Focus people….we are talking about your wardrobe. Do you need a large wardrobe, or can you get away with only a few pieces? Since every single person I know is unique, their respective wardrobe should be just as unique. We all have different lives. Think about how do you spend your time. If you have multiple roles in your life that require very different kinds of clothes, such as more formal work clothes, weekend casual, smart casual, formal evening clothes, then this is going to be a larger wardrobe. Versus if you are a stay-at-home mom who sometimes socialises, your wardrobe will be based around casual and smart casual clothes and can easily be smaller. Your wardrobe could be large or small depending on the climate where you live. It could be smaller if you live somewhere that is temperate and you wear pretty similar clothing all year round, as compared to someone who lives in a climate that requires very different clothes each season because of large temperature variations. The big question of course, how much space do you have to store your wardrobe so that it is easily manageable for you?
How to Assess Your Wardrobe Needs
Consider Your Climate ~ Do you need separate summer and winter wardrobes plus items for those in between seasons?
Personality ~ Do you get bored easily liking change? Do you prefer more of a uniform approach to getting dressed? Knowing what you like really helps you decide what you need in your wardrobe.
Lifestyle ~ Make notes…what your average weeks look like and all the things you do. Then think about clothing requirements for each of these activities and how much time is spent in each dressing style (such as formal business, relaxed business, smart casual, casual, exercise, special event wear). Relate the percentages of time spent in each to your the volume of each in your wardrobe. Remember, even though you may only spend four hours a week doing exercise, you will most likely need to have multiple exercise outfits as they need to be washed after each short session.
Inventory ~ You should take a complete inventory of your wardrobe. Here is a tip…turn around all the hangers in your wardrobe and only turn them back when you have worn an item. After a year you will see just what you have been wearing and what have not been worn.
Try a wardrobe capsule challenge ~ Create a mix and match wardrobe of around 30 garments and ignore all other clothes in your wardrobe. Wear them for the next 2-3 months and see how you feel. Are you feeling bored and stifled by the lack of clothes or do you feel more free? This is another way to discover whether you need more options or prefer a more uniform style of dressing.
Wear everything ~ This is the opposite of a capsule challenge. Instead of limiting your choices, challenge yourself to wear everything in your wardrobe over the coming 6 months. Turn all your hangers backwards and try each day to reach for something with a backwards hanger. Photograph your outfits and then see if you like how they appear on you. You may want to make alterations, you may discover a new outfit, or you may find that you are just not a “dress person” or a “pants person” or whatever it is that those garments that languish in your closet are.
Clear Out The Clutter ~ Once you have worked through what you do and do not need, what you do and do not like, what does and does not work, and get rid of the stuff that does not make you feel good. If it cannot be improved, then let it go. As they say, if you cannot see the woods for the trees, you need to clear everything out to create a better functioning wardrobe so you can see what you really do have that works. Without clearing out the clutter your wardrobe will never be manageable.
Once you have a better handle on your personal needs, you can make a better assessment of what is the right kind of number of garments for your wardrobe, what you enjoy wearing will always come into this equation too.
So tell me….. do you prefer a larger or smaller wardrobe? How many clothes do you feel you need in your wardrobe? I would love to hear your feedback. I am sure you can guess, my wardrobe is HUGE.