A couple of weeks ago, I read about an exercise that could help us to pare down our wardrobes. The instructions are simple: select the top 100 items in your closet. The idea is that once you separate out your favorite pieces, it will be easier to let go of at least some of the things that didn’t make the cut. Since I love to do wardrobe exercises and am always up for a challenge, I decided to take this exercise on. In today’s post, I will share how it went for me, what I selected, and what I learned from the process.
The Number 100 Isn’t Written in Stone…
Now, 100 items may seem like too many for some of you or far too few for others. As with Project 333 and other capsule wardrobe concepts (like this one for example), the number is not nearly as significant as the challenge itself. If you have a small wardrobe but are intrigued by this exercise, perhaps you might want to select your top 50 or 75 items (or whatever number feels right to you). On the flip side, if you have a very large wardrobe and find the idea of paring it down to 100 (even just “on paper”) extremely anxiety-producing, you can of course select a larger number. The point is to stretch yourself and get to thinking about what you really need – and truly love – in your closet.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that I publish monthly accountability updates. These posts (see the most recent one here) include what came into and left my closet in a given month -and why, as well as how I’m doing with my clothing budget and item limit for the year. It’s been very helpful for me to do these updates, as they help me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals.
Last month, I started a new feature in which I review my purchases a year later to see how well (or not) they have worked out for me. Although I periodically reviewed past purchases previously, I got the idea to review things from a year ago from Mette of “The Yogastic Shopping Planner” (see her most recent edition HERE). Since I started this new series a few months into the year, I began with an update on my first quarter 2015 purchases. Most of my purchase reviews will look back on just one month’s purchases to see whether these items have become wardrobe workhorses or closet benchwarmers. Occasionally, if I bought very few items in a given month, I will combine two months into one update.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that I publish monthly accountability updates. These posts (see the most recent one here) include what came into and left my closet in a given month -and why, as well as how I’m doing with my clothing budget and item limit for the year. It has been very helpful for me to do these updates, as they help me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals. I will publish my February accountability update next week, but today I would like to introduce a new series that I will feature on the blog.
In past years, I have periodically reviewed my purchases to analyze which ones worked, which ones didn’t, and why (see examples here, here, and here). Although these posts were helpful, sometimes I did them too soon after the time period I was reviewing, so I was not yet sure whether certain buys were good or ill-advised. I can now look back at these purchase reviews and see that many of the assessments I made at the time were wrong.
How do you feel about the items you bought a year ago?
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m big on tracking, numbers, and statistics related to my wardrobe and shopping (see how I do my tracking here). I think that tracking can be highly beneficial for recovering shopaholics, as well as anyone who wants to shop smarter and better utilize the wardrobe pieces they own. I’ve been tracking how much I spend, what I wear, and how often I wear it since the beginning of 2011, and last year I added photos and an outfit journal to the mix. Using these types of analysis can help us make fewer buying mistakes over time.
It can be helpful to periodically review and analyze our purchases.
Another thing that I find helpful is to review my purchases and see how they have worked out for me. In today’s post, I’m going to look at the items I brought into my closet from January through June of this year and see whether my new items have become wardrobe workhorses or closet benchwarmers.
It’s a bit too early to look at the pieces I purchased during July through October, as I don’t yet know whether those buys were smart or ill-advised. For one reason, many of those items are for fall (looking at you, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases), and the cooler weather hasn’t even started yet where I live. I will address what I’ve bought during the second half of the year in one of my end of the year wrap-up posts (check out what I called my best and worst purchases for 2014 – I don’t agree with all of those assessments now!).
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.