Monday, April 18, 2011

How much is enough?

 Today, I am letting go of everything that isn't working in my wardrobe.  I started Tilly's Sewing Productivity Project.  Asking some questions and I have come to some conclusions.  I am  realizing that I don't plan my wardrobe, the result is, too much in my closet that doesn't work.  For example, I have 15 pairs of pants that I don't wear because they feel clingy on my legs. My closet has clothes that are too small, too large and the list goes on. Sure, I am a thrift shopper and because clothing is cheap, I buy too much.  Four hours and four large trash bags later, these clothes are leaving my home.  As I look at my summer/spring wardrobe, I need a good plan.  With 18 summer skirts, you would think I would be set, but most don't match any blouses I have.  As part of Tilly's project, I am including taking an inventory of everything I own, looking for gaps. Then, I am purging the rest. I would like to have my spring/summer wardrobe down to this:

12 skirts
12 blouses
12 dresses
10 knits shirts
7 nightshirts
10 light weight jackets and coats (I love coats, 10 seems like a lot)
5 spring sweaters
2 sweat shirts
3 pair of pants for painting/yard work
2 workout outfits
5 pairs of shorts
3 bathing suits
2 special occasion outfits
1 funeral dress (more on this later)

Does this seem reasonable? Is this realistic? Am I missing something?  You may ask, why am I doing this.  Mainly I am making room for this new phase in my life of sewing my own wardrobe. I want to count the cost, take the inventory and make a plan that works. I am done with over stuffing my closet.  Do you struggle with your wardrobe? Do you have a plan or buy, make, whatever comes your way? Do you have any tips to share with everyone about how you have built your personal wardrobe?

I am hoping to become more productive in having a simple vintage wardrobe that mixes well and is easy to wear. That's the goal! Thanks Tilly!

Have a wonderful vintage day!



  1. You have such a bright and colorful closet - I love that. I totally struggle with my wardrobe as well, but for opposite reasons. I hate shopping - so I always feel like I have nothing to wear. When I do go shopping, I try to find clothing that is "professional" (mostly suits, sweaters & blouses) unfortunately so many of these clothes come in black, grey, navy, brown and white. My wardrobe is blah and I always look like I am going to a funeral.

  2. I think that sounds entirely reasonable - edited, even. As long as that's enough to keep you happy, it's perfect. Great job taking stock of your situation. That takes a lot.

  3. You're inspiring me to get started with some serious wardrobe cleaning I've been avoiding for months! I find that I too have a lot of "fun" pieces, but haven't really devoted a lot of time and planning to figuring out how to create a cohesive wardrobe that actually has things that go together. Half my closet may work together, but the other (over stuffed!) half doesn't. Which just overwhelms me when I look at it! Part of the problem is thrifting without a definite plan (been doing that since the first of the year and boy has it made a difference!), and sewing things that are "pretty" but don't necessarily work within my existing closet. Frustrating in a way, but I think it's kind of fun to approach things in a new light and "start fresh"!

    I think your wardrobe plan sounds great--very well rounded. I think that is one thing I need to do: start making some lists and putting things in perspective! :)

    ♥ Casey

  4. I totally love your plan. I have two closets ful of dresses that no longer fit me I really want to sew myself a new wardrobe and everytime it comes to going out I find I have nothing decent to wear. I do need to take an inventory and start post on ebay and/or etsy. On the bright not I did just buy some fabric for a a shirt that will actually match one of the skirts I have that fits me well and will make a nice outfit. Good luck.

  5. The simpler your closet becomes...the easier and happier you will be in the morning when you reach for a garment :-)

    A plan is always a good thing - it keeps you focused.

    Mrs. M.

  6. I have one section to my wardrobe which I rarely ever get into it, why? It contains things I never wear lol..why do we do this I ask?
    Well we might want to wear them someday I guess that's. You've talked me into taking another look at those things. Just yesterday I did a purge on my everyday knit tops I wear and I'm taking a stack of them to the clothing place, this I do once or twice a year to move out items that are not things I keep for years but wear awhile then get rid of.

  7. Sounds like you had a good sort out! I had a good sort out a couple of weeks ago, and I'm trying to sew things that I will actually wear with things already in my wardrobe. Its proving difficult, as I'm not very good at putting outfits together! lol
    Ashley x

  8. Ah yes! Can totally relate. I had a massive purge recently brought on by Me Made March. I realised my wardrobe was so lacking in focus and direction, (yet choc full of random thrifts), that it was becomeing oppressive. My wardrobe is pretty bare right now,but the sense of relief was well worth it. I felt like a massive weight had been lifted. Weird! You wouldn't think a wardrobe could do that to you!At least I now love and feel good in each item that survived the cull! I have a colour palette that I am loosely sticking to when I thrift, refashion or make anything. (I'm trying to remain disciplined!) But I like the idea of honing this even further like you have here...thanks for thought ;)

  9. Gina I completely know where you're coming from. I work in Mental Health (Community Services) so what I wear 9-5 weekdays involves knee-length shorts and t-shirts (crushes my vintage soul every time I put it on). So I have a different problem in that I only have 2 out of 7 days per week I can actually wear my own clothes. So I feel guilt if I have a lot of clothes but I also don't want to be stuck wearing the same few outfits all the time.

    Your wardrobe looks so pretty! I wish I had those bright colours to greet me each morning. Good luck with your wardrobe makeover. Sam xox

  10. I realized only 2 days ago that I am in the same situation! Lots of skirts and blouses/shirts that don't work together. And don't even get me started on pants! I own one pair of jeans that actually fit correctly - and the knee ripped last week so I can't wear them in public now. I have been thinking a closet re-do as well and this has given me the push to do it! BTW, I am a long time lurker but first time poster. Love your blog!

  11. i dont think it will ever be enough, at least not for me :)

    <3 steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

  12. I constantly struggle with this sort of thing. I don't have much stuff I don't wear, since I live away out of a suticase and basically force myself to wear anything, but whenever I visit my parents and all my and my sister's old stuff is there, I feel completely bogged down by it. Grrr.

    It's one of my aims to learn how to sew when I no longer live out of a suitcase, and make the things I see in my head rather than relying on the vagaries of malls/thrift stores.

    Oops, rant. Sorry! What I meant was, "well done!"

  13. What a wonderful project to undertake. I feel exactly the same way about my closet. How gutsy it must be to donate all of those clothes. I hope to be able to do that this coming spring/summer.

  14. Annabelle- I hear you, when working outside the home, it's hard because of the office dress code. Maybe sew something bright and unexpected to cheer your closet!

    K.Line- I hope it is enough, too much leaves me feeling over whelmed. Today it was so easy getting dressed. Thanks!

    Casey- I agree, a definite plan is what I am working towards. You will do great cleaning it up. I think the "dream" of a garment is different from "wearing" a garment. Meaning it looks great on the hanger and I want to keep it but doesn't look nice on me. Now I know it's time to let it go.

    Living Vintage- Hooray for you, I hope you do sew a wardrobe and get rid of the stuff that isn't working. Maybe you'll get some money for your dress and the peace of knowing you have something great to go out in!

    Mrs. M.- It sounds like you have a lot of wisdom. You already know how valuable this is. Today, grabbing my clothes was so easy, Thanks for your comment, I am going to stay focused here.

    Nan- I hope you do. One thing I did was I tried everything on, things that felt tight went, things that didn't hang right went. Bad colors went. Take a hard look, end the end you will be happy, a burden has left me for sure!

    ashley0107- keep working at it! If you have to do solids with solids do. I hope you sew some great things! I am starting with some basics first.

    Miss P- Isn't is weird that there is a sense of peace and comfort to letting go of "dream" clothing that looks nice on a hanger but doesn't suit. I want a road map and to connect the dots! You are doing wonderful with your refashions they are truly beautiful and will serve you well!

    Sam- it made me sad to read that your vintage spirit gets crushed. It must be hard not having control over what you are able to wear most days.I hope you have something happy to wear on the other two.

    Dondi- I feel your pain about the pants/jeans. People who don't have to search don't understand that RTW really doesn't work for everyone. I hope you find some jeans I have one pair from Charter Club. They work for me. Good luck! Thanks for the comment too, love hearing from you!!!

    Steffys Pros and Cons- I understand that completely. Some people are wired to handle more, I am not, it's great you know what you like.

    Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys- You weren't ranting at all. It must be hard living out a suitcase. You sound like me getting overwhelmed by all the stuff. I hope you learn to sew, it's worth it once over the learning curve.

    zilredloh- You are already 1/2 there. You know what you want to sew and this is just the other half. Taking the inventory was the best part because now I know I have 3 white blouses for summer and don't need another one! Good luck! would love to hear how you do.

  15. Oh my Gosh you can't even imaging the problems that I have with my closet. There's never enough space! I guess I will have to donate some clothes soon.

    Love your blog!


  16. Wow, that's great. Well done you! I just attempted to switch over my summer and winter wardrobes but got a bit overwhelmed by how many "just okay" tops I own and how many dresses I've got that I never wear. I may have to follow suit at some point and take drastic action...

  17. How wonderful! I am getting rid of things and I think it's affected my kids bc my son said YAY mommy we are getting rid of ;o)