Near the beginning of 2019 I decided to undertake a year-long effort at wardrobe building. Here’s the post where realized the necessity of that effort and set some parameters, and here’s an update at the half-year mark.

Now that 2019 is coming to an end, how did I do?

The short answer is that I feel like I am about halfway there.

(I also very much hope I will not be writing a post a year from now saying, “I feel like I’m about 2/3 of the way there.” Zeno’s paradox, anyone??)

Was this simply too ambitious a goal? Can wardrobe building be done in a year? I think it depends. If you are able to give the project sustained attention, what you like is readily available at retail, and you are aiming for something fairly minimal, I suspect so. But none of those things were quite true for me.

That’s ok. I have learned a LOT this year, and am ready to “relax into it,” as Angie would say.

I promised you numbers! Here are some:

  • At the beginning of 2019, I had 97 items in my 3-season wardrobe and 48 in my summer wardrobe for a total of 145.
  • Today, I have 89 3-season items, 53 summer, 13 transitional, and 5 outerwear for a total of 160.

Both of these totals include everyday clothing, footwear, and outerwear, but not lounge/sleepwear, dressy items, or accessories.

However, the overall numbers are not exactly equivalent (e.g., start 2019 includes some gear items but end 2019 does not.). And it’s difficult to compare more granularly, because I have changed how I have categorized my wardrobe (more on that later) and have swapped some items from one category to another.

But the idea that my wardrobe is modestly although not wildly larger than it was at the beginning of the year rings true to me.

I didn’t do a very good job of keeping track of purged items so I’m going to skip that. Hopefully I can do better at that in 2020, I'm a tracker/analyzer (no shade on anyone who's not) and I do think it's useful data.

I have added to my wardrobe a total of 83 items. This DOES include lounge/sleepwear, dressy items, accessories, and gear — everything except undies & socks. And I needed a major refresh/rebuild of lounge/pj/gym gear. So the “churn” in my regular wardrobe is not as high as that number would initially suggest.

The majority of my purchases are secondhand. I have purchased 17 items at retail (well, I bought more, but returned things. :-p ) and the remainder secondhand, mostly online. The categories with the highest percentages of retail purchases are shoes and sleep/lounge.

In the first comment below I'll put some numbers of purchases in various categories and how they went.