2020 - 2021 Annual Wardrobe Round Up / 2022 Resolutions

Monday, December 27, 2021

 Well y'all, we've reached the end of another year, and another clothing resolution wrap-up.

My intentions were to catalog my wardrobe with the SmartCloset app, and buy no more than 60 individual clothing items. The TLDR of the SC story is I like uniformity in projects that ask for pictures and it became impossible. Every time I tried to attack a section it was hours of Googling for product photos and them removing extraneous model and background bits, or planning it around a time when I could lay out the piece of clothing in my apartment and THEN deleting the background, etc.

Me no likely.

I am tentatively contemplating whether a bare bones spreadsheet would be better, especially since I’m moving. I think the wishy washy-ness of it all is whether I now consider it a worthy goal at all. I love those Instagramers who use SC (or similar apps) to easily create outfits and then show how it transforms into real life. But I neither post often enough, or with enough day to day outfits, to make it feel like the time necessary to get it up and running would be a good use of the hours. I do not consider myself a clothing minimalist or maximalist. There is no magic number I want to “hit” so other than an exercise to make sure that I am intimately aware of each and every item of clothing I own, it’s almost… neutral in terms of usefulness? We’ll see. I’m hesitant to set myself up for another miss, but also excited to just move my clothing out into new and more closets that should actually give me the chance to see everything. Doing small seasonal switches helped, but I think this will be even better.

Next up is the biggie, which was to purchase no more than 20% less in number of clothing items than last year, which would have been 60 pieces. I actually ended the year at 64. Which was shocking to me mostly because I WAS A DUMB DUMB AND MESSED UP MY SPREADSHEET. So I've been sitting here for the past month feeling like a failure (even though CostumingDrama says you can't fail a goal, which is true) when in reality I'm only over cause I went thrifting last April and I'm still judging the results. This is the first time I've ever tried to set a limit, and while I didn't make it, I would call 4 items well within the margin of error and makes me feel like I have more control over myself/my wardrobe, than I had gone into the year feeling.

(I also took the liberty for my own edification to track not just the number of items, but the cost, which I won’t be sharing here but maybe horrified me. A little. I’d never actually done that part before, but felt like living in ignorance wasn’t the better way to go.)

Another thing I learned more about this year was my relationship to thrifting, online specifically. I was following a lot of vintage/second hand clothing accounts in 2020 and I can’t say that anything I purchased via those channels were particularly long lasting in my closet. I don’t know what it is about the fact that I know my measurements and sh*t STILL doesn’t fit or looks different on my plus size body vs the example plus size body, but it’s a bummer. I know that it’s “better” to take clothing out of circulation vs buying new from even ethical/sustainable brands, but this non-returnable, do or die, decision required for vintage shopping is NOT IT. I need to try things on. I need to be able to see the viability of pieces, especially when you consider that I can alter things somewhat myself. But I barely even manage success buying secondhand things from brands I know my size in (looking at you Poshmark and the two LOFT jumpsuits I bought in 2020 that were both fails). I don’t think buying secondhand but ending up with pieces that I then have to re-home is particularly sustainable either (let alone for my budget), so I might have to accept that that percentage will go down in 2022.

So the question becomes, what about the next year? As I said previously I may try to catalog my wardrobe, I may not. We’ll see. But I do think having the goal, as hard as it was, was good for me. So I’m gonna bring it back, 60 items – but the twist is that to account for how I went over last year I’m going to subtract my overage right from the top. Is this is a terrible idea? PROBABLY WHO KNOWS. But I so infrequently wear real clothes that even the pieces I buy and love aren’t being appreciated enough. I’m really looking at a wardrobe of clothing for a life I no longer live and don’t know when I’ll live again, as depressing as that sounds. I’m very concerned that the middle ground I had between athleisure and fun/fancy dresses is gone and other than work there might be a big chunk of clothing that won’t be worn regularly. But to dwell too long on that lies madness and tears, so let’s just keep trying. Keep going in the direction of a wardrobe/closet I love and is useful to me, and if I can continue to try new brands doing good things in terms of both style and size inclusivity, that’d be great too.

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