Last year, I recorded all my wardrobe purchases here. I’m using the same format this year, and took a similar photo for comparison’s sake:
Unlike last year, I am now a regular at two local thrift shops, both of which are within easy walking distance of my job. As mentioned last year, most thrift stores around here are dainty boutiques, not the giant thrift palaces of the US. This limits the selection but makes shopping efficient; in 20 minutes, a person can thoroughly inspect the entire store and be on her merry way.
I’m caught up on laundry, so this photo is an accurate reflection of my wardrobe— aside from pajamas, which live in my bedside drawer, and outerwear, which stays in a coat closet. Plus my two robes, which hang on the bedroom door… this is splitting hairs, but I want to be clear that I don’t have other closets or boxes of clothes stashed elsewhere.
Everything on this list is vegan-friendly.
My 2015 Clothing Purchases and What I Learned:
– 1 sky blue tank top (low-quality, mistake: stretched horribly almost immediately)
– 2 lightweight sweaters (medium blue and medium teal)
– 1 brown shawl (secondhand)
– 1 pair heather brown tights
= 5 items: 1 secondhand
– 1 lightweight medium blue sweater (identical to last month’s; get while the getting’s good)
– 1 brown straight skirt (lined, secondhand)
– 1 charcoal trumpet skirt (secondhand)
– 1 chain belt
– 1 Narrow brown belt (secondhand)
– 1 pair brown tights
– 1 pair black fishnet knee-highs (secondhand, but new-in-package)
– 1 Floral scarf (secondhand)
= 8 items: 5 secondhand
– 3 pair tights (2 brown, 1 blue. Clearance sale)
– 4 pair black pantyhose (bulk pack, for choir concerts)
– 1 pair black leggings (to make sleeves for my lone choir dress, since it’s a bit revealing for church concerts)
– 1 faux-straw cloche hat (secondhand)
= 9 items: 1 secondhand, 8 stretchy leg coverings— a little weird, eh?
– 2 pair shoes: brown heeled oxfords, snakeskin print block heels (secondhand)
– 1 teal striped blouse (secondhand)
– Septum jewelry; a retainer and two plain steel rings
= 6 items; 3 secondhand
1 shirt: orange sleeveless (secondhand)
2 pair pants: brown and blue (secondhand)
1 gray/brown jacket (secondhand)
1 ash brown cropped cardigan (secondhand)
1 taupe shawl
4 pair underwear (bike short style, no compression)
1 pair sunglasses
1 watch (secondhand) (Second hand, get it? Comedy!) (low quality, didn’t last long)
2 pair CZ earrings
= 14 items: 6 secondhand
1 dress (blue chambray)
3 shirts (one aqua ikat, one sleeveless chambray, embroidered peasant blouse)
1 pair workout capris
1 pair trousers (brown plaid)
1 pair jeggings
1 purse (blue, large)
Septum jewelry; 1 retainer, 1 plain steel ring
= 10 items: 3 secondhand
1 shirt (blue medium blue dress shirt, secondhand)
1 dress (brown and white weave of some kind, secondhand)
1 skirt (navy blue, short and pleated, secondhand)
1 purse (small, cork! Cork at a secondhand store!)
2 plain steel septum rings
= 7 items: 4 secondhand
1 blazer (brown, secondhand)
1 pair thick dark jeggings
1 medium blue gored skirt (had altered by a seamstress)
3 pair shoes (brown boots, silver-gray wingtips, tan sneakers)
= 6 items: 1 secondhand
1 shirt (pale blue dress shirt)
1 pair pajamas (flannel, periwinkle paisley) (low quality, pilled after two wearings)
1 bra (nude)
1 pair shoes (taupe studded T-straps)
= 4 items: 1 secondhand
1 thick sweater (oatmeal)
1 pair boots (muted teal wingtip sorta things)
1 pair silver hoop earrings
= 3 items
1 pair yoga pants
1 silver watch (hasn’t arrived yet, hope it looks good in person)
(Technically, I bought a dusty blue jersey scarf and an oatmeal jersey skirt this month, both secondhand… but only for the materials, since I’m learning to sew knits on a sewing machine. Since I’ll never wear them as they are, I’m categorizing these as fabric, not clothes.)
= 2 items
Wearable Gifts: Not purchases, but still contributing to my 2015 wardrobe:
1 pair sage green wrist warmers (knit by my mommy)
1 lightweight scarf (a Christmas gift from Bridget)
1 canvas hat (another Christmas gift from Bridget)
– Cheap tights from the drugstore don’t bounce back well. Not stretchy enough.
– It’s hard to put together cohesive outfits with colorful tights and/or shoes. Hence, I get a lot more mileage out of neutral shoes and tights, mostly brown. Plus, I love to see people wearing clothes that match their hair color.
– Dark colors look harsh with my soft coloring, especially now that I wear so little makeup. Should have noticed this at least twenty purchases ago. Sigh!
-For the million-and-first time, buy quality. Will I never learn?
– As you can see, my wardrobe’s still a manageable size, and most of my clothes are in heavy rotation. Nevertheless, I still shop too much. Retail therapy is not a legit therapy, self.
– While cotton dress shirts are biodegradable, they also look horribly crumpled after an hour of wear. No amount of ironing or starch helped, so I donated three dress shirts to charity. Also, many women’s dress shirts lack the details that help make a shirt look sharp; stiff collars, collar stays, and closely-spaced buttons.
– My body is not keen on pants.
– For the third time, I am phasing high heels out of my life. Foot pain sucks, and our feet deserve better.
– Most of my clothes are for work. I don’t socialize much, so I don’t need a lot of casual clothes. Besides, outside the house I’m not an ultra-casual person. I wouldn’t pay much for a hoodie or sneakers, for example, because I prefer to look more dressed up.
– Neutrals are important to me. I like wearing a little color, but I always want brown, gray, or oatmeal clothes to tone things down. Inside Out Style would tell you this is because I have low-to-medium color contrast in my natural coloring, and I’ll buy that.
Predictions for 2016:
– More homemade garments; I bought a sewing machine and three patterns this winter. -swallows nervously- While I’ve made a number of successful clothes in the past — with dart and zippers, even— I’ve never made anything without sobbing, wailing, and shrieking. I’ve had two skirts altered by a seamstress in the past two years (waists taken in, one lining added), and studied her handiwork. Pretty sure I can do what she does, albeit more slowly and with more basting and crying.
– In 2014, I lost a glove. Winter 2015 has been so mild, I’ve gotten away with wearing knitted wrist warmers that Ms. Mama made me. Sooner or later, though, I’ll need warm gloves again.
– I own lots of knitting needles, crochet hooks, and books about both knitting and crocheting. Does that mean I’ll ever improve my knitting or learn to crochet? Eh, maybe. Good yarn’s expensive, though, and accessories made from chintzy yarn usually look Homemade in the Bad Way. As in, baby’s first project.
What did you learn from your wardrobe in 2015? Did you buy anything glorious or regrettable? What can you predict about your 2016 wardrobe needs and wants?