A Peek Inside a Closet in Crisis

So, where were we?

Oh yeah. I don’t have anything to wear. Which, after writing that out loud, I felt like some spoiled child in front of a television set, surfing channel after channel, saying “nothing’s on TV.”

And then I start to question myself: do I really need new clothes? Am I just looking for something new to obsess about? It’s not as bad as I thought, not really.


After some ironing and putting away laundry yesterday morning, I grabbed a pen and paper, and started looking through and counting. Here’s what I’ve got, at first pass:

  • Jeans: 2 pair (but only 1 gets worn; the other pair doesn’t fit very well.)
  • Pants: 3 pair; 2 casual, 1 dress. None of them fit very comfortably, either too loose or too tight.
  • Cropped/capri pants: 4 pair (only 1 gets worn, even though the fit isn’t the greatest; 1 was simply a mistake; the other 2 don’t fit.)
  • Shorts: 3 pair (only 1 gets worn out of the house; one doesn’t fit, and the other should be relegated to the grunt-work wardrobe.)
  • Skirts: 4; 1 casual, 3 dress; 2 of those 3 are part of a skirt/jacket set.
  • Skorts – and believe me, I shudder to be honest about this: 2
  • Dress shirts: 0
  • Shells: 3
  • Casual shirts: 12
  • T-shirts (plain, not the ones I use for exercising/painting): 4; only 2 are currently in a wearable condition, though. Some stains, wear, and even tear have relegated the rest to the “not to be worn out in public” category.
  • Jackets: 4, counting the 2 that are part of the skirt/jacket sets.
  • Cardigans: 4
  • Sweater sets: 2
  • Dresses: 2
  • Sweaters: 22
  • Formal wear: 2
  • Shoes 10 pairs

Looks like quite a bit, doesn’t it? Makes me feel shallow and materialistic, and like I’ve succumbed to that narcissistic rabbit hole that blogs can become. After all, this isn’t part of the usual subject matter for this blog, but it’s been preoccupying my mind as laundry is very much part of this blog’s subject matter. Seems a bit sweater-centric too, but then again, we live on the prairie. Subject to many months of cold.

Taking that first list, I went through and removed the items that haven’t been worn in a year, or are no longer wearable/fit me. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Jeans: 1 pair
  • Pants: 0
  • Cropped/capri pants: 1 pair that should really be 0
  • Shorts: 1 pair
  • Skirts: 1
  • Skorts: 0
  • Dress shirts: 0
  • Shells: 2
  • Casual shirts: 8
  • T-shirts (plain, not the ones I use for exercising/painting): 2
  • Jackets: 0
  • Cardigans: 4
  • Sweater sets: 0
  • Dresses: 2
  • Sweaters: 16
  • Formal wear: 0
  • Shoes 8 pairs

That’s more realistic, but even as I was going through those clothes, I hung on to some things that fall more into a “purgatory” category. I just don’t know if I’ll still wear them – or should – but want to hold on to them just in case. There are also two sweaters that I do not wear, but will not discard because of the fun stories/memories associated with them.  And a couple pairs of shoes, like the sandals on my feet today, won’t be saved by the end of this season. They’re wearing through, and will be tossed.

So now I feel like I’ve got a better grasp of what’s really in my closet, and need to do two more things:

  1. Sift through items I no longer wear to figure out what’s still nice enough to donate to Goodwill. The rest of it should just go out to the trash.
  2. Start a list of items I should add, and see if I can prioritize them so I can start a piecemeal sort of shopping strategy.

I know I do not want to buy a bunch of stuff at once. I want to take a little time to figure out my own sense of what I want to look like. I know that I want to feel like I’m looking my best whether I’m going to the grocery store or meeting a business prospect – but that doesn’t mean I’m aiming for Yummy Mummy couture. It means being myself, whatever the heck that is.

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