While I haven’t been part of the Project since the end of March, I have continued to maintain an inventory of what clothes I have and what I wear. This isn’t terribly refined – just a monthly tick box if I wear something at least once during that month. I use an Excel spreadsheet, so I can tally both the monthly number of garments I wear and the number of months each garment has been worn.
I find it fascinating looking at the numbers and seeing how I use my wardrobe. Here’s some of those numbers:
- my itemised wardrobe currently contains 99 items – this includes dance costumes and tights, but doesn’t yet include my scarf, hat and gloves collection
- the most number of garments I have worn in one month in the last year is 51 in October – this is partly a reflection of Spring in Wellington (extemely varied weather!) and partly because I was dancing at the Wellington Folk Festival, so wore most of my costume wardrobe over that weekend
- the least number per month (since the end of the Project) was 31 items in May
- there are just 10 items in my list that I haven’t worn in the past year – some of these are recently acquired, others are things I’ve had for a while and aren’t sure what to do with. I may like them, but it seems like I’m not wearing them, so why are they taking up space?!
- on average and post-Project, I’ve worn 44.3 garments each month
- there are 15 garments that I’ve worn every month in the past year, and 30 that I’ve worn for more than six months of the year (but then there’s another 31 that I’ve only worn once or twice…)
The information I gather using my inventory really does help me track my usage honestly. I no longer have to guess about my wear patterns – and there have been some surprises for me in both my ‘work horse’ garments and my ‘rarely worn’ pile.
It has also helped me further develop my wardrobe aesthetic so that it more accurately reflects what I actually wear, rather than what I think I ought to wear. This, when combined with the other work I’ve been doing on my personal aesthetic, has made purchasing decisions both easier and more useful.
My aim is, over time, to both decrease the overall number of garments I own and wear what I do own thoroughly and often.
I am happy to take my time over this process because it is a process! I find that if I jump in and force decisions, they rarely work as well as when I let things percolate and flow – something that is also true of life beyond the wardrobe, but more on that sometime soon…