Feb 29 2008

How many clothes do you need?

Even though I feel more comfortable having a closet full of options, I end up wearing the same things over and over. So why do I hang on to so many clothes that I never wear? Do I feel better knowing I have many choices? Perhaps.

At any rate, I’m cleaning out the closets in preparation for the community rummage sale this weekend.

Time to get rid of clothes I haven’t worn while living in Pittsburgh, unless it truly is a special-occasion item that I will wear at some point.

If it doesn’t fit, if it’s too worn, uncomfortable, doesn’t go with anything I own, or if I’ll probably never wear it again, it’s leaving my apartment.

I don’t care how much money I paid for it. If I’m never going to wear it again, it’s taking up valuable closet real estate. It just has to go.

So that leaves me wondering:

How many clothes do I actually need?

I try to do laundry once per week. Still, I want more than one week’s worth of outfits.

Take a look at these two articles to help you figure out how many clothes you might need. I’m going to continue paring down our closets to get them to a more manageable level.

How many do you need? How do you decide?

10 Responses to “How many clothes do you need?”

  1. I have cleaning out the closet on my to do list, too.

    I do laundry once a week. My goal is to have about 10 casual outfits for each season and 2-3 fancier outfits for church/events, etc. I’m a stay at home mom, so the need for dressy outfits doesn’t come up often.

  2. I did really good with making sure I had worn everything in my closet in the past 3 months (unless it was summer/winter) until I got pregnant.
    Now it’s a struggle to get rid of anything because I insist some day I’ll fit back into those pre-pregnancy clothes.
    I honestly have 3 pairs of pants that fit, about 5 t-shirts and maybe 3 dressy shirts. However, I have about 15 pairs of pants that don’t fit and 20 nice shirts.
    Sure, they are taking up closet space, but I can’t handle getting rid of them. I did fit back into most of my clothes between pregnancies, so I am justifying holding on to them.
    I’ll be curious to read what other mommies do and have done.

  3. Like Lynnae, I am a stay at home Mommy and the special occasions are few and far between, so I typically only have about 5 dressier outfits for church functions, dinners out, etc.
    I am a fashion addict, a clothes horse, etc. So, I do have a lot of clothes.
    I however, don’t pay full price for anything and many items are thrift shop or yard sale finds. I have probably 30 potential outfits for each season. I do buy clothes that are classic and interchangeable, so maybe I have 5 shirts to go with 1 pair of pants, so I get the feeling of more choices without completely cluttering up my closet.

    Take Care


  4. Like Jes, i keep hoping i’ll get back to my pre-pregnancy size. If i haven’t gotten there 6 months after this baby is born, i will sell/donate all my old clothes. But i certainly didn’t get back to pre-preg weight after my first child was born, so i don’t have much hope that i’ll ever be a size 6 again:(
    That’s ok, though. Kids are much more important, right?!

  5. This one is a good one. I have clothes that I honestly didn’t fit in to well before I had a baby that I finally got rid of last week (baby is 10 mo now). I was lucky to be able to fit back into all of my prepregnancy clothes, but I made sure that I had worn the clothes within the year before I was prego!

    I guess the rule is the same with spring cleaning, if you haven’t used it in the last year, it should just go! (that includes shoes ladies!)

    Don’t forget the tax write off for the donations!


  6. Just wait till you have kids and see all the clothes you end up with then. And I’m not even talking about the kids’ clothes that they constantly grow out of. I’m tlaking about your own clothes.

    You will have your pre-pregnancy clothes, maternity clothes in various sizes to accomodate your growing body, your post-pregnancy clothes for your shrinking body, and then lastly you will have clothes to fit whatever size/shape body you are left with.

    Oh and don’t forget that those clothes will double or triple, depending on how many kids you have, especially if they are during different seasons or if you gained or lostr weight in the mean time.

    And if you need any further explanation I can send pics of my enormous wardrobe that is mostly boxed up and needs to get outta this house. I tend to go through it every so often and get rid of stuff I don’t need, but it keeps piling back up!

  7. My husband and I both have an insane amount of clothes and we wear the same things over and over. Occasionally I will get the urge to purge and start throwing stuff in a bag for donation but that’s rare. I know I should get rid of stuff but I always think I will wear it again or some things I’ve never worn so it’s hard to throw those out too.

  8. I allow myself one dresser and one closet. The dresser has six decent-sized drawers and six small drawers. Each one is assigned a function such as casual t-shirts or black/grey/red knee socks. When I can’t stuff everything into one drawer, I need to get rid of some things or re-organize.

    For the closet I actually have half of one closet that is about six feet wide plus another small closet that is about 2 feet wide. I keep out-of-season clothes in the small closet. So every season when I switch things I try to get rid of things I haven’t been using.

    I also keep some boxes of things in the garage. I keep things that are too small, because if I ever get to that size again, it’s really hard to find clothes that fit.

    And I keep a box of stuff that I like and that fits but that doesn’t go with anything I have. So, for example, whenever I get a new pair of pants or shorts in a different color, I go “shopping” in that bag of non-matching stuff to see if I can find more things to go with it.

    I also keep a box of stuff that I like and that fits that I don’t wear as much as the stuff in my dresser and closet. This is so when things wear out, I can go and get free replacements.

    I also keep a list of things that are wearing out that will need replacement soon and other things that I’m wanting. Whenever I’m at thrift stores, I usually look only for those things. So, I never have to bring something home and then stick it directly in the garage just because I still like all my other clothes better!

    The first time I purged a bunch of stuff, I kept it in the garage for maybe a year. Only once did I look through it for something, asking myself “How could I ever have put this shirt in here?” Knowing I could change my mind made me braver about purging things.

  9. I really like your links, especially the first one, and I made my own list:

    Work (summer)
    Work (winter)
    Work (Friday)
    Casual (summer)
    Casual (winter)
    Casual (overly air-conditioned)

    Jogging/ultimate Frisbee
    Ballroom dancing

    Rock climbing

    You Look Fab has a great article on Wardrobe Essentials. My favorite part is the idea that most people need (only) three coats: a lightweight trench coat (for when it’s not crazy cold), a dress-up “smart” coat, and a casual parka.

    And if you want to read lots more, Meg at All About Appearances also just blogged about Ten More Bits of Wardrobe Weeding Wisdom.

  10. I learned that having nice clothes means having to get them dry cleaned — which means spending more money on clothes equals spending more to wash them! Kind of ridiculous, but if you give a mouse a cookie, she’ll want a glass of milk, right?

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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