Friday, March 14, 2014

Numbers Exercise

I've been playing with numbers again and again trying to figure out how many items in each general category is optimal for me. I think I've finally hit upon a good way to estimate.

I tend to leave my home 6 days a week, sometimes more and sometimes less.

An ideal week for me is one dress, one skirt, 4 dressy tops, 1 casual top, 2 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of jeans. Jackets would be perhaps 2 times a week and cardigans another 3 times.

There are 52 weeks a year, so these are the number of opportunites per wear:

52 times in a dress
52 times in a skirt
104 times in trousers
104 times in jeans
208 times in dressy tops and sweaters
52 times in a casual top or sweater
104 times in jackets
156 times in cardigans

Now I can divide each category by the number of times I'd like to wear a particular item in a year and that is the number of items I should own per category.

If I go with 10 wears per item, these are the numbers:

5 skirts
5 dresses
10 trousers
10 jeans
21 dressy tops and sweaters
5 casual tops or sweaters
10 jackets
16 cardigans

Please note, this doesn't count formal wear or lounge/gardening wear, but it's a great place to start for me. It doesn't take much of seasonal changes into account excepting that approximately 1x a week I would wear a sweater top and not need a cardigan, which is fair because in the summer I still wear cardigans for the AC and in the winter I wear sweaters often enough to offset no sweaters in the summer numbers-wise.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to find that I'm not too far from my estimates currently, and that makes me feel good. I need to do an inventory again after all this purging and with my new purchases to see exactly where I am.


  1. I love how you are as much into numbers as I am, Meli! I would love to get to the point where I am wearing all of my clothes at least 10 times per year. Looking at your calculations, I can see that I need FAR fewer clothes if I'm ever going to make that happen. Since I DO still have so much, I've set the bar a bit lower for 2014. If I can wear everything in my closet (or most of it) 5 times this year, I would be very happy! But eventually my goal is the same as yours. I think you have a great chance of making it happen this year. Good for you! You've made amazing progress already!

    1. Thanks Debbie for stopping by! Yeah, I'm most definitely a numbers geek. 10 sounded like a great number to me, but I think I may have too much wardrobe in certain categories if 10 is my goal. The funny part is that 10 a year seems so LOW- it's not even once a month, and good-quality items most certainly won't wear out in a few years with that kind of light use. It certainly makes project 333 far more appealing- it makes it seem more doable.

  2. I just had a chance to catch on a bunch of your posts. First, congrats on no spending for a month! I tried to do that myself but only made it for about 3 weeks. I justified my spending as purchasing items I "needed," but really, I probably didn't need them. However, I have been more selective in what I bought, made sure to get rid of old stuff as new was coming in, and am buying very basic colors.

    I am coming up on the end of my first round of Project 333. I feel as though it has been a success for me. I was very mindful of what I wore and if I wore something that was really uncomfortable all day, it went right into the giveaway pile that night. I made sure to never look back either. New round of P333 starts April 1, and I plan to be ruthless when choosing my clothes. The only problem I foresee is that temps here on the East Coast can go from 40s in April to 90s in June. This will definitely be a challenge.

    The other challenge I have is that I've eaten my way out of many of my warmer weather clothes. I refuse to purchase replacements, especially because I really like what I already have. I started Weight Watchers yesterday and every time I take a sip of the dreaded water (I hate drinking water), I just remember my fabulous WHBM dresses that I can barely squeeze into, and that gives me all of the motivation I need.

    Anyway, I need to update my blog. I've done nothing this winter. Now that spring has sprung, it's time to get back to purging. Keep up your great work!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I've been super busy and apologize for taking so much time to respond.

      I'm glad to hear about your project 333- congrads!! I hope you write about it on your blog :)

      I can identify with fit issues- I'm also up in weight and find a lot of my pants and dresses a bit too tight. I'm slowly workin on eating healthy but I sometimes feel like my motivation/willpower burns out and I can only do so many projects at a time!

  3. Wow I love all the work you did to figure out these numbers! It seems like a great way to make sure you wear everything throughout the year.

    1. It took a lot of puzzling, but it was important for me to set some kind of number goal that wasn't arbitrary so I was really motivated to stick to it! I want to get my $'s worth out of my clothing, particularly now that I spend more than I used to. A $10 top is not as big of a waste as a $40 top if you only wear it a few times!