Closet Inventory & Wardrobe Holes

After reading about almost every other blogger in the blogiverse do their closet inventory, I knew I wanted to do one. Being the procrastinator that I am, it’s only just now getting done. By taking a closest inventory, I knew I would be better prepared to know exactly what I had and what I needed.

Yes, this is my closet. No, it’s not an accurate representation. Usually it’s chaos.

I decided there was no better time to take my inventory than when I fully committed to giving a capsule wardrobe a try for late summer. Since most of what I read while doing capsule wardrobe research suggested cleaning out your closet, I thought it would be my best chance to count everything. 

Here are the numbers::

Top half::
10 sleeveless tops
5 graphic tees
6 short sleeve tops
8 three-quarter sleeve tops
8 long sleeve tops
5 chambrays
41 sweaters (including cardigans)
7 heavy weight cotton tops (like embellished sweatshirts)
21 basic tanks
11 short sleeve tees
3 long sleeve tees
3 vests
2 blazers
3 jackets
Bottom half::
7 shorts
31 skirts
10 pants
6 jeans
41 pairs of shoes
23 dresses
Total:: 251 pieces
I didn’t count undergarments, outerwear (like heavy winter coats), leggings/tights, swim wear, or active wear.
I’m not nearly as appalled by this as you might be, (maybe you’re not at all) partially because I was purging as I went. For example, sleeveless tops went from 20 down to 10 while I was taking inventory. Living in Georgia makes dressing kinda hard– or hard in my opinion. I may be exempt from having to wear parka-like coats during the winter and snow boots, but we experience seasons. Sometimes we experience those seasons all in a month. “Spring” in Georgia can vary from highs in the 50s to highs in the 90s, sometimes in the same week. This makes it hard to decide what you know you won’t need until that season rolls around again. So 200 out of that 249 was trying to hang in my closet all at the same time. That just did not work for me. Also, what doesn’t work is the fact that J.Crew puts out great looking stuff in three-ten color variations. If I like it in one, it’s like something in my head tells me I’ll love it in all the colors. It’s probably my OCD taking over, telling me I have to have all the colors and they have to be arranged in ROYGBIV order. That’s going to have to take a back seat from now on. I don’t need all the colors. I just don’t. Tees, well that’s a different story, but fashion tops, where it’s obvious that you wore that top yesterday just in different colors, I probably don’t need four of. There’s one top in recent years that J.Crew has put out that I actually wear all the colors I own of it. In fact, if you missed it last year, factory has it this year and I highly recommend it in any color. That’s going to be a big change for me.
After taking inventory and learning from my late summer capsule (I’m trying to build anticipation for that post, can you tell?), I decided to take my needs as the weather related to them. My only summer need going on the list is because I wore them out kind of last minute and I think I can still get a pair at a decent summer closeout price. Otherwise, all my needs are looking forward with an eye on the weather.
  • flat black sandals— as you learned yesterday, this year’s pair was laid to rest after an unfortunate weather related accident.
  • navy blue pencil skirt— I decided I needed navy blue instead of black. It flows with my over all color scheme in my closet. (checked this one off today!)
  • navy blue gingham top— pink gingham for spring, which I already have, and a navy to work with the black and for layering this fall. (checked this one off too, with a top that didn’t work at the beginning of the summer. yay for progress!)
  • black suede booties— something about black leather booties just doesn’t suit my style
  • cognac leather booties— an alternative to suede for when it’s raining and cognac goes with black and navy
  • black riding boots— riding boots suit my style, and I would like to have the opportunity to give my brown ones a break
  • black knit dress— I’m hoping to a madewell repeat of my summer friday stripe dress success in a black version with short sleeves. I’ve looked at the matinee dress. I wish it wasn’t online only. Gap also has some knit dresses for winter, but they remind me so much of the ones I wore from Gap Kid in the early 90s.
Those are going to be my “needs” or “holes” for now. I plan on assessing the situation again once the weather actually gets cooler and I pull all my fall/winter stuff back out again. (oy) How are things in your closet? Did you do an inventory? What do you need in your closet?

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24 Comments

  1. I definitely feel a big purge coming on for my closet. I have SO MUCH STUFF! lol I swear I probably only wear 1/3 of it too! Horrible! Now that it is the changing of the seasons I should probably do it and get rid of all summer clothes that I didn't wear this summer

  2. I'm too scared to inventory my wardrobe! LOL I think you have me beat though. I just sent a huge bag to thredUP, but it won't process for a couple of weeks. Poshmark has been a blessing, because between selling and donating I've been doing pretty well culling my closet. I could probably get rid of a couple of suits, but you never know when you might need one.

    I feel like I get rid of more than I take in these days, but with some tough love I might be able to get rid of more.

    Speaking of, WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO NASHVILLE TO HELP ME WITH THIS?!

  3. Yeah, that's my biggest concern about ever trying a capsule wardrobe based on seasons. Nebraska definitely has 4 seasons, but the length of these seasons is all over the place. I've seen snow in September and May, but sometimes I need shorts as late as October or as early as March. So other than a few months that are always warm (Jul-Aug) or always cold (January), I couldn't really put all my other seasoned stuff away for very long.

    Anyway, I think inventories are interesting. I'm hoping to re-tally my closet soon and get rid of quite a bit more stuff. We shall see!

  4. Hooray for an inventory! Sounds like you have a good handle on what you have and what you need to fill those holes. I totally get the worry about getting dressed…over the course of this capsule I'm doing right now, it's gotten as high as 90 degrees, and it very well could be in the negative degrees by the time it's done (that's a big reason why I have a little bit more in my capsule than others, and I didn't include shoes because I'll need everything from sandals to boots). I'm really REALLY excited for your capsule post!!!

  5. I need to do a closet inventory soon. You do your entire closet, right? Not just this season's items? Also, let me know if you ever want to sell any of your J. Crew factory skirts, it's my new favorite thing 😉

  6. Since I'm preparing for a capsule, I feel like I should do an inventory as well, but I'm too busy/scared (like, good God, I have how many cardigans?) I may just need to force myself to do it though, to clear out some stuff and figure out what I'm still missing before I go shopping for the fall.

  7. I did do my entire closet! If I ever sell anything it'll be on my poshmark closet, though I've sold all of my factory skirts at this point. I'm not even sure I have any retail J.Crew pencil skirts anymore! I just bought a gap one and really like it.

  8. I can't imagine handling Minnesota weather and doing a capsule. I've consigned myself to having to have a bigger capsule because of the weather and I may keep it going the entire winter and just revise it when it starts to get really cold. I know why shoes are included, but I really don't want to include my shoes. Over the past few years, I've gotten a hold on my shoe collection and I actually wear every pair. I have about 20 per season and some are seasonless. I'm really missing my shoes right now!

  9. Your inventory was super inspiring! You're one of the bloggers that helped me decide to do mine! That's the same problem I'm facing right now. This trial capsule I started in late July early August and for some reason we're already having cooler mornings and I didn't include enough ability for layers in this capsule. Brynn said she's doing a much larger capsule and isn't including shoes and I think I could agree with both of those amendments.

  10. I was pretty scared too. I thought I would have some unbelievable number, but I'm pretty pleased that it isn't so far out of what I was seeing other people post. And I've probably purged close to 10 more items since then, but I've probably brought like 6 fall items in. I may get rid of a few more summer items before I shut the lid on the summer Tupperware and start into my transition stuff. Poshmark is the best. I've been able to get rid of so much. It's the whole not bringing anything else in part thats hard.

    I WANT TO COME TO NASHVILLE SOON! We have the big Disney trip planned, but after that I want to make it your way. We'll coordinate schedules. 🙂

  11. That's exactly why I did an inventory and really evaluated what I had. I wear so little of everything I had. Season change is one of the best times in my opinion since you're pulling out and packing up stuff. I'm loving reading your blog btw!

  12. I can definitely relate to the temptation when a store comes out with something in multiple colors. Your post makes me think I should go back to my closet inventory and do an update. I didn't get rid of that much, but it's hard to when I don't know what I'll be doing/where I'll be living in a few years.