I have been purging clothing for a few weeks now and I feel I am down to a manageable number. Sort of.  I’m in sort of a refinement process- I have a few maybe’s and I probably still have more clothes than I need.

After reading about closet purges, minimalist closets and curating wardrobes I have come to the conclusion that the number of seasonal clothes one should have is somewhere between 30 and 40 items. But this does not mean you need 120 items in your wardrobe.  I live in a true four season environment (which I may regret tomorrow) so some pieces of my wardrobe are multi seasonal- for example I always have a black short sleeve t shirt accessible.

In this number I am not including:

  • winter coats
  • weather related shoes
  • athletic wear
  • accessories
  • pajamas
  • the gross clothes you tuck away when you need to paint or do heavy cleaning

So here it is-my winter wardrobe- and there will be some explanation in some cases:

  • heavy, oversized turtleneck sweater.  Now right off the bat I have an issue.  I love all of these sweaters (one is a cashmere I have owned for about twenty years) but I find that they are too heavy to wear because though they might be fine when walking somewhere, they are too hot to wear inside.  As they are turtlenecks they are not conducive to wearing something under them.  But I actually love all of them. I’m in a quandary.
  • 4 sweatshirts. Two are polar fleece and I love them because if we do a nature walk (like last weekend) they are perfect. But these are really more a fall item when I wear them instead of a jacket- truth be told they are not really a winter item.  One is my favorite medium weight writing top. The other is an all purpose zip up hoodie. I am confident with this number. I love and use all of these items.
  • 5 medium weight sweaters. These are the mainstay of my afternoon casual wardrobe. It’s probably one too many but I love them.
  • 3 cardigans- one long grey medium weight, burgundy that looks more like a blazer and heavier, and black grey and burgundy which is more like a poncho- also heavier. I must admit I have become obsessed with cardigans- they are perfect for me and my lifestyle. Much more versatile than a pullover sweater when it’s cold out
  • 3 long sleeve t shirts (two black and one grey) One of them is strictly a writing t shirt as it’s comfy.
  • 3 short sleeve t shirts (one grey graphic, one black, and one black velvet)
  • 2 long sleeve blouses (white with stripes and white with black stars)
  • 1 short sleeve blouse (metallic pink and dressy)
  • 1 black silk tank (also dressy)
  • 3 blazers (one structured, one knit moto style and a tapestry one that I’ve owned since college and I adore though when my college friends read this they are going to mock me)
  • 1 black jeans
  • 1 black slacks
  • 3 black leggings (one is dressier with faux leather patches and two are 5$ old navy specials)
  • 1 fleece sweatpants
  • 3 winter weight dresses (black, grey and black and grey)
  • 1 all purpose lbd for afternoon events
  • 1 all purpose lbd for evening events

Which puts me at 39 pieces.  Yikes.

  • 1 black suede sneakers
  • 2 knee high black boots (low heel and high heel)
  • 2 booties (black and grey animal print)
  • 1 furry lined boot
  • 1 black kitten heel pump

7 shoes

  • 2 black satchel bags- large and medium
  • 2 crossbody- one small for errands, one large for outdoor treks when I want to carry camera and such
  • 1 small suede shoulder bag for evening casual
  • 1 large black tote

6 bags

Bringing my grand total to 52 pieces.

So here’s the thing: how much smaller can I go?  Do I want to go smaller? (For the record, I also have a few maybe items still floating around that I did not take into account.  Guess what’s going in the donation pile?)

Now that I have this number I’m going to drill down and see if all of these items are really worth keeping.  That will depend on how many other seasons they can be worn in. Much of this list works for late fall as well as early spring.

Tomorrow will be a little glimpse into how I make outfits out of these pieces, and why I like outfits. But for now, I’m off to reevaluate.


26 thoughts on “The Magic Number (of clothes)

  1. Last winter I blogged on Twenty Pairs of Black Pants (in reality there are probably more), so I admire you for only having five, (if you count the leggings). I live in black pants with an assortment of tops…..it requires very little thought.
    Good luck with your curating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Getting there. I don’t have a problem with limiting number of bottoms (leggings count) especially as I’m a dress person. I much prefer dresses and jackets over them. I concede to pants cause of weather and sometimes practicality

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Try leaving the 3 oversized turtleneck sweaters in plain view for a couple of days. I think that looking at them for a few days will help sort out your feelings and you’ll know which one to get rid of.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s America, you get to have some ‘wants’ too. Life it too short to stress over “one extra sweater” (or whatever amount). Put it on the shelf and if you haven’t worn it by the end of winter then donate. It’s not like your a hoarder with clothes stored in the kitchen. Think more balance than rules.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have lots of tops, not so many bottoms. I recently did a little purge of my closet. I rid myself of some perfectly nice items of clothing that just have never worked for me, including some almost brand new jeans. I still could purge more. I have about 1 and a half closets full of clothes. My husband only fills up about a half a closet full which is a good thing because I need the other half of his closet! I’m hoping one day I can pare it down to only a closet full.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have way more clothes than you because my outfits still tend to get dirtied by children’s hands! I think you’ve got a good number and need to think that some people might not live such a versatile life nor ever wear dresses. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my numbers were just different when my daughter was little…lots of gross t shirts! Someone commented on how few bottoms I have and it’s really because I prefer dresses. Pants are practical or warmth for me

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I personally like that you have tops that you designate as writing tops, do they help with inspiration? If so, where can I get them? Seriously, I think you have a pretty good handle on your wardrobe, I have a bunch of hooded sweatshirts that I used to wear all the time, but I think this year I have only worn one once, they might be donated soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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