The week between Christmas and New Years is a good time for reflection, don't you think? And for the past couple of years I've spent some time doing just that during this week of metaphorical treading of water, this week of skiing and eating, reading and lolling, and listening to Hubby shout from the living room about a hockey goal, or not a goal.
This time last year, and the one before, I reflected on my wardrobe, and in particular on my shopping habits. I totted up my purchases for the previous year to see how I had measured up in my quest to become a more ethical shopper. I'd read an article in Bust Magazine that the average American shopper in 2013 purchased seventy items of apparel. Seventy. And I wanted to see how I stacked up. In 2016, I bought twenty-six new pieces of clothing, accessories, and footwear. And in 2017 that number was almost unchanged at twenty-five. You can read those two posts here and here.
|Out and about lately in navy and cream.|
For spring and summer, I bought sixteen pieces. That's a lot for me for one season, okay, not exactly one season, more like two, but you get my point. My major purchase was a new spring coat; my Moncler anorak is definitely an investment piece. I also bought three tee shirts (all white, oddly enough), a pair of white jeans, a pair of blue jeans, a light baseball jacket (also Moncler but marked way, way down), a crocheted sweater, a striped cotton shirt, a black sweatshirt, and a black linen dress (not shown). I bought three scarves (I've only shown one here), a new pair of red loafers, and a red bag (not shown). For my trip to Italy I bought two travel items: my black Longchamp travel purse (below), and a black Madewell tee shirt.
|Some of my spring and summer purchases, plus two new pieces specifically for travel.|
I may have purchased more than is usual for me this spring, but some of these new pieces helped to reinvigorate older items in my closet. The white crocheted sweater and Vince sleeveless tee made me want to wear these old, black draw-string pants again. And the sleeveless Vince tee and the Zara message tee made my older suits feel current. Plus my red loafers made a pretty basic navy and white palette a lot more fun.
|New summer tops that helped to spruce up some older pieces.|
|Three new tops bought this year.|
|Fall pieces were variations on a theme... burgundy.|
|My new winter purchases from Uniqlo.|
Many of the pieces I bought are wardrobe basics, the white tees, the cashmere turtlenecks, and the jeans, both blue and white. A few of the pricier items were on sale, pieces I might have bought anyway, but was lucky to get at a very good price. A couple of items I expect to be investment pieces, like the Moncler anorak and Burberry scarf.
What I'm most pleased about with respect to my 2018 purchases is the way they meld with my favourite pieces from past years. How the new sleeveless, white Vince tee works with my old Max Mara suit; how my Eileen Fisher tee, and white crocheted sweater look great with my ten year old Burberry denim skirt, and three year old Stan Smith sneakers; or how my new Uniqlo burgundy vest makes my Max Mara fuchsia tweed coat warm enough to wear in the winter.
What bothers me somewhat is that it seems each year I add twenty-five new pieces to my closet. Just looking at 2017 and 2018, that's fifty items. Fifty. That seems like a lot of shopping to me. I'm aware that I've fallen far short of my goal to become an "ethical shopper." I haven't done my due diligence in ascertaining whether items are ethically produced, and I could try harder to buy more thrifted pieces. On the other hand, I do generally try to avoid fast fashion; is Uniqlo considered fast fashion, do you think? And I try very hard to be a mindful shopper.
I think the point of mindful shopping is to NOT become one of those people who buy seventy items every year. Those people who buy repeats because they don't remember what is already in their closet, or who buy five cheap tops instead of one quality piece, who wear things once, and toss them. I know I'm not that shopper. But that number fifty still haunts me.
To assuage my guilty conscience, I can say that I still love and plan to wear almost everything I've purchased in the last three years. Except for a couple of tanks, and two tee shirts bought and worn (a lot) for travel, and which have now become gardening/camping shirts. And one Eileen Fisher tunic which I plan to give away. I can also say that I won't need white tees for quite some time, unless they get ruined. Or cashmere turtlenecks. Or loafers. In fact I won't really need anything else this winter. Or maybe even for spring 2019.
But... you knew there had to be a but... I am still pining for a long fall/winter skirt or dress to wear with my Akris leather jacket from many years ago, and my Stuart Weitzman brown suede knee-high boots. I haven't had a winter skirt or dress since I retired and gave away most of my professional wardrobe.
Sheesh.... how pathetic am I? Here I am purportedly trying to curb my shopping habits, to be more mindful, to acquire less, and the words are barely out of my mouth, and I'm already planning what I need to buy next.
Ah well. I never said I was perfect. I'm just a work in progress, as we all are.
If I were perfect, I'd have nothing to reflect upon this week. And then I might be forced to watch hockey. Not that I hate hockey, or anything. I am Canadian after all.
So, my friends, now that my wardrobe reflections are complete, care to crunch your numbers for us? Do you know how many wardrobe acquisitions you made in 2018? Do the math. Be honest. We won't judge.
Linking up this week with: Visible Monday, #IwillwearwhatIlike, Thursday Favourite Things, #ShareAllLinkup.