After a week of books, comes my other great love: clothes.
I like clothes. I like coming up with outfits that are comfy enough for whatever I need to do that day but still pretty. I’m the first to admit I’m somewhat narcissistic, but my goal with getting dressed is the hope that I’ll be pleased with the reflection whenever I walk past a mirror or darkened window. The February book club book was Mary Poppins and it made me laugh in self-recognition every time she would stop to preen in a window. I’m really more like book Mary Poppins than movie Mary Poppins.
I spent over a thousand dollars on clothes last year (of which about half was spent on shoes). This may not be a huge clothing budget to some people, but it was way more than I had realized I was spending, especially since I don’t think of myself as a big shoe person and most of my clothes are thrifted or clearance – there is no way I should be spending so much, especially when I just end up donating a bunch of clothes every year. I was reading The Overworked American and the author said something about a group of people estimating they spent $2000 a year on clothes but actually spending $6000. I’m not that off target, but it gets harder for me to judge clothing spending when I read too many style blogs. Somehow they spend within their budget for a boatload of clothes. Then I realized many budgeters didn’t include gift cards or money made from eBay/consignment. Whatever works for them, but there’s no way for me to keep up with those Joneses. I successfully wrote down all the clothes I bought in 2013, which both kept me on track financially (the same way a food diary keeps people on track – having to write it down makes me make “healthier” choices) but also helped me from forgetting I had purchased something.
Some day in the future, I’ll babble on about how spending money on clothes doesn’t fit in with my overall budgeting plans. Which again will only be interesting to me.
My current 2014 clothing goals
- Stop buying so many shoes – Do I really need so many pairs of boots? Well, maybe…
- Wear the clothes I own – I think spending a bit of time to document the clothes I own would help me not forget those items that get shoved to the back of my shelves when trying to figure out what to wear.
- Only buy clothes I need – After I wear the clothes I already have, I should be in a better place to identify clothing needs. And then I can buy those clothes. It’s a terrific plan.
I think I have more clothing storage than I should need. I have a decent sized closet (12ft of hanging rods with a shelf above). I have two teeny Rast drawers from Ikea (I needed a really narrow dresser for the wall across from my bed. Really, I would prefer one 6-drawer dresser but the ones I like are too deep. Maybe one day I can get all DIY and fancy them up) with shelves above them. I also have 15 squares of shelf (a 6 cube shelf and a 9 cube shelf), some of which have cloth baskets. I have a box of clothes that don’t fit under my bed (they’re a size too small but they were wearable a year and a half ago. I’m also trying to eat better/exercise more in 2014, so I’m trying that for a bit before I commit to getting rid of them), a box of summer clothes in my closet, and a hall coat closet. My shoes fill the hall closet and hallway (we’re a no-shoes household, so shoes get kicked off in the hallway once I get home. It’s on my to-do list to think of a tidier way to store my shoes). My apartment is filled with clothing storage.
When I moved into this apartment, I just had my closet, 1 Rast, and one narrow shelving thing (that is currently used to hold clothes that need alterations but I’m too lazy to fix/hem. So really, it still counts as clothing storage). I’ve just been adding furniture to store clothes that I rarely wear. It’s a little painful to think of how many items of clothing I’ve bought and how much money I’ve spent over the last several years.
My action plan? Clean through my closet. I have shoes that need to be re-heeled, skirts/dresses/pants that need to be hemmed, other clothes that need repairs. I own a sewing machine and have ample free time (at least for now), which means I’m going to be relearning how to fix my clothes. The shoes are going to a professional.
I’ll also be curbing my clothing buying habit by trying to better identify gaps in my wardrobe. Cleaning through and wearing what I own should make it easier to figure out all those clothes I wish I had. I’m also hoping I’ll rediscover clothes I had forgotten about.
After I sort through the clothes I own for basic wearability (does it fit? Would I go outside wearing it?) I’m doing that hanger trick where I hang all my clothes on backwards hangers and only turn them the proper way around after they’ve been worn.
I am also thinking about arbitrarily starting on one end of my closet and wearing each item of clothes sequentially. I’m interested in whether I’ll manage to create any interesting outfits. It might also work just to identify clothes I’m repeatedly skipping over. This might be a mishmash of every closet clearing trick I’ve ever read.
I wonder if I need to use Pinterest if I’m going to pretend to be a clothing blogger. I will think on this.