How much is too much? The scary numbers

When you have a tendency to overshop, the fall out is often an overly large wardrobe. It certainly has been for me, with the size of my wardrobe building up over the years to a now unprecedented number of items. These are the numbers of items my stylebook app tells me I own (minimalists be warned, they are not pretty):

Tops: 164

Bottoms: 59

Shoes: 50

Dresses: 87 (Yes I really like dresses!)

I know for a fact that these numbers are slightly off as I’ve not photographed everything I own yet. I am definitely missing boots and coats/jackets in this count, as well as accessories, bags and Loungewear. In essence the true count is even higher than the 360 items above and I believe that if I included accessories, I would go well beyond 500 items as I have lots of jewellery.

The number to me is more staggering in fabric than it is on paper, as I occasionally feel like the contents of my wardrobe are burying me alive. I don’t even need to know the numbers to know it is out of control!

What is a normal wardrobe?

When people speak about normal wardrobe sizes, the number 100 comes up again and again as a measuring stick. I know people are different. I would probably never be happy with 100 items (even though who knows, I might just be a much happier person). But 500 items is five times the amount people generally consider a normal wardrobe. I don’t know about you but I think that’s just too much. If an average outfit consists of three items, then I could go for 165 days without ever repeating anything, and that doesn’t even account for the enormous possibilities of mixing and matching.

Inflow and Outflow

There are two issues that lead to the size of my wardrobe as it is now: constant inflow, and lack of outflow. Obviously if you never throw anything away but keep on buying, the size of your wardrobe increases. Rationally I know this, yet I strive to have less when in reality I’m just accumulating more. My husband calls this “my wardrobe conundrum”. And that’s exactly what it is. My wardrobe should be shrinking because I want it to shrink. But of course it won’t do that just by “wanting” without me doing the work. Continuously running out of space, hangers, cramming everything in more and more, filling up more and more random corners… I sometimes can’t believe that this is happening while I want less so badly. But it is logical because I don’t purge and I keep on shopping. Especially when it comes to still buying too much, there seems to be a separation in my head between cause and result. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if in my head clothes shopping had nothing to do with an overflowing closet. It’s like having the cake over and over again and not understanding why the weight loss isn’t happening. The mind is a strange thing and self delusion is a powerful tool. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually, it’s just numbers after all. Plus I am happy to report that within the last week no new items have entered my closet. I will get to a smaller wardrobe – one small step at a time!




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