This post is a reflective response to the  question ‘Has the year changed how you feel about shopping?’ from the wonderful @memotype

It looks like I might make it down the home stretch of the Wardrobe Workout challenge in good health.

After feeling pretty damn average since returning from holidays, I may have kicked the recent virus. The voice is still on the mend but other than that everything is fine and dandy and that means back-to-work time tomorrow.

Over the past few days there has been plenty of time for me to think about how this year has progressed and work on making plans for future wardrobe additions.

Yes, shopping plans.

The days of spontaneous purchases are over.

Pre challenge there was nothing I enjoyed more than heading to the farmers markets on a Sunday, doing my grocery shopping and picking up some second had designer or vintage treasures at the bric-a-brac stalls. Most of these items would fit me, be ‘my style’, and look fabulous. So there were not that many ‘mistakes’ to be made. Given that most of us have a set amount of storage space for fashion and only seven days in a week there really are limits to what we can and should own. No matter how fabulous, stylish, and ‘you’ the items you buy are.

My eye for finding what I loved in every thrift shop and market on the face of the planet, in addition to all the other junk I had to buy working in fashion retail, it is safe to say my closets were exploding. So much so, the backs were falling off the, rails were falling down, and drawers didn’t close. As thrifing supports charity, is inexpensive, and is effectively ‘recycling’ no one saw problems with my dress up games.

It wasn’t until the Wardrobe Workout began that I realised exactly how much time I would spend sifting through clothing to find what I wanted to wear. This is lost time that can never be reclaimed. Playing dress ups is fun, but being an aware part of planet Earth makes me feel like my time could be better spent elsewhere on something that will make a positive difference to more than just myself. With my closet now paired back to a manageable size the thought of filling it with more wonderful items makes me nervous. No longer does the though of ‘more’ appeal to me. Having a set number of wonderful, wearable, and easy to mix an match items is far more appealing than overflowing shelves of non-functional loveliness (as much fun as that is to play dress ups with).

Last night and for around an hour today I wrote an Excel inventory of every item of clothing in my closet. My evening inventory  was written from memory, not as a test, just because I was comfortable on the couch and engrossed in a movie and couldn’t bear moving. When I headed into my closet with the lap top today I was surprised to see that I had listed around 80% of the contents of my closet without even looking at it. Had I been given this challenge prior to my Wardrobe Workout my recall percentage would likely have been around 20% and the actual list of items would have taken days to type up!

After breaking down my lifestyle into wardrobe specific ‘chunks’ and working out what ratio each chunk of my life consumes (i.e. work, gym, field work, dinner, going out, casual daywear) I have been working on the quantities of clothing I need to be dressed for these activities and seeing what is over and underrepresented in each area. So far I have successfully worked out what I own and need for the gym, field work, and regular work, and created shopping ‘wish’ lists accordingly. These areas are specific and easy to tackle. The next areas will not be so easy as I head into loungewear, casual day, dinners, and evening wear. It looks like a long process for those and until I have assessed them there will be no incoming items!

So there you have it. Rather than being a spontaneous past time my shopping has become strategic, and honestly I don’t mind the changed approach one bit. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be thrifting to enjoy and markets to attend it will just be approached strategically.

Here’s hoping I can keep my wardrobe clutter free and purposeful!

Outfit Notes: Seriously casual and comfy for the skinnies and a sweater @whowhatwearchallenge. This jumper is SO well loved. When I got it at the farmers markets many years ago it was bright yellow. Since then it has changed colours three times. The remnant ‘red’ patches on the shoulders were from an ‘orange’ dye experiment that wasn’t mixed very well and ended up brown instead. Oops. It has been happily green for some time now (perhaps late last year?) and even though its unravelling on one of the sleeves and marked I plan to stitch  it up and wear it regardless of its flaws because it is just so damn comfy! Pfffttt…perhaps stained unravelling jumpers aren’t so ‘this season’ but wearing something long enough for it to fall apart has a romantic quality to it. If only clothing could tell the tales of its journeys.  

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