The Boutique Is Still Open

August 14, 2014


The boutique after updating for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.

After 10 months of participating in The DH Closet Challenge the boutique is still in business, althought it has shrunk in size and is down to 2 shopping bags and only 48 items  (47 items after my fall/winter wardrobe update and 1 item added after shopping a sale [denim shirt]).  Since I’ve already updated my fall/winter wardrobe, there is a very good chance that most of the items in the boutique are going to sit for yet another year unworn.  After all, my fall/winter wardrobe has only has 55 items in it right now.  If I wanted to close the boutique today, I would have to either:

  1. Donate all of the items remaining in the boutique
  2. Update my entire fall/winter capsule wardrobe with boutique items, then donate the leftovers

I often list the contents of my seasonal wardrobe, but I have not listed the items in the boutique.  Here we go:

  • 6 bottoms (jeans/trousers)
  • 2 hoodies
  • 10 toppers (2 blazers, 4 pullovers, 4 cardigans)
  • 7 knits
  • 5 shirts (for layering)
  • 5 LS T’s (for layering)
  • 2 SSTops
  • 5 SS T’s
  • 2 tanks (for layering)
  • 4 scarves

Instead of reviewing each individual item and why it’s remained in the boutique thus far (which would mean one very, very long blog post) I’m going to comment on the trends I noticed for each category that is left in the boutique.

  • 6 bottoms (jeans/trousers)-This is the category I am always slowest to purge.  In my head, bottoms are hard for me to fit. I’m pear shaped, petite, and very picky about the length of the hem on bottoms.  So when I find a pair that works, I don’t want to let them go.  Unfortunately, I also tend to purchase 2 or 3 at a time, which actually suggests it may not be as hard for me to fit bottoms as I think it is.
  • 2 hoodies-I tried to sport my hoodies to the office last year, by pairing them with a blazer.  This helped me get more use out of them.  However, these are often worn only on the weekends, which means only for two days a week.  So these tend to stick around for a long time until they wear out.
  • 10 toppers (2 blazers, 4 pullovers, 4 cardigans)-My largest category still in the boutique.  This is also the area where items cost the most.  A cashmere or wool sweater is often a pricey item for me, which means I am very reluctant to ‘let go’ of these pieces easily.  But the nice materials also means they do not wear out very fast!  I’ve tried consignment selling in the past but the poor return on the item has me holding on to pieces instead of letting them go.
  • 7 knits-This used to be my largest category.  At one point I had over 20 of them!  Most of the knits left at this point, are brand new with tags and just waiting for their turn in my working closet.  Yet, they are a bit on the thin side and I’m not sure I’ll be able to use any of them for cold winter days.  I guess I’ll see how many lightweight knits I really use when fall comes this year.
  • 5 shirts (for layering)-Three out of five of these are silk, which is a material that I do not know how to care for.  The labels say to dry clean only, but I am lazy and do not run to a dry cleaner often.  I’ve read that one can hand wash silk but I haven’t tried it yet myself.  I still want to try out wearing silk which is why these are still in the boutique.
  • 5 Long Sleeve (LS) T-Shirts (for layering)-All of these have logos or a print on them and are not suitable for my current job.  This leaves me with only two days a week to sport them.
  • 2 Short Sleeve (SS) Tops-Both are fall colors and I’m anticipating these making it into the working closet for early fall.  As with the knits, I’ll find out this season if a fall colored short sleeve top should really have a spot in my working closet.
  • 5 SS T-Shirts-I thought I no longer had any spring/summer items in the boutique.  And indeed none of these t-shirts are ‘seasonal’ since they are all from concerts or traveling.  I have a habit of always bringing home a souvenir or memento from a special occasion (concerts, far-away destinations, etc.) which has left me with an excess of t-shirts that I cannot sport to work.  With only 2 days a week to wear them, it’s taking a long time to wear out my existing t-shirts.  I’ve started sporting these as loungewear to try to use them more often.
  • 2 tanks (for layering)-Another category that has sat around because it also takes a long time for me to wear out a tank.  Even though I wear one almost everyday in cooler months, I do laundry weekly, which means my current rotation of 4 works well and the remaining sit waiting for a tank to wear out.  I used to purchase 4 to 7 tanks at a time, thinking I sport one almost everyday so I must go through a lot of them. Wrong!
  • 4 scarves-A few years in a row, I was on a scarf kick and wore one daily.  I still enjoy scarves but do not sport them as often as I did in the past.  I still like the prints and materials so once again they sit unworn.  I don’t know if my scarf joy will revive itself or not.

How long do you ‘hold on’ to clothes before purging?



  1. I let go of things as I’m ‘ready’. I couldn’t find another thing to purge last month, but this month already found at least 10. It’s weird how quickly my mind can shift- just contemplating things over a few weeks can be enough to change my perspective!

    1. So true, that time can really change one’s perception on something. I’ll want to cling to a sweater/jumper one season to ‘save it’ for who knows what. Then the next I’m ready to let it go and I may never have even worn it! Go figure right?

  2. I go into spurts. Just this last week I gathered up 3 dressier tanks with spaghetti straps to sell. Worse than just holding on, I’ve been moving them back and forth for several years now! My rationale was how little room a silk or cashmere tank takes up, but if I’m not wearing it, I”m not wearing it. Period. Besides, add up all those little items, and it does start to take up room. Not just in the closet but mentally clogging up my space in my head when I look at them in there 😉

    1. I’ve had the same issue in the past with tank tops, also with socks and underwear. They take up less room, but can still cause clutter in the long run. And they don’t wear out any faster than other pieces of clothing. Go figure right?

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