Clothes decluttering

After buying 15-17 piece of clothing (4 tank tops, and 2 belts included), I thought it important to try and thin my existing collection by as many.  These were what I came up with:

First item is a year or two old.  I bought it at Jeanswest as a ‘nice’ summer top.  I never like creams or off whites, and it is synthetic, so it was never going to be a winner.  It did get some wear and worked well for the time I wore ‘non uniform’ to work in the past year or so.  But after getting very sticky sunscreen on it in New Caledonia, I can’t help thinking ‘ewww, sticky sunscreen back’

Cream lace top from Jeanswest.
Cream lace top from Jeanswest.

These jeans were bought in the same two year time frame, and my first foray into ‘skinny’ jeans. They were a little high waisted for my liking, but the perfect colour, and the brand I otherwise fit in well with. They always needed ‘hoicking’ up, and that’s plain annoying. They were brought from Red Cross.

Blue Mavi jeans
Blue Mavi jeans

The below dress was $40 and brought online at Boohoo. The price was ‘too good to be true’ and whilst i tried to find a style that would flatter my less flattering aspects, it came with a hole in the mesh. I passed on the feedback, but it was the last of it’s size, and I didn’t want another dress. I think it got two wears, but it was much too short, and required a skirt over the top to make it suitable for public consumption!

LBD for dates
LBD for dates

Brought in sales less than a year ago at a department store, I hoped this would act as a great staple of my wardrobe… Alas, this MNG top was synthetic and like wearing a plastic bag in Sydney summer. It was also ‘boxy’ which didn’t do me any favours, and I felt I couldn’t wear it without a necklace as it had such a plain neckline. I’ve learnt my less – synthetic and summer don’t mix!

Lime top
Lime top

Another op shop find – and not when I was seeking out clothing. The colours are so me, but the sleeve length (3/4) is tough, and the fabric is heavy and good quality, meaning it’s hot to wear when a 3/4 would suit. I’ve said before I don’t like raglan sleeves, but I hoped the zipper details would win me over.

Striped Sportcraft top
Striped Sportcraft top

Continuing the theme of synthetic things that were too hot is this dress. Bought from Paul Dane cause it looked ‘me’ on mannequins. I walked past it the first time, but a week later, when I saw it again, i tried it on. It got many wears, mainly for church or Sunday dinners. But, too hot!

Tulip skirted church dress
Tulip skirted church dress

Like the lime top earlier, this was bought from the Review outlet store, with the view to ‘this will be good for work’ – and it might have been, if I’d not put on more weight and it was… one guess… synthetic! I also have one that’s cream and black, and I’ll take bets on when that’ll be listed here… but for now, the green was so plain (where two tones I prefer) so this one is OUT!

Pussy cat bow Review top
Pussy cat bow Review top

Brought prior my 2010 cruise in Greece, I bought this and an aqua one at markets near Coffs Harbour. It was great for keeping sun off me on holidays, but seldom worn ‘day to day’. It’s bias cut which always feels weird to me. I’ll probably find something similar over time to replace as a light weight sun cover.

White beaded kaftan
White beaded kaftan

This top has been in my wardrobe for about five or six years, and I previously decluttered the identical white one in the past few months. I’m plainly too plump for it, and it’s getting unsightly underarm stains (which I wish I knew how to prevent or treat better). Country Road is a great Aussie brand, but sadly, this is outbound.

Country Road pale pink button up shirt
Country Road pale pink button up shirt

Recently I was offered a HUGE load of clothes, and this dress made it home with me. It was a so so colour, but the sequins got me. One super hot day, I wore it to church. It looked like a sack. It’s not flattering. And after one wash, the idea of ironing something so sack like just isn’t worth my time 🙁

Sequined greige dress
Sequined greige dress

Mother thought I wanted what she rejected? I can’t see this in my wardrobe – it’s not horrible, but it’s just not something I would reach for.

Pink interlock 3/4
Pink interlock 3/4

This was another peer pressure purchase in a way – mum was ordering from a catalogue, and this looked like a comfy at home top. But I need no more ‘at home’ stuff. It got enough wear, but it’s nothing special, and it would have been great for me if it’d be longer line, and looked OK with jeans. The colours wasn’t ‘blue’ toned enough for me to love it… And for at home clothes? I prefer a dress in the heat.

Green slouchy top
Green slouchy top

Last but not least, a staple of my wardrobe. It’s got unsightly stains on it, and I found other shelf bra singlet tops to replace it with whilst I was away. I’m embarrassed at my age to have stained and unsightly clothes. Perhaps a little consumeristic, but alas, how it is.

Stained old white singlet
Stained old white singlet

2014 clothing round up

This yeah, I bought/acquired 57 items of clothing or pairs of shoes.  There were 8 pairs of shoes, so make that 49 pieces of clothing. Last year’s more basic count which was 35.  I attribute some of the purchases with my change from wearing a work uniform to wearing corporate clothing.

 

The shoes I coveted, but don't feel nice on my feet :( via
The shoes I coveted, but don’t feel nice on my feet 🙁
via

Of those, 29 were second hand.  I’ve include clothing given to me by my mother or friends that is worn in this count. I was given one top and one scarf.  The scarf isn’t in the count above.

15 items are work appropriate. 14 items of sock/jocks variety not included in the count.

Beautifully soft, and zips up nice and snug.  It just needs to get colder!
Remember this? Will work SO well in San Fran in a week’s time!

6 pieces of jewellery, two pieces were second hand. The others were Chinese rubbish.  And a further two which were gifts (forgot those in the count!) :s  2 belts.

I bought 8 pairs of shoes – one pair was from Kmart for $5, I wore the sole out, and bought another pair, that was identical.  I also bought a pair of leather flats, and then bought the identical pair again, as they were comfy and it’s so hard to find that.  I bought a pair of ‘jelly’ shoes, which I’ve coverted for so long.  They hurt my feet, so I can see them heading out the door 🙁

Of all the new things I’ve bought, all 77, six have already gone. Thankfully at least some were seond hand items that just didn’t work for me.

Overall, my wardrobe has:

29 pairs of bottoms – 4 pairs of shorts, 5 casual skirts, 2 dressy skirts and 7 work skirts, which I seldom wear in my current role. I also have 5 pairs of work pants, 2 solely for winter, and 1 pair that were new this year and aren’t comfy :s The rest are jeans and a pair of cords.

Need? One or two more pairs of work pants that are ‘summer weight’ – I’m hoping Banana Republic in the US will be the answer.  Maybe a navy pair?

I have 20 dresses (approved for the public… I have more house dresses).  Only two plus a top fit in the ‘formal’ category, so most of the others should see some wear. Interestingly, I have 17 for summer, but of those, I have a ‘too hot to wear’ on four (poor fabric choices, so better for transeasonal).  I have 9 suitable for, and to be honest, some are ONLY good for a date :p  10 are church appropriate, so that’s a positive, cause that’s a reason I have grown my dress collection since my student days.

Need? To make the more date only dresses a little more modest, with adding a lace trim perhaps?  I also need to look at the four ‘too hot’ and ensure I don’t keep buying nice, but too hot, dresses!

Now for tops.  I have 101 tops!!  Of those:

21 for work, 8 long sleeved, 7 ¾ sleeved, and 6 are sleeveless or short sleeved.

15 singlets, which are worn under things in winter for warmth mainly

20 short and ¾ sleeves casual tops

14 long sleeves cotton tops for wearing under jumpers in winter (probably more than I need!)

5 dressy tops – I need to check that, think I might have du0plicate counted somethings

6 summer weight cardigans or jumpers

6 thin winter jumpers

4 thick cardigans, of which I deem 3 suitable for work (win!)

4 jackets

2 long coats and 4 cropped coats, of which two could be replaced with better quality than the Chinese made ones I bought in my student years.

Need? Jackets and cardigans is the sweet spot.  The short sleeves count at 20 seems more generous that what it ‘feels’ like I have, so I should really weed those out that don’t serve my needs.  I need to be mindful of fabrics more, for summer clothing, especially work wear.

Work out gear

22 in total – 9 pants, 11 tops.

Not quite what I bought in the sales, but similar. via
Not quite what I bought in the sales, but similar. via

 

19 pieces of house clothing, which includes 2 dressing gowns (so seldom used), sumemr house dresses, hoodies and track pants.

Need? Nothing!!

Overall I think there were 79 individual items bought for only 16% more than I spent on 35 items last year.  That feels like a win, likely due to more 2nd hand shopping.  The win is also probably partly attributed to no real ‘shopping’ holiday.

How did you fare this year with clothing shopping/culling/spending?  Do you aim for second hand, or is it too hit and miss when you ‘need’ specific things?

Jewellry combinations

What woman says to their partner ‘I have more than enough jewellery’?. Me! And to prove it to myself, I took a series of photo to show me all the combinations.

Silver combinations
Silver combinations
The old favourite - but I can't get with the idea of a necklace
The old favourite – but I can’t get with the idea of a necklace
Colours and gold!
Colours and gold!
Other combinations
Other combinations

The process also helped me realise what I don’t use or wear, ever!

The ones I never wear :s
The ones I never wear :s

Of course… I could with a ring or two more 😉

Japan packing

There’s nothing I enjoy more than some photos collages, and doing outfits ensures I pack enough. And I can easily get up and get dressed.

Denim short outfits
Denim short outfits

If you’re bored (already) can play ‘spot the repeat picture’ :p

White shorts outfits
White shorts outfits

These don’t include the ‘plane’ outfit.

Dresses
Dresses

The plane will introduce jeans, a cotton sweater, a scarf, my trench… and some level of short and/or long sleeved shirt/s.  And canvas slip on runners (often called Rabens here, which is a brand, though mine aren’t).

Outfits with the lime skirt (and one repeat)
Outfits with the lime skirt (sorry for the overexposure)

Oh and I threw in my white linen pants, cause it might be too hot for jeans, but in need of trousers?

Doing this helped me cut a long skirt I was planning to pack (nothing went with it, and I didn’t want to add what did).  I also culled a pale blue blouse, as it was too similar to the linen one I’ve pictured.  I photographed it!? I also had a baggy navy and white striped jumper, but it was likely to class with other stripes, and in reality, isn’t warm when I might need it to be.  I also had a blue and white kaftan top, that I stole from mum years ago.  It’d be great for a beachy holiday, but this, not as much.

What’s not pictured, but packed in my yellow carry on suitcase:

  • countless pairs of knickers
  • two bras (will wear the third)
  • bikini
  • leather slip on sandals
  • one book (the inside of the cover used to hide our modem!)
  • a duffle bag for ‘more’

What else, you asked? (you didn’t… my mistake!)

The other stuff!
The other stuff!

A lot of this I already carry around daily in my handbag! What’s missing, and will need to be packed on the morning:

  • deodorant
  • toothbrush
  • untinted lip balm (my handbag one has gone AWOL, so will use the bedside one on the trip)
  • wallet
  • phone & charger
  • snacks?! I did buy museli bars a week ago.  They are eaten hmmm I don’t want a third grocery store visit in three days, maybe I’ll make snack buying a cultural experience.
  • current reading book

Things I’m up in the air about

  • Should I go buy white canvas runners (mine are black), they are $4 from Kmart, and undoubtedly slave labour?
  • Should I take my running shoes (and socks, and perhaps an outfit for running) – even if I just wear the running shoes for day to day?  I won’t wear them with jeans on the plane, so I’ll have to pack them, and they are bulky?
  • Do I need more reading material? This might be an intense ‘tour’ with lots of talking, and little idle reading time.
  • Is taking a library book wise (I love liberating book space for other stuff!)?
  • Should I pack an umbrella – I often put it in the front pocket of my suitcase, and a few times, it’s saved me on arrival.

Now, I leave first thing Saturday morning, so tomorrow (Friday) night I need to

  • take out recycling (I’ve always been the rubbish person in this household, so best to leave with everything empty)
  • take the last of the compost to the community bin
  • empty bedroom rubbish bin (and weigh!)

That’s it – for now! You may answer some or none of my questions, or ask your own!

I went shopping and…

I bought seven things pieces of clothing.  For $108.

Cardigan over the white top, and look at the 'made in' part...
Cardigan over the white top, and look at the ‘made in’ part…

Yep, I dropped by Vinnies (St Vincent de Paul charity) with the following items:

H&M bustier
Striped long sleeve top
Black and white knit long sleeved
White long pants
Black petal top
Zara knit blazer
Zara knit blazer

 

Two dresses and a belt
Two dresses and a belt

And then bought these items:

  • 3/4 sleeve white top by Mela Purdie (did I turn into my mother? she loves this Australian brand)
  • White linen long sleeved cardigan with hood made in ‘Europe’ (cryptic right?)
  • Calvin Klein sheaf dress, knee length with two vertical stripes
  • Black and white print wrap dress with a 3/4 sleeve (ready for wearing to work)
  • Black casual dress with blue and green sequinned yoke!!
  • Silver knotted feature belt
  • Grey jersey top, tight on the bottom, loose and flowy on one shoulder…
Two tops and another dress!
Two tops and another dress!

I really have been bitten with the retail virus.  Although, it’s all second hand.  It’s all preloved.  And for $108, I’d be lucky to buy 1-2 well made new items, right?  On my count, my wardrobe still has less items than last year.

 

Numbers of clothing

Just a simple post, with numbers that surprised me

Not my style icon, but proof having an awesome body does not mean one needs to dress... provocatively.  What am I saying, those are some SERIOUS boots! source: www.woman.tv
Not my style icon, but proof having an awesome body does not mean one needs to dress… provocatively. What am I saying, those are some SERIOUS boots!
source: www.woman.tv

131 substantial pieces of clothing.  ie can be worn in public.

17 dresses

28 pairs of ‘bottoms’

3 pairs of shorts

14 skirts

11 pants (trousers)

84 tops

14 inner layers – singlets, seldom worn alone

13 long sleeved t shirts for under prickly jumpers

26 outer layers – cardigans and jumpers

31 short sleeves or 3/4 sleeved or button down shirts/tops

22 work out clothes so only acceptable in certain public 😉

19 ‘house clothes’ – PJs, dressing gowns, not suitable for public consumption

19 pairs of shoes (including slippers and flip flops thongs)

17 bras (of which 3 are for work outs)

11 scarves

11 pairs of stockings

9 handbags (!)

7 belts

5 swimsuits

3 hats

And a diminishing but far too high count on knickers and socks.  But they don’t make a full load, and so I’ll always try to keep them in oversupply.

Decluttered since blogging? 13 tops + 8 bottoms +4 dresses + 10 ‘intimates’ +8 accessories = 42 items down.

148 substantial items when including shoes (comparing to Dar’s 263).  Actually, I’m totally surprised.  I always thought I had a lot of clothing?!  Certainly more than Laura 31 core items.

Grand total: 249 less the smalls.

Not a jacket, but I'd still buy it if I saw it! source: wwzdw.com
Not a jacket, but I’d still buy it if I saw it!
source: wwzdw.com

Rest assured I continue to ‘re-clutter’ and once I get a chance, I’ll photograph the 7 new items I bought this weekend, all second hand 😀  Interestingly, this latest rationalisation has resulted in me get a pair of pants ‘slimmed’ so the leg isn’t identical to another pair.  I’ll also get rid of two tops after copying their style, and stealing the ‘old’ embellishments.  Do I *need* anything?  Well, since clothing can be a need, I’d put the following on a ‘I’d like’ list

  • durable flats – either Melissa jellies in a ballet flat or something similar
  • Camper heels – cause they are a small heel, closed toe, usually well made, rubber sole and heel.  Price a little high though
  • white jacket – not critical, especially since picking up a white cardigan on the weekend, which is a better weight in summer for an outer layer
  • grey coat – to replace one I have in my collection which was cheap and looks it.
  • teal jacket/coat – the cheap one I had was removed from my collection  I’d swoon over velvet (although I have a navy and black velvet jacket already), but silk would probably be OTT
  • lime scarf – I love all things lime right now!
  • flat black boots with a durable sole and a nice toe, not too pointy or too rounded
  • LuLuLemon brand 3/4 yoga pants – there is no fabric as long lasting as theirs

Decluttering and shopping

I try to keep a spick and span home – which is SO much easier now that I have oddles more space, in both square meters as well as storage space.  That being said, I know one day we might live in a smaller place, so I’m always critically reviewing what we have.  Here’s what I parted with on Friday:

Destined for trash - a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn't subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Destined for trash – a dress with a damaged collar (and was cheap as), dead socks, a bra I wouldn’t subject on anyone, and a mangy bath mat
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what's left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L's from my bed ledge moving house
Tweezers than no longer tweeze, single earrings, what’s left of reusing a backing from a photoframe and bent L’s from my bed ledge moving house
Found on the street - didn't fit my oven :( Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Found on the street – didn’t fit my oven 🙁 Took to metal recycling at Reverse Garbage
Exercise c**p.  The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan).  The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.
Exercise c**p. The glasses and band from my Neon run, where I intentionally took no money, but someone bought me (groan). The pedometers were freebies my parents got and thought I might want.

 

As I took the day off on Friday (I only ‘earn’ one a month now, rather than one a fortnight),  I spent most of the day shopping or window shopping.  I bought a canvas print I’d admired in the thrift shop the week before.  I also dropped some items off in the thrift store (and tossed some in the garbage – no one needs worn out clothing or grotty bathmats).  What else did I buy? A box for bras to ‘sit’ on my ottoman, where they tend to linger.  And a basket for a 40th gift 😉 And two running tops… and a headband for running.  Oh yes! I was on a role.

Not as blue - but I still love it!
Not as blue – but I still love it!

In light of my consumerist moments, I came home and really weeded through my wardrobe.  I drafted the most boring post listing all the tops I had, all the jackets etc etc.  And then, looking at it, I started culling.

The art I almost bought.  Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I'd already bought the other one already.
The art I almost bought. Seems Salvos was given a bulk collection of images, but I’d already bought the other one already.

The upshot was 20 items for decluttering.  Two will be copied and reinvented.  Some will go to the trash.  Some will go to the op shop.  None are worth money, so I won’t try to sell anything.  This is in addition to about 10 items of clothing I’ve given away this year.  And there’s two pairs of running tights/leggings that are showing signs of their last legs.

In counter balance, I’ve bought 13 items in 2014, so that’s a nice counter balance.  Although, I don’t track my other stuff as carefully, though there is a spreadsheet for that of course.

I’m pretty sure the decluttering is partly for me to mentally justify any further purchases this year.  I really would like a teal top or two.  One outbound teal top has been replaced by a more casual teal and navy stripe top.  The incredibly thing is how many pieces of have given that I wear a uniform.  Though it’s starting to seem like those days are numbered, so perhaps my ‘re’ cluttering will be expensive work wear.

Do you declutter to feel ok about buying more clothing, or do you truly believe you need less?  How do you know when is ‘enough’ for work clothes, or basics (for example, I had 16 long sleeved t shirts for wearing under wooly/itchy stuff)?

Fashion conundrums of coats and jackets

Oh readers – you’re all either wiser in years than me, or more experienced at these cold temperatures.  So please, enlighten me… are there rules to wearing jackets to coats and everything in between.

Exhibit 1: Trench COAT source: www.polyvore.com
Exhibit 1: Trench COAT
source: www.polyvore.com

So… I have a number of coats. They are either mid thigh (black woolen, navy synthetic trench), though some of hip length (cheapies in both grey and black, both double breasted).

EXHIBIT 2: Jacket source: www.polyvore.com
EXHIBIT 2: Jacket
source: www.polyvore.com

Then I have jackets: both a navy and a black stretch velvet, with button/s and square pockets.

If this wasn’t such a pressing issue in my mind, I might have even taken photos!  However can I wear a coat, such as the trench at work, during the day? I know a jacket = OK, but a coat, I’m less sure of…

And whilst we’re on cold weather fashion conundrums, is it OK to wear non silk scarves other than when outside?  Is the ‘thickness’ of the scraf hald the decision?  When I say ‘inside’ I infer ‘in the office’.

PS: What is Polyvore, and… why are their images so well ranked in search? Oh they’ll be making millions (or getting millions of visitors), cause did you know, it’s WAY faster to search images than words?  A lot of my early ‘hits’ form google were for well named photos?!