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How Many Clothes Does One Need?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I've been pondering this question the last few days, and then I saw in the Extreme Simplicity thread, someone wondering about that as well. So I decided to make a new thread.

On Mon I went through my closet and paired my clothes to:
4 pairs of pants - 1 jean capri, 1 jean, 1 white cords, 1 casual brown
3 skirts - 1 black, 1 white, 1 grey
1 black dress
1 brown sun dress
4 long sleeved t-shirts - 2 green, 1 black, 1 red
3 short sleeved t-shirts - 1 white, 1 blue, 1 green
1 black sleeveless top
4 sweaters - 1 brown, 1 red, 1 black/white, 1 blue/white
1 black dress cardigan
2 blouses

The one thing I couldn't get rid of is all my pj's. So I have 4 pairs of pj's. I'm sure I could go down to 2 but well I love them.

Eventually my plan is to replace all the items with eco friendly, non-sweatshop, organic clothes. So far I have 2 long sleeved shirts and the grey skirt that I have bought that fit those guidelines.

One thing I have noticed is that my lack of clothes and the ages of my kids mean that I have to wash more often. Which is a very good thing. And since the stuff I have I like and fits me well. I actually feel good about how I look, and I don't ponder "what should I wear today, I have nothing to wear." Which really was a statement that was saying. " what I have clean in my closet I hate, and I don't want to wear it."

My cousin was the one who made me decide to do this. She has 1 skirt, 2 pairs of pants, and 4 shirts. Whenever she buys some more clothes it replaces whatever she already had.

Anyone else?
post #2 of 36
I so need to go through my own clothing again. I have so much clothing that I don't wear that is next to new... it's either not flattering or the wrong size.

I think tonight I will pare down my pants. My goal is 1 pair of nice jeans, 1 pair of dirty job jeans, 1 pair of track pants, 4 pairs of work pants.

I'll go through some other clothing, too... but it'd be SO awesome if I could get rid of enough clothes that I could see my laundry room floor again.

Take care,
El
post #3 of 36
I try to move that direction, but I have a really hard time with it (and I have way less clothes than most people!).

The hard thing, for me, is that I regularly ruin clothes by staining them. So I try to pick things up when I see a super good deal, so that I don't have to buy full price when I ruin something.
post #4 of 36
I am SOOO cleaning my closet out today after reading this thread!!
I want to start now but I have a sleeping babe on my lap (the ONLY way he will take a nap and I am stuck.

But I am thinking about all the things that really need to go! I have bought a lot of new clothes recently, but I haven't really purged a thing. My kids keep me so busy with their clothes...Anyway, I noticed some Maternity clothes in my closet the other day, and the "baby" I mentioned earlier will be one next week. Why do I still have Maternity clothes in my closet??:

Oh I have about 15 pairs of Birkenstocks that need either re-soling or other type of repair. I don't even WEAR Birkenstocks anymore!!

I think I could find at least 50 things to get rid of. I will try to update later with pics!! Thanks for the inspiration!!
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I try to move that direction, but I have a really hard time with it (and I have way less clothes than most people!).

The hard thing, for me, is that I regularly ruin clothes by staining them. So I try to pick things up when I see a super good deal, so that I don't have to buy full price when I ruin something.
I have the SAME problem!! I have been trying to be better about it but I swear I am worse than my 5 yo!!

For me I think I don't pay enough attention and I end up with things on my clothes.
I have been wearing an apron in the kitchen now and that has helped a lot. I also deal with stains right away...I will at least dab at it with a damp sponge and a little dishwashing liquid. Then the stain doesn't set. Works wonders.

and i know some of you are reading this and thinking "My God! You just figured that out??!!!" Yup.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
I have the SAME problem!! I have been trying to be better about it but I swear I am worse than my 5 yo!!

For me I think I don't pay enough attention and I end up with things on my clothes.
I have been wearing an apron in the kitchen now and that has helped a lot. I also deal with stains right away...I will at least dab at it with a damp sponge and a little dishwashing liquid. Then the stain doesn't set. Works wonders.

and i know some of you are reading this and thinking "My God! You just figured that out??!!!" Yup.
My husband has this tendency, and the one cleaning supply I use that is not eco-friendly is Shout. I decided that getting the stain out (and keeping the shirt) is better for the planet than consuming shirt after shirt after shirt. I'm not sure if I'm right on this one or not, but it feels right to me.

I tried some eco-friendly stain removers and found none that works as reliably as Shout.
post #7 of 36

Ridiculously long post warning!

This is an inventory of all the clothing I own:

Pants
2 jeans (one grey, one blue)
2 wool (one grey, one pinstriped)
2 yoga pants (one capri, one full-length)
1 pajama pants
1 scrubs pants

1 Nightgown

Skirts
2 all-season (one black with flowers, one black)
1 jean
1 wool (black and white)

Cardigans
1 black with white
1 black
1 pink

Sweatshirts
1 black
1 green
1 maroon

Blouses
1 short-sleeved grey
1 long-sleeved patterned

Short-sleeved tees
2 black
1 green
1 grey/cream
1 cream

Long-sleeved tees
2 black
1 cream turtleneck
1 brown/grey stripes
1 black/white stripes

Tank tops
3 nursing (one grey, one black, one pink)
1 black
1 black camisole
1 brown
1 crazy purple knitted camisole thing that I love

Dresses
1 black and green

Things I can't wear while I'm still nursing:
1 black sundress
1 black cocktail dress
2 jersey dresses (one grey, one black)
1 nightgown
1 slip

Shoes
1 pair black heels
1 pair Birkenstock clogs
1 pair black Mary Janes
1 pair black Fluevog boots
1 pair running shoes

Coats:
1 long green wool
1 short heavy brown sweater
1 long lightweight camel sweater (for spring and fall)

Socks
Undies/Bras
Scarves/Mitts/Hats
2 Swimsuits (one beachy, one sporty)

Somebody wears too much black!

Looking at it, I could probably pare it down, but I do honestly wear it most of it really regularly (excepting the things that aren't conducive to nursing right now). It still looks like a lot. I dunno.

I know there are some doubles in there. I have two pairs of wool pants. I could probably do with only one, but I live in Canada, and I get a lot of months of wear out of them. I can probably ditch the cocktail dress, since the sundress is nice enough. The wool skirt can probably go, and one of the black cardigans (even though they're both pretty...ugh!).

I cycle through the t-shirts pretty regularly. I consistently get little holes in them around my middle. Why? It's a mystery. I bet half of the ones I've listed are holey, but I'm telling myself they don't have ENOUGH holes for anyone to notice.

I SAH most of the time, but I do some occasional contract work that requires businesswear.

Does this look like too much? I may have to do some culling tonight.
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiemonster View Post
I cycle through the t-shirts pretty regularly. I consistently get little holes in them around my middle. Why? It's a mystery. I bet half of the ones I've listed are holey, but I'm telling myself they don't have ENOUGH holes for anyone to notice.
Hey! I have the mysterious belly hole disease too! I blame mine on my cats though, because they like to come knead my stomach. Apparently my big Jell-O tummy feels good to their paws or something

I really need to go through my closet, but I feel guilty getting rid of clothes. Most of them I didn't buy, my mom or grandma bought them for me in an effort to dress me up a bit. I'm just not a dressy type of girl. Give me a couple of T-shirts and a hoodie and a pair of jeans or two and we're good to go. They tell me I dress like a man I tell them it's more comfy... arguments, blah blah blah, and so my closet has a ton of clothes that are really cute, just not my style.

So yeah, I really need to de-closet. And I have way too many pairs of pajamas too...leftover from when I was pregnant and lived in only pajamas
post #9 of 36
the major problem in my closet is pjs.. and I rarely buy them.. the thing is, my pj's are my regular clothes that are no longer acceptable to wear in public, so they get demoted to the pj drawer (i'm constantly getting stains/holes/snags on my tees). I probably have 5 pants, 1 capri, 2 shorts, 5 shortsleeve t's, 4 longsleeve t's, 3 tank tops, 2 hoodies, and that's after I recently pared it down. I try the "one in, one out" rule, but they're just all so comfy, and they all could completely fall apart at any moment, so I'd hate to be left with nothing...
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiemonster View Post

Does this look like too much? I may have to do some culling tonight.
I'd probably get rid of the black jersey dress, since you have the black cocktail and the black sundress.

I think as far as pajamas go you are doing great, since you just have the one nightgown. I pared down to 4 pairs of pajama bottoms and a couple of pajama tops (DH's old t-shirts) last night.

I guess you could go down to one bathing suit... but if you really have a use for one beachy and one sporty, then that's cool. And I'd probably go down to the one black cardigan, but if you find yourself reaching for both of them, then there's no reason to get rid of one.

I think really it's a matter of if you have space for the clothing that you have, and if you have the patience to fold the laundry that you have.

For me, that's the main thing. I'm running out of space, and I don't want my laundry room floor covered in laundry anymore.

You're doing really well!

Take care,
El
post #11 of 36
This is such a problem, as I'm looking at my clothes I'm noticing that I don't have a lot of the closet *basics*... you know... one black dress, etc. I did get rid of one garbage bag of clothing so far, and I'm working still... but I think that in the New Year I'll focus my clothing attention and budget to minimizing and swapping (one in, one out) for really classic, basic pieces that go well together.

Take care,
El
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellemnop View Post
This is such a problem, as I'm looking at my clothes I'm noticing that I don't have a lot of the closet *basics*... you know... one black dress, etc. I did get rid of one garbage bag of clothing so far, and I'm working still... but I think that in the New Year I'll focus my clothing attention and budget to minimizing and swapping (one in, one out) for really classic, basic pieces that go well together.

Take care,
El
I've been thinking about this, too, since I don't really have THAT much, I want to make sure it's all classic and versatile.

I'm really tempted to get a different pair of boots and a different pair of heels, because the ones I have are a little too trendy. I'm Compacting this year, though, so new shoes haven't been a consideration for a while.

It's hard to know what to do with the specialty clothing. Like, I rarely wear a cocktail dress, but it fits well and looks nice. When the occasion comes to wear one, will I be sorry that I got rid of it? But then, if I seldom wear it, should it be taking up precious real estate in my closet? Is there something else I own that will serve the purpose?

If I could do a better job of keeping on top of laundry, I could get away with less.
post #13 of 36
I'm hoping that by really simplifying my closet it'll FORCE me to keep on top of laundry!

Because really... I took pictures last night of my laundry room floor, my messy drawers, and my closet, because when I'm done I'm going to take pictures.... and they are COVERED... and that's not including the floor space in my bedroom and bathroom that has clothes on it.

It's actually embarassing me to write this... but hopefully I'll get this under control. I feel so untidy.

Take care,
El
post #14 of 36
I don't have an inventory but I do have a lot. My thing is that it's hard for me to find things that fit right, since I'm so dern short (4' 10-1/2"). When I find something, I hang onto it until it's in tatters. (Or stained beyond belief, thank you kids! )

I don't wear most of it though, and a lot of what I have doesn't fit anymore due to the inevitable changes in body-shape after six kids. I have been meaning to sort through everything and weed some of it out. I do already have one stack of donation-items. Mostly t-shirts that are just too baggy, hehe.

On that note, however, I sorted through my 3-yo DD's clothes the other day... because of boxes of stuff having been donated by a sister, a sister-in-law and a friend, she has 44 pairs of pants in a size 3T. She could wear a different pair of pants every day for a month and a half before I had to do laundry. Yeah, it's definitely time to pare THAT down!! I don't think I have owned that many pairs of pants over the course of my entire life.
post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
I don't have an inventory but I do have a lot. My thing is that it's hard for me to find things that fit right, since I'm so dern short (4' 10-1/2").
I hear ya. One of the reasons why I would rather buy dresses and skirts. I don't have to hem them!! Two of the pairs of pants I have I really dislike, but I've hemmed them already, to buy a new pair of pants that I have to hem just makes me want to cry right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
On that note, however, I sorted through my 3-yo DD's clothes the other day... because of boxes of stuff having been donated by a sister, a sister-in-law and a friend, she has 44 pairs of pants in a size 3T. She could wear a different pair of pants every day for a month and a half before I had to do laundry. Yeah, it's definitely time to pare THAT down!! I don't think I have owned that many pairs of pants over the course of my entire life.
That reminds me, I was the youngest and smallest girl cousin of 17 girl cousins. So I got a lot and I mean a lot of handme downs when I was a kid. I remember in grade three, I wore a different outfit to school each day. It wasn't until the end of Nov that I finally ran out of clothes. It was a sad day when I stopped recieving so many handme downs.
post #16 of 36
I read a neat article on liturgical dressing, and I really liked the idea. So, I am in the midst of paring my wardrobe and changing over my clothes.

I am figuring the following will cover any needs I might have:

3/4 length t-shirts

3 green
2 purple
2 rose/pink
2 blue
2 red
3 white

Knee-length casual skirts
1 black cordoroy wrap
1 brown cordoroy wrap
1 denim wrap
1 black twill flare
1 khaki twill flare
1 denim flare

Button-downs
1 green
1 purple
1 blue
1 red
1 rose/pink
2 white

Knee-length dressy skirts
1 black sateen flare
1 black microsuade wrap
1 black microsuade flare

Casual dresses
3 black (with no ties, and several ties in the below colors)
2 green
1 red
1 blue
2 purple
1 rose/pink

Nice dresses
1 black wrap
1 black crushes sateen pullover
2 purple
3 green
1 red
1 blue
1 gold
1 rose/pink

I figure that I can "pack" each color together (except for the black) and pull it out according to the liturgical season!
Though now that I think about it, I will prolly have more green since ordinary time is the longest!
post #17 of 36
I want to pare down my clothes too. One thing puzzles me - many of you who have gone through the exercise are still ending up with multiple clothes of the same color & type. (e.g. 2 long sleeve green shirts).

Why?

I havent taken inventory yet but what I am thinking of is 2 sets of the following, one for hot weather and one for cold weather: 5 complete outfits suitable for wearing out, 3-4 for home, 2 for sleep and 3-5 for dressy ocassions.

practically I will have to see how this shapes up once I take inventory.

I may not toss anything but I will resolve to buy NOTHING unless required to complete required inventory. I am hoping I can buy no clothes in 2009.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumi View Post
I want to pare down my clothes too. One thing puzzles me - many of you who have gone through the exercise are still ending up with multiple clothes of the same color & type. (e.g. 2 long sleeve green shirts).

Why?
With me, I am dressing according the color of the liturgical season. And I like to have at least one week's worth of clothes. So for me, 2 green shirts (with one of the above skirts), a casual green dress, a casual black dress with green ties and a nice green dress get me through one work during Ordinary Time.
The white shirts are something to have on hand, just in case. And it's always nice to have at least 2 white t-shirts and a white button down!

And you have to understand- all of those clothes are not in my closet at one time! The green items are packed together, the purple, the pink, and so on.
post #19 of 36
I have a bunch of casual clothes that Ive had since before I got married. Other than maternity clothes the last time I really went clothes shopping was when I got back from Iraq in Mar 2005. I really need to go clothes shopping when I get back to the states in a year and a half. Most of the clothes I have are only good for house work, I think I have one or two nicer outfits for when I go out. I do have nicer maternity clothing than I do regular clothes since I just bought some when I got pregnant with DD2 since I gave away most of mine before I found out I was pregnant.
post #20 of 36
I want to declutter my wardrobe, but i am having problems because of weight fluctuation. I have my skinny clothes, my regular clothes, my bigger clothes/post partum clothes an then the maternity clothes-which most i am lending to my sister at the moment. I just can't part with clothes that I may 'need' down he road, but my closet is always unorganized and i keep thinking, that if i get rid of some or my put some clothes in storage?? I don't know what to do, but then i have dh saying I wear boring clothes? I guess i try to by more classic styles, the trendy clothes go out of style so fast or i will gain a few pounds then they no longer fit me. I do plan on ttc again sometime in the near future, and right now i am trying to lose weight. I guess i should just focus on clothes that i don't like or never wear-like tshirts, i think i have a doze that i never wear, i just don't like to wear bulky tshirts much. I guess i can keep a couple for cleaning or dirty jobs and donate the rest. Okay that is a start!
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