Last month, I did a post on wardrobe turnover in which I looked at how old the various items in my closet are. I learned that roughly half of the pieces in my closet were purchased in 2013 or later, another 34% were bought during 2010 through 2012, and the remaining 17% were from 2009 or earlier. In the comments section, a few readers were curious about some of my older items. They wanted to know what they had in common and what characteristics led them to remain in my closet for so long.
What do your long-standing closet pieces have in common?
In today’s post, I share photos and information about some of my older closet pieces and I look at what has my favorites remain go-to items for years on end. The information in this post is very personal to my wardrobe, but I encourage you to take on this exercise with your own clothes, shoes, and accessories. What pieces do you own that have stood the test of time – and why? It is my hope that some of the lessons I learned from doing this exercise will also be applicable to you even if our wardrobes and lifestyles are very different.
Way back in the fall of 2013, I wrote a post about lessons from closet favorites, using my summer wardrobe from that year as an example. In that post, I shared photos of my favorite items from that season and looked for common threads among them that could inform my future shopping. Today I’d like to do the same with my cool weather wardrobe (the cool weather season spans from December through June where I live – we don’t really get true winters here).
Do you know what your closet favorites have in common?
For most people in the northern hemisphere, summer has officially begun even if there are a few days left of spring on the calendar. This is a good time to take stock of last season’s wardrobe and how it did or didn’t meet our needs. If you’re reading this from Down Under or similar parts of the world, you may want to take a look instead at your fall (autumn) clothing for the purposes of this exercise, since that season is coming to a close for you.
On Friday, I shared the good news portion of my 2014 wardrobe review, my closet “all-stars.” I appreciate all of the excellent feedback I received on that post. I especially liked learning about the way others track their wardrobes and work to make sure what they have gets worn on a regular basis. I realize that wearing something five, eight, or even twelve times per year isn’t exactly stellar or earthshattering and that many of you wear your clothes far more often. But, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day (or even two years), so we have to start somewhere and build from there.
I definitely have a lot of room for improvement in terms of frequency of wear for my clothing. Seeing my 2014 numbers is really what pushed me to start my new “Love It, Wear It” challenge. The stats in black and white also propelled me to do another closet purge, which I will share in a future post, along with an updated inventory.
Now it’s time for the bad news in regards to my 2014 shopping, my worst purchases of the year. I wish I could say that only a few items fall into this category, but that’s not the case. Although my shopping track record has definitely improved over previous years, I clearly still have a lot to learn. Since learning and growth are really the purposes of this blog – and all of our journeys – I feel there is merit to analyzing both the good and the bad (and we all know that I love some good analysis!).
Have you taken the time to review your 2014 purchases?
In today’s post, I share the bad purchases I made this year, as well as those items that remain in uncertain territory. As with my best purchases post, I include lots of photos and aim to find common ground among the pieces that just weren’t good buys. As for those unsure items, I will make educated guesses as to whether or not they will become wardrobe workhorses in the future. It’s kind of a “mixed bag,” but I’ll do my best to predict which pieces will have staying power and which ones will likely be headed out the door in short order.
This post is a long one (perhaps I should have made this a three part series), but it’s the end of the year, so why not sit down with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa (or even a stiff drink) and think about your own purchases as I recount mine. There is value in looking at what we bought and how our purchases have either served us well or fallen flat. If you do this type of analysis (which I recommend), try not to beat yourself up too much for your shortcomings. I will try to keep this review lighthearted as well, as I cannot go back and change the past. We can only look forward and it’s useful to do so with the lessons from the past firmly in our minds.
The year is almost 75% over and I have yet to do a wardrobe “benchwarmer” update, so now’s the time! For those who are new to this blog, I have defined a wardrobe benchwarmer as any item that only gets worn once or is not worn at all during the course of a year (see this post for more information).
This isn’t the type of “benchwarmer” this post is about…
Wear Statistics and Starting this Blog
Of course, I want to wear my closet pieces far more than twice per year, but I had to start somewhere. When I launched “Recovering Shopaholic” in January 2013, I had close to 300 garments in my closet, so most of them weren’t being worn all that often. At that time, I had been tracking what I wore and how often for two years and the statistics were pretty abysmal:
- In 2011, I had 112 garments and 11 pairs of shoes that were either worn once or not at all.
- My 2012 numbers were even worse, with 125 garments and 21 pairs of shoes achieving “benchwarmer” status.