A friend recently mentioned that her roommate owned 60 pairs of jeans. 60! Apparently, they started counting while packing the apartment in preparation for a big move. I was stunned. Is it possible to own 60 pairs of jeans?!
But before I judge my friend’s roommate (it may be too late) I decided to count everything in my own closet. Here is my inventory of my entire wardrobe, including summer, winter, sporty, and any maternity clothes I have not gotten rid of.
How many pairs of jeans do you own?
3 7 (I found 4 pairs hiding under my bed)
Cords – 2
Slacks – 3
Capris – 2
Shorts – 4
Skirts – 9
Jumper – 1
T-shirts (including tank tops, long sleeve, and short sleeve) – 47
Fancy tops – 13
Dresses – 18 (including my junior prom dress)
Sweaters (including cardigans, zip ups, vests and one faux leopard print shoulder wrap) – 20
Jackets – 14
Coats – 4
Scarves – 5
Shoes – 6
Cleats and sport shoes – 3
Boots – 5
Sandals and Heels – 14
Sport clothes (biking, swimming, yoga, volleyball, hiking, running)
Shorts – 8
Tops – 14
Long sleeve tops – 2
Wind breaker – 1
Bottoms – 7
Swimsuits – 2.5 (not sure where those bikini bottoms went!)
Sport bras – 4
Skort – 1
Socks – 16
Underwear – 13
Bras – 9
Pajamas – 15
Camisole – 1
Robes – 3
Tights – 4
A breakdown of the categories above, as a percentage of my closet.
Tops are 29%.
Misc. items are 23%.
Sporty clothes are 15%.
Warm stuff is 14.5%.
Shoes are 10%.
Bottoms are 8.5%.
How many pieces of clothing do I own?
Unless I have another pair of jeans hiding under the bed (I made sure to count everything in the dirty laundry basket), this adds up to 269.5 items of clothing. That’s a lot more than I thought!
I can no longer think of myself as someone who doesn’t buy a lot of clothes.
Because clearly I do! Whether I acquired the clothing through gifts, at a thrift shop, or purchased new (with a coupon, I dare say!), the sheer number of clothing items – 269 and that half bikini – strike me as way too many.
Why do I have so many clothes?
Does owning so many clothes cost me money? I refuse to buy anything that requires ironing, so no time or money lost there. Few of my sweaters are ever dry cleaned, less than 3 a year, I’d estimate. So that cost is negligible.
But you could argue that my clothes take up space, and with fewer clothes I would be comfortable in a smaller, cheaper house. You could also argue that so many clothes take up mental space, prolonging the daily chore of deciding what to wear. (I suspect fashionistas don’t consider this a chore, but an opportunity.) More importantly…
Does owning a certain amount of clothes make you want to own even more?
If you have the “perfect” cocktail dress, does it make you more likely to spend money to acquire the “perfect” pair of heels to go with? Does having one pair of black boots make you yearn for a pair in brown?
I once worked for a musician who was a minimalist.
His entire wardrobe consisted of the following items, purchased at The Gap (this was the 90s, so you can imagine how plain they were). Four pairs of tan khakis, a half dozen white crew cut T-shirts, and a handful of light blue jean button down long sleeve shirts.
He never wasted time deciding what to wear in the morning – and he never spent money buying more clothes.
Another thing that surprised me about taking inventory of my closets. It only took 15 minutes!