45 Day Closet Challenge
When do you switch your clothes from winter to summer (or do you)? I do this twice a year, usually in May and November. I find it’s the perfect time to declutter my wardrobe, clean the closet and get it all tidy. Plus, it keeps me interested in my clothes.
Last November, when I switch my clothes around, I conducted a small experiment to figure out what I actually gravitate towards in my closet and tracked what I wore for 45 days.
So let me take you along on this recap.
ps. If you don’t care about my results and just want to know how to do this yourself, just scroll to the bottom 😉
Why Do The Challenge
I’ve always been curious about capsule wardrobes, where people only have a very small amount of clothes (usually 25-35), but I’ve never attempted to reach a specific number myself. This experiment was my way of seeing what number of items might be good for me.
Also, although I suck at math, I’m a nerd at heart and I love data (I just prefer when someone else does the math for me!).
At the start of the experiment, I had 85 items (excluding workout gear, sleepwear, jewellery and outerwear, but including shoes and scarves) and I wanted to see if I actually wore everything or if I could reduce that number.
I only tracked for 45 days, but it would have been better to track longer; maybe 2-3 full months to really get the bigger picture. So I may do this again just for me, later this summer.
What I Wore Most
First off, this is what I started with:
- 12 – Pants
- 8 – Skirts & Dresses
- 9 – Jackets (including 1 outerwear)
- 5 – Heavy sweaters
- 8 – Sweaters & Long sleeve t-shirts
- 7 – Cardigans
- 7 – Shirts & Blouses
- 8 – T-shirts
- 7 – Tank tops
- 8 – Shoes & Boots
- 6 – Scarves
If you count, that’s 20 bottoms (including dresses), 14 footwear and scarves (that didn’t get counted in the end) and 51 tops (51!!, because Canada + layering).
Surprisingly, I wore almost everything once, which is good. It is entirely possible since I was posting a photo on Instagram each day, that subconsciously I looked for variety, so my pictures would not all look the same. That’s why I think tracking longer might have yielded different results.
Because I have more tops, you’ll easily guess I wore pants more often than my tops, even with layering. Here are some stats:
- I wore 16 items 3 times or more (max 6);
- I wore 45 items 1 or 2 times;
- 10 items I didn’t wear once.
So, if my calculations are right, I wore 23% of my items, 49% of the time. So not quite the 20-80 Rule, but still interesting.
If you’re a nerd like me, you can see the totals here for my 45 Day Closet Challenge – and if I messed up the math feel free to let me know.
I definitely noticed some “uniforms“. These outfits were easy to put together, felt comfortable, but still looked professional for my work from home situation.
FUN FACT: Did you know I’ve been working from home since October 2008 and in all of my days at home, stayed in my PJs twice and ABSOLUTELY hated it?
I also noticed outfits that made me feel good and I liked them more when looking back at pictures. I think making a photo album on your phone with those preferred outfits could help with getting dressed in the morning or when you lack inspiration.
What I Didn’t Wear
I’m not into fashion, I much prefer comfort over style, but If I can be comfy AND look my best at the same time, that’s a win. I noticed there were pieces that felt comfortable, but they either didn’t look good on me or made me look washed out. On the other hand, some clothes looked good but made me feel uncomfortable all day long.
Of the items I didn’t wear or wore only once, here is what I’m getting rid of:
- Straight jeans (replaced with a different pair of jeans that fit better);
- Skinny jeans (these are in the probation pile – I still like them, but my body may have outgrown them … will reevaluate in a few months);
- Pink jeans (replaced – but not sure I’ll keep the replacement);
- Black skirt with crystals (fits well, not my style anymore);
- Indigo pencil skirt (fits well, too dressy for my lifestyle);
- Black jacket (it’s from Mexx! tells you how old it is – doesn’t fit well anymore);
- Olive thrifted jacket (cute but not the best fit);
- Burgundy sweater (same as other sweaters I have, I just don’t reach for it);
- Indigo turtleneck (love that sweater, does nothing for my skin tone);
- Red striped t-shirt (donated to the PJ pile);
- Pink cardigan (use to love this one, don’t reach for it anymore).
How To Do The 45 Day Closet Challenge
You could use an App to track what you wear. Personally, I found that taking a picture was more efficient, quick, easy and had the benefit of letting me see what I actually looked like in my clothes.
- Pick a start date and an end date;
- It doesn’t have to start on the first of the month, but you can choose to if it’s going to help you track;
- Track for at least 30 days, consider doing it longer;
- Take one picture a day in a full-length mirror;
- You don’t have to post this anywhere and it’s not to be scrutinized, just tracked;
- Create a photo album on your phone where you can store all the pictures;
- At the end of your challenge period, list your items as you see them in your pictures and tally up how many times you wore them;
- Identify the items you didn’t wear and consider getting rid of them;
Reasons For Getting Rid Of Items
- They don’t fit well or is uncomfortable;
- The items fit but do nothing for your skin tone or your body type;
- They are old and ratty, damaged or stained (beyond repair or extra care);
- They are new but you never reach for them (maybe they are just not for you);
- There is nothing wrong with them, but they don’t fit with anything you own or your present lifestyle;
- You bought them for your fantasy self.
I don’t know about you, but at 50, I’m done feeling bad in my clothes. We all deserve better than that, at whatever age or shape we are. So get rid of that stuff that’s making you feel bad about yourself.
If choosing what to wear in the morning feels overwhelming most days, I think a challenge like this would be great. It may help you get rid of items you really don’t wear, but keep holding onto for whatever reason.
I’d love to know, would you ever do a challenge like this? Should I make a workshop out of it?