Okay, you’re fixing dinner for the four people in your family. So you roast 5 turkeys, and a side of beef, and 2 or 3 bushels of potatoes, and bake at least a dozen pies, right? Of course not – food is perishable, and you don’t want to waste it.
You’re out driving around and see a house that’s really attractive, so you buy it. Yea, you already own 8 or 10 other houses – you’ve really lost track – but this one is pretty, and it’s a great price. Right?
Of course not – houses are wicked expensive, and you simply can’t afford to be this wasteful.
You can see where I’m going with this – almost all of us own more clothes than we need, and we keep shopping even though we have enough…
Debbie Roes, over at Recovering Shopaholic, wrestles with this question a lot. Her blog is full of great candor about her personal struggles, and abounds with intelligent analysis and good ideas for smarter, more disciplined clothes shopping. She discusses the idea of finding one’s personal, optimal wardrobe size. This can be an interesting exercise- sort of like determining the right amount of food to fix for dinner, or the right sized home to purchase.
So for me, I thought of this as follows:
- I want to be sure that I wear things at least twice a month, but I will only wear them for half the year, so each garment will be worn, ideally,12 times a year.
- I have to dress for two distinct seasons – Chicago goes almost immediately from down-filled to linen with no real transitional pause.
- On average, I have three garments on at a time – sometimes only one or two, but let’s assume three per day.
- So this comes out at 90 garments total – 45 for warm, 45 for cold…