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.
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.
We’re almost at the end of the first month of 2016, believe it or not. I still have few more 2015 wrap-up posts to go, including a recap of my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge and a look at how I did with my purchases from last year. But before I publish those highly statistics-laden posts, I want to take a time out to share my latest “grab bag” of useful links (see previous editions here).
Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the subjects of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development. I’m also sharing a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now). This “grab bag” of useful links presents the perfect opportunity for you to sit back with your favorite hot beverage or glass of wine and enjoy some quiet time to read, learn, look within, and maybe even laugh a time or two.
A view of Downtown San Diego at sunset from Point Loma’s fishing harbor.
Earlier this week, I shared the good news portion of my 2015 wardrobe review, my closet “all-stars.” I appreciate all of the wonderful and detailed comments I received on that post. Some of you asked such great questions and made such insightful points that I now have several ideas for future posts. I really do get some of my best post ideas from readers.
Before I delve into the flip side of my wardrobe numbers for last year, the “benchwarmers,” I would like to share some more statistics about my 2015 closet tracking that I probably should have included in my last post.
I am devoting a large proportion of my January posts to wrapping up last year. It’s now time to take a look at some more statistics, this time my wardrobe “all-stars” for 2015. I have now been tracking my wardrobe for five years! Ever since the beginning of 2011, I’ve recorded how often I’ve worn the clothing and shoes in my closet. I mostly only track “out and about” clothing, but I’ve started tracking at least some of my at-home wardrobe as well. There is now more crossover between the two areas, as I’ve started wearing more of my “regular” clothes at home, especially the tops.
Each year, I’ve aimed to improve upon my stats from the previous year. Seeing that 2012’s numbers were just as abysmal as those from 2011 was what prompted me to start this blog in January 2013. In my initial goals for the blog, I set 8 times per year as my desired frequency of wear for most wardrobe items (with formal and special occasion wear as exceptions). I knew I wouldn’t reach that target overnight, so I aimed for 25% in the first year of the blog and 33% the second year. I ended up wearing 20% of my wardrobe at least 8 times during 2013 and slightly less than that (17%) in 2014.
The following is a guest post from Barb, who agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you. Barb is an active member of my private Facebook group, where she shared her story about downsizing her wardrobe and upping her style quotient via a multi-phase system over the past two-plus years. I thought Barb’s pragmatic approach would be both educational and inspiring for readers of “Recovering Shopaholic,” so I asked if she would be willing to share her story and some of her lovely outfit photos with us.
If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.
A 65% Wardrobe Reduction in 2.5 Years!
I’m so flattered that Debbie asked me to share my story of recovering. I say “recovering” because although I’ve made great progress, I feel as though I’m not finished yet. The crux of my story is that I went from 478 clothing items in mid-2013 to just 164 at the end of 2015. I feel it’s important for me to mention a few things at the outset. This significant closet downsizing didn’t happen overnight; I started paring down in 2013. In addition, an integral part of the process was defining my style and shopping strategy. This post describes how I handled reducing my clothing. Shoes are a different story altogether… Finally, I don’t have clothes in multiple sizes to address. I have worn the same size since 2011.
It’s time for my final accountability update for 2015. As long-time readers know, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet during the previous month, what I wore, and how I did with my shopping budget. 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. This update will also include a year-end wrap-up in terms of my budget and in and out item totals. Other statistics – including wardrobe “all-stars” and “benchwarmers” – will be covered in future posts.
What Left My Wardrobe
I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month. During December, I purged six items from my wardrobe, two of which were returned to the store of origin and the other four were slated for donation or consignment:
- 3 knit blazers – black, green, grey (slated for donation or consignment)
- Navy striped open cardigan (returned to store)
- Magenta tunic (returned to store)
- Teal crew-neck tee (slated for donation or consignment)
For the past two years and at various points in the past, I have chosen a word or theme to guide my focus over the course of the year. For 2014, I actually selected two words, simplicity and joy, but I felt that diluted my focus a bit, so I returned to one single word, deliberate, to guide me during 2015. I’ve opted to continue the practice of choosing a word for the year for 2016. This post will be centered around sharing that word, why I have selected it, and how I see my theme unfolding in the coming months.
Have you selected a word or theme for 2016?