Una's five day challenge, and several people's urging me to figure out my proportions and silhouettes to aid me in shopping for clothing made me pause the past day or two to reassess in detail what I actually own now that I have finished my closet clean-out. I started with sweaters because I had so many of them, close to 100. (Well actually more than 100 but I didn't want to admit this publicly.)
My current count is 53 +1. 17 of them are cardigans and the rest are pullovers. I reduced by more than 50%. The original goal was to cut back by 1/3. Here are the actual numbers:
1. Long sleeve Crew Neck Sweaters - 13
2. Tunic Length turtle neck sweaters - 6
3. Hip length turtle neck sweaters - 5
4. Short sleeve crew neck sweaters - 2
5. Sweater sets - 2
6. Boatneck sweaters - 2
7. Sweater shells - 1
8. Pullover Hoodie sweaters - 3
The next grouping of sweaters are my toppers. I don't have any blazers or jackets that I wear because I have had such a hard time with fit issues. For example if they fit n the shoulders the torso is too wide, or the sleeves are too short. I keep trying though! Trust me, I keep trying. Instead I use cardigans.
9. Zip up Hoodie sweaters - 2
10. Hip length v-neck cardigans - 6
11. Statement sweater topper - 4
12. Wrap ballerina sweater - 2
13. Hip length cardigan Crew - 3
Looking at my numbers has been interesting for several reasons. For one, I see that I have 8 main sweater silhouettes. Each gets paired with one or maybe two different types of bottoms for variety. I won't go through them all, but for example, my tunic length turtlenecks can go with either skinny jeans, or with a pencil skirt. The boatneck sweaters can interestingly pair with any of my bottoms. The long sleeve crew neck sweaters are less versatile, in that they only seem to go with my straight leg jeans or skinny jeans when wearing boots.. Maybe they can go with straight leg slacks also? Despite this, it is my largest category. Straight leg jeans are also my largest category in the bottoms department so they are equally matched. So, here is one way to see what silhouettes I wear.
I definitely don't wear all these types of sweaters during all parts of the fall/winter. For example, I wouldn't wear my short sleeve crews once the weather gets cold, the same goes for the sweater sets, which are both made of light weight/summer weight cashmere. Some of the sweaters are heavier than others, some are merino wool, some cashmere, and some are a mix, some are chunkier, some are fine knit. All this means that there are fewer sweaters in rotation at any given moment than the numbers may indicate.
If I were to do anything with the basics, which are the first set of numbers, I would work to increase the variety in color and improve the quality. I could possibly add some more pattern or texture. I can also see some ways that I may be able to increase the variety of my silhouettes just by working on my sweaters, if I wanted to. For example, I see that I do not have any tunic length crew neck sweaters? I don't have any cropped sweaters to wear with my high waist jeans. I don't have any funnel necks, mock necks, and there is not much variety in the type of sleeves. I like boat-neck sweaters but only have two of them and they are both the same length. I happen to love my cashmere pullover hoodies, but I was left with only 3 of them, one is light weight and 2 are for winter. I would want to increase this if I find any in good colors. (Could this count as sporty luxe? They may not be so fashionable, but I love them and for whatever reason, the neckline looks good on me.)
In the sweater topper category, I have a lot of hip length cardigans, but this is an awkward length for my jeans and slacks. I could use some cardigans that are cropped or longer length. This current length works best with my pencil skirts, the colors I have do not coordinate well with my current skirts. This may take some time to work out. It looks like I have more than I need - 9 (v neck plus crew) ??! I think I'm over stocked. I love my ballerina wrap sweaters, but I hardly ever wear them unless I am wearing a light colored sheath dress or a fit and flare dress in cold weather. I think they are a classic item, so I'm keeping them. I have 4 statement toppers two of which have fur! I can clearly expand on this category and stay away animal embellishments! I'm knitting one sweater which will fit into the category, but it's coming along slowly. Very slowly.......
Finally, there was one item I didn't know how to categorize. I'm not sure if I will keep it. It's a brown cashmere moto jacket cardigan. I love it despite it being the wrong color. I haven't been able to purge this sweater! If I can find a replacement for it, I will, but for now, it stays. I will find a way to wear it. It may not look the best, but I just love how it feels when I wear it.
So, that's it. My new sweater numbers, which I can actually fully account for! I plan to keep it that way. If I purchase anything new, one will be eliminated. I think the total number is good, it just needs some re-distribution and tweaking. For example, I don't need 9 hip length cardigans! I probably only need 3 or 4. I also don't think I need 13 long sleeve crew's, I like turtle necks better. How many white turtleneck tunic sweaters do I need? I have 4 of them. I can probably eliminate a few of them - they will probably eliminate themselves by getting stained or dirty
I learned a lot from this exercise, most importantly is that I have many more silhouettes than I expected. I haven't even added in variety in boots, scarves or accessories, etc. What do you think? See any gaps I should think about? Any styles I should add or consider?
Thanks for reading this very long post!