I recently ran across an infographic on Pinterest. A woman started with 450 items in her closet and pruned it down to 65. It got me thinking… what’s in my closet?
I counted, it was about 200.
It would be a stretch for me to get down to 65 pieces. I need clothes for Iowa summers, winters, springs & falls (if you’re not familiar with Iowa weather, it ranges from humid and hot to bitter cold), clothes for farm work (I live on a sheep farm), clothes for outdoor activities (kayaking, climbing, cycling, running, swimming, hiking, camping, etc), nice clothes for going out and about, clothes for staying home and being cozy. It feels like a lot of targets to hit. Many of the categories overlap though. The clothes I like to take on cycling or climbing trips are similar to what I wear on normal summer days, for example.
With the goal of getting my closet number as low as I could stand, I pulled out clothes:
I don’t actually like
I feel obligated to keep
I like and hope to wear someday but never do
I used to like but don’t wear anymore
I don’t feel happy wearing or looking at on my shelves.
I was able to purge around 90 pieces and get my wardrobe down to 106.
So, what’s in my closet?
I’ve divided my wardrobe into categories of uses. These are:
Everyday - wearing around the house.
Workout - gym, etc.
Adventure - cycling trips, climbing, kayaking, hiking, etc.
Farm - farm work and daily chores (and other messy things like painting, etc).
Nice - going out with friends, on trips, going out for tea or errands, etc.
Here’s what’s in my closet:
8 shorts - everyday / workout / adventure / farm / nice
11 pants - everyday / workout / adventure / farm / nice
7 long sleeve tops - everyday / workout / adventure / farm
11 short sleeve tops - everyday / farm / nice
7 tank tops - everyday / workout / farm / nice
12 button up shirts / jackets - everyday / adventure / farm / nice
1 vest - nice
9 sweaters - everyday / farm / workout / adventure / nice
3 wind breakers - workout
2 rain jackets - nice
2 winter coats - everyday / nice
19 dresses - everyday / nice
8 skirts - everyday / nice
6 jumpers - everyday
I’m so glad did this because it give me some valuable insights into my wardrobe. I will quickly outline them here:
1) It helped me realize what I need to work on sewing/adding to build a strong, well rounded closet. I need more nice jeans, more gym clothes.
2) My room is a happier place and I’m a happier person without things I don’t actually like sitting on my shelves.
3) Getting dressed in the morning takes less time and is more (way more) fun.
4) Only 7 pieces in my closet are things I bought new. The rest are sewn, thrifted, or secondhand from family and some friends. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but it’s just interesting!
5) I would like to transition my closet to almost all memade items. It just feels nice to surround yourself with good quality clothes that are made by you.
6) Much of my summer wardrobe is memade and most of my winter wardrobe is not. It would be nice to even the balance.
7) Since I work from home, I tend to not wear my nice clothes around the house in case I want to wear them out in the evenings or weekends. I want to keep them fresh so I have options. My epiphany while cleaning was if I just MADE myself more nice things (if I had more than 2 pairs of nice jeans) then I could wear nice clothes around the house AND have nice clothes to wear out and about. Revolutionary.
8) Echoing #7, I’m happier when I wear nice clothes around the house. They make me feel good.
With some practice I think I can get my wardrobe number even lower. I already feel myself being more willing to give things up after experiencing a taste of the joy of only having what you really love. I’m so happy I cleared out my closet!
PS - I wasn’t exactly sure where to draw the line on the numbers, so I want to just mention that I also have 6 swimming suits (I do wear them all…), snow pants and jacket for winter sports, 5 pieces for cycling - shorts, jersey, winter leggings, rain jacket, and rain pants —-and lastly some insulated winter overalls and a coat both used for farm chores.