In an effort to be more transparent and open this year, I’m introducing a new blog series called the Closet Update. My goal is to share an in-depth look at my wardrobe month by month. I will share what I bought (or was gifted), what I purged, what I wore, and what I didn’t at the end of each month.
My hope is that sharing a more in depth look at what I chose for my wardrobe and how it does/doesn’t work helps all of us. Maybe you’ll be inspired to give the capsule wardrobe thing a try or to track how often you’re wearing your own items? Maybe I’ll pass on an impulse purchase when I think more about why I’m buying it and what I’ll share with you? Maybe we’ll all continue to be more conscious consumers and slow down our fashion cycle?
So, here’s my first Closet Update of 2018.
What I Added
Nothing! Not a dang thing. I intentionally decided to do a no-shop January late in December. Looking back, my last purchase was the Madewell Perfect Summer jeans I scored on Poshmark on December 2.
When I looked back at my 2017 wardrobe additions, I found I had added 40 (gasp!) new items over the course of the year. That is far more than I am comfortable with. Of course, I can find ways to justify those new items (my physical size changed, I honed in on my style more and revamped my wardrobe, my blog grew and I was able to do more collaborations, and so on).
But no matter which way I look at it, I had gotten a little too comfortable in my ‘lean’ wardrobe ways and loose capsule rules. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching
No specific time frame has been set for my no-shopping, but I do know I want to test myself. I want to push myself to pass up on something I really want, but don’t need. Not as punishment for buying too much in 2017, but as a way to reinforce that I have plenty. To practice contentment. To be sure that my comfort-level doesn’t slowly slip into over-consuming again.
What I Purged
I did ship off a bag of 28 items to Thred Up this month. Most of them were items that had spent quite a bit of time in my ‘maybe’ pile, but over and over I chose something else to wear. A few examples of what I sent:
- a gray sweater with jewel/beads on it: I kept it around thinking it would be cute for the holidays. Two Christmases later and I still haven’t worn it.
- off-white skinny cords: I bought these secondhand and wore them a few times, but never liked the way I looked in them.
- gray skinny jeans: I bought these secondhand for my postpartum capsule 2.5 years ago and wore them a ton the first year I had them. Since then I’m just not that into skinny pants/jeans, so I don’t reach for them anymore.
- bootcut jeans: Another item I bought secondhand postpartum, but they are too big for me now.
I also sent off a few pairs of workout pants that are too low cut and I always had to pull up, plus some old statement necklaces that I know I won’t wear anymore.
Another new idea I’m practicing during 2018 is tracking how often I wear each of my items. I wrote a list of all the clothes in my current capsule and hung it on a clipboard in my closet. Each day I make a tally mark to track what I’m wearing. Each month I’ll update the totals and share them here.
My hope is that this tracking can help with three things.
First, as I’ve spent more on my clothing and made some investments, I like to keep track of the cost per wear of each item. I don’t have solid numbers from 2017, but I plan to take some time and backtrack through old blog and Instagram posts to get a rough count of how much I’ve worn my items.
Second, at the end of each season I like to think about if any of the items I kept in my closet didn’t get worn so I can purge them rather than pack them away. I’d expect that having some concrete numbers may make those decisions easier.
Third, I am curious if some of my favorite items aren’t worn as often as I think due to the quantity of clothes I have? I think keeping track and seeing the numbers may reinforce my limited shopping goal for the year.
My Most Worn Items
Here are the items I wore four or more times during January (and the tail end of December). The numbers may be a bit skewed this month due to the Winter 10×10, but here it is:
- T Sweater (Jamie + the Jones): I have now worn this sweater 33 times in 13 months. That brings my cost per wear into the single digits!
- Black Cashmere Sweatshirt (c/o Everlane): This was a part of my 10×10, so it got 4 extra wears during the past couple of weeks.
- Umber T Top (c/o Jamie + the Jones): I hadn’t worn this at all until the 10×10, but then wore it four times during that window.
- Basic Tees (c/o Tapered Collection): I have a variety of white and black tees from Tapered Collection that I wear alone and as layering pieces.
- Cruiser Jeans (Madewell via Poshmark): With 10 wears, this is my most worn item of the month. Truly, most of the wears happened over the winter break for our family gatherings and the weekend that my husband and I went out of town.
- Perfect Summer Jeans (Madewell via Poshmark): I really broke these in during the 10×10 and I love them. These were my last closet addition in December and it was a great buy.
- Ponte Pants (Brass Clothing): I typically wear these once per week to work, so they’ll likely always make my top list.
- Clogs (Lotta From Stockholm): These are my new weekend go-to footwear as long as it isn’t snowy. What I didn’t expect when I bought them was how often I’d wear them to work too.
- Chelsea Boots (Nisolo): When I’m not wearing my clogs, my next option is these boots.
My Least Worn Items
For contrast, here are the items that I haven’t worn yet since my Winter Capsule started. Again, I do think the numbers are slightly off because of the 10×10 (which counted for 15 of my outfits in the past 6ish weeks).
- Gray Sweater (Brass Clothing): I was thisclose to including this sweater in my 10×10 which would have totally changed it’s list placement for the month. I do love this sweater and plan to get it into the rotation more in February.
- Cropped Sweater (Brass Clothing): I have a feeling this sweater is creeping into my wardrobe purgatory. I’m not 100% ready to purge, but I’m also not convinced it has a place in my closet anymore. I don’t wear it often because it’s a bit small on me and the cropped length is hard to pull of at work. I also feel when we get into the middle of winter and my skin is at it’s most fair that the sand color washes me out.
- Krissy Tee (Two Fold, get $20 off first Two Fold purchase through Garmentory): I haven’t worn my cardigans much this month, and this tee was kept in my closet as a layering option under those. Combining some new items in my 10×10 gave me a few ideas for this top, so expect to see it more next month.
- Ponte Pants (c/o Vetta Capsule): Because I have two similar pair of ponte pants, these haven’t been worn yet. These are a bit longer and don’t stay rolled up as easily as my Brass pair, so when I wear them with boots (which I have been) I opt for the other pair.
- A-line Dress (Brass Clothing): I kept a white short sleeve dress in my wardrobe to experiment some with layering it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. We’ll see if it actually happens the way I hope it will.
My Top Three
Here’s a look at my three favorite looks from January.