Friday, August 26, 2016

Wardrobe Tracking and Minimalism

I began to track my wears again for my wardrobe and plan to do it for at least a year as part of my year of intentional shopping. I started tracking officially August 8th, two days before my ‘year’ started. I want to really drive home to myself how little I wear what I have, and hope to wake myself up and stop buying things I don’t need. I stopped tracking my wears about two years ago, and I stopped tracking my inventory at least a year ago I think. I did both for quite some time and the awareness, if nothing else, is very helpful.

The Tools

My tracking has always been pretty simple- I have a spreadsheet where I write the item of clothing down in one cell, and then in the next cell increase the quantity by 1 every time I wear it. They’re divided roughly by category: Bottoms, Tops, Layering pieces, Dresses, Shoes, and Accessories. I update the date I updated the sheet so I know if I forgot a day. I am taking and posting my OOTDs Mon-Fri (more if possible) every week, which helps me remember if I do forget more than a day so I can update the numbers. I try to update at least every-other day.

This same spreadsheet also serves as an inventory (though it obviously started out lacking items). I’ve added to the list (with 0 wears) everything I could think of that I have in my closet, and add missing items as I wear them. It’s not a perfect system- I’ll have to do an official inventory in another month or two, but it gives me a good idea if nothing else. I have plans to do some needed purging when I complete my inventory. I have upgraded a few items and now plan to resell/give away those replaced items, and I have some items that are unworn that are likely mistakes.

On Wardrobe Minimalism

When I finally do my official inventory and purge, I’ll make sure I post about the process. I’ve done many of these and they’re very helpful for me personally. Inventory in particular helps because I am constantly aware of my numbers and can check wardrobe creep. Rather than focusing on purging though, I’ll be keeping a close eye on purchasing instead. I don’t have a target number of items to own and don’t plan on setting one- I don’t like how obsessive it can make me by trying to achieve an arbitrary number.

On the flip side, I still want to pursue ‘minimalism’. When it comes to keeping my wardrobe minimal, I mean minimal for me personally. My wardrobe is not going to look like the popular ‘minimalist’ wardrobes you can see online. It’s not all neutrals (SO not me), it’s not 30 pieces, and I don’t obsess over numbers or ‘curating’ it every season or biannually. 

But what, then, does a minimal wardrobe mean for me? I want it to be a bit smaller than it is now, high-quality, versatile, and I want to really only purchase a few things a year versus constantly acquiring and purging. I know what you’re thinking- If I’m still buying things, how am I going to downsize my wardrobe? Well, first of all I mentioned above that I have ‘fluff’ in my wardrobe that can be eliminated. My purchases would have to be fewer (hence the item limit and budget I set for myself for the next year) and they would be mostly replacing items I already own—not likely because they are duplicates, but because they will fit better and be more versatile than the item I let go. I won’t necessarily be swapping like for like in every category- I’m willing to expand a little on my accessories, which help make unique and interesting outfits. I’m also willing to decrease my bottoms selection, because I have too many and they don’t all fit perfectly. I’d like more variety of styles in my layering pieces/toppers. So really, I’ll see where this goes- but if adding an item gives me more mileage on the rest, it’s a smart decision. Adding a duplicate of something I already have, though, is not!

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