The time has come for the inventory I’m least looking forward to: my wardrobe. Why exactly am I dreading it? Because I love clothes. I love fashion. I love style. I also have many items I hold onto, thinking I’ll have the opportunity to wear them. But it’s time to face the music, or my closet, rather. Although I do my best to purchase used and make sure I wear all of my items by rotating through them, I know that this will be the area that needs the most work. Plus, it doesn’t help that I like to make my own clothing and accessories and made a few items over the summer in order to complete my craft and sewing projects. But, nevertheless, I must persist.
What exactly did I find when I inventoried my wardrobe? Here’s the list:
Tops: 87 (26 sleeveless, 9 t-shirts, 12 sweaters, 24 blouses, and 16 blazers)
Bottoms: 30 (4 pairs of jeans, 5 pairs of shorts, 12 pairs of trousers, 9 skirts)
Shoes: 15 (4 pairs of boots, 3 pairs of sandals, 4 pairs of flats, 4 pairs of heels)
Dresses: 18 (1 shirt dress, 15 sundresses, 2 evening dresses)
Accessories: 88 (8 headbands, 2 hats, 24 necklaces, 5 bracelets, 34 earrings, 5 scarves)
Outerwear: 3 (1 jacket, 2 coats)
Seeing this list, I felt rather disappointed. I always encourage people to buy used, wear what you have, and even make your own clothing items with what you own instead of buying more. How in the world did I acquire 87 tops? I’ve even gone through my wardrobe after each graduate school semester to find more to give away. Right now, I have a very sizeable bag and box ready to be donated, but perhaps I need to add more. It’s going to require more than one week to clear more out of my closet as I complete my affirmations for September. Perhaps I’ve failed miserably this week and should give up?
I was feeling overwhelmed until I read these thoughtful reflections from Dave Bruno about being the perfect non-consumer: “The sun rises on evil and on good, it shines down on those who demand everything be perfect and those who recognize their own limitations and who show patience toward others. The real good life we pursue is filled with imprecise goods, things, and actions that are not ideal but that will make our lives and the lives of others better.” So, I am not a perfect non-consumer, but can I eliminate some items I don’t wear? Why do I feel the need to hold onto them? At some time or another, I suppose, I thought having these clothes would give me an ideal life, a realization I had about my beauty products.
Going through my closet, I came to one conclusion: whatever items I decide to keep, they must be quality and I need to commit to wearing them at least 30 times. Why 30? The 30 wears campaign, also known on social media as #30wears, asks people to consider if they will wear a clothing item at least 30 times before they purchase it. The Sustainable Edit brought up a few questions I’ll have in mind when I’m out shopping in the future:
(1) Will I wear this at least 30 times?
(2) Is this a high quality piece?
(3) Will it last at least 30 washes?
(4) Will I still want to wear this in 6 months’ time?
(5) Will I still want to wear this in a years’ time?
These are all great things to consider while I’m out shopping, but for my current wardrobe, I’ve decided what this means for me is I will begin keeping a record of how many times I wear items from now until December 2018, and whatever has not been worn at least 30 times will be given away. There are some items I could list off the top of my head that I know I have worn 30 times already, but I also know there are others I have only worn once. Recording all of this can get cumbersome, so I’ve also decided the best way to keep track is through the Stylebook App I just downloaded on my phone. I’ve photographed all of my accessories and clothing, so now it’s time to use this app for outfits and determine how often I’m actually wearing something. All of this will take more than one week left of September, but I’m excited to see how things progress over the next year and I have hope that I can cut down on some of my wardrobe items.
Have you joined the 30 wears campaign? How do you make sure you wear everything you own in your wardrobe?