After 12 months of the big spreadsheet

Another 3 months have passed and here is an update on my big spreadsheet. If you are new to this, between 2014 and 2017 I was doing season capsules of stashing away the ‘unseasonal’ items and doing the whole ritual of ‘seasonal change’ every couple of months while tracking the number of wears. And then it felt like too much fuss… So I started tracking the number of wears without doing the ‘now you go away’ ritual. Here is the outset post (that includes a link to an example Google Sheet), here the 3-month update, here the 6-month update, and here – the 9-month.

Having a year’s worth of solid information is great, and my data-loving side is filled with joy. If you think that this is for weirdos quantitative sociologists only, Marina is an example how less spreadsheat-inclined normal people might get value out of this exercise too… So, I’ll go through the most and least worn by categories as I did in previous posts, and then try to draw some mor egeneral conclusions.

So here you have the wardrobe heroes of 2018 by categories with the number of wears January through December in parenthesis:

Layers

Most worn: My mom’s gray hand-me-down cardigan (62) because in summer it’s my AC saver in the office. Also works well if my street layers are a bit too much for the office, etc. We’ll see what 2019 for this one, as there won’t be an office anymore…

Runner-ups: Julie’s pink cardigan (60) and the other gray cardigan from May 2018 Swap (58).

Worn the least: The floral courduroy bolero (2) – it’s fancy and in Rīga, works very well (although takes it slightly over the top) with the HnM sweetheart dress, but not casual enough for every day even by my very lax standards. I’m probably keeping it forever, though.

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Dresses

Most worn: My mom’s dark blue silk dress (32). She made it herself, btw. This dress also serves to assess my sewing skills… And the comparison is not flattering.

Runner-ups: My mom’s hand-me-down MnS dress (28) and my aunt’s ‘take this, you might defend your thesis in this’ dress (25).

Worn the least: The HnM sweetheart dress (4) – again, it’s a party garment and lives in Rīga so that I would have a mainstay for all family celebrations and opera. Feels like a bit of a waste but I’ve had it since 2008, so it has to be somewhere in vicinity of those #30wears. it is wearing out, though, especially around the ‘bones’ that keep the shape of the top, so it might become a skirt one day. Also, last February I finally found a nice way to dress it down a bit, this, and I have been developing that ‘look for a short sweater to tone it down’ sensibility further on, like so:

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Tops

Most worn: The demon t-shirt (58). I can only repeat that: “This is weird, because I don’t have a feeling that I’ve worn it that much. Here, a proof that my memory and perception of frequency of wear cannot be trusted!” And after 100+ total wears since 2014 it finally was beyond repair, so it is not with as anymore. The picture, though – a painting of a lietuvēns by Kristiāns Brekte – is still good, and I’m looking for a surface to repeat the trick I did with the No Pasarán t-shirt and the Street One jacket.

Runner-ups: The February 2018 Swap Forever 21 t-shirt (51) and my mom’s hand-me-down lace blouse-undershirt (38).

Worn the least: A couple of newcomers, because we cleaned my mother’s wardrobe on December 22. A great gift for both of us, indeed, if you see what proportion of my wardrobe are her hand-me-downs! I already wore – once in 2018 – the green synthetic fantasy of birds and flowers and the black MnS ‘beat’ short-sleeve turtleneck:


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Bottoms

Most worn: My mom’s hand-mw down shorts (67). The secret here is that I wear them as shorts and as underwear/chub-rub prevention under skirts or dresses, so these shorts get a lot of summer wears. Also, they are very comfy. On my to-sew list in 2019 is trying to make an exact replica.

Runner-ups: ZIB black leave leggings (62) and Amoralle leggings (52). Both of these, after having reminded me how essential leggings are for my comfort and happiness, are now beyond repair

Worn the least: It’s a tie – at two wears – between the ZIB splash leggings that are mostly used as loungewear in Rīga and my ‘new’ hand-me-down green capri jeans. Yeah, there are big news for the ‘Luīze wearing pants’ section, we’ll see how it goes.

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Footwear

Most worn: Arcopedico wedges (132) because nothing beats the office shoe.

Runner-ups: Veja Wata Pierre (121) and Vegan Birkenstock Gizeh (118). Birks are going to truly fall apart sometime in 2019, but we’ll keep counting until then. And keeping an eye on their vegan section for replacements. BTW, dear Birkenstock, could you be so kind and bring the vegan Gizeh back for June? I really don’t care which color…

Worn the least: Nokian Hai wellingtons (4) – they live in Rīga and are rainboots. I keep wondering if bringing them to Barcelona could be a good idea… but in Riga they are handy as well, just that this year I spent very little time there. And, after an 8km walk in December, it is clear that their shape and sizing – they are clearly making Finnish women feel good about the size of their feet since 1898 because I haven’t been a size 37 since I was 12, I think – work alright.

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Adornments

2018 hasn’t been a good year for adornments: I don’t reach for necklaces automatically, my ears have become very sensitive to anything that’s not farmacy-grade baby earrings, my headbands ar big and flashy, and unfit for bike rides, and this year I didn’t have the seasonal spreadsheet *making* me wear all that. I don’t know it’s just a temporal thing or a new aspect of growing up I’ll just have to accept.

Most worn: The red wooden necklace (31).

Runner-ups: Jēkabs necklace (30) and Ban.do headband (23).

Worn the least: The flower ball headband (8) – I rescued it from the Rīga wardrobe and we had a great time together in London, but then in Barcelona I find it hard to wear. And the bicycle-headband incompatibility (the wind!) doesn’t help. And I am growing more conservative, I’m afraid… Ugh.

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So far, so good, but what does the future bring?

First of all, the spreadsheet stays. I do think that it is the right amount of obsessing and ‘hard data’ for me. Wardrobe tracking has helped me to not only become aware of the unsung heroes of my wardrobe (officewear, leggings, the more ubiquitous t-shirts) but also to appreciate that a low count does not necessarily move garments into the ‘out’ pile. I have my reasons and excuses. Some of them are very rational, as in having two winter coats of varying thickness and two pairs of waterproof boots in Rīga, even if in 2018 I have spent only three weeks there. There is enough space in my mom’s house to keep them there instead of lugging them back and forth. And there is no proper winter in Barcelona anyway.

It is a bit harder to explain away the little black cocktail dress and that flower ball, but let me try. Those are aspirational and backward-looking pieces at the same time. I would still like to be the person who wears those, and tracking tells me to what I extent I am.

The person I was when I bought that LBD. Brussels 2008.

I also tracked – in wider categories – what covered my legs. That serves two purposes: (1) knowing the seasonal balance, and (2) taking future hoisiery decisions. Measured in days ‘worn’, the winner are bare legs. 169 days in 2018 I have left home with nothing covering my legs, wearing no or ankle socks. That’s the climate part. The runner-up with 135 are leggings, hence my talking about their central space in my wardrobe beforehand. The other three options – knee-highs (52), tights (48), stay-ups (44) – are clearly minor players. In 2018 I abandoned stay-highs and embraced opaque woolen tights. And Bonne Maison knee-highs, when worn with midi-skirts, are a very good option for spring and autumn.

2019 will bring a whole new vibe with me finishing my thesis and leaving behind having an office to go to. Although it has always been a very relaxed environment, the very fact of getting out of home was enough for me to dress nicely. Now the landscape will be one of balancing drawing/blogging/running errands from home (in something comfy) and projecting my professional self as a freelance researcher and professional organizer. From all 2018 outfits this might be the one closest to how I see that new self… I know, pretty boring and grown-up!

What has happened in your wardrobe in 2018? Abrupt changes? Baby step evolution? Lifestyle switches? Did you try any method of wardrobe tracking? What has your wardrobe taught you in 2018?

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Luīze

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