Closet editing leads to mini epiphany

Which I will catalog here, so that I can find it again :)

1) I haven't worn cardigans in a good while. They all just moved to the "probation" bin. Perhaps my style has moved on? Perhaps I just can't come up with non-frumpy ways to style them.

2) Same for vests.

3) I have plenty to wear. Sometimes I only see my wardrobe holes. I need to be patient with those, and remember that I'm not going naked for lack of a perfect-length white top. :)

4) The tape measure is my friend.

And on that note, some nitty gritty that I learned in measuring my clothes:

- I will tolerate a pants rise anywhere from 7-10 inches (ten inches is on my high hip), as long as the waist is at least 34" (35 is nicer) and the hips aren't much bigger than that. I will expand a waistband when needed, but I will not deal with a rise above 10 inches or below 7. My inseam for skinny or tapered legs can be no less than 30". For wide legs, no less than 32".

- There is 29" between my shoulder and crotch point. So a shirt must be at least 26" long if I want to wear it with pants. I prefer more like 28, but only have one shirt (a plaid flannel) that's that long. My tops are now separated into pants-appropriate and "must wear with skirts".

- Jackets must be 16-18" across the back (shoulder seam to shoulder seam at the point where the top seam is). Closer to 16 is better (an 18 inch jacket is better worn closed)

- I don't know what a suitable length for sweaters is. All of mine are about 26", and they all feel too short most of the time (I relegated the few that were shorter than that to "skirts-wear"), or too long to wear over my other tops. Go figure.

If you're still reading - how should sweaters fit? Mine seem too long to be cropped or go over shirts, and too short to really drape the way that trendy sweaters do. (Current sweaters seem to hit the crotch point or a little lower when un-tucked, but be worn semi-tucked, or have a hi-lo hem, right?) I'm considering this a wardrobe hole, and reminding myself that I still have plenty to wear so I don't need to go feeling like this is a major emergency.

Thank you Caro for suggesting that it was time to go through and cull my closet. I got rid of less than I expected, and have a higher "like" rating for the things that I kept than I expected. My happiness factor with my wardrobe is rising!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

13 Comments

  • Joy replied 5 years ago

    Your measurements have suggested new ones I want to have when shopping. Shopping with a small tape measure can save so much time.
    About sweaters...I usually wear a longer layer...knit or buttondown...under them when they seem too short. Love your epiphanies.

  • christy replied 5 years ago

    Sounds like you've made some real progress! I've had success with layering longer button down tops under my shorter sweaters to get some added length to the overall look. Maybe investing in a longer top or two might be worth it to get some added use out of the sweaters you feel are too short?

  • Adelfa replied 5 years ago

    That's great that you're zeroing in on measurements that work for you. Knowledge is power!

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    I think that's a good point about only seeing the holes. Guilty!

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    I like sweaters that are tight enough to have some body contours if that makes sense; ditto with cardigans. It's really hard to style a cardigan that is too baggy.

    I have never had much luck with vests so I agree - cull away!

    Yay for increasing happiness factor!

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    Love this! And I love that you thought to do this. I only started measuring my clothes because of ebay and flea markets and realized the benefits afterward. Great insights!

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    Oh, yep. I know all my measurements, like Rae, due to eBay. It helps a ton!
    It took me a long time here to realize that letting go is as important as what you bring in.

  • Caro in Oz replied 5 years ago

    Glad it's all working for you. I was just thinking of you today, wondering how it was going. I went through my own summer wardrobe & culled half a bag of stuff I don't wear:)

    I don't tend to wear many sweaters mainly because of the length problem - I find it also depends on the fit of the knit & the type of bottom you are wearing - so many variables.

    p.s. I didn't know about AE's clothing line - she must have been an amazing woman.

  • replied 5 years ago

    A great idea, and I am glad it's helped you to make sense of your wardrobe!

  • ManidipaM replied 5 years ago

    STANDING OVATION for some very nifty application of the measuring tape! I wonder why more of us don't do this --- I for one never thought to --- and yet it should help so much when shortlisting what to try off the racks. Very important lessons there, and ones so easy to apply. I love how systematically and analytically you're going about this culling business.

  • Jules replied 5 years ago

    As a fellow tech geek of sorts (network support for me), I enjoy your appliction of hard data and logic to your style evolution :)

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Caro - Amelia's line of clothing was to fund her flying. It didn't sell well, and therefore was only marketed for about a year. It was depression era, and she specialized in separates (before her, suits were only sold as a set - she allowed a customer to buy coat and skirt in different sizes). Her shirts were very long (she guaranteed that you could do cartwheels without them coming un-tucked). She had a few dresses in her line (I have pics of her modeling some). Interestingly enough, I don't think her line included trousers (I may be wrong, I just don't recall seeing any). She designed her own clothes as well - which, obviously, included plenty of trousers.

    Her line included sewing patterns, to make your own. Wish I could find some of those!

    Thanks everyone for your comments! I do feel like I understand my closet better now!
    And I'm definitely carrying that tape measure with me shopping!

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    I think it's hard to have one sweater that can do All The Things. For myself, I have a couple shorter sweaters that I layer over other longer tops (usually button-up blouses, but also long bright or printed tees), some that are longer that get worn on their own OR possibly layered with only a collar showing (these are both loose and fitted), and some that are either banded or longer but very lightweight so that they drape nicely when semi or fully tucked (these are all loose only). Where I live, it's hard NOT to justify adding another sweater to my collection; I can wear them year-round in different weights. If your temperatures require a lot of sweaters, it's probably worth having a couple different lengths so that they all function properly for the way you want to use them.

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