I can’t believe it’s the end of April already! Time flies.
This month I’ve been keeping track of what I wear, noting it in the margins of my planner. I keep up with my planner on a daily basis anyway – it’s more diary than planner, to be honest – so it wasn’t hard to make a note of what I wore each day. I only missed one day in the whole month, and that was an at-home lazy feeling-icky laundry day, where I can reasonably guess that I moped around the house in whatever slouchy clothes I had handy.
Half way through the month I took my P333 list, which had been a text file on my desktop, and made a super simple spreadsheet on google docs to keep track of how many wears each item had. I found it easier to print the sheet out and use colored pens to make checkmarks/ticks next to each item as I went through my diary notations. I used a different color for each week, figuring that as the weather changed, my selections would probably change, and it would be easier to see if I stopped or started wearing something if the marks were color coded. (Also, because pretty pens!)
I didn’t wear some of my clothes very often. Yep, even with a really limited wardrobe! I have about 40 items listed (including some pieces that are technically excluded, like the black dress (worn 7 times) that I never wear alone, but layer under other dresses, and my sweatpants, to be discussed in more detail below). Who would have thought that 40 items is more than enough?
Six items did not get worn at all in April. Three of those (a top, a sweater and a skirt) were worn at some point during the transition month of March, before I started keeping track, and another 2 pieces (a sweater and a tshirt) were worn this past winter, but haven’t been worn this season. I haven’t worn my capri shorts yet this year. I am considering replacing them. They’ve seen a lot of wear and they don’t fit as well as they should, but it also hasn’t really been shorts weather this month, and I’m not much into shorts ever.
Eleven items were only worn once. That’s a bit of a shock. They’re mostly pieces that I really like, that I’ve worn many times in the past. Some of them will be more useful once the weather warms up more. April has been mostly cool (about 50F/10C) and somewhat rainy. I’ve also been at home a lot this month, so I’ve defaulted to cozy lounge wear. If it’s hot I will wear a dress all day, but if it’s cold, I bundle up in sweats.
My workhorses this month were my black cardigan, which I wore 13!! times and my sweatpants (technically 2 pr, although I choose the dark ones 90% of the time) 12 times. There were some days when I wore sweatpants all day, including when going out to walk the dog, so I feel like I need to include those in my count. Other times I changed into sweatpants after I came home from being out. I don’t usually wear jeans all day, and I often change out of my skirt if the house is cool when I get home. If I change in the evening, it’s more likely into pj pants, which obviously don’t count. But if I change at noon, it’s usually into sweats, and I tried to make a note of that. Sweatpants are gross and ugly, but when I’m at home and I’m cold, I don’t really care.
The black cardigan is a piece I have bought many times before – I’m probably on my 4th one by now. It’s a basic Lands End cotton long sleeve cardigan, and it’s ideal for layering on cold days or for a nice amount of warmth on mild days. I had noticed that it was looking a bit tired. The black fades, as you would expect, even though I wash it on cold and only when it really needs washing (i.e. if the underarms smell). I have several colorful short sleeve cardigans that I like to wear in the summer with dresses, but the longer lines of this black cardigan work better with top and skirt outfits. And some days are just too cold for short sleeved cardigans. The black cardigan also serves to tone things down on days when I’m not feeling very hot pink or rich purple. I’m definitely going to need to replace the black cardigan, probably before next winter. They last for a couple of years, which isn’t very long, but they get a lot of wear.
I also pulled out it’s aqua cousin to wear (once). It is still very (very) vibrant, but its sleeves have shrunk up. I don’t love the aqua as much as I used to, and somehow it’s not as cozy as the black one.
(I have considered whether black is a color to avoid, especially since Mimi Pug sheds white hair all over everything. But I think I have just the right amount of black in my wardrobe – 2 favorite black and white dresses and a few black basics – tank, tee, cardi, skirt, jacket. I can’t imagine having less. I used to have a lot more.)
I wore my jeans more than I expected – 8 times, mostly in the first 2 weeks of the month. I wore my denim skirt less than I expected – only 6 times, and that was at the end of the month. I think weather might have played a part in that. When I created the spreadsheet mid-month I was shocked that I hadn’t been wearing my denim skirt, but I tried not to change what I was wearing based on the stats.
There were a lot of things I wore 3 or 4 times, which feels like the right amount – about once a week. I don’t mind wearing my workhorses more than that, and there are some things I’m OK with wearing occasionally, which I would define as about once every two weeks. (I’ve been considering a post about frequency of wear math – hopefully I will get to that soon.)
I definitely don’t need 3 sweaters in spring, not when I have 5 cardigans and 2 sweatshirts as well! I think I fell prey to the duplicate effect here. 2 of my sweaters are different colors of the same style, as are my 2 sweatshirts, and 2 of my cardigans. (Let’s not talk about my 3 “Kate” dresses, because I love them all, even if they are the same style in different fabrics). I tend to view these things as pairs, so I keep both in my wardrobe when I should probably just choose the one I prefer. Funnily enough, the pink sweatshirt that I love got worn less than the grey one that I was thinking about ditching! I’m not quite sure why – if it was a color/mood thing, or if it was because the grey one was already lying around, handy to wear. I might not have been in a hot pink mood in April… I didn’t wear my hot pink cardigan as much as I expected either.
It’s hot and sunny this week, so I’m feeling optimistic about spring. That might be a little premature! It was 20F warmer than average today. But I think I might put away my sweaters and the grey cable vest cardigan I wore all winter. That will make space for a couple of extra dresses which I have in a box on my closet shelves – my emergency “I might really want to wear this” supply. So far the only thing I’ve gotten out is the aqua cardigan, which may be headed for the donate bag. I might just leave my “emergency” dresses in there and only pull them out if I truly, deeply, want to wear them. It may be that I can manage just fine with the 6 dresses I have on hand. Which means I could start counting shoes or accessories in my 33…?
I’m really not stressing out about the counting. I haven’t even done an exact count. But at the same time, having a restricted number really helps in narrowing down these choices – like that abundance-of-sweaters issue I have. If I let the numbers creep up, pretty soon I’ll have a lot more things that I’m not actually wearing taking up space. I don’t want to have a dozen things that I only wear once a month, six times a year. I want to wear my things regularly. It’s so easy to decide that I NEED another neutral skirt to wear with my cute tanks (which I also supposedly need more of). But the reality is that I have PLENTY of options to choose from every day!
Have you ever tried to figure out how often you wear your clothes?
Would you have thought that 40 items of clothing would be plenty?
I’ve got a couple more posts in mind, clothing related and some crafty stuff too, so I hope to post again soon.