… I learned more than I expected! (Update at bottom of this post!)

Back in August, I decided that I really wanted to fine-tune my style and the only way I could think of to do it was to start tracking my outfits in Microsoft Excel, which I knew was a format that worked for me. I never really had an end date in mind but last week I realized I had been doing it consistently for 100 days and I got to thinking about what it has meant for me and my style journey.

1. It’s not that hard to plan/track your wardrobe. This plan came at around the same time that we had to make some financial changes at home, so I also had to go into SYB mode. So I developed a routine - I sit down on the weekend for about 45 minutes and:

- Plan my week’s events and thus plan a wardrobe that works with those events

- Open up my Excel file and track what I wore the week before, including taking notes on what worked/didn’t work (Excel worksheet has 6 columns – Tops, Bottoms, Toppers, Shoes, Accessories, Notes – highlighting what worked with a specific color)

- Anything that didn’t work allowed me to determine what I wanted to purchase to move my style journey forward. Because I have been on SYB, I was able to compare what I wanted with the money I had for shopping. This forced me to make good choices about what to buy and avoid binge buying.

2. Taking notes on what works/doesn’t work certainly clarifies trends in your wardrobe much more quickly than you think. I thought it would take forever to figure this out but within a few weeks (and with some assistance from the forum by posting WIW’s), I knew what proportions/silhouettes/colors were working.

3. It’s a great way to stay focused in stressful times. My area of work is in a lot of conflict and I work in a non-unionized position that is between the two sides. It hasn’t been easy and this conflict looks like it will go on for a long time. Having this routine has been a calming and creative outlet –my wardrobe has become a source of joy. I can get up in the morning and put on what I’ve planned and, if it doesn’t work, I just have to make note of it. Easy.

4. After 100 days, you really know what items in your wardrobe are your favorites. Microsoft Excel helps because you can sort columns and it will group like items together, so it’s easy to see what you are wearing the most. It also allows you to identify the holes in your wardrobe. I can honestly say that I have a grey/purple/black capsule that needs no more assistance (although the pics below are mostly blues/greens!). So when my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I could legitimately say “Buy me something that works with navy pants, but NOT anything purple or grey.” Easy!

If you’re still with me after all of this, I’d like to thank Angie and the forum for inspiring me to embark on this journey. It’s been so much fun that I have no plans to stop. I’ve added a few pictures below to show how my wardrobe has grown over the last 100 days. Pics on the left are from when I started and moving right are more current outfits.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments with me – I’d love to know what you think!

ETA: March 15, 2013
I added a screenshot of my Excel worksheet so you can see how I'm tracking my wardrobe. You will see my column headings:

In the notes column, I wrote out my thoughts on the outfit. Posts highlighted in lavender were noted as "excellent" outfits, posts highlighted in red were noted as "never again" and why. I am an extremely visual person, so the colors were very helpful as they were quick indicators of what worked and what didn't.

I hope this is helpful!

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