My Skeleton Wardrobe - Summer

It has recently come to my attention that I have less clothes than anyone I know. I have exactly twenty five pieces of clothing, plus six pairs of shoes, and that is my Summer wardrobe. There is a reason for this:

I really, really don't like shopping, and I really, really, really don't like clothes shopping. There are so many  unpleasant aspects to clothes shopping. You have to leave the house when you would rather be gardening or reading your favourite book again. You have to decide what you want to buy, you have to TRY ON CLOTHES IN CHANGE ROOMS. Then you have to throw those clothes on the floor in a rage and get dressed, and go and find more clothes to try on, then get changed again. Aaaarrrgh. You have to look at your stretch marks in a full length mirror. The horror. Often you have to go to MORE THAN ONE SHOP and still not find anything to wear. The misery. I know, I know, first world problems.

I have attempted to solve this problem by developing an absolute basic wardrobe over the years, and when an item wears out, I replace it with something as similar as possible. This way I don't have to think about clothes, everything goes with everything else, and when I am forced to travel, I just take everything, because it all fits in half a suitcase, which is all the space you ever get when you travel with children.

This is not a wardrobe that would be remotely adequate for anyone working outside home, but it works for my very non-glamorous lifestyle, and has covered all contingencies so far.

Items 1-8

Four singlets and four Tshirts which all mix and match. Yes, I took off one of those T shirts to take the photo. I am nothing if not thorough.

Items 9-12

Two pairs identical shorts in khaki and beige. Two pairs denim 3/4 length pants. Yes, I know there is only one pair there. I am not that thorough. Imagine them like the others, only darker. Then imagine I iron.
All the T shirts go with all the pants.

Items 13-14

Two skirts. Go with the black and white Tshirts.

Items 15-16

Two shirts. Go with all the pants.

Item 17


Item 18

Casual party dress

Items 19-20

Posh frocks for Events. Green one works for funerals with sober shoes. Sparkly shoes for parties..

Items 21-22

Black cardies. Short sleeved works with pants and skirts. Cardigan on the right is my all time favourite piece of clothing. It is merino with 3/4 length sleeves, lace down the front, flat pearl buttons. I wear it summer and winter with everything. It is eight years old, and I will cry when it gives up the ghost..

Item 23

Linen jacket, goes with all the pants. One summer scarf. Does that count as an item?

Items 24-25

Bathers, jersey knit dress to go over the top. And a sunhat (where is that pesky sunhat?)


That's it folks. Apart from two sets of  'exercise' gear (a girl can dream), and unspeakable gardening clothes.
I recently lost a dear old favourite, a blousy white top that succumbed to holes too big to mend, so I am looking out for another one. Well, 'looking out' may be too strong a word. One day soon I may go into town in order to think about what shops I might consider looking in for such an item...

And I am considering the colour blue. Imagine wearing something blue...

How do you decide what clothes to buy?

Edited to add: Found another top in the washing basket this morning. Cream, jersey knit. 26 items.


Anonymous said…
Wow! I'm kinda jealous. I half want to have a pod wardrobe. But then, no, I love wearing different things. I know what suits me but also try on different things to experiment. I have 42 dresses! God knows how many skirts and pants. So clearly I have no trouble shopping.

BTW, I think your dresses and skirts are pretty. And good choice of Tshirts.
Jo said…
Lucinda, I LOVE seeing people who know how to dress well. They brighten up my day and make the world a prettier place. Sort of like art on legs. Whenever I need inspiration for a new outfit, I stalk someone whose clothes I really like, and then try and find something similar. That's how I ended up with the one piece I purchased this season, the spotty, vintage style dress.

So keep it up. Those of us who can't dress ourselves need you clothes people for inspiration!
Thanks for your composting rat advice appreciated
And PS I like your work on minimal clothes. Just did a big cull when we moved and sticking with the old pareto principle 80:20 rule that we wear only 20 percent of the wardrobe 80 percent of the time or something like that. I figured the stuff that was always in the washing basket on high rotation were the keepers and the rest donated to charity rather than stuff the (very small) wardrobe full of stuff I rarely-never wear. Means it is down to bare bones but I like it. Need to buy some more summer pants though
Heather said…
Hey, you may not have a lot of clothes, but at least they are all super cute.

I don't have a ton of clothing, but I tend to only wear a few items that I adore. Certain jeans, tops, and sweaters. I then wear them until they are threadbare, because I hate to go shopping, too. I would say that 1/2 of the clothing I buy doesn't seem to fit me the same after I wash it, so it just sits in my closet unworn. There are also the clothes I buy because I think the prints or colors are cute, but I rarely wear them because the aren't really "me". If it is not blue, brown, or gray I just don't feel comfortable in it.

Silly, isn't it?
Anonymous said…
simply dropping by to say hi
Jo said…
Michelle, I'm glad your new wardrobe works for you. Storage issues also motivated me to start tossing clothes when we renovated.

And welcome, Heather, I am loving your blog. I have similar issues to you working out how to make clothes look 'right', hence my practise of stalking people who look 'put together'. Jealous, jealous. I think it is a gene. One of my daughters has it. No idea where that came from.

And thankyou for stopping by 'anonymous', and letting me know my anonymous comments setting is working...
Anonymous said…
Just counted my skirts. 32! Bloody hell! 32! Madness, I tell you.
Jo said…
Love it Lucinda! I'm sure they are all darling and chic.
I could have written the first part of this post! I so hate shopping for all the reasons you mention, plus I hate spending the money. I've decided this year to buy all my clothes secondhand.

My wardrobe is similar to yours, only I have lots of chunky shoes and clogs and two pairs of cowboy boots. Also, at this very minute I don't think I have a cute dress (at least not one that fits well). I also think I have more stuff than you, but since I only actually wear about ten of the pieces I own, I don't think the extra stuff counts. More to give away as I purge!

Jo said…
Frances, I love second hand clothes, but they are even more annoying to shop for, though not as financially disastrous if you get it wrong. Several of the items above are op shop items, and two of the dresses were from a clothes swap, which was kind of fun, as choosing clothes goes. Good luck with your second hand wardrobe this year!
Laina Laughing said…
I just want you to know I really enjoyed this post! I pinned it for personal use and just recently I wrote a post on energy economy - wardrobe considerations for the chronically ill. I mentioned this article because I found it inspiring.
Hope you check it out!
Jo said…
Hi Laina, so glad this was of some use to you. I did have a peek at your blog, and I love that in the midst of your difficult times you are providing a resource for others with a chronic illness. It has inspired my new year! Thankyou :)

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