As part of my Nine by Nineteen challenge, I’m tracking my wardrobe this year. To get started, I need to assess what is currently in my closet. What do I really have hanging in my wardrobe? Is it different than what I think that I own? How much work do I have ahead of myself if I want a minimal wardrobe that works for me?
How did I track my wardrobe?
To get a detailed look at all my wardrobe pieces, I spend the most of January adding each piece to a spreadsheet with as much additional information as I could such as brand, colour, size, etc. I found it easiest to work in phases, through the different sections of my closet. Not forgetting what was in the laundry hamper.
What is and isn’t included in my wardrobe?
Around the end of January, I was confident that I had all my winter and non-seasonal pieces in the dataset. There were still some summer pieces in my closet, so I took the occasion to add them to the spreadsheet and store them. But the majority of my summer items are not in the dataset just yet – they will be added once I take them out of storage.
It’s important to note that I only tracked clothing, coats and occasion wear. I did not include undergarments, socks, shoes and accessories.
My wardrobe right now
Question 1: How many pieces are in my wardrobe?
I own a total of 79 pieces of clothing. Of which:
Considering that I still have quite some summer clothes to add, the total would probably be somewhere around 100 pieces. I do believe the ideal number of wardrobe pieces is very dependent on your personal style and lifestyle. So it’s hard to say if this really is too much for me. It does sound like a lot though.
As to the large discrepancy between tops and bottoms, this I did expect. In general, I find most people do have more tops than bottoms. The fact that I have so many tops, is because I wash them after one wear – unlike with trousers. I know some people are able to wear a top more than once before washing but that’s just not how my armpits work.
The 7 coats also include summer and occasion wear coats.
Question 2: From which brands do I own the most clothes?
Not unsurprisingly, most of my clothes come from H&M, followed by Uniqlo, COS and Sugarhill Boutique. Initially, I had an entire paragraph written about the why’s and how’s of these brands but I think I need to dig a little deeper and give this topic its own blog post.
Apart from that, I do notice that I have a lot less from ethical brands (MissGreen, Bibico,…) than I expected. My year trying to buy ethical did not have a significant effect on my wardrobe. This is also something I’d like to write about later.
Question 3: How many new items did I buy in 2018? Did I buy more than in previous years?
Since I don’t have reliable data of anything before 2016, I marked all clothes that I couldn’t remember or find the purchase year for, as bought in 1900. It seemed like a good way to filter and still keep them in the dataset. I bought 25 items in 2018. That’s about double from 2017.
I did start becoming more conscious of fast fashion in 2017, so that would explain why I bought so little back then. In 2018 I was being more lenient with myself and eventually allowed myself to buy fast fashion again. Though in a more considerate way, I hope.
How do I feel about my wardrobe now? What are the next steps?
Having gone through my (almost) entire wardrobe, I really wonder why I often feel like I have nothing to wear when I so undoubtedly have too many clothes. I’m guessing there are items simply aren’t my style anymore or that I have a hard time pairing into an outfit.
I’ve also rediscovered items that I love but for some reason, I don’t wear them. I’ll have to look into why I don’t wear them and how I can solve this.
I’m also keeping an outfit diary in February to see how I build my outfits and how they make me feel throughout the month. I’m hoping to get some more insights this way.