Me, Sewing plans

Taking Inventory

I actually do have projects to post — Kelly, Renfrew, Christmas gifts I made for the kids — but I’ve been lazy and haven’t gotten my pictures in order yet.

So last night, rather than taking/editing photos, I decided to inventory my wardrobe!

I’ve been complaining for months about my outdated/overworn wardrobe.  You know there’s a problem when you look at a closet overflowing with clothes and can’t find anything to wear.  Obviously something’s wrong.

Anyway, on the Coletterie blog yesterday, Sarai posted about how, during her closet-cleaning process, she took a full inventory of her wardrobe.  And she even included a template wardrobe spreadsheet for free!  As soon as I read the post, I knew this would be a fantastic exercise for me, so I downloaded the template, and anxiously waited until the kids were in bed so I could tackle that closet!

I did alter the template to make it more appropriate for my wardrobe.  After all, a lawyer generally needs more suits and work-appropriate blouses and slacks than the average person!

I made it through my entire wardrobe last night, and the exercise was … illuminating.  I was downright surprised by some of my counts. For instance, when I actually counted, I discovered that I own 7 pairs of black trousers. Had I been going off the top of my head instead of faced with the stark reality, I would have told you I had 2, maybe 3.  But 7?  Who needs 7 pairs of black trousers?

I also learned that I own 135 knit tops.  Granted, that includes all my sweaters, cardigans, t-shirts, etc., but still — 135?!? That’s crazy!  And I would wager that I wear a couple dozen of those at most.  The rest are either styles that I don’t particularly care for, or have been worn so much that they’re all pilled and nasty.

My biggest wardrobe gap by far (not surprising at all to me), is loungewear and lingerie.  I own exactly 0 pairs of actual pajamas.  Instead, I sleep in yoga pants and a t-shirt.  Sexy.

I haven’t purchased new bras in ages, and a couple of weeks ago I finally threw away my only two light-colored bras because they were so worn … well, it wasn’t good. So now I have only black bras. Certainly not ideal.

I am really glad I went through this exercise, though, because it has really focused my sewing and shopping efforts.  That great knit top that I want to make?  Better put it on hold unless another knit top (or 2) are going in the Goodwill pile in return.

Lately when I get dressed for work, I’m drawn to woven blouses and I rarely find one I want to wear.  My inventory revealed that I own a whopping 6 woven blouses.  Compare that to 24 short-sleeved knit tops.  Obviously that’s an area to focus on.

So, here’s what this exercise taught me:

  • I want to wear more dresses and skirts, so that’s an area to focus on.
  • I’m drawn to woven blouses and tanks and I have relatively few.  Again, an area for growth.
  • I DO NOT need black pants.  But I don’t have a single pair of navy, which I would get a lot of use out of.
  • I don’t own a single pencil skirt, and I want to. I love pencil skirts.
  • My loungewear and lingerie wardrobe is pitiful.  I need to learn to make some lingerie and acquire some good patterns (I’m thinking Colette Cinnamon and Nutmeg).
  • I need to make myself pajamas.  Lots of pajamas.
  • My workout clothes are pretty close to where I want them.  And Albert is a Lululemon ambassador, so they’re all great quality and will last me forever.  No need to buy workout clothes.
  • Even though I own 5 pairs of shorts, I don’t actually like any of them. I think these all need to be replaced.  Again, probably will require a pattern acquisition. I like Colette Iris.
  • I own 12 belts. I don’t remember the last time I wore a belt. I hate belts.

Has anyone else ever taken a closet inventory?  Did you find it as illuminating as I did?

10 thoughts on “Taking Inventory

  1. Never even considered, but thanks to having exactly no clothing storage I have to do what I call the “great weather switch-out” two times a year so I’m forced to go through each and every item as I take all my summer clothes out and put all my winter clothes in (and vice versa). Once I’m done breastfeeding (have I said that before? LOL) I’m going to take some time to re-vamp my wardrobe — thinking fall 2013. An honest inventory before I hire a personal shopper would be a great place to start! Stay tuned!

    1. Your life is going to rock once you’re done breastfeeding! The blessing (and curse) of a large closet is that it fits every item of clothing I own, regardless of season. The sad thing is, these counts don’t include the two massive piles of rejected clothing that are currently sitting on my closet floor (one destined for Goodwill, the other for my refashion bin). A personal shopper would be wonderful, but alas, it’s just not in the budget right now :/ Have fun, though!

  2. Oh and for bras etc. I love Soma bra’s (especially the Allure for that post baby ‘lift’ we all need. Their underwear is very nice and holds up well. Last time I was there I impulsively bought a pair of their PJ pants because I to troll around the house in yoga pants most of the time. They are super soft and have such fun knit prints (and pockets!). Of course these would be so easy to make but I could never find knit prints like that to sew with (and I also have to calculate the effort/fabric cost and I couldn’t make myself a pair of PJ’ pants for what I could buy for $15 when Soma has a sale)! If you are venturing into making lingerie, my mother always gets her lingerie knits and trims for panties, slips etc at Zoelee’s ( — but I think you knew that already.

    1. I did know that, and I’ve perused Zoelee’s site already. She has a great selection, so undoubtedly I will try to buy my materials there. I’ve read good things about the Pin Up Girls bra patterns, so we’ll see. My absolute favorite bra (one of the two that I still own) is a Soma bra, and I’d love to get more (“lift” is always good). I was trying to browse their sale stuff today but our firewall blocks anything related to lingerie (boo!). I’ve recently acquired some Girl Charlee knits (, and so far I’ve found them to be great quality, good prints, and very reasonably priced. I’ll probably use some to make some PJs, but I’d also like to pick up a pair or two RTW at someplace like Soma. I’ll have to check those out in the sale too — well, when I’m at a computer that will open the site 🙂 My goal is ultimately to have about 6 pairs of PJs (3 for winter, 3 for summer), so that’s a LOT of PJs to make myself!

      1. I need to check out Girl Charlee! I always wonder where to buy knits. I just snapped up an awesome primary color chevron knit from Hawthorne Threads for a handmade gift for a friend! I would love to get into bra-making someday — especially so I can learn to make a proper bra-top swim suit! The fancy fabric store here offers classes on bra making so maybe someday…

  3. Holy cow, that’s a lot of knit tops! Speaking of cows, I have a giant wardrobe because my weight is constantly fluctuating… I would be terrified to do this exercise. It seems like my skinny jeans become my fat jeans, then those fat jeans become my skinny jeans six months later… 🙂

    1. I know, right?!? 135 knit tops is crazy! The size of my wardrobe is largely due to similar factors though. With two pregnancies in the last 5 years, my weight has fluctuated so much and I didn’t want to throw lot of things away because I never knew what size I’d be in 6 months. But I think it’s gotten out of control — time to cut back!

  4. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?

    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to

    1. Thanks, and I’m happy to respond! (though the techie stuff is not my particular forte). This is a WordPress blog, and I actually use one of the stock themes too. It’s been pretty versatile and was very easy to convert to my own domain name. Someday I might want to customize more but right now it doesn’t make sense!

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