Thursday, May 11th, 2017
What is it about writing things down that make them more real?
You know how sometimes you know something is true in the back of your mind, but you go on oblivious to it day to day? Even though it’s getting in your way? Maybe that’s just me…
This was easily the most illuminating exercise in the book, as it helped concretely identify one of the big struggles I was having. There is a big gap between what I wear and what I do in day to day life. Current SAHM status aside, I had a lot of “big closet, nothing to wear” struggles when I was working. Given that I’ll be back to work in less than a month, I decided to do this exercise as if I already was back at work.
The book asks us to break down our life into different activities – work at the office, work from home, lounging at home, gardening, working out, brunch with friends, clubbing, gala events, whatever… so you can estimate how often you do certain activities within a certain timeframe (say, two weeks). Then you combine categories in which you would wear similar clothes. You may not wear your workout gear to a gala event, but maybe if you work in a casual office you would wear the same clothes out to brunch? You get the idea.
My life does not have nearly that many things going on. I don’t club. I don’t go to galas. Hell I don’t remember the last time I worked out. Keeping that in mind, I broke my clothing requirements down into three categories:
Business clothes – skirts, trousers, blazers, heels, etc…
Polished casual – nice jeans, polished tops, flats, etc…
Comfy casual – yoga pants, t-shirts, fleece jackets, etc…
My office requires business casual attire Monday through Thursday, and allows jeans with respectable tops on Fridays. Assuming I change into casual clothes when I get home, and I leave the house on the weekends, my clothing requirements look something like this:
Not too bad. Seems doable. If anything it seems a little heavy on the comfy clothes, but I was also assuming I would change into those every night when I got home. That may or may not happen, in which case I wouldn’t need so many comfies.
This is what my wardrobe actually looked like when I was crunching the numbers:
Looooooots of comfies. Not a lot of business clothes.
That explains a few things.
Now, do I expect that my actual wardrobe proportions are going to match my lifestyle any time soon? Not really. I have a lot of comfy clothes that are at no real risk of wearing out any time soon. Trying to match my lifestyle estimate would mean getting rid of a bunch of them, which I have no real interest in doing at this point in time, or buying way too many business clothes, which I also have no real interest in doing.
Currently, I’m packing my out of season comfy clothes (heavy sweaters & fleece pants) out of sight in a drawer. The rest of the comfy clothes are going on an open shelf in the closet out of my direct field of view.
The polished casual clothes and business clothes are what’s going to hang on my closet rod, within my field of view. That way when I’m getting dressed all I see are my options. The comfy clothes are still within easy reach at the end of the day, but they’re not what I’m looking at first thing in the morning.
When I’m out shopping – no more comfies. I really don’t need any more.
What about your closet? Does your wardrobe match your lifestyle? Where are you over stocked?