Closet closet in the wall, will my last 373 days of shopping make me bawl?

Around this time last year—okay, 373 days ago—I gave my system quite a shock when I decided to assess my closet’s ability to dress me in spring, then summer, clothes. I blame my surprise on being a great procrastinator. And an expert rationalizer.

But this year I felt more prepared. After all, I’d already been LESS prepared about wardrobe planning and maintenance…surely I couldn’t go backwards?

Last March I had four areas for improvement in mind, and I was determined to see progressdamnprogress by:

Of course every time I THINK that I’m making progress, I’m not. But an initial from across a crowded room visual inspection seemed promising:

The State of the Wardrobe | Center: the from-afar results of my 373 days of buying (minus a few Ts...and a bad-choice scarf headed for donation); L and R, pairings from the party

However, given a choice between finishing my taxes and recapping my wardrobe choices from last spring to this one, I thought the closet audit would be the proverbial lesser of the evils. Plus this way I can bore readers and not just myself!

[Though if I’d known how self-indulgent the exercise would make me feel, I might have chosen the taxes.]

The State of the [Vix] Wardrobe: A 5-Point Recap

  1. I bought a lot of stuff, and wanted even more.
  2. Without taking away from my greed, a significant number of work basics desperately needed replacing, so the “boring to kinda fun ratio” was what it was.
  3. Like any good born-again, I have now gone from “black, baggy, and covered in cat hair” to the other extreme: custom and/or customized clothing. This year, I asked a local resource to whip up 8 items from flattering-to-me fabric I supplied.
  4. Despite my whining about having to buy more (spendy) shadow’d shades for a summer job interview, I’ve gotten good use out of my Abandon All Hope Venn Diagram choices—especially the blouse/shell.
  5. If my corralling and math are both accurate: My new buys were an almost even split between color-color and neutrals (22 to 20, in color’s favor!).

A Sigh of Relief

I’ve mentioned before that all the planning and plotting can feel a bit bloodness to anyone who likes to be joyously impulsive about shopping. But I’ve found that being more forward-thinking means the impulse buys and “I’m bored with my closet or life” buys tend to fit in pretty seamlessly.


[But not always, and then they go back.]

I’ll also say that 99% of what I’ve bought in the last 373 days has been in “respectable” to “very frequent” rotation. The exception? A big ole scarf my pal Ms Eileen captured so nicely here. Despite wearing it with more flattering shades, I should have known the purples were too bright for me since it didn’t QUITE work with other items in my closet.

It looked amazing against the pumpkin, though!

And a Non-Epiphany

Most days I’m still big on the whole “majority neutrals + modest amounts of REAL color etc etc” thing. However, given the latitude in my professional environment I kept steadily wearing straight up color-color to test my (and probably others’) tolerance…before running back to undiluted shadow’d shades.


The State of the Wardrobe: Color-Color buys | 373 days

Tops: 6, including the Strawberry Fudge Ripple Top, the Book Lover’s Halter Top, a deep aqua silk jersey that gives me a blue-sky feeling even when the real sky won’t, and (Wool) Jersey Grrrl #1, a deep blue scoopneck

Sweaters: 3 (including a long-sleeved version of ole Strawberry Ripple referenced above)

Skirts: 2 (1 knit—the peeeeeek to-be-featured Ultimate PMS Skirt—and 1 Emerald Green Pencil Skirt)

Dress: 1 (the to-be-featured Purple Reign Wool Sheath)

Cardigans/jackets: 2 (both knit, including the (Wool) Jersey Grrrl #2, a muted red-violet jacket)

Scarves/shawls: 4 purchased (1 cotton, 1 silk); 1 cashmere (for inner/outerwear); 1 (unseen) rayon shawl donated for being too bright of a purple  + 1 lightweight wool shawl gift that looks better in Southern California sun

Miscellaneous Ts I am too lazy to scrounge up: ~ 4


The State of the Wardrobe: VaderWear buys | 373 days

Tops: 5 (2 higher-necked silk-cotton shells; 1 rouched silk mesh shell; 1 silk charmeuse shell; 1 grey+brown striped cotton)

Sweaters: 2 (the Zig Meets Zag Top plus a sheer merino, with rather adorable buttons on wrist)

Dresses: 1 (faux-wrap, faux-animal print…you can tell I shop at Ann Taylor)

Pants: 3 (2 desperately needed LINED dress pants in black and espresso wool; 1 highly wrinkled pair of white denim that gets worn for about 10 days each year)

Skirts: 2 (1 textured white cotton pencil in white, gets out about as much as white denim; 1 black knit pencil)

Jackets/Cardigans: 3 (1 jacket; 1 longer cotton cardigan; 1 elbow-length open/flyaway)

Scarves/Shawls: 1 silk chiffon

Miscellaneous Ts I am too lazy to scrounge up: ~ 3


While my December ’10 and onward purchases include a fairly balanced mix of color-color vs neutrals and pattern/print vs solid…

The State of the Wardrobe, callout to Dec 10 - April 3 11 buys: For once, trying to think strategically for spring/early summer

the score of this closet segment is 7 to 6, with color-color on the losing end.

PSA: The blogger formerly known as Struggler uses spreadsheets to track her wardrobe. And now, as the English Organizer, she can help you do the same…while making your closet prettier and more effective to boot. Me, I’m a lost cause.

4 Responses

  1. Thank you for the mention!
    But, more importantly, you know I love a good piece of analysis and you’ve done a fabulous job with this post! You’ve done an excellent job with your colored buys and I particularly love how they relate to each other with colorful cohesiveness, rather than being a complete rainbow. But you’re right, vigilance is a virtue when it comes to habits slipping.

  2. Ms EO—

    You are more than welcome for the mention; as you can see, I am still in awe of your enjoyment of The Spreadsheet and I am sure your clients are too.

    [Besides, what was one more link among MILLIONS in this post, ha.]

    Glad your analytical heart pitter-pattered a bit…as “impulsive” is hardwired into my DNA, I find the pre/post does help me stay on track. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. “I’ve mentioned before that all the planning and plotting can feel a bit bloodness to anyone who likes to be joyously impulsive about shopping. ”

    Joy? Shopping?

    I don’t know when it started, but I only shop when I have to, lets say: 3 ideal white T-shirts. Or 1 perfect blue blouse.
    As a result, shopping is hart, because when searching for the ideal and perfect you end up with nothing.
    The fashion industry must be glad there aren’t more people out there who behave like us, otherwise they would be bancrupt.

    Closet audit it is!

    And I really like your buys and all the colours.

  4. Dear Paula—

    You surprise me a bit…I would have thought you were quite the advance planner who enjoyed taking her time to select just the RIGHT piece.

    Maybe the gorgeous papers you pick for your creative projects and the nail polish selection process wears you out, ha!

    Let me know how the audit goes, though I realize baking is much more fun!

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