it will be the case more and more as I continue with LIWI and my outfit journal.
Intrigued by your comment about only wearing your ensembles for a few hours Debbie! Do you change deliberately because it’s a new occasion or because you’re uncomfortable. I change from my ‘best’ when I come home after being out for an occasion like a visit to my Mum but other than that I get dressed in the morning for the whole day.
I can see why you would wonder about that, Saltbox. Sometimes I am only out and about for a couple of hours at a time. I have been wearing “regular” clothes more often at home than I used to (there is less of a delineation these days between my at home and out and about wardrobes), but I still change at least part of my outfit (usually the pants and shoes – switching out for yoga-style pants and slippers at home) when I am at home.
I get dressed in the morning for the whole day too. I might change my shoes depending on if I walk the dog and its wet out, but that’s it. I find it disruptive to my flow to change my clothes in the middle of the day unless I specifically have to get dressed for an event. I plan my outfit the night before and once I get dressed, I don’t think about my clothes anymore unless I spill something on myself (which is often and embarrassing!)
Also, I seldom glance in a mirror during the course of the day once I’m done getting dressed in the morning. I have been known to go to meetings having forgotten to comb my hair or fix my face. I just get so involved in what I am doing, that what I am wearing, or what I look like once I get dressed and fixed up is seldom of concern to me.
I am impressed that you not only get dressed for the whole day, Deby, but that you rarely look in the mirror later in the day. While I guess there can be some negative repercussions of that, I think it’s much better than the opposite way of being, which is how I tend to be. I frequently look in the mirror and am one to “primp” and fix myself up throughout the day. It can be too much and I would like to be able to relax a bit more. Maybe I just need activities in which I can become more involved so thinking about how I look can take a backseat…
This is probably going to sound odd, Debbie–but the reason I don’t spend much time looking in the mirror after I get dressed in the morning, is not just because I become immersed in what I am doing–its also because often when I pause to look in a mirror–I seldom look as good as I think I do in my own mind! So rather than be disappointed in myself, I just don’t look. I put my appearance out of my mind and make myself to go out in the world as I am and hope that people like me anyway.
I suppose I tend to magnify my facial and figure flaws far more than other people do, if they even notice them at all. And, I could take the time to polish myself up, but I’m always running late…feeling frustrated and rushed. I really do want to make a good impression so maybe this is something I ought to work on!
I think a lot of us magnify our flaws, Deby. I know that I do, but sometimes I obsess about them and look into the mirror TOO much and end up getting depressed. I think your way is better, but probably something in the middle would be optimal for both of us. I’m sure that none of your flaws is nearly as bad as you think they are. I know that’s true for me, but it’s hard to get that into my thick skull when I’m in the midst of feeling bad about them. I am always running late, too, but end up even later because of my primping! I hope we both find a happy medium sometime soon…
Debbie, I have been wanting to ask you this since the last post. I am confused about this: when you say you have 93 items in your working wardrobe, do you mean that you have 93 items for this seasonal period or that you have 93 items as a grand total of your entire wardrobe? Thanks for clarifying!
I have 92 items in my spring/summer wardrobe (which carries me from April to October through numerous weather fluctuations) so I was just wondering!
Thanks for that question, Deby. Perhaps others have been wondering that same thing. The 93 items are those pieces that I have worn this year and have decided to keep. It has mostly been cooler weather clothing so far, but there are some summer pieces in there that I have worn on unseasonably warm days. I would guess that perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of my summer items are included in that 93 items at this point. So yes, the 93 items is my “grand total” for what I’ve worn thus far, but that number will increase as we have more warm days here. I weed items out if I wear them and don’t love them or if I just decide that something isn’t going to work for me for one reason or another.
So the 93 items represents what you have worn and decided to keep so far, but my question (which I may not have phrased right) is: how many items do you now have in total–both worn and unworn, as well as any in storage–in your entire closet? Our counting methods are different and that is how I got confused.
I divide my closet into two seasons: spring/summer and fall/winter. At the end of this past winter season I had 83 garments, with 17 of those being crossovers to summer, so my “core” winter wardrobe is actually 66. For the summer, I added the 17 crossovers to give me a grand total summer wardrobe of 91 pieces (74 being core). Adding all this up, my grand total for the entire closet is: 66 (winter) + 17 (crossovers) + 74 (summer) = 157.
I’m pleasantly surprised I have simplified so much! One year ago, my goal was to get down to 198 total, and didn’t think I could make it. (When I started downsizing in April 2013 I had nearly 600 garments in total. I had so many clothes then that my closet rods fell down one day from the weight!) I don’t keep any thing in storage–all my clothes, regardless of season, are hanging up and visible. I have no hidden clothing or accessories.
I did a closet inventory after I did the KonMari Process, Deby, but maybe you missed my post on that. Here’s the link, but I’ll also give the numbers here: https://recoveringshopaholic.com/may-2015-post-konmari-method-closet-inventory/
At the time when I did the inventory (it’s changed very little since then…), I had 111 “out and about” garments and 34 items in my workout and lounge wear wardrobe. There is a lot more crossover now, but the workout/lounge items are ONLY worn for those purposes. The post also includes my accessories and jewelry numbers.
I am impressed with how well you have simplified, too, especially since you live in a 4-season climate and started out with such a huge wardrobe. Isn’t it great to be able to have everything you own hanging up in your closet and visible? I used to have to store a lot of stuff, too, but I’m happy to be able to see everything at one shot now. We have come a long way!
Hi Debbie, in the picture of your unworn closet we can see a leopard print dress along with some skirts, but you don’t mention those in this post. Can you tell us what your thoughts are about your unworn skirts and dresses?
I can see how that might be confusing, Molly. When I covered the unworn items in this post, I was referring to my cool weather clothing. I consider my dresses and skirts to be part of my warm weather wardrobe. I sometimes wear them during other parts of the year if we have unseasonably warm weather (like we did in March and April), but the warm season where I live (coastal San Diego) usually spans from July through at least part of November. In August or September, I will address the remainder of my unworn pieces once I’ve had a sufficient chance to wear everything. Hopefully by that time, virtually everything will have been worn.