December Outfits & Wear Count
Happy last day of 2018 — iiiit's recap time! This month I've got a wardrobe tracking update, fewer photos but a new camera, and some thoughts on a 2019 Q1 no-buy. Let's go!
My Decembers tend to be some combination of jam-packed and "I haven't worn anything but pajamas in three days." Mid-month, work is intense with trying to finish up the end of the year and plan for a new quarter's goals. But then the holidays roll around and I always have quite a bit of time off, and we tend to not travel around Christmas/NYE time if we can help it. So I was lax with photo-taking, but I spent a lot of time on wardrobe inventorying and tracking this month.
Two negative standouts here: my bra situation is still imperfect. I have too many, and only one or two are really perfect fits. I especially don't have (and need) a racerback nude bra. Solvable, just irritating. Second, early this month I slipped on my office kitchen floor wearing my Mars booties on a rainy day, and my knee is still deeply bruised. Note to self... don't wear those when it's wet!
Overall I was pleased with my outfits; I felt comfy, put together, and generally like myself.
I got the chance to dress up a few times! We had two winter parties to attend, as well as a nicer dinner out with my family.
Those fancy outfits felt like they balanced out the significantly athleisure-leaning vibe of this month... and there was a lot of athleisure.
- Finally took a pile of things to the tailor.
- Set up Airtable for wardrobe tracking and spent many hours doing a solid wardrobe inventory. I re-packed my storage box, piled a handful of things to be sold that I don't wear or was intending to sell, and inventoried almost all of it.
kotn mockneck dress, crop hoodie, sneakers
burgundy leather jacket, black jeans, green mockneck, allbirds
elizabeth suzann bel skirt, everlane sweater, old rag + bone booties
Tracking Update... and a 2019 Q1 no-buy
Oh, Airtable, where have you been in my life? I wrote last month that "I'm probably going back to my bullet journal for daily outfit tracking." Well... I said that, and then promptly set up Airtable and skipped doing a bullet journal outfit log entirely. It's just so dang convenient to add outfits to Airtable, and it gives me instant cost per wear data!
Some amazing people I follow on Instagram have started up Beyond Wear, "a digital support group for slow fashion folx looking to take things even slower, celebrating the intersection between clothing & real life." Many of them are doing a Q1 no-buy challenge, and I'll be joining in. I confess that up til now I was scared to; I was scared that I would fail at it. But I talk the talk: I say that buying nice, ethical, made to last garments means you stop shopping for more new things. I'm incredibly privileged to be in a financial situation where I can shop... but why am I buying more than I need? What does that do to my appreciation of the things I have? And most importantly, what could I be doing with the time and energy I spend shopping, especially online?
I was talking to my husband about this today, and he decided that he'd join me on a Q1 no-clothing break. So it's official: no clothing purchases in Q1. Many of the folx over in the Beyond Wear group are also saving 10% of the cost of any items they would have bought. While I love that idea, my husband and I have a steady savings plan, so my twist on it will be this: for any items we do end up purchasing, we'll have to donate 10% of its cost to a non-profit, charity, or political fund. I specifically want to donate towards organizations like RAICES Texas and trans/LGTBQIA groups. This year we are also significantly bumping up and formalizing our charitable donation budget, so this will be above and beyond that.
What does this have to do with wear count? If I want to focus in on the value of the nice things I have, one way to do that is to literally know its value. I am committing to sharing my wear count and inventory data publicly and sharing cost per wear in my future Instagram posts.
Participating in ethical, sustainable fashion isn't simply about having the money to buy/consume expensive ethically made goods. You are participating in sustainable and ethical consumption practices if you're buying Elizabeth Suzann, buying locally made or owned goods, buying secondhand and thrifting, making your own clothes, or buying nothing at all. It's about appreciating what we have; it's about consuming less overall, and it's about supporting where slow fashion, diet culture, race, and politics intersect. In 2019 I want to launch a personal style coaching business, too, and I want to practice what I preach.
Items and Wear Count
I've been attempting to track both daily "I left the house in this" outfits and gym outfits, so this count now includes both accessories like bags, and gym/activewear. In the past I haven't tracked what I wear to the gym, but in 2019 I want to go all in on wear count, so I have accurate cost per wear data.
A couple caveats about sharing my wear counts/cost per wear. First, this data is only as good as my tracking. If I skip/forget days, which I do sometimes, then that's less data. Data is useful... but it's only one part of the picture. This month I missed tracking 6 days. Likely I was wearing my Corinne pajama jumpsuit those days! But that's the rules: I didn't track it so I don't get to say I wore it. All in all, only 6 days missing isn't too bad, but it's still incomplete data.
Also, because I've only got December outfits in it, this month's cost per wear is pretty wacky for a few items. Certainly some of the items I own have been worn a LOT more than just the few times I wore them this month! It's a start, and I have a lot of historical data I want to add.
Overall, I wore 52 items from my closet. I tracked every day except for 6 days, and a few days tracked multiple outfits (e.g. gym and regular outfit).
Here's all my items that got worn more than three times each:
AYR high rise skinny jeans link, responsible — a closet go-to. these are comfy and go with everything.
Rachel Comey black jeans link, responsible — another fave. I'm wearing these as I write this post! I do want to take them to the tailor, but holding off for a bit.
AYR superba jeans past season — I wish these were an inch or two shorter, but the fabric is just unreal good. Might see if I can get the hem shortened without ruining the cool looks.
Kotn black turtleneck link, ethical — A Black Friday purchase that I'm truly loving.
Corinne black bucket sweater link, ethical, made in the US, owned by an Asian woman — ULTRA COMFY.
Joah Brown grey long boxy sleeve link, made in the US — another super comfy one. I've definitely worn this over my Corinne black jumpsuit to lounge/bed a number of times that aren't tracked. As for that black jumpsuit, I KNOW I've worn it 2-3 nights a week since I got it, but so far I haven't been tracking my pajamas!
ES black silk Bel Skirt link, ethical, made in the US, woman-owned — Y'all loved this skirt on Instagram, and I love it in person!
Joah Brown crop tee link, made in the US — I love this fabric so much, it's so comfy, and I love the shape of this. Wearing this to the gym a ton also.
Lulu align black leggings link, NOT ethical — I hate Lulu... but I love these leggings. I own a bunch and I'm gonna get hella wear out of them, what can I say.
Everlane cream cashmere mockneck crop link, responsible — I snagged this in early December to replace the sweater I shrunk, and reviewed it on Instagram. I already love this and I definitely already had to hand-wash a food splatter off it.
Freda Salvador Lay mules past season— yep.. still wearing the crap out of these.
MG lady bag link, responsible — I picked this up as my nice everyday handbag on our Los Angeles trip earlier this year and it has not disappointed.
Allbirds cream sneakers link, sustainable — I mentioned these in my winter outfits post, having bought them after a year of debating it. Why did I wait so long? I can't stop wearing them.
APL black sneakers link, donates to charities — After searching for a non-Nike gym shoe, these have become my faves. Not a completely ethical or sustainable brand but I can't be happier with these anyway.
AYR Neptune jacket link, past season — I said I didn't know how to style this jacket, but with 11 wears this month, I think "just wearing it" is how I style it. Pockets, perfect weight, super comfy, always a good idea.
A few favorites that didn't make the top wear list but that I enjoyed this month were two of my favorite and most dramatic jackets. This ridic burgundy and gold-hardware leather jacket is from Ines Atelier link, handmade, woman-owned in Croatia, and it makes me feel like a total badass every time I wear it.
This mesh Michi jacket was an impulse sale purchase but I can't say I'm sorry. It's too cool, and a perfect weight for those gym mornings where I need a layer but not much of one.
Earlier this month I picked up that Everlane sweater and cream Allbirds sneakers. This weekend I bought a pair of Imogene + Willie Catherine jeans in natural link, responsibly made in the US, a purchase I attempted to make on Black Friday when they were discounted, only to have them go out of stock after I ordered. I got some wide leg sailor pants and a dress from AYR's sample sale that are currently at the tailor, and I also snagged a pair of black high-rise AYR jeans link, responsible and a tank and cardigan that I want to see if I like. They may go back — or not. I confess to that being a last-minute before-the-no-buy starts impulse purchase. 🙈 All in all a lot more than I needed to purchase, and fuel for the no-buy fire in 2019.
Tailoring, Donating, Removing
Some outgoing pieces — my cotton canvas ES Clydes that I am not picking over my linen ones, and the black knit ES Elise dress that I swapped for the cream one. A handful of jeans and dresses that no longer fit are off to the consignment shop as well.
Took those sample-sale sailor pants, some winter pants, and the jeans I bought in Japan to the tailor. Missed taking my Lucia pants and rose duster, those will have to wait for next trip. Looking forward to having them back!
In 2019 I want to commit hard to this no-buy and sharing my cost per wear info. I want to love what I have and spend a lot less time thinking about new pieces that I really genuinely don't need. As my body changed in early 2018 I have spent a lot of effort replacing and tailoring things that no longer fit, and now I need to walk the walk and love them and stop buying.
What are your wardrobe goals for 2019?