Paring Down More

I’ve been having a nagging little voice in the back of my head tell me I can do better.  I can let go of more.  I’m still holding on to a sort of ‘comfort zone’ of items.  Tonight I start training at a new second job, in addition to the scarce shifts of banquets I’m still doing here and there.  This means, you guessed it, even less time out in the world in ‘real clothes’ and more time in uniforms.

I have just shy of 150 items right now.  This is my comfortable max.  I know that I could ditch at least 2 items in every category and not miss them.  But I haven’t done it yet.  I have the room.  I don’t need to get rid of anything.  But what’s the worst that would happen if I did?  If I miss something I could certainly look for a similar replacement.  Odds are, that won’t happen.  Just working out my worst case scenarios here.  Best case, is my closet is even more user friendly and the few times I don my ‘out in the world’ clothing I will feel my best.  Not wearing ‘runners up’ just because they are there, and they mentally allow me to continue to save the ‘good’ stuff.

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I made up a list of what I have starting off the year.  Then I played with what a Project 333 closet would add up to if extrapolated for all 4 seasons, modeling the amounts per category on what I currently have with minor reductions in each.  Then I further reduced to what I dubbed a Dozen wardrobe, meaning a dozen items in most categories, with half a dozen in some and two and a half dozen for the bigger, broad categories of shirts and shoes.  I did a quick replacement rate figuring at the bottom of each.

I’m hoping to be at least to the P33 amounts by my 45th birthday in May.  That gives me all winter and the start of spring to wear my cold weather items.  If I’m not wearing them by then, I can comfortably pass on them.  If I can keep the influx of new under control, this shouldn’t be too hard.  Surely I can find a couple items in every category that are not really being utilized, or are past their prime.  When I start to break out in a sweat I can remind myself that I am in work uniform 5 or more days a week.  Realistically, that leaves me probably 3 outfits a week of regular clothing (say I go to lunch or shopping one day before work).

Again, I know I don’t have to get rid of any clothing.  Nobody is keeping score but me.  Maybe I do need a little project or challenge of some sort to keep me entertained.  Or maybe it’s that, being totally honest with myself, I know I’m holding on to more than I really need or wear.

I do have the ‘project’ of trying to curtail my shopping to 30 or less items, and attempting a seasonal approach.  But I’ve been slowly working on that for some years now.  Time to get a bit more ruthless with what goes out.  Not just what comes in.  🙂

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6 thoughts on “Paring Down More

  1. I love these kinds of posts, Mo, and your take on things always leads me to think more deeply about how I approach my wardrobe. I think that having 12 items in most categories would definitely be enough and I like that you allocated more items (30) for both shirts and shoes. I think I’m close in some categories but way off in others (tops for sure, as well as jackets). It would be interesting for me to do the type of math that you did and I’m going to give it a try.

    I really think that tops are my biggest problem, plus the fact that I wear different tops and jackets with skirts than I do with pants. That leads my wardrobe to be just too big, but I’m not sure how to get around it. I’m short-waisted and don’t look good with tucked in tops (I try periodically and don’t like how it looks). If I wear short jackets with pants (at least some of them), I look like my jackets are too small for me. I’m going to try to get outside my box with this during 2015. It doesn’t hurt for me to try things at home to see if they work. I don’t have to leave the house if something looks awful!.

    Thanks for always giving me more to think about! Like you, I need to pare down more and buy less overall. I also only wear my “regular” outfits 3 or 4 times per week, so there’s just no need for me to have as many clothes as I do. I only have so much because of my love (and compulsion) of shopping!

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  2. Thanks for dropping in, and your comment! Why is it so scary to think of going down below what has become my comfortable set point? Realistically I know I can’t find enough days to wear what I have with only 3 or 4 dressing days per week. Why shouldn’t I be excited to pare down to just what I love most to wear on those days? What is the mental comfort in hanging on to more than I need? Hmmmm . . .
    At least I am doing MUCH better at buying stuff I will actually wear. My 2 newest pants (dark jeans and grey jeans) can even be worn at the pizza job, doing dual duty between ‘regular’ outfits and work uniform. That’s the kind of usefulness I can get behind!

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  3. Mo- I am down to 98 items (plus a few Tees on order)- I’m calling it Project 100! To be honest, dressing has never been easier- everything fits, I like everything, and coming up with something to wear for [fill in the black] is a piece of cake.
    (Note that I track tops, toppers, bottoms, dresses scarves, and shoes- that’s my 100!)

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    • Pam, that’s great! I could probably get by with 100 if I was being ruthless. For some reason I’m not there yet. I do have a lot of life changes right now. I’m realizing that I value comfort and security and change is unsettling for me. Maybe once I tackle my job changes, the clothing will follow.

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  4. Pingback: Closet numbers – the recount | MOderate wardrobe

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