2013 By the Numbers – Wardrobe All-Star & Benchwarmer Update

After countless hours spent crunching spreadsheet data, I’m finally ready to reveal my 2013 wardrobe numbers!  As I worked to prepare this information, I was reminded of a quote I heard a while back. While I don’t remember the exact wording, the gist of it is that our possessions can enslave us because we spend so much time acquiring and maintaining them.  That has definitely been true for me and particularly in regards to my clothes.

While I’m a statistics junkie and enjoy crunching the numbers, it would be nice to have less data to compile at the end of the year.  This would require my having fewer clothes and fewer things coming into and out of my closet each year.  Of course, that’s a big reason why I took on my recovering shopaholic project.  I wanted my life to be less about shopping and more about other things, while also having a smaller wardrobe that works for me and my lifestyle. Continue reading

A Winter Wardrobe “Benchwarmer” Update

In my last post, I shared my November Accountability Update, including what came into my closet, what left, what I wore, and my clothing budget status.  I had intended to include an update on my “wardrobe benchwarmer” project as well, but the post was already more than long enough!  Instead, I opted to do my benchwarmer update separately, so that’s the topic of today’s post.  This way I can also go into the level of detail and statistics that my “inner nerd” enjoys and which many of you appreciate.  Win, win, I say!


Not all “bench warmers” are as cute as these guys!

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Wardrobe “Benchwarmers” Past and Future

I’ve written several posts on the concept of “wardrobe benchwarmers,” my term for closet pieces that were worn only once or not at all during a given year (read more here).  Sadly, I had 146 wardrobe benchwarmers for 2012 (125 garments and 21 pairs of shoes), which was close to half of my wardrobe!  With my wardrobe benchwarmer project, I vowed to wear and evaluate all 146 benchwarmers this year and either integrate them into regular closet rotation or pass them on to someone else who might love and wear them.

Excellent Progress But…

I’ve made excellent progress on dealing with my wardrobe benchwarmers over the course of this year.  As of the end of August, I had consigned or donated roughly two-thirds of them and had worn and evaluated all but 17 of the remaining items.  I felt pretty proud of myself, but then something dawned on me…

I’ve been so focused on dealing with my 2012 benchwarmers that I didn’t stop to consider my potential 2013 benchwarmers!

Since there is only one quarter left in the year, I decided to take some time to look at my wardrobe benchwarmers past and, perhaps, future.  My fellow data nerds out there will love this post, as I include lots of numbers!  But I hope the more right-brained of the group will also stay tuned, as I include photos and useful insights about my wardrobe that can also be applied to managing your closet. Continue reading

Success Leaves Clues – Lessons from Our Favorites

Last week, I explored the concept of shopping mistakes and what we can learn from them.  Today I’d like to look at another valuable way of learning about our wardrobes and ourselves.

We all have favorite clothes and shoes that we wear over and over again, but how many of us take the time to understand why these closet pieces receive so much play?  I believe that if we make the effort to determine common threads among our favorites, we’ll learn important lessons for how to shop smarter and create wardrobes that better meet our needs.

Lessons from wardrobe favorites

What can we learn from our wardrobe favorites?

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Learning from Our Shopping Mistakes

Since the beginning of 2013, I have purged 150 items from my wardrobe!  These pieces – garments and shoes – have either been sold on consignment or donated to a local charity.   Hopefully, other people are now enjoying the wardrobe castoffs that were gathering dust in my closet.

Shopping Mistakes - Lessons Learned

Do you ever wonder, “What was I thinking when I bought this?”

While some of my purged items were previously worn and loved but no longer fit my body, lifestyle, and personality, many others were “wardrobe benchwarmers” that should never have been purchased in the first place.  Since I’m making good progress with paring down my wardrobe and cultivating a wardrobe that better suits my needs, I want to make sure not to repeat my past mistakes. Continue reading