Wardrobe Diary Challenge | What’s in Your Wardrobe?

How many of the items in your wardrobe do you actually wear?

They say that most of us use 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. I’m not sure where these numbers originated (I searched for the source and failed to find it), but I agree.

10 x 25 (1)Wearing 10 items

In the last two and a half years of my minimalist journey, I have worn the same 10-15 items over and over again. I have realised that even as my wardrobe has become smaller and smaller, I continue to gravitate to a few staples that I wear for a majority of the time.

If we wear so little of our wardrobe, why do we own so many things? Why do we continue to buy new clothing when most of our wardrobes do not get worn?

Today I would like to suggest a challenge. Let’s call it the Wardrobe Diary Challenge. I propose that for the next 28 days you record what you wear in a wardrobe diary.

The concept is simple. Write down every item of clothing that you own, and record which items you wear for this period of time.

This challenge is designed to show you which of the items in your wardrobe you wear the most. Below are a few examples of ways in which you could use your findings.

  • Look for patterns in what you wear
  • Look for patterns in what you do not wear
  • Declutter your wardrobe
  • Write a shopping list
  • Help you wear more of your wardrobe.

I have prepared a downloadable Wardrobe Diary to aid you in this challenge. This resource will allow you to analyse your use of thirty items, but if you own more, you can print more than one copy of the PDF.

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How to use the Wardrobe Diary

There are 31 rows in the table. In the wide column on the left write in all the items of clothing you own. List the items in categories, so they are easy to find. If you really have a lot, it might be a good idea to colour code different categories so they are easier to distinguish.

There are 28 thin columns. Each of these represent a day. Mark the days in the top row. It might also help to note the date on top of these. Keep the Wardrobe Diary near your wardrobe, and every day, mark the boxes of the items you wear. Continue to do so until the 28 days are complete. When you have completed the diary, tally up your wardrobe use. This is where you can begin to analyse your wardrobe.

Below is a video that discusses these ideas in more detail.

Before I check out for today, I would like to remind you that with my help you can get 20% off all Organic Basics products. Follow this link and use coupon code asmallwardrobexOB20 to get 20% off Organic Basics.

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20 Comments

  1. When we help clients design closets, we use this rule all the time! Sometimes we “help” ourselves out of a project because when we all are honest…we need so much less. What if we had a smaller wardrobe and one kick ass killer closet design?! Nice post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi there, I’m definitely going to try this and thank you for creating the resource. I’ll be interested to see what I find out. Even though my wardrobe has been greatly reduced, I suspect I also use the 80/20 principle! Lxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an interesting concept – definitely going to try this. ☺️

    From a tech perspective, Amazon’s Echo Look is supposed to help you track your wardrobe though use of images to analyze what you’re wearing and where there could be potential gaps in your wardrobe too! (I’ve never tried it, but have been doing research on this!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As always, your blog is one of my favorites. I track my clothing usage using an app (not naming it because this is not my blog) that helps me determine cost per wear, most/least worn, percentage of color, brand, and more. It’s great because it helps me focus on owning/wearing only what I love and what looks good on me. I print a graphic at the end of each month and it’s fun for me to look back at what was worn, how combined, and for what occasion.

    As of right now, I have 75 pieces including clothes, shoes, bags, hats, and outwear. I know there are about 15 items I haven’t worn in 3-4 months but when cooler weather rolls around I’ll get a chance to wear them or not. When I hit a year of tracking, I will have a great plan on which pieces I can donate/give away/consign. I love being able to keep track of items by style name, size, color, brand so that when it’s time to replace a well-loved piece, I can have a starting point.

    Even if someone is not a minimalist by self-definition, this is a great idea to help hone personal style and recognize the impact our choices make on our own psyche, bank account, lifestyle, and on the world around us. Thanks for the stylish reminder! BTW, because of you, I invested in a cropped leg jumpsuit and it’s been on heavy repeat now with lots of cold weather styling ideas already percolating in my brain!

    Cheers from DC!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been doing something like this for a few months now. I add items to the list as I wear them. My current closet is probably 100 items. My plan is to record numbers for one year. It has been helpful so far.
    I can see I have too many tee shirts and I need more light layers for summer. Summer in Seattle is warmer than usual. I wasn’t ready for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a good idea! I’ve started today. I already have an idea of what I’m not wearing, but this will be great to really nail what I like and don’t like , and declutter a bit more. Thanks for your blogs I find them very inspiring. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a good challenge. As i already have decluttered my wardrobe I dont have many clothes left in my closet but I think it is still a good idea to do this challenge. Even though I know what i usually wear 80% of the time its a good idea to write it down on a daily basis. Usually I have to wear a uniform at work so that is well over 80% of my clothes in a week. That 80/20 % usually does apply to most things in life. Thanks for your sharing and challenging me.

    Liked by 1 person

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