Perhaps some of you have noticed wardrobe challenges throughout the blogosphere. Over at Academichic, at ReadyMade, and elsewhere, bloggers did 30 for 30 challenges, wherein they selected 30 items (including accessories) they would wear for the next 30 days, denying themselves access to the rest of their wardrobes for the duration.
There's another challenge I just saw today (though others have been doing this one since fall, at the very least). It's called "project 333" and those taking this challenge are selecting 33 items to create a seasonal wardrobe (3 months).
I thought I'd give it a shot, and I started listing to myself the things I wear all the time. (Seriously. These are the things I wear at least once a week.):
1. Gray skirt
2. Green skirt
3. Plaid skirt
4. Green patterned skirt
5. Green sweater
6. Navy sweater
7. Black sweater (favorite)
8. black boots
9. frye boots
10. danskos (around the house for support)
11. down parka
14. jeans (the new ones)
Then it started getting more difficult. Those are the things I wear all the time. Wow. 14 things. This doesn't include pajamas, underwear (so I'm not counting tights, either), or workout clothes.
15. earrings (I've been too lazy to switch out the diamond studs lately)
16. green necklace (which I wear with the green sweater sometimes)
17. brown skirt
18. houndstooth dress
19. brown cardigan
20. tan cardigan
21. gray sweater (fuzzy)
22. gray sweater (ribbed)
I don't add in other shirts under my sweaters (if I do, they count as underwear because they aren't ones I'd actually wear to work or in public). This does keep my wardrobe small.
23. black coat
24. other scarf
25. black hat
There is not much else I wear on anything like a regular basis during the late fall/winter season.
26. snow boots
27. boots I just ordered because I realize I do not have enough for a proper rotation; boots I will wear all the time, for sure.
things I wear infrequently but can add since I still have space:
28. other black sweater
29. reddish/marroonish sweater
30. black lace skirt
31. tan sweater
32. blue plaid skirt
I might have to go home and look at my closet to find item 33.
I think of myself as having lots and lots of clothes. It is probably true that I have more clothes than I need. Most of my excess takes the form of spring-fall shirts I keep because I don't have many spring-fall shirts I like. However, it looks like I can streamline my closet even more. I won't take out all my winter stuff that is not on this list (which is not much. I'll still keep those pink sweaters. I just haven't worn them much), but I can take out anything that isn't perfect.
I feel even better about my clothing choices having done this little exercise. I get a lot of stuff on eBay or from used clothing stores. I try to get things made from natural fibers as much as possible and I shop for my current body shape only. I have a lot of wool (a lot!). Lots of A-line and fuller skirts. Lots of body-skimming sweaters. This is what suits me. Buying what suits me in quality fabrics, flattering, well-made cuts means that a lot of what I have can be combined in various ways. Moreover, everything is long lasting and washable.
It will be interesting to do this for spring and summer.