Thursday, December 1, 2016

Building my Retirement Wardrobe - November 2016 update

I am ready to stop experimenting with purchases and buy carefully to have a wardrobe that works for all my lifestyle situations. I am carefully examining what I own and doing a ruthless wardrobe purge too. Out with anything that doesn't fit my current body or my Colorful Casual Chic style.

Mid November I made this shift and am swearing off random shopping. I took Mette's 5 Year Shopping Calendar  and am modifying it as I go with what I am actually buying.

The additions since this change in my approach are knit gloves, a knit hat, a "coatagin" in hunter green, navy nubuck everyday shoes (Clarks). Total spent: $142. I'm happy with these purchases and have already been wearing all but the hat as it isn't yet hat weather here.

I've come up with 2 outfits with the cozy cardigan so far in this betwixt and between fall weather. As the weather cools I'll have to take some time to play with finding more outfits and more variation in necklaces.

Before I adopted the shopping calendar approach I bought 4 items in November 3 of which were thrifted and the other a vintage bracelet from Etsy. Two thrifted items have already left my wardrobe and one hasn't been used yet and may not be. Bad choices or impulse purchases? Both I'd say, but $29 definitely wasted and possibly $6 more.

What stayed for sure is this gray vest which was $14 at a consignment store. Although a lighter color would be better, I like the shape and it replaces an old black vest that saw lots of wear but is now just used for yard work.

What else left my closet? Gray jeans that no longer fit. Gray corduroy pants that never fit well, an old black cardigan and last year's navy loafers that were replaced this month.

What is on the potential purchase list for December? An everyday purse (replacement), camisole/underlayer for warmth, and a bra. In reality with workers in the house for the next 3 to 4 weeks I may not get to go shopping at all but that is what I would like to find.

I did decide to start with Mette's own shopping calendar and modify it as I gained information about my own clothing needs and the longevity of items. So far from three years of November purchases I have concluded that light weight gloves last 2 years, everyday navy loafers only 1 year, jeans are good for 2 or 3 years, some sweaters for 3 years, knit tops for 2 or 3 years, and hats last a long time. Generally I don't plan to shop often enough for shoes and, since my feet are hard to fit and hurt easily, I really need to plan these purchases regularly.

In looking at last year's November purchases, the navy loafers were worn out after one year since I wear them with jeans most days. The other 2 pairs of shoes I bought are worn less and have 1 or 2 more years to go. The gray headband and blue print leggings for Pilates are going strong and working well. A long sleeve t-shirt that was thrifted has developed a hole and is not going to last past this year.

In November 2014 I bought 3 sweaters that are still worn, a cardigan and 3 knit tops that are still worn.  This is the last year for about half of them. The gray knit gloves purchased are worn out. I also bought 3 pairs of jeans and all are doing fine.

How do you manage your clothing shopping to avoid churn and waste?


  1. So cool! I love the way you tweak the calendar to fit your needs. The items you've picked up are gorgeous too :-)

    1. Thanks Mette. I am happy with my purchases so far although I still haven't worn the hat as it is still fairly warm here. I think being as deliberate as you are will be a big help in getting things that stay and I am happy with.

  2. I like your outfits and love the shoes. I used to walk to work wearing shoes that matched my outfits. The shoes would wear out in 6 months. So now I wear sneakers for the walk, and change into shoes when I get to work. The shoes have lasted over 2 years already. Making a calendar for purchases is a great idea.

    1. I admire your walking to work! I am mostly inside or on short dog walks with non-sneaker shoes. I do change if taking a long walk. I'm very hopeful about creating a custom shopping calendar for myself!


An ordinary week - Thriving Week 24

Nice summer cut Appointments were all completed - dog grooming, haircut, arborist, Pilates.  Simplified and reduced my Amazon subscription o...