Wardrobe Categories

Monday, 8 July 2019

I can vividly recall the few resources that have helped shape my approach to shopping and building a wardrobe. One of those resources is a blog post from either Anuschka or Caroline that talks about categorizing your wardrobe and filling each category with 3 items. As the wardrobe grows, these categories can be sub-divided into further categories. I am no longer able to find the specific post on either website, but here's a post that sort of mentions the process I'm talking about.

In applying the wisdom of the "3 of each rule"; here are the categories I currently have in my closet for work clothes. Weekend and lounging clothes are more of a haphazard mix of just-enough and are a standalone capsule by themselves.

Full disclosure: some categories have more or less than 3 items each. 
It's a frog! Or a toad! Either way, it's cute!

Category: Cold Weather Bottoms

  • Corduroy pants (3 in black, grey & navy blue. Same skinny/straight cut)
  • Wool pants (3 boot cut styles in grey and navy blue)
  • Heavy Skirts (1 black and that's adequate for current lifestyle and preferences)

Category: Warm Weather Bottoms

  • Skinny/straight patterned pants (4 from Gap, Max Mara, Express & Banana Republic)
  • Skinny/straight one-color pants (2 from JCrew and Jacob. All thrifted. Have Navy blue and olive green. Need black. 1 more on backorder from Gap. Is it black?)
  • Lightweight Skirts (Have 3 but only 1 has pockets. May replace the pocket-less ones as opportunity arises)
Category: Tops for 4 distinct seasons year round

  • Button down patterned shirts (3. One has really tight sleeves so either my arms shrink or it's gone) 
  • Plaid shirts (I seem to really love plaid! It gets it's own category) (3 long sleeve, 1 short sleeve. 2 of the long sleeves are too short and getting long in the tooth. To be replaced if something better comes along)
  • Short sleeve sweaters (4 in solid colors. I don't mind going over on this category because this is something I can wear for 9 months of the year)
  • Short sleeve ribbed tees (3 in black, navy blue and red. The ribbing makes them heavier weight and suitable for work under a blazer) 
  • Long sleeve lightweight sweaters (3 in a variety of patterns. Migrating this section to Tall sizes this year)
  • Chunky sweaters (3. For the coldest days of winter. All black, white or grey. Very dreary)
  • Long sleeve Blazers (3 in navy blue, black and grey)
  • Unusual jackets (3. Unusual comes from either 3/4 sleeve length or tunic length. 2 blacks 1 blue. Blue is aging out soon)
  • Short sleeve cardigans (3 in various shades of blue. I'm looking for replacements in more cheery colors for 1)
  • Open front cardigan toppers (2. This category may disappear as I find the current pieces I have make me feel blah and I like my cardigans to button up for when I feel cold)
  • Casual vibe jackets (yes, that's a category. It covers 3 leather, denim and corduroy jackets)
Category: Jeans (yes, this merits it's own category in my closet)

  • Dark colored jeans (3, jeans suitable for work with no visible wash design; but only on casual Fridays)
  • Washed jeans (3 with some sort of wash design that can be worn to work in exceptional cases but more of weekend staple)
Category: Shoes

  • Ballet flats (2 in black and brown. I'd like to add a third but so far nothing passes the comfort test)
  • Non-boot or flat (Hah! don't know what else to call this. I guess they're my summer shoes. 1 wedge pump and 1 bootie. Both brown. Need a black addition to the team. 
  • Pumps (3. I don't know why I have this category because I don't even like or wear them. I need to apply the "Spark Joy" magic soon)
Category: Boots (this is another category that I'm so into, it stands alone)

  • Winter dress boots (2 water-resistant suede boots in black)
  • Winter walking boots (1 black and that's enough)
  • Black variety boots (1. It was 3 as at January but 2 have aged out)
  • Cowboy boots (2. Because I live in Calgary y'all. I'd like to sell or donate one off but can't bring myself to do it)
Category: Dresses
I rarely wear dresses to work so all my dresses are for home/weekend/church wear. Occasionally, the mood strikes me and I end up co-opting one of them for work. Compared to tops and bottoms, I have fewer dresses and definitely do not need to buy in teams of 3 as I do not wear them often enough

How do I use these categories?
Like the comments beside each category show, I have a mental picture of number of items in each category and how the categories overlap/ play with each other. Plus each category is housed in it's own section in my closet. That means I have a running list of which category is under-stock and which is not. Plus what each category is missing. This way, it's easy to evaluate any potential purchases against where they'll fit in this grouping.

It looks like a lot of clothes until I consider that I live in a city with 4 distinct seasons. When I split each category into 4, then I'm running a minimalist wardrobe which is something I've decided to move away from because it makes my clothes wear out faster and quality replacements are getting harder to find.

See! There is a method to the madness :)

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