I did a wardrobe audit a few years ago. My wardrobe is probably on the smaller size. When I was working it was much larger. I love clothes and I love shopping for clothes. But I travel a lot now and I don't really need that many anymore.
I might count my clothes again this summer. Or not.

Where do I begin ? ( Theme from Love Story as sung by Andy Williams ensues )

T-shirts - about 20
Skivvies ( turtleneck tees, not American for undies ! ) - about 10
Shirts/blouses - 12
Sweaters/cardigans - about 20
Jeans - about 10
Slacks - about 10
Shorts - about 8
Longer movies - ( Joking ! )
Jackets - 6
Coats - 2
Hats/caps - 20-ish
Shoes/boots/sandals - 10


Lots more than I need but not as many as I want ! What Angie said is better than anything I can add.

I've never counted, nor do I want to, but I figure I'm in bj and Janet territory.

The basis for your question is well founded. A lot of us have struggled with what to do with clothing items (e.g., button down shirts) that no longer suit our style. It is an ongoing and difficult predicament because styles change and taste changes along with that. Too many of us keep the less-than-loved garments because we are loathe to donate perfectly good clothing items. Unfortunately, those items are rarely worn. They just take up closet space.

A year ago, Angie initiated a closet purge challenge. There are multiple posts that were written by challenge participants. You might find them helpful.

I participated and found the challenge to be incredibly "freeing." I donated a lot of clothing items and streamlined my entire wardrobe. It was difficult at first, but became easier. That closet purge was the starting point of my current wardrobe rebuild. I am rebuilding based on the knowledge I learned here on the Forum. My wardrobe is in a good place. I could never have achieved that without the help of Angie and Forum.


Thank you for asking, rmcsc, and especially for replying to The Cat so thoroughly. Welcome to the forum! I also read the site for a few months before signing up but being an active forum member is much better, not least being able to see the photos. I was like you, I felt quite out of control of my shopping in 2016 and called it my “clothes addiction”. I wasn’t nearly as addicted as many women, and I could afford it, but I just didn’t feel I was getting the purchases right or in the right balance a lot of the time. And I was somewhat of a hoarder of older or sentimental clothing so my wardrobe was overflowing our house! 3 different bedrooms ( ours, and 2 rooms that daughters had moved out of) were needed to hold my clothes and shoes!
I Googled “What is a normal sized wardrobe?” and that took me to the Recovering Shopaholic site, which then brought me to YLF. I have got so much better, I can’t tell you, and the forum has cheered me on the whole way. I still regard my wardrobe as quite large, for me, because I still struggle with not wearing some of it much but with reluctance to edit out the items in question. I think I still like them but then I pass them over again and again?

Sterling, thank you for you suggestion, I'll take a look on this purge challenge posts! I got rid of SO. MANY. THINGS. last year, it was insane. I don't know how it all could even fit in my wardrobe because it still seems pretty full. But I still feel like I can donate more, and that my wardrobe would benefit from it, and so would I! But still, it's pretty hard and can get confusing at times, specially if I'm being emotional about it (didn't get rid of a single dress because I LOVE wearing them, but did donate a lot of pants because...not a huge fan. Didn't regret it but how far can I go before this happens? So many questions! LOL)

Jenni, thank you! I actually don't even shop that much, but I gain a ton of clothes haha But I do feel like it's not in the right balance for sure - I actually have an entire wardrobe that didn't make it to my final count because omfg I can't even, but I sure started to select things to get rid of from it. Also I can totally relate to passing items over, but still feeling like I like them enough to keep them. It's terrible haha

Thanks for your replies, it's been really helpful!

rmcsc, thank you for your reply. I am glad the fabbers' comments have been helpful to you.

I wish you good luck with your continued purging. Here are some criterias I find it helpful to consider when editing my wardrobe--hopefully they can be of help to you too:
● (1) Is this item really my style? (Having a style moniker, style description, etc. can be very helpful!)
● (2) Does it fit me?
● (3) Do the colours work for me?
● (4) Is the quality still good, or does the item look worn and tired?
● (5) Does this item suit my present lifestyle (not a previous lifestyle or a fantasy lifestyle)?
● (6) If the answer to 5 is yes, when will I wear this item (e.g. several times each week, twice a month, or once a year), and how many of this kind of items do I actually need or want?

I like your questions The Cat especially 6.

I can work out 2-5 pretty easily, and 1 most of the time although I like some variety here. But for example in my life, I do not need lots of wool coats. I love them but I mostly walk in a puffer, and when it is cold it is also wet, and my dressy opportunities in winter are rare. One is enough, two would be okay, three is too many. If I commuted by walking to work in Canada I suspect one wool winter coat could be quite boring.

Sorry to thread hijack rmcsc- your answer could be quite different.

Actually Sal, I know it was just an example, but wool coats aren’t that useful in Canada, just not warm enough (unless very well made specifically for very cold weather - which most aren’t). The more temperate areas out west get a lot of rain so I suspect they’re not that practical there either. With the recent puffer trend I’d say a lot of people don’t have wool coats at all anymore. I used to think I needed at least one but haven’t had one in many years. Partly because I have my eye on a nice custom locally made one which *is* built for cold, but I keep thinking I’ll lose weight before I invest in such (not a mindset I practice otherwise, but it’d be a big expense and time/effort investment). Ha no, my weight has been pretty steady and by now I could have had one at my larger size for years. But it turns out I don’t need it anyway.
I find it so interesting that we are in a cultural moment where minimalism is valued for its own sake to the point where a simple question from a newbie is assumed to be ‘loaded’ with ideals or even judgment. I lean smaller wardrobe than some here but I don’t think purging/editing for the sake of Kondo or whatever is morally or environmentally superior in any way. This is also a website largely about shopping at least in its day to day surface content, so I’d be foolish to sit here judging people for doing exactly that. The only time I do get a bit defensive myself is when people make comments to the effect that those with smaller wardrobes must not be wearing out their clothes. I guess it’s assumed we purge more rather than buy less, which again seems very of this odd cultural moment with tons of cheap consumer goods but a focus on ‘minimalism’ and purging.

Thanks Jules. I think you are right re wool coats!!

I am trying to keep my closet at the same size - about 100 for clothes and shoes (if I include bags, loungewear and gear it gets to about 130- which is mostly gear). For me this is about right - it could be lower - but I feel stemming the inflow is the most important step. I am only doing an average job of that. I am tracking when a piece leaves my closet the reason why - to see how many are due to wear, or stains, or size, or just being over the style. I don't track wears just keep an inventory.

About 150 inc shoes and gear. Could use an edit-but waiting to see what my needs will be before adding or subtracting anything.

A little late to the party, but by my method of counting (everything but basics, sleepwear. and jewelry), I have 113 wardrobe items. If I use Angie's method, and also exclude accessories like bags, scarves, and hats, that drops to 92. Using runcarla's method that also excludes gear and shoes, I'm at 64 items.

What's more important, though, is that I have a wardrobe that covers my needs, fits in my closet, and makes me happy.

I feel like I have an awful lot of clothes, but I think it’s because my life is abnormally varied. I travel a lot and move internationally every 2-3 years, so constantly adjusting to new climates and cultural norms, and new jobs, as well as style and body shifts. I also do a lot of different activities that require specific gear: hiking/camping, yoga, meditation retreats, formal events for work, painting in the studio......this results in lots of different TYPES of clothes. I wear only a small portion of my wardrobe at any one time, and then rotate to the next portion as my needs change.

At times like this, I'm grateful that I use a spreadsheet! Here are my numbers:

Pants/Jeans: 11
Shorts: 3
Skirts: 12
Dresses/Jumpsuits: 8
Tops: 57 (that's a surprise!)
Sweaters: 9
Toppers: 8
Coats: 4
Shoes: 34
Bags: 4

This does not include workout gear, essentials [ETA: This should be basics, not essentials] (socks, undies, etc.), accessories, or loungewear.

I live in a four-season climate. I work part-time outside the home.

I was really surprised to see the number of tops. I have been feeling like I've been drowning in tops lately, and now I know why! I think I accumulated so many because I have been buying a lot of essentials in the past year--lots of tees (short and long sleeved) in neutrals.

I also got a new part-time job outside the home, so I needed a few pieces to spruce up my small work capsule. (Truth be told, it was really just an excuse to buy some new things...)

Also, I used to have much more of a boho element in my style, and that has changed in the last year, so those boho tops aren't getting worn as much and I bought new stuff that was more in keeping with my current style. But I still like the boho stuff and have the feeling that I will want to wear it again, maybe next year. Then maybe it will feel fresh and new and I can avoid buying more tops!

I just realized I INCLUDE bags in my number, but not my other accessories. How illogical? Oh well. My pets get a place!

I have to confess I glossed over this thread initially, as it's been talked about so many times, and I refuse to admit my numbers, but for some reason I came back to it and it's turned into a really interesting discussion! So thanks to all who've participated, and welcome to rmcsc

As you may have guessed, I'm with bj, Janet, kkards and staysfit in the f*ckton category. Which in metric is actually a metric f*cktonne...
And yes, it's too much. I can't wear it all... so a purge of some sort is definitely in order. My problem is getting rid of things that I might wear again, things that still fit etc. It seems so silly to possibly have to re-buy things, IF one can store it. But when you get to the point of not being able to wear it all, and the closets are reaching capacity, then it's time to do something!

Consider me motivated. Now to just find some time...

Hmm. I live in Canada and 2 of my 4 winter coats are cloth/wool, and I'm contemplating adding another cloth (alpaca wool?) coat later this year. I like the puffers for chore days and going to the gym, but wool coats win for commuting on public transportation and schlepping around the city.

But this might be a subject for another thread - cloth vs puffer?

Angie, we all have our own internal logic! I don't count jewelry, but I do count things like scarves and hats.

Jenn, HAH. YES. You too! How interesting

im very literal. clothes mean just that...no shoes, bags, jewelry. of course i really should count underpants etc but i don't --hah!


bj111, undies are BASICS. We don't count those at all.

Cox, Tarzan don't lie !!

Your question spurred me to start counting! It is an interesting exercise, because there is definitely a right number for everyone and mine has always been small. (Keep in mind, I work from home, so I don't need a work wardrobe.) And yet, I have started to feel like it's growing TOO BIG! Here's what I've got for summer (numbers in parens express my personal ideal!):

Shorts: 4 pairs (3)
Skirts: 5 (3)
Pants: 5 (3)
Dresses: 4 with sleeves (3)
5 sleeveless (3)
Jumpsuits: 2
Tees: 12 (6)
Tanks: 3
Tops: 5 (3)
Pullovers: 2 (1)
Cardigans: 8 (5)
Jackets: 3

Clog mules: 1
Clogs: 2
Casual slides: 3 pairs (2)
Slip-on Birks: 1
Walking sandals: 1
Espadrilles: 2

Purses: 3 (2)

(Note, there are additional items; I've slid these into this category because I use them year-round.)
Button-downs/popovers: 1 (3)
Jeans (blue): 4
Jeans (non blue): 5 (3)

Long Sleeve Tees: 6

Dresses: 2

Tote: 1
Clutch/evening bag: 3

Closed clogs: 1
Fun sneaks: 3

Jackets: 2 (rain, leather)

I'm in the small but growing metric f*ckton group I thrift, I love hand me downs and I keep things forever. My wardrobe is a colorful ever changing hobby and it makes me happy

I refuse to count and am joining the f*ckton group!

I just got back from a 13-day trip in which I refused to do laundry mid-way. I limited my colors and most things could be layered, so I had only carry-on luggage. But I don't want to live that way! I like tops with puffier shoulders or sleeves that broaden my shoulders -- which means I can only wear them when I won't need a sleeved topper. And toppers that go with some things but not others. Etc. If I had to completely rebuild my wardrobe, I would start with capsules, however.

Because I don't like to do laundry when I'm away from home, I feel like I need to have ten days to two weeks of clothing for the targeted location, i.e. a hot, humid place or a cold place. I just learned that a hot place can have frigid A/C in its museums, so I need to be prepared.

As for storage? DH lost a lot of weight that I doubt he will regain, so I need to sneak out most of his clothing. Comfy due to being a size too big doesn't cut it! We share a closet so I'll have more room until he replaces more items. I don't see DD25 ever moving back, so her bedroom and closet means more room for me! And I stack my clothing as well.

But I still value wearing out clothing -- which is at odds with my buying habits.

Proud member of the MF*T group - I think we just created a new YLF acronym!

I have about 70ish including gear.
I only have a single 5’ closet and a 3-drawer chest-of-drawers. Oh...and a bin for out of season stuff.
I actually can’t fit any more in, so 70 is about as big as I want my wardrobe to get.

Can I nominate my mom for Club MF*T? Not just clothes, books too-in at least 3 languages!