In my last post, I was telling you about the liberation of reducing the amount of clothes in my wardrobe. I wanted to go a bit more in detail about what is in my simplified wardrobe to show that it is more about being reasonable than depriving myself.
In the clothes I selected, I kept pieces I knew I was wearing all the time, but also a few things that I hadn’t worn much despite liking them to find out why. Did it just get lost in the overwhelming choice? Or was it not comfortable/fitting well enough to deserve space in my closet? Two cardigans ended up in the ‘give away’ pile as a result and one skirt landed on the sewing project pile for a major re-fashion. I also kept a few clothes I know I don’t wear very often, for the days I need to feel special. You can see on the picture below that in the end I was nowhere short of choice despite removing more than half of my clothes.
Here is what I am now dressing with:
Shoes, coats, hat and scarfs
In addition to my sport and hiking shoes, I kept three pairs of shoes: sandals, ballerinas, and a pair of light close shoes. The ballerina can be used for dress up occasions. I am slowly getting ride of any kind of high heels. I realised that the type of event where I wear them are typically the ones that involve a lot of standing and where I want to be free of my movements: at weddings and other celebrations because I want to enjoy them, at conferences and other professional events because I need to be focused.
I only have two spring/summer coats: one for rainy and windy days and one for when it gets a bit cold in the evening (more useful in London than in San Sebastian, but still). So there was not much sorting to do there. I also kept my only two summer hats out. They are now down to one as the second one got adopted by P. To complete this, I kept three scarfs including two that can be used as pareo on the beach. I like multi-usages.
Tops, bottoms and dresses
- 10 bottoms (5 pants, 3 skirts, 2 shorts)
- 16 tops (4 T-shirts, 12 tank tops)
- 6 dresses (4 summer dresses, 2 for special occasions)
- 17 long sleeves (T-shirts and cardigans that I use as light sweaters in summer)
- 7 swearers (including 3 to hang inside)
I could definitely cut down a bit on the tops and long sleeves. 14 of each category should be enough. I could also arguably manage with fewer than 10 bottoms, but I feel it would frustrate me, and I don’t see the need for it. Overdoing it is the pit fall for any diet.
Underwear, pyjamas and sports clothes
For the things that I tend to use one instence per week (pyjamas, sports clothes and bras), I think three is a good number. Two could potentially be enough, but it means everything needs to be washed every week. And they will always be that weekend we are away, or too rushed to be on top of laundry. The point is to make life simple, not stressful and laundry is definitely not something worth stressing about. Like this I can have one item dirty, one drying and one clean. For things that I put every day, like underpants and socks in winter, I find 14 to be a good number. I managed with 10 for a year in Erasmus, but again, laundry stress not welcome.
Tracking and mending
Right after the sorting, I put all the hangers facing backward as an easy way to keep track of what clothes I really wear. This is an easy trick to sort the clothes you use without thinking about it. Just put the hanger in the right direction when you put clothes back after laundry. Except for a few sweaters and long sleeve t-shirts that were not adapted for the season, I wore everything at least once. I also took the occasion to list the little mending and refitting work that those clothes needed. I didn’t reach the end of the list (still quite a few hems missing), but having fewer clothes to take care of, prevented the pile of ‘clothes I will fix one day’ to keep growing.
Change of season
Last week, I made the switch to my autumn/winter wardrobe (snif), and I kept about the same amount of clothes. I just have a few more sweaters, but this is mostly because I am not sure how the winter will be here. I realised that there was very little changes to be made among underwear (except for the socks), sports clothes, and nightwear, so I will keep those all year round to save time. The excess will just be my store for when I need to get ride of some of the current pieces.
I also took the occasion to organise the clothes I put aside a bit better to save time in the next transition. I separated them as autumn/winter only, spring/summer only and all year. Like this I won’t have to go though everything. I also clearly marked the clothes from my 2016 summer wardrobe. Let’s be honest, this is where all the favourites are.
Once I have reduced my stash, I will probably try to have an all year round wardrobe, because it takes a bit of time to make the season change. I originally liked the idea or re-evaluating my wardrobe every three or six months, but it would take way more time than I am prepared to spend on this. Since I tend to use my summer tank tops as extra layers in winter and my long sleeve as light sweaters in summer, it should not be too difficult. It could look something like this:
- 10 bottoms (3 summer, 3 winter, 4 all year)
- 14 tops (4 summer, 4 winter, 6 all year)
- 10 dresses (4 summer, 4 winter, 2 special occasions)
- 14 long sleeves (4 summer, 4 winter, 6 all year)
- 7 sweeter (2 summer, 6 winter, 2 all year)