Clothes I’m not wearing

I’ve never been super dedicated to getting rid of clothes that I haven’t worn for awhile. I still have a small stockpile of clothes at my parents house.  I don’t currently like them enough to have them in my regular clothing rotation, but it’s nice to have some extra clothes whenever I visit.  It’s also a pleasant surprise to rediscover things I liked back in high school & college and left at my parents’.  Maybe someday, when styles have come around again, some of those clothes (my beloved velvet paisley dress!) will be a part of my regular wardrobe again.   It’s only a few more years before some of those clothes will count as home-grown vintage.

The clothes under my bed are a size too small.  I can zip them up, but it’s not cute or comfortable for me.  I know most closet clean outs recommend getting rid of any clothes that don’t currently fit, but I love these clothes and was wearing them a year and a half ago.  I gained a couple of inches (I own a tape measure but no scale) and had to hide all my most fitted clothes so that I’d stop trying them on every morning.  Since one of my 2014 goals is eating better/exercising more regularly, I hope they can rejoin my wardrobe soon.

The clothes currently hiding under my bed:

Clothes under my bed5 dresses | 2 blouses | 5 pants | 3 shorts | 11 skirts

I also have a giant stack of clothes that need some level of tailoring/fixing.  Some things should be within my capabilities of fixing (basic hemming, taking up straps) and some things will need a professional.  Some of these clothes have been in the to-be-fixed pile for too long.  Publishing this should obligate me to doing something about them.

Clothes to fix2 sweaters | 4 tops | 4 skirts | 3 dresses | 1 pair of leggings | 2 pants

This seems like too much work, but I currently have more free time than money.  Also I like these clothes enough that I want them to be everyday wearable but I’m not so fond that I will be heartbroken if they are horribly ruined.

I also created a list of clothes I wish I owned, even though I’m probably not going to buy them anytime soon.

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Outerwear and Shoes

I love my coats and jackets. Part of this, I think stems from the fact that I didn’t really own a proper coat for most of my childhood – I grew up in southern CA and AZ and a hoodie sufficed for most winters.


  • 4 coats (wool & parka)
  • 4 trench coats
  • 8 jackets

16 total.  That doesn’t seem too bad, but I have favorites that I’ll wear for weeks and a few that I wear maybe once or twice a year (mostly those transitional coats – I need different light options so I can stop wearing my super old jacket that doesn’t fit very well).  Also, several of them are getting worn down and I’ll need to replace within the next couple of years.

I have way more shoes than I had realized.  It’s not really a surprise because my shoes live in three different places – in season shoes live in my hallway,  out of season shoes live in my hall closet (some on the floor and some in a hanging shoe rack) and my fancy shoes live on shelves in my bedroom.  This separation made sense at one point, but it really kept me from realizing how it has all added up.  Now, when I look at how many shoes I own and how much money must have been spent on shoes that don’t fit very well or that have fallen apart… this doesn’t even include the shoes in my donate pile right now.


I have:

  • 10 boots
  • 4 heels
  • 5 wedges
  • 11 pairs of flats
  • 3 casual shoes
  • 5 athletic/skater shoes
  • 1 hiking boots (these need to be replaced some day because they started rubbing the back of my ankle)
  • 3 sandals
  • 3 flip-flops (the brown ones are just about worn through, but old navy hasn’t had this style for the last 2-3 years so I’m still clinging to them.  Luckily I don’t wear flip-flops much anymore – they’re too casual for anything except beach time and reading in the park)

45 things that go on my feet.  It’s crazy.

For some reason, this massive pile of shoes feels more shocking than my piles of other clothes.   I wear a very common 7/37.5.  The last couple of years, working near a downtown TJ Maxx and Ross and living in boot weather, has really increased my shoe wardrobe.  I also discovered that the last Nordstrom’s Last Chance is in Scottsdale (how did I not know this was a thing?) and bought several pairs when I was visiting my parents at Thanksgiving.

280 items of clothing.  That’s not as bad as I had thought it was going to be, although I didn’t count t-shirts, exercise clothes, jammies, or any of the random other things that live in drawers.  It’s still more clothing than I wear with any sort of regularity.

As I continue to go through the clothes in my closet, I’m beginning to realize that it’s not necessarily that I want to get rid of all my clothes for some arbitrary minimalist clothes (I’m not really a minimalist by nature).  I’m beginning to think it’s that I want to have a more streamlined selection in my closet so that I have an easier time deciding what to wear in the morning without trying on half a dozen things only to remember that they don’t fit or I don’t really like them.

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Sweaters and hoodies

I don’t think I owned a cardigan until I was in college.  My junior year, I did a semester in DC (“Transforming Communities” at American) and bought black dress pants, Payless heels, button-down tops and cardigans (a few of which I still own – oh what the heck, here’s a picture of the button-down and cardigans I still own from that semester; the pants stopped fitting, and the shoes broke).  This was my idea of proper grown up work clothes.  I’m really glad my wardrobe has gotten more “me” (although moving away from that uniform probably also contributed to my current dilemma of owning too many clothes).

And now I own too many cardigans and sweaters. (I am far too lazy to edit my photographs.  Sorry?)


  • 6 vests/shells
  • 2 short-sleeved sweaters
  • 2 shrugs
  • 9 short/half/three-quarter sleeved cardigans
  • 3 three-quarter sleeved sweaters
  • 8 long- sleeved sweaters
  • 14 long-sleeved cardigans

44 total sweaters and cardigans.  That’s actually many more than I had realized.  Why do I have so many clothes?


My sweatshirts/hoodies and blazers + suits (that I never wear, although job hunting is in my near future so maybe I’ll get the opportunity to wear them soon).  Actually, I don’t wear any of my blazers either but I refuse to get rid of them because I could conceivably have a job where blazer wearing is expected.

  • 13 sweatshirts/hoodies
  • 8 blazers
  • 2 suits (1 pantsuit, 1 skirt suit.  I suppose that’s two additional blazers, another pair of pants and another skirt)

23 outer tops.  I’m pretty sure that holding onto clothes for a theoretical future is silly. That’s not going to stop me though.

219 total items counted

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Blouses and pants

I have a lot of nice blouses and I dislike wearing most of them.


Not all the time.  But several of these tops need camisoles under them.  And when I’ll be wearing a cardigan over everything, that extra layer seems like too much some days.  I end up wearing the same handful of items or else the lazy tank top + cardigan combination, which is easy, but not as put together as my personal preference.

I also dislike button-downs.  They feel too constrictive. You’d think I’d stop buying them and I mostly have.  I have been better at wearing the ones I already own since I discovered the magic of fashion tape.  Taping up the gaping buttons makes me less paranoid that I’m going to flash everyone.

  • 4 long-sleeved button-downs
  • 8 short-sleeved button-downs
  • 27 blouses
  • 6 knit tops
  • 2 vests
  • 1 strapless top thing

48 total!

I am actually surprised to discover I own more hanging tops than I do skirts.  I think this speaks more to my skirt issue than any balance in my closet.

Of course, this doesn’t include my graphic tees (which live on a shelf), my knit sleeveless tanks (which also live on a shelf), my layering tees (which live in a drawer) and my other knit tops/tees (which live in a different drawer).  I have not yet decided if I’m bothering to photograph and count those.  I’m thinking that since I don’t want to, that probably means I should (that’s how people make decisions, right?).

Time has passed and I decided to take a  photos.  But I’m still not counting them.  I moved the things in drawers onto these shelves for picture-taking purposes.  I had to move random other things that normally live on these shelves to a pile on my bed to make room.  The sacrifices I make.


Top row: Layering tees, graphic tees, other tees

Bottom Row: Colorful camisoles, tank tops, white camisoles

Really, my camis could be combined because I don’t have that many, but I really hate when I accidentally grab my off-white cami instead of a white one, so they’re separated.  I usually layer white ones under thin tops and colorful ones if they’re going to be seen.


I don’t wear pants as often as I wear skirts or dresses.  Part of that is simply that pants are trickier to fit for me, I’m too lazy to get things altered that often and pants show weight gains less forgivingly than skirts do (at least on me).


I own:

  • 6 jeans
  • 4 casual/weekend pants (hiking pants, snow pants, cords)
  • 7 business/casual pants (chinos, trousers)

17 pairs seems like a lot considering how rarely I wear pants.  I predict a lot of these will be going after I try to convince myself to wear them.  Or some of them might move to my box under the bed.

I also own three pairs of shorts (which I haven’t photographed because I forgot).   I wore one of those pairs significantly more than the other two last year (mmm maroon knee-length shorts.  Those are still on trend, right?)

152 counted items of clothing

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Book storage

I’m spending all sorts of time thinking about how I keep my clothes, but I also wanted to share my books.  For some reason, even when I get worried about how much money and space I’m spending on clothes, my books get a free pass.  They only take up one bookcase in my apartment (not counting the books that end up on my nightstand), but when I was a kid, I had 3 bookcases (15 shelves – I think each shelf was about 2.5 feet long, so we’re talking at least 37.5 linear feet of books).  I did a little book clean out when I went off to college, then a much bigger clean out when I moved up to OR.  Recently, I was back at my parents house and sorted through (again) to sell books to Bookman’s (a local chain of used media – I love them).  I think my parents are down to just 1.5 bookcases of my books 🙂  My parents are also book lovers, so they’ve been really nice about keeping my books for me.

Book shelf

My bookshelves are so messy.  But lifestyle blogging is all about realism, right? This is my one bookcase here.

I also have a smaller bookcase that’s full of library books.

Library bookcase

Talking about clothes at this stage is easier than coming up with things to say about books.  I’m just cataloging my wardrobe, which is easier for me than coming up with thinky thoughts about books.  This might be a personal issue (maybe I’m not reading enough!) or maybe it means I need to think more critically about my wardrobe.

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Initial count of dresses and skirts


These are my dresses. The summer silks and cottons are on the right in this photo. Most of my dresses are dark: black, grey, navy, purpley-red.  Pink and brighter blue show up in my summer wardrobe.  I have a couple of outliers, but most of my dresses are solid, although again prints are more permissible in summer.  This really is interesting (to me.  Again, I recognize that MostlyShelved is mostly navel gazing for my own entertainment).

I just realized I forgot to include my sweater dresses because they live in a drawer.  I have six.  You will note that they also live in the black/grey/blue realm.  Two of these (maybe three if I’m being honest) of these are more tunic-y in the sense that I need very opaque leggings to feel okay wearing them out and about because they are fairly short.  I’m not really one for exposing myself in public.


I just counted my hanging dresses and I have 35.  I admit, I’m a bit surprised that I could wear a different dress every day for more than a month without repeats.

Skirts are my favorite item of clothing.  They fit beautifully even when I gain or lose an inch (except my pencil skirts, but I love them anyway).  They can create all sorts of lovely silhouettes depending on what I want to look like that day.  I can get away with wearing stretchy materials and elastic waistbands while still looking like a professional grownup.

Skirts are another clothing item that rotates throughout the seasons.  My thick wools and knits get put away each spring.  My cottons and unlined skirts get to come out then and provide some much needed color and brightness to my wardrobe.  I love them all year round, although Portland weather has made me invest in piles of tights.


I own too many skirts and not enough skirt hangers.  These are mostly all doubled up for picture taking purposes, but it’s rare for all my skirts to be in my closet at the same time.  The more summery skirts are mostly on the left in this picture.
43 skirts! How do I own even more skirts than I do dresses?  My closet is like a TARDIS.  I have no idea how all these clothes have been crammed in here

84 items of clothing counted thus far.

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Closet clean out begins!

Over the next several weeks, I plan on documenting my initial closet clean out (interspersed with thoughts about whatever books I’m currently reading).

I’m going to be looking at my dresses, skirts, tops, pants, sweaters, outerwear, and shoes (wow there are a lot of clothing categories).  I’m also sorting through my at-home, exercise, and under-clothes, but I’ve made the decision that no one actually needs to read about those.

I even pulled down my spring/summer clothing box so that I could sort through everything all at once instead of having to do this again in a few months.

Clothing I don’t plan to keep will go into my sell/donate pile.   I haven’t had a huge amount of success with most of the local consignment shops, but I console myself by thinking something is better than nothing.  That’s also what I remind myself when I get 1/10th the original book price back when I sell to Powell’s or Bookman’s.

I think I’m supposed to have lots of pictures on my blog.  Isn’t that the thing?  Blogs are way more visual than they used to be.  If I had been more thoughtful, I would have taken a before picture of my closet and maybe a shot of my out-of-season storage (i.e. a box kept on the shelf in my closet).

My picture taking equipment consists of an oldish Samsung point-and-shoot (I bought it in 2010, which is ancient by cheap camera standards) and my phone.  I’m interested in the idea of taking outfit photos, but I dislike the idea of putting lots of pictures of myself on the internet.  I don’t think I currently read any outfit blogs that don’t include pictures of people wearing said outfit, but I might throw in (blurry) photos of my clothes arranged on my dirty carpet (my vacuum cleaner broke last week).  That’s practically style blogging, right?

It’s really for the best that I have zero expectations of ever becoming a big time blogger.  Since I don’t plan on mentioning this to my real-life friends and I’m terrible at commenting on other blogs, I have expectations approaching zero that anyone other than me will ever read any of this.

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