Sunday, October 4, 2009

State of the Closet Address

Last weekend I had the sublime pleasure of shopping with my mom. My mom is a champion shopper. If shopping were a sport, she would be an Olympic Gold Medalist. She would score the highest possible points for both Style and Technique--she has amazing fashion sense AND a great nose for sales.
She is the perfect shopping partner for me, because I need a lot of help. I like to shop, but since I spend most of my time with boys, I don't have much opportunity. I have become the type of person who goes months--usually 10-14 months--without buying a single item of clothing. Then, about once a year, I do a major wardrobe overhaul. I find that I am a better and more satisfied shopper when I can buy whole outfits, as opposed to picking up individual items one at a time throughout the year. Since this has become my pattern, David and I plan for my annual shopping spree in our budget. We have discovered that even though I spend a nice chunk of change on clothes once a year, overall my clothing budget is quite modest.

According to Wikipediea, "The average American woman has an annual clothing budget of $1,729." I don't spend a QUARTER of that. Dave Ramsey (my hero!) believes it is reasonable to budget 2-7% of a family's income for clothing (or 1-1.5% per person for a family of four). I easily spend less than 1% of our annual income on clothing, but it might seem like a lot because I do it all at once!

That being said, my total Scores from the 2009 Mall Marathon were:
Tops: 4

Jackets: 2

Pants: 1 (I still need 2 more)

Shoes: 1 pair

Socks: 3 pair

Total: 11 pieces for $325.95 (74.05 remains in my budget)

Each year, after I purchase new duds for my closet, I get rid of bunches of clothes. I use several criteria to determine what to keep and what to give away.

First, I only keep clothes in my closet that fit my body. Today. There are no "fat" jeans in my closet. Neither are there "skinny" jeans. There are simply jeans that fit. And the same with every other piece of clothing. Clothes that are too big just give me permission to put on weight. Clothes that are too small give me cause to obsess about weight loss. Clothes that fit are the only friendly clothes in a closet.

Second, I only keep clothes in my closet that I wear. I do not keep clothes that I "might" wear someday. I do not keep clothes that I "hope" to wear. Research shows that most people only wear 41% of the clothes that they have in their closet. I don't want to have to fish through a closet where 59% of the clothes in there are just gathering dust. I do have seasonal items that only get worn a few months out of the year, but I try to eliminate everything that is NOT getting worn within it's appropriate season.

Finally, I only keep clothes that are in style. I may love my Twin Sets but they haven't been the height of fashion since 1999. Yes, I know every trend comes back eventually, but it takes a good 20 years, and I am definitely going to want a fresh start by then. And if I am not sure whether something is in or out, I ask a good friend--one with a sense of fashion integrity that is too strong to lead me astray. After all, friends don't let friends dress dowdily.

I will send the out-of-fashion clothes to Goodwill, where they can become pieces of halloween costumes! The stuff that is cute, but either no longer fits or no longer gets worn by me is going to be given to my nieces, who can take what they like, and then give the rest away.

Total Score for Fall 2009 Closet Clean-out:

Tops: 3

Jackets: 2

Pants: 10

Shoes: 3 pair

Socks: 4 pair

Total: 22 pieces.

Here is my happy closet. There is nothing in here that I would not want to wear in its proper season. Dresses on the left, then skirts, pants, tops, and jackets. This concludes my "State of the Closet Address." Today I have focused on WHAT I do to maintain my wardrobe. Tune in later this week, when I will blog about WHY I delight in keeping my STUFF to a minimum.

1 comment:

  1. We shop the same way except you are waaaayyy more organized and purposed about it!

    I love it-- I will be adopting the purpose part and sitting down with hubby to come up with a budget. I'm thinking I would like to do it twice a year--seasonal kind of thing.

    I have been dragging my feet about getting my closet in "Fall/Winter" order.

    Thank you for the push of motivation I needed :)

    Your closet looks awesome btw!