My pleasant and unexpected wardrobe surprise

All these posts on purging, culling and wardrobe size made me to ponder what is my current wardrobe size. I think I evaluated it about 1 year ago and realized I have around 120 clothing items I wear outside of the house (not counting workout / hiking / gardening gear and undergarmnets). That felt like a good wardrobe size for me - big enough to have fun and variety and small enough to feel justified and not overwhelmed by it.
However I was buying more clothes over that year and somewhere in the back of my head I had a nudging feeling that my wardrobe is going out of control, I am buying too much and so on. I love Angie's rule of 'one in - one out' but I was not following it religiously for each buy even though I was doing ongoing little purges from time to time.
Anyway I spent the afternoon today to take stock of what I have and these are the numbers:
- cool season clothing items (fall - spring) - 84 items including coats;
- summer - 36 items
Together they come to 120 clothing items - pretty much what I had last year.
That was a very pleasant surprise - looks like I was following "one in - one out" rule after all, even if subconsciously. :-)
I have also counted my shoes:
 - cool season: 13 pairs excluding gear;
- summer: 6 pairs
Total: 19 pairs.
I think I am going to try and keep this size as it works pretty well for me. 'One in - one out' rule is going to be pretty much my mantra from now on - this time in all consciousness!

Other interesting observations during my inventory:
-  I have 13 pairs of trousers and jeans for cool season and just 10 skirts and dresses combined. You can really call me trouser obsessed!:-)
- however it is an opposite way for summer where I have 6 pairs of shorts / pants and 8 skirts and dresses. Looks like not only I change a color palette  but also a style of dressing from winter to summer.

I still have some items in my closet which I wear less frequently if even at all. I am going to mark them and watch the usage: if they are not worn enough they are good candidates for this magic rule to free space for some potential goodies from NAS!

Thanks for reading my novel. It is really amazing how putting these thoughts in writing helps to make them clearer in your head.
I feel much better now about the size of my wardrobe!  Hmm, is it why the first thing I did after the inventory was to place an order with GAP? :-)
This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • anne replied 7 years ago
    Well done Sveta! You have internalized your wardrobe control!
  • lyn* replied 7 years ago
    Congrats! It seems like you are the boss of your closet now!!! :)
  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago
    You are a master of maximizing impact and minimizing waste!  Enjoy and keep refining and tweaking!
  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago
    This was a great exercise for you Sveta and what a fabulous realization. I also have far more for the fall/winter season since it is our dominant season and tend to turn to dresses/skirts for summer. 

    It sounds to me like you have a really good grasp of what you want in a wardrobe and that is something to be proud of.
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Anne, I just like to be in control of everything it seems.
    Lyn, I would never allow it to boss me around for sure!
    Beth Ann, you bet I will keep refining. That was a very nice feeling to get about your own closet!
    Shannon, there is some overlap here as there are some items from 'cool' season I still wear in summer like shells, shirts and blouses and jeans  - not all of our summer is a scorching heat but in general I expectto have a much larger inventory for my dominant season.
  • Joy replied 7 years ago
    Your wardrobe exercise is an inspiration.  Congratulations on doing such a good job of keeping things manageable.  You are masterful at finding new ways to wear your own.  It makes sense to have more for your dominant season.
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Thanks Joy. Even though I live in 4 season climate my summer wardrobe is not 1/4 but more like 1/3 of the whole though. I think it makes sense because I need to wash clothes more often in summer so I need more.
  • Thistle replied 7 years ago
    Your self control, even subconsciously, is such an inspiration for me.  I need to follow your lead and really take stock!
  • Firecracker replied 7 years ago
    That's great news. I'm impressed with what seems your innate sense of appropriate wardrobe size.
    It makes a lot of sense to me that you would essentially replace your cool-weather trousers with warm-weather dresses rather than shorts. To me, shorts are too casual feeling for a lot of situations, and a dress worn with bare legs feels more analogous to the trouser-based outfits worn in colder months. But I wouldn't have thought of any of this until you pointed it out.
  • rae replied 7 years ago
    Yay! It must be nice to have such a responsible subconscious. You always look super fab, too, so whatever it is, it is working for you!
  • shevia replied 7 years ago
    Your subconscious mind clearly knows what it is doing! I think the ability to easily return items is confusing your conscious mind into thinking you are acquiring more than you are actually keeping. Clearly, underneath it all you know better!
  • Debbie replied 7 years ago
    What a great exercise. I need to do this. Like you I know my wardrobe is heavier on on dresses and skirts in the spring and summer. 
  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago
    I am in the process of cataloguing all of my wardrobe & just the time spent taking photos uploading etc. is making me cull things I am on the fence about.
    I think my wardrobe sounds about the same size as yours but I haven't counted yet. 

    I am not happy with my high summer wardrobe (for 100F +++ which seemed to go on forever this year). So this is one area I need to work on. Winter & trans-seasonal are in much better shape so they are definitely one in one out. 
  • Ingunn replied 7 years ago
    I'm not very surprised, actually. From what I have seen of your style, it is very coherent and elegant. You seem to be able to mix and match a lot, thus fewer items are necessary. It's a good feeling to be on the right track. A great exercise!
  • Jules replied 7 years ago
    I also wear way more skirts/dresses in summer vs. winter. I find them very comfortable in the heat and they look effortlessly put together, whereas shorts and even lighter weight trousers can be too casual or get tired and droopy looking in the heat (think linen). In the winter skirts/dresses are fussier to style because you need tights and boots that work, and you must be warm enough. A pair of sandals and a pedicure seem much easier :) I'm in Toronto - maybe it is a function of our 4-season climate. 
  • Scarlet replied 7 years ago
    What a great subconscious! I am sure your new shopping will work itself into the wardrobe too over the longer term.
  • amiable replied 7 years ago
    Way to go!  I'm pretty convinced that I have TOO MUCH.  But every time I start to count, I can't resist visiting some clothing giveaway and coming home with several new items to see if I end up liking enough to keep.  

    Whittling down is hard.  So is finding the perfect wardrobe size.  Congratulations on sticking to yours!
  • Glory replied 7 years ago
    Thanks for posting this Sveta. It sounds like you are well under control. I like the idea of watching the unworn items. I have now turned all my hangers backwards to see what gets worn. 
    It is a great next step after the mega purge that I did this weekend. I like the idea of assembling and evaluating based on seasons. Other than coats and footwear I combine into 2 seasons: Winter/fall, Spring/Summer. I have no idea how many items I have at present but I will take a stab at this before I do too much shopping.
  • Lisa replied 7 years ago
    Great subconcious wardrobe control.  I also inventory my wardrobe.  I currently am at ~150 items for my 4 season climate.  I still want to get closer to 120 myself but I haven't been able to do so in the past year.  It's been a slow process.  The best thing I have done, was stick to one in and one out.  That has helped me revamp my wardrobe and keep it from spiraling out of control in quantity.  Also, when I shop, I feel like I have refreshed my wardrobe because I'll see so many new items in the closet.  Before all the new clothes were buried under the existing clothes.

    It's interesting you mentioned changing styles with the seasons.  I also do this.  I certainly go more casual for the warmer months along with lighter colors.
  • replied 7 years ago
    I have about 85 pieces not including underwear and footwear. But I finally feel at a stage where I have a good foundation that I can tweak and add to/edit as necessary.
  • Raisin replied 7 years ago
    Seems like you have the right amount for you, which is great.  I like the idea of one in one out as well, once you reach the right wardrobe size for you.
  • Suz replied 7 years ago
    This is fabulous, Sveta. I am impressed, and you have inspired me to do an inventory of my own. I do so much buying and so much purging I honestly don't have a clue where I am at these days!! And like you, I want to keep an eye on those seldom-worn items. 

    I think spring is a great time to inventory and keep track. Thank you for the nudge to do so! 
  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago
    I find these wardrobe inventory posts so interesting.  I really need to inventory my own wardrobe and get a concrete idea of how much I have.  I've been purging a lot in the past year and haven't bought much but I think I still have too many items.
  • replied 7 years ago
    It sounds like your fabulous wardrobe is practically running on auto-pilot! That's great news. And I find it easier to wear skirts in summer and pants in winter as well. Your number of items seems about right for someone who works full time. I think we all tend to gravitate towards a general number that works for us--I know my wardrobe has a kind of "set point" and if I go over, I feel the need to put myself in check. I love reading about this, so thanks for allowing us to see inside your head (and closet). :)
  • rachylou replied 7 years ago
    Really interesting about pants v. skirts, summer wear v. winter. And so delightful about the 120 number holding fast! The wardrobe is in control!
  • Sveta replied 7 years ago
    Thank for cheering up with me, ladies!
    Firecracker, Jules, Lisa, Claire - it is interesting that I am not alone in my switch to dresses in summer, makes perfect sense for hot weather. I never feel as fab in shorts as in full length trousers or skirts.
    Shevia, you are right: big number of returns does spoil my wardrobe math.
    Caro, your very hot summers do look like a huge dress challenge. Hopefully next summer won't e as hot as the last one was.
    Amiable, I feel physiscall depressed if I have more clothes that I can wear on a constant basis so this is like a therapy for me.
    Glory, it was actually your culling post which was a catalyst for my evening exercise. I think it is a great idea to have a clear idea first what you need before going shopping - or you may need to cull again soon!
    Ceit, 85 sounds as good as any other number if it serves you well.
    Suz, you need to do it before NAS! (you are still coming, right?)

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