Well, I just counted my closet. I counted everything, because yesterday I couldn’t have told you how many socks I owned (24), or how many bras (9). My wardrobe has grown a little bit over the past couple years. The last time I counted was in 2015, before I moved from Nevada to New Hampshire. At that point I had around 90 items total in my daily-wear wardrobe (counting shoes and outerwear, but not counting baselayers/underpinnings or accessories). Today, I’m up to 119. I include some of my gear-clothes in that calculation and not others, because some gear (merino tank tops, solid-color leggings) pulls double-duty and get used in everyday outfits. Then I have a “capsule” of about 20 gear items that are too gross or silly looking for me to wear anyplace but a backpacking trip or a quick run on my own road (where next to nobody will see me).
So. 119 is a little higher than I’d like to be, in the abstract. Let’s say my target is 100. It’s a little arbitrary, but it seems like a good number for my purposes. Maybe a little too low for my four-season climate? But certainly not impossible. I’m not going to bend over backwards to pare things down, but I am going to try to let certain categories shrink through attrition. I’ve used this approach for t-shirts over the past couple years, and I am finally at a point where real shirts outnumber t-shirts -- one of my “greatest accomplishments” style-wise of the past two years. My 119 also includes 5 items in a holding zone, which I will probably let go of in the next year; they’ve been sitting there for a while.
But the real question is… how do I keep that number from growing? There’s pretty much nothing I need right now. I’m really happy with my wardrobe and what I can create with it. There are a few things I expect to retire within the next year (an old winter coat, a pair of jeans) and would like to find direct-ish replacements for. I can think of a couple things that would boost my style (a waterproof trench or dressy anorak, for example, or a casual non-gear backpack) but they aren’t necessities. Does this mean I become a one-in-one-out person? Take a year-long break from shopping and see where things stand at the end of 2018? Both of these appeal at the moment, but that could just be household and holiday expenses talking. Space is as big a concern as budget; 120 items pretty much maxes me out storage-wise.
Anyway, no real questions, just waxing philosophic. Has anyone else reached the end of a wardrobe rebuild recently? How did you know when you had “arrived”? What methods did you use to slow down or stop shopping?