Back in January I was one of a couple of people who challenged Michelle, a self-confessed clothes addict, to a year of no new clothes or shoes. Operation Threadbare was born.
In a recent post Michelle conducted a clothes audit. As I read through the numbers my eyes gradually got wider and wider. Wow. How much fashion? 37 short dresses? 11 pairs of gloves? You are kidding?
I decided to conduct a clothes audit of my own. I wasn’t trying to prove anything to Michelle by this, I simply did it because I was interested. We all know I have shoes in every cupboard in the house despite having to chuck several pairs recently, but what about the rest? I’m always complaining I have nothing to wear, that nothing fits, that things that do fit are worn out. So I took a leaf out of Michelle’s book and had a sort out – and these are the results:
- Jeans – two rough (good for DIY and related activities), one pair of skinny jeans I will get back into one day, four pairs I wear in rotation.
- Trousers – five smart of which two I wear regularly, and four casual.
- Suits – two trouser suits, neither of which fit but both decent and so I couldn’t get rid.
- Mid-length trousers – one.
- Leggings – three black pairs, two have holes and are only good to wear with knee high boots.
- Shirts – nine, one of which I can wear properly done up, I’m not sure why I’ve kept the others, maybe I’ll go back and get rid of those.
- Vest tops – ten, including four white.
- T-shirts – seven plain ones, seven rough ones I wear for mooching about or when exercising, three nice ones.
- Long sleeve tops – three plain, generally worn with my motorbike kit.
- Polo shirts – one.
- Skirts – one.
- Cardigans – two thick woolly ones, seven thin plain ones in various colours.
- Jumpers and sweaters – ten thin worky type ones, four casual ones I wear with jeans.
- Fleeces – four; two normal zip up ones, two micro-fleeces.
- Hoodies – twelve, some of which are really rough but I couldn’t bear to part with them.
- Jackets – two; one smart black one and one denim one.
- Dresses – fifteen short dresses of which six I wear regularly, plus one wedding dress (why do we keep those?).
- Shorts – two pairs.
- Body warmers – one, which I love!
- Coats/outdoor jackets – six; two winter, two summer and two waterproof jackets.
- Scarves/wraps – four, plus one lovely cream pashmina I got for my wedding in case it was cold.
- Pyjamas – nine sets.
- Woollen scarves – three.
- Woollen hats – three, plus one pair of earmuffs.
- Gloves – four pairs, plus two running pairs.
- Sunhats – five in total including three caps, one straw hat and one beanie hat.
- Belts – nine.
- Bras – ten, plus four sports bras.
- Socks – enough… including ten pairs of ski socks and two pairs of Heat Holder slipper socks.
- Tights – four pairs, including two unworn, all black.
- Bikinis – one, which I should probably try on to check if it fits ready for Florida later this year, but I didn’t want to!
- Swim suits – two.
- Active tops – one short sleeved technical tshirt, one long sleeved top, one hi-vis zip up top.
- Cycling bottoms – two pairs of these necessary unfashionable cycling kit; one short, one long.
- Walking trousers – two pairs, one of which I have had for years and years and are my (and my sister’s) go to pair for all sorts of outdoorsy activities!
- Track suit bottoms/sweat pants – four.
- Motorbike stuff – one textile suit, one Triumph dark denim suit (my favourite bike kit), a pair of Kevlar jeans, one pair of (leaky) boots, Arai Condor lid, three neck tubes, two pairs of gloves (one summer, one winter).
- Ski stuff – one ski jacket, one pair of salopettes, one set of thermals.
- One London 2012 torchbearer uniform!
Honestly, I was surprised by these numbers too. I have more than I realised. I reckon we probably all do don’t we?
The act of going through every drawer, every hanger, means that I now know exactly what my choices are. I have some lovely pieces – such as my Oasis dress that I bought for my bro-in-law’s wedding, my recently purchased stripey jumper and my The North Face body warmer – but there are also obvious gaps. The clothes-for-work situation is getting near critical, mainly due to my expanding belly and inability to diet and exercise properly, and pretty much all my t-shirts are looking well worn.
The other side of this audit was that it resulted in me getting rid of piles of unwanted and worn out clothes into various bags for recycling, charity, and a clothes swap I’m hoping to go to later in the year. And despite that, I still have quite a bit.
I have also realised that I’m just not very fashionable. I have a few pieces that are fantastic and I love and will do fine for a night out or a special occasion, but generally I’m a jeans and a jumper kind of gal. If I was to go on a shopping spree with money no object now then I would probably buy jeans, jumpers, t-shirts, socks. I guess that’s just who I am – I am never going to rock the latest fashions however much I wish I could.
And no, I didn’t go through my shoes in the same way as I did my clothes – there are no doubt pairs that are worn out or I never wear that could go, but I just wasn’t feeling brave enough. A task for another day perhaps.
Check out Michelle’s blog and send any new-fashion-avoiding tips you might have her way. In the mean time, I’m going shopping!
PS – I got rid of five of those ill-fitting shirts this morning… the clear-out continues!