Wardrobe audit 2016

I love my capsule wardrobe, but does this restrict the variety of outfits I can put together? I decided to test the question by challenging myself to wear a different outfit every day for 100 days.

I recorded the challenge on Instagram under the hashtag #circularwardrobe. My rules were that every day had to use a different combination of objects. I allowed jewellery and accessories to be part of that combination. Even so, I was amazed at how far I could push this challenge.

It turns out I can definitely make 100 outfits with my wardrobe. I suspect that means I still have more clothes than I need! The challenge pushed me to come up with new combinations I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Recording each day has given me a record of outfit ideas for when I’m feeling uninspired.

Speaking of photos, I wasn’t a fan of getting someone to photograph me everyday. I was ok asking people, but thinking of an interesting pose and location got tiresome quickly! I started off asking strangers because it was interesting to see what they came up with. Expediency meant I often relied on my trusty Instagram husband though. Poor guy! The best solution to my boredom was to feature whatever was happening that day in the photograph.

I felt like I was wearing my clothes a lot. Yet when I looked back on it, I realised it wasn’t as much as I thought. The #30wears challenge encourages people to buy clothes they’d want to wear at least 30 times. My most popular garment were my blue casual trousers. I only wore them 13 times over the 100 days. At that rate, it’d take me around 9 months to reach 30 wears. For some of my less frequently worn clothes, the required wearing period blows out to 10 years!

Its useful to remember there’s a bias in these numbers. Some of the ‘infrequent’ clothes are winter clothes that I don’t need much in warm weather. The numbers helped show me the clothes that were excess to my needs, less flexible or just not loved. I’ve gotten them out of my wardrobe and passed them on 🙂

Graph mapping frequency of wears during the challenge against years to reach 30 wears

So what does my wardrobe look like this year? It’s down to 49 pieces from 61 last year. A lot of that culling came from what I learnt during my 100 days challenge. I’ve also gotten better at airing my clothes between wears. This means I don’t need to wash as often, and reduces how many items I ‘need’. Check out each image caption for details of what I’ve included.

Are the drawers much different? A little. I’ve probably only reduced about 10 items here. Things like socks and jocks will stay with me till they wear out. I have a life-time’s supply of pantyhose from thrift stores so no more buying needed there! I’d like to think of something to do with my old baby blanket (bottom right corner of the bottom right image). It’s nostalgic, but it’s just sitting there without a purpose and what’s the point of that?

This year I got up the energy to include my shoes, bags and jewellery. I’ve decluttered my jewellery and bags down to what I use often, but shoes are tough! Do I really need the dancing heels? No one wants old battered shoes. I’m holding on to the white flats, white sneakers and runners even though I don’t need them.

It occurs to me I should include my hats! Next time 🙂

I’m such a procrastinator, I’ve got pretty much the same holes as last year. I’d still love a winter dress. I’d like some work-standard knit tops for summer and winter. I’ll keep an eye out for a basic coat that fits me better. I keep on top of my weight to avoid getting new trousers 😉

Over to you now! What have you learnt by looking over my wardrobe? How has your collection changed over the year?

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5 Responses to Wardrobe audit 2016

  1. norma says:

    Very interesting. I’ve followed all your links and thought about this quite a bit. You managed to get a lot of variety and fun outfits from your items.
    I have many fewer clothes than this time last year but I still wear only a small number of them on a regular basis. I need to think long & hard about this

  2. norma says:

    I will try to post about it when I’ve had a think

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