I decided to split my June LIWI update into two parts because it was just getting too long. I think I will change the structure of my future updates to streamline them a bit. As longtime readers are aware of, I’m a big fan of numbers, statistics, and analysis, but I know that not everyone has the time or the inclination to read such a deep level of detail. But I will definitely share information galore at the end of the year when I was wrapping up the challenge, so fellow detail fans will be sure to appreciate that post.
In part one of my June LIWI update, which went live on Friday, I shared what I wore during June and gave you a glimpse into my “working closet” halfway through the challenge, complete with lots of photos. As a reminder, here’s what my working closet looked like as of the end of June:
In today’s post, I do some analysis into what has yet to be worn and why. There will also be quite a few numbers and photos in this post to help illustrate my points. Since my previous LIWI update was also very detail-oriented, I will highlight what has changed between the unworn areas of my wardrobe in May versus June as well.
A Few Words about Closet Size and Duplication
I have received a number of comments on Part One of my June LIWI update, to which I will respond shortly. However, I also want to say a few things here, as I know that many of you don’t read the comments. Some people seem to feel that I still have too many clothes overall and too many duplicate items in the mix. That may be true, but what constitutes a “duplicate” can be defined differently from person to person. What seems like overkill to one person may be just right to another. I think reader Anne said it best with the following comment:
I think what we keep in our wardrobes is very personal. I have 4 identical pairs of Dansko sandals, in different colors. I have back troubles and these shoes keep my back from hurting. But anyone peering in my closet would think ‘Enough with the Dansko Sophie sandals!’ I also love handbags with built in organizers. I have 5 which are very similar although different colors. I don’t want different styles. I love that style. I have 6 sheath dresses – a perfect silhouette for my body type, and lots of cardigans to go with them. I love and wear them all.”
“I have found my style and I am very comfortable with it. I wear things that I enjoy just because I enjoy them. To me, that is enough.”
I don’t think I could have said it better myself… She also made the following point about this blog:
This blog has never been about minimalism. There are plenty of blogs for that. But it is about Debbie’s personal journey to figure out how to put shopping for clothes in its proper perspective. It has been a fascinating journey that she has invited us to watch. I appreciate being a guest in her home!”
Thank you, Anne. I really appreciate your perspective and support. It’s true that this blog is not about minimalism, although I touch on that topic from time to time. Yes, I have done a few rounds of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 (see my posts on that topic here), but it has never been my intention to have a tiny wardrobe. I just want to have a wardrobe that works for me and my life, and I want to love my clothes and feel that they express my personal style.
I’m not even overly focused on fashion and trends. While I don’t want to look like I should be nominated for “What Not to Wear” (which isn’t even on the air anymore), I don’t particularly care if I’m on the cutting edge of fashion. I have a very casual life and I live in an ultra-casual town. I think most people I know wouldn’t even know cutting-edge fashion if it hit them in the face, so I’m not too worried about it. If I’m happy in what I’m wearing, that’s what’s most important, and that is really true for all of us.
I have made tremendous progress with my wardrobe and shopping since I started this blog. My wardrobe is less than half the size it was when I started out and my jewelry collection is only about a third the size of what I was previously (see here for my jewelry numbers from 1.5 years ago). I’m very proud of how far I’ve come on my journey thus far. Is there still progress to be made? Of course, but as long as I’m moving in the right direction, I’m happy. A year from now, I may look back at this time and wonder why I still had so many clothes and areas of similarity. However, it’s also possible that I may be closer than I think to my desired end point. I don’t even know for sure what that end goal is, but I’ll know when I get there, and I will probably still want to course-correct here and there for the rest of my life. That’s how growth works…
What Hasn’t Been Worn – The Clothes
Now that I’ve said all of that, let’s dive into the second part of my June LIWI update (see part one here). In addition to writing about my “working closet” in these LIWI updates, I also like to take a look at what has yet to be worn. Here’s a look at the unworn section of my closet as of June 30th:
Let’s take a closer look at these items by category:
- 1 pair of jeans (new black jeans bought in May)
- 1 pair of pants (Capris – wore them on July 3rd)
- 3 dresses
- 3 cardigans
- 8 short jackets (I think there is some “dead weight” here – I wrote about this in my last update)
- 1 long-sleeved top (pictured here – I really like it, but it’s fancy and my life is not…)
- 1 short-sleeved top (new in June – was worn on July 3rd)
- 4 sleeveless tops (all have now been worn as of July 8th)
In contrast, here’s how my numbers looked as of the end of May:
- 1 pair of jeans (same)
- 1 pair of pants (same)
- 7 dresses (4 more than in June)
- 2 skirts (2 more than in June)
- 5 cardigans (2 more than in June)
- 8 short jackets (same)
- 3 long-sleeved tops (2 more than in June)
- 1 short-sleeved top (same, but it was a different top – I bought a new top in June)
- 5 sleeveless tops (1 more than in June)
As you can see, I have fewer unworn items in June than I did in May, and the number is dropping even more substantially during July. Here’s a bird’s eye view of my unworn items as of the end of June:
There’s a good reason why many of these clothes had yet to be worn. The majority of them are summer pieces, and that season didn’t really start here until about two weeks ago. As you can see from the notes I included above, many of these items have already been worn during the first part of July, and I expect that most of the other pieces will be worn sometime this month.
The most questionable items are my jackets and cardigans, which are shown in a close-up view below:
The majority of the pieces above are worn most often during the summer months (I get cold easily and usually need a topper, especially in the evenings), so I should know soon whether or not I will reach for them. I definitely have too many jackets and some styles are no longer in line with my personal style aesthetic. I expect this section of my LIWI update to include far fewer items next month because I will have either worn almost everything or elected to pass them on. At the time of this writing, I have already worn two of the above pieces this month (the denim blazer and the leopard print cardigan) and I’m still very happy with both of them. We’ll see what happens with everything else as the month progresses.
Now let’s take a look at the accessories I have yet to wear this year, starting with shoes. The six pairs of shoes below have not yet been worn during 2015:
Since all of these shoes are sandals, I’m sure I’ll wear some of them soon now that the weather has warmed up (I actually wore the black and cream sandals yesterday). The ones that I’m least likely to wear are the black sling-backs (top left) and the pewter sling-backs (bottom middle), as both are quite dressy in nature. But as I mentioned in this post, I’m okay with keeping a small dressy capsule around for the rare occasions when I dress up more than usual, so I may elect to keep those shoes even if they aren’t worn soon. I will re-evaluate this later in the year.
Earrings and Bracelets
Next, let’s check out the earrings and bracelets that I haven’t worn this year:
There are only seven pairs of earrings and two bracelets in this group. The beaded black bracelet is new as of April and the other bracelet has been in my jewelry box for close to 20 years, and I will likely keep both of them. As for the earrings, I see myself holding on to probably half of them, but I will revisit this issue in a month or two after I see what I reach for during the summer.
I have ten necklaces that I haven’t worn yet in 2015, and all of them are in shorter lengths:
Half of these necklaces are quite old (8+ years), while the others are relatively recent additions to my jewelry collection (2013-2014). I think I just have too many necklaces overall (even though I’ve downsized considerably) and I haven’t been as inspired to wear them as I used to be. However, since I tend to wear short necklaces more often during the summer, it’s likely I will wear at least some of the items above soon. Time will tell…
Pins and Pendants
Here are some jewelry pieces that I haven’t mentioned or shown here on the blog before, my pins and pendants:
I used to wear pins and pendants all the time, but I have been less inclined to do so as of late. A few of the pieces above have sentimental value and have been with me a long time. I can see myself wearing almost all of the items shown above in the future. I had actually forgotten about some of them because I had far too much jewelry prior to paring down considerably last year (read about my process here). I don’t plan to purchase new pins or pendants anytime soon and I hope I’ll be inspired to wear some of these pieces in the coming months.
On LIWI and My Jewelry
LIWI has definitely helped to curtail my jewelry purchases. After I realized how much jewelry I own and how much of it isn’t getting worn, I’ve held off on buying new pieces while shopping my jewelry box instead. As a result, I’ve rediscovered some old favorites and have learned a lot about my preferences. Since jewelry doesn’t occupy much space and I’ve already gotten rid of so much, I’m not in a huge hurry to do more culling, especially if I still like what I have. Sometimes my jewelry style aesthetic vacillates and pieces fall in and out of my favor. However, if I find myself not loving something for a long period of time, I know it’s time to pass it on to someone who will enjoy wearing it.
I wrote about my unworn scarves last month, so I won’t repeat myself here, especially since nothing changed during June (I didn’t wear any scarves that month). I have worn scarves a couple of times so far in July and was happy with them when I did. I will re-visit my scarf wardrobe later in the year as I see what I love and wear.
Well, there you have it… my unworn pieces as of the end of June 2015. I am halfway through the LIWI challenge and really don’t have too many unworn pieces left, relatively speaking. Some of them are seasonal items that I didn’t have much opportunity to wear until recently, but some areas of my wardrobe (i.e. short jackets and necklaces) are simply over-represented. I didn’t realize that I had too many items in certain categories (particularly jewelry) until I started doing the LIWI challenge, so my awareness has definitely increased as I moved to create a “working closet” and a “working jewelry collection.”
I think it’s a useful exercise for us to take a look at our unworn clothes, shoes, and accessories. 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 like I do, I’m sure you still have a decent sense of what you are and aren’t wearing. Taking a few minutes to separate your favorites from the “also rans” can help you 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’d love to get your thoughts on the topic of unworn items, both yours and mine. If you have any insights on the items I’ve featured in this post, I welcome them, but mostly want 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 didn’t get a chance to give an update on your LIWI challenge progress the last time around, you’re welcome to do it in the comments section of this post. Also, if you have any questions for me – or suggestions for future posts, please post those as well.