(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 22, 2013
No closet photo this week, but a lot of observations, so I’m going to jump right in.
Reflections for Week 7:
- Wardrobe size does not affect wardrobe favorites: I’ve spent the past week rotating through the clothes in the working closet with only one addition (a scarf). Compared to the size of my entire wardrobe (the bulk of it is sitting in the boutique), my current selection contains only a small handful of items, yet I am still not wearing everything equally. When I have a wardrobe favorite, apparently I am going to keep selecting it, regardless of the size of my wardrobe.
- Wardrobe favorites can change often: Pieces that were favorites at the beginning of this challenge I still enjoy to wear (tan poncho), but a few new items have emerged as recent favorites (grey metallic jeans), probably because the season is shifting. I still enjoy sporting my tan poncho, but it reminds me of fall and worked best with gloves and a scarf without a coat over it, while the grey metallic jeans remind me of holiday time and coordinate well with my black and yellow winter coats. I notice I am reaching for the grey metallic jeans quite often right now and I anticipate after New Year’s I’ll probably shift to another favorite item.
- Impulse purchases make up the bulk of my least favorite items: A couple of pieces are not being worn very often. And all of them were impulse purchases. And many of the pieces still sitting in the “boutique” were also impulse purchases. Most of the items I am not reaching for, were purchased without a plan. Either I feel they do not coordinate with anything in the working closet (hence why they are still in the boutique) or I feel my style preferences right now compared to at the time of the purchase has already shifted. A black sweatercoat is a great example. I’ve only worn the sweatercoat 3 times since it’s been sitting in the working closet. Previously I owned a navy sweatercoat from BR a few years back that I really enjoyed. So one day when I saw a black sweatercoat I defaulted to “well I like a sweatercoat and black is a basic that goes with everything so I’ll purchase it.” After I purchased it, the weather shifted and it sat waiting until the season rolled around again. And now that it is in the working closet I find I’m not that interested in wearing a sweatercoat right now and it’s not the first piece I reach for. I keep pulling it out, only to put it back and grab something else to wear. At the time I purchased it I really enjoyed sweatercoats, but I didn’t wear it right away (for whatever reason, I have a bad habit of “saving” clothes for I don’t really know what) and now it appears to have fallen out of favor for this season.
- Purge or save out of favor items?: A little caveat first. I don’t currently own many items that are over 3 years old, my wardrobe consists of mostly new pieces. And I did a lot of purchasing and purging these past few years, so I am not interested in doing so again, just yet. However, there are a lot of clothes sitting in the “boutique” going unworn. And unworn clothing is wasted money. The clothes were purchased to be worn! But I also don’t want to purge too fast and regret it later. So for now I’m not going to purge anything in the “boutique.” It’s essentially a giant holding zone. However, I don’t want to have the boutique forever, so I’ve given it a time limit. I’d like to complete a full year of the challenge so I can move through all 4 seasons (or 6 mini seasons or whatever the crazy weather that we have is called) before I do any massive purges of the boutique itself. It’s only been two months so far, and I have plenty of cold weather to come in the next few months, so there is no reason to purge items in there just yet. However, new purchases require careful consideration because I do not want to keep growing the size of the boutique, I’d actually like to shrink it’s size over time. At some point I’ll have to decide how long the boutique should be in business, but I haven’t decided on that yet. After all, I may be “off” liking the black sweatercoat this season, but I may like it again next year. And some items in the working closet I am really enjoying this year, I may be tired of by next year. That doesn’t mean I may be ready to pass them on just yet. One thing I still need to figure out is how much clothing I want to keep because I really like it, but I want to take a break from it for a season vs how much clothing I truly don’t like and am ok with parting with.
- Overhauling a wardrobe: If my almost two month numbers are accurate, I have enough clothing in the boutique to overhaul my working closet for next year, with no new purchases. And I have about another half that would carry over into the following year. So technically I should not be doing any major wardrobe overhauls for the next 2 years or so. During this time frame if I am itching for a major change, I either need to start swapping out items from the boutique, or start purging the boutique aggressively to make room for the new items. If I keep reaching then returning items to the boutique that is a sure sign I’m not really interested in the item and I think I’ll have a much easier time purging them. Of course I don’t expect to not shop for the next two years. So I anticipate the boutique purging going quickly once I start itching for a style change again. However, I think I’ll have a much better idea of how much clothing I like to wear at one time in a given season, which makes doing an overhaul and evaluating an impulse purchase a lot easier to do in the future. And considering the small size of my working closet, it doesn’t look like it would take many items to overhaul my wardrobe if I was really bored with it. This is great, because now I realize I don’t need to invest nearly as much time or money as I thought I would whenever I want a style refresh. My actual working wardrobe isn’t that large!
- Organizing the closet by outfits works for me: Back in week 3, I mentioned that closet organization works best when it is set up to follow one’s personal dressing preferences. For myself, that means having a collection of ‘grab and go’ outfit combinations. For the past week, I’ve had my closet arranged by outfit combinations and getting dressed in the morning has been nice and easy. I’ll still try to remix into a new combination once in a while, but I don’t prefer to do this daily so having pre-set outfits is working well. It also allows me to see where my wardrobe is unbalanced (one bottom has 6 toppers yet another has only two). If I wanted to shop for something new, it would probably make more sense to find a top for the bottom with less toppers.
- I’m attracted to the same styles, often: I always enjoy trying on a new color or a new style, but in general I really do like the same items again and again and again. I’ve noticed items I see in the stores that I like, I already own something similar to them in the boutique. I really liked a basket weave cardigan (from BR but I don’t see it online anymore), but I already own one with the same basket weave thread, just with short sleeves from AT a few years back. I really liked a pair of lace up boots in Nordstrom, but I already own a similar style from Rockport, in black. When I see these items in the store and want to purchase them, I remember that I already have something similar at home, and I’m not even wearing it right now (the basket weave cardigan is still in the boutique)!
At the end of week 7, I had 54 items in the fall/winter capsule wardrobe:
- 6 bottoms (no change)
- 2 hoodies (no change)
- 11 toppers (this includes: pullover sweaters, blazers and cardigans; no
- 10 knits (no change)
- 3 gear items (no change)
- 1 shirt (for layering; no change)
- 3 LS T’s (for layering; no change)
- 4 tanks (for layering; no change)
- 5 thermal layers (no change)
- 5 scarves (added on scarf)
- 2 workout outfits (top and bottom; no change)
Are you attracted to the same style often too?