Closet Overload (Week 5)

(I started The DH Closet Challenge in November of 2013 therefore I’ll be catching up on my progress to date in a series of posts.)

December 8, 2013

Observations are listed first, stats are listed at the bottom.

Purging the stripes for the dot print.

Purging the stripes for the dot print.

Purging one horse print for another.

Purging one horse print for another.

At the end of week 4, I went shopping in the “boutique” to round out my wardrobe. So how did I do?

Reflections on Week 5:

  • Six bottoms is one too many:   I have one too many bottoms. In prior weeks I’ve realized that I like to repeat bottoms often. I was fine the first 4 weeks when I had only 5 bottoms. To start week 5 I added a sixth bottom. Six bottoms are also ok, but I actually liked it better when I had only five. I’m not going to return any bottoms to the boutique at this point, and I won’t add any new bottoms until the spring months. We have 3-4 months of cold weather coming up and I am curious if I will grow bored of my current bottoms throughout the winter. It will be interesting to see what I add in the spring, replace one worn out pair or replace all of them? I have my eye on one pair in the boutique (boyfriend jeans I am looking at you) that I am looking forward to sporting come springtime already. They did not work with my tall boots so I don’t mind waiting until spring to sport them with booties.
  • One “low remixing friendly” outfit is ok, but an entire closet of them would be too many for me:  To start week 5 I had added one outfit (built around grey metallic skinny jeans) that did not coordinate with any of the items in my working closet and I enjoyed owning this low remixing friendly outfit. This is a fun outfit to wear and it definitely varies up my look. But if my entire closet consisted only of standalone outfits, that would not be enough variety for me. Although I appear to have a low tolerance for remixing (tan poncho I prefer to sport with one pair of jeans every week), I like being able to remix in small doses (solid grey knit top also worn every week but usually with a different bottom). My closet needs to have a balance of favorite outfit combinations and pieces that can remix a little when I want to freshen things up.
  • Even with a small wardrobe I save items for some mystery reason:  I have a poor habit of “saving” new items. Even though I added a number of new items last week, I still reached for the same older pieces at first. I had to remind myself to start wearing my ‘new’ things! Why do I do this? Part of the reason may be because for the older pieces I already knew how I wanted to wear them. For the new pieces, I had to spend some time figuring out what combinations I wanted to try. Clearly I still have to work on shifting to team wear right away.
  • It’s easier to spot poor quality items with a smaller wardrobe:  When you are sporting an item regularly, if it is poor quality, you will notice really fast. When I had lots of clothes, it would sometimes take a long time to repeat an item, so I may not have noticed I only got a few wears out of it before it needed to be purged because there were large gaps in between wears. With a smaller wardrobe, I notice pretty quickly! I have two knit tops that are already looking poor and will be my first one-in/one-out pieces (photos 1 and 2 above).
  • I’m taking better care of my clothes:  When you don’t have a lot of clothes, you stay on top of washing them. After all, you need them back from the laundry bin faster than if you owned more. Also I find I stay on top of ironing and steaming too. Again, I can’t let items sit untouched for weeks on end, because I need them back to wear them again. This is keeping me from having multiple piles of clothes in different stages (need to be washed, need to fold, need to iron, etc.)
  • Rotating clothes is easier to do with a smaller wardrobe:  Even with the new additions, I’m still finding it easy to rotate my clothes so that I sport them ALL regularly instead of selecting favorites and letting half my closet sit unworn week after week. At least this is working well now that I stopped “saving” my new clothes. And I feel better about my new things because they are now working just as hard as my older items.
  • The only way for me to not shop, is to stay OUT of the stores, for now:  I almost had a huge setback with this challenge. While out shopping for gifts on Black Friday I got suckered by the sales. I came home with an outfit complete with shoes. But I wasn’t in the mall shopping for me, and I have plenty of clothes still sitting in the “boutique” so I certainly do not need any new items. While I was happy I was assembling outfits instead of my usual “oh this is pretty I’ll figure out what goes with it at home later” shopping style, I need to work on not being triggered to shop for me just because “I’m here at the mall already might as well pick up a little something.” I returned everything the very next day and I am so relieved I did! I’ve been able to look at clothes online and look at websites for new outfit combination ideas but clearly I am not ready to be in the brick and mortar stores just yet. I think I have to participate in this challenge a bit longer to defuse the mall shopping trigger.

Photo 1-I replaced the tiger stripe knit (which pairs well with my denim jacket but has pilled to am embarrassing state) with another blue printed top that will work with my denim jacket.

Photo 2-I replaced the incredible shrinking horse printed knit (which has continued to shrink with each washing and I can no longer wear because it’s too short and too tight), with a horse printed hoodie that also will pair well with my tweed blazer.

And here are the stats.

At the end of week 5, I had 46 items in my fall/winter capsule wardrobe:

  • 6 bottoms
  • 1 hoodie (this will be 2 to start week 6 due to one in, one-out discussed above)
  • 10 toppers (pullover sweaters, blazers and cardigans)
  • 6 knits (this will be 5 starting week 6 due to one-in,one-out)
  • 3 gear items
  • 1 shirt (for layering)
  • 3 LS T’s (for layering)
  • 4 tanks (for layering)
  • 4 thermal layers (added one thermal bottom during week 5)
  • 4 scarves (added one scarf during week 5)
  • 2 workout outfits (top and bottom)

How many bottoms are too many for you?


  1. I just wanted let you know that I’m enjoying your new blog immensely! I think this is such a creative and smart project and I might have to try it out myself. Looking forward to your next post!!

  2. I found you through Debbie Roes’s blog and just read through all your posts! I hope you keep posting, this is such fun reading! I love this idea- such a great way of rehauling your closet without the immediate commitment that purging requires 🙂

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