Challenges · MMM 2019 · New Year's Resolutions · Sustainable Living

MMM 2019: My Wardrobe Statistics

Since I’ve had plenty of Excel practice in my summer class in chemistry, I decided to make some graphs of the data I collected while konmari’ing my wardrobe.

Minimalist Drawer.png

1. General Breakdown of Garments: I was really astonished to see how much “Tops” dominate my wardrobe. My guess would have been dresses, but once I thought about the fact that I have tops for every season but only dresses for warmer months it made sense. I also tend to be very practical about bottoms and put more personality into my choice of what I wear on the upper half of my body. As you will see from the chart that breaks down that individual category, tops also includes a wide variety of items.

General Wardrobe Breakdown.png

My behaviour in purchasing and making tops has improved, so I anticipate this number dropping in the next five years. Even accounting for the seasons, 15 blouse and button up shirts is rather a lot.

Tops Breakdown.png

2. Ages of Garments: I was really curious to see how old most of my clothes trended. It is interesting that it doesn’t mirror my income as much as I thought. 2016 was not a bad year, better than 2018 but in 2018 if I remember correctly I had a New Year’s Resolution to not worry about money. I also remember that I was trying to invest in a more professional work wardrobe as many of my clothes from college were worn out or not appropriate at that point.

Number of Garments vs. Ages of Garments (Year Purchased).png

3. Wardrobe and Shoe Sustainability: This one was disappointing, but also going forward I hope to use it to motivate myself. In my mind I perceive my actions as moving toward sustainability, and before seeing this I assumed I had progressed pretty well. To be clear, I was a bit ruthless in my categorization…just because a garment was a natural fiber (which is one of my criteria when I do purchase clothes) I did not count it as sustainable/ethical. I also assumed I thrifted a lot more of my clothes than I actually do. How long I keep a garment was not factored in to this chart either. With this data alone, my wardrobe is ~30% sustainably produced/procured. I think a goal of 50% in the next 5 years is not unreasonable.

Analysis of Wardrobe Sources.png


So how do I compare to others? Well I found an interesting article about it! According to this article:

  1. “Average number of items in a wardrobe (excluding footwear and accessories) is 127 items.” I have 134 items.
  2. “A study of 620 items disposed of in a 6 month period by 16 households in Norway found that the average lifespan of a garment was 5.4 years but only actively worn for a period of 4 years.” 53 items (40%) in my wardrobe (not counting shoes) are older than 5 years, while 78 items (60%) are less than 5 years old. A year ago those percentages would have been quite different! Good encouragement to see how long those pieces from 2018’s spree last.
  3. “Middle-aged (adults over 51) kept their clothing for longer before disposing of it when it was 10 years old…While teenagers kept theirs for only 3 years at most…” Unfortunately without more data I can’t say how long I keep my clothes/they last on average. I tried to track how many items I got rid of during my konmari session but I wasn’t terribly consistent. My count says 46 items but I know there were more that I did not track. For the ones I knew the age of, the average age was 3.8 yrs, however, many of the items that were “younger” were also thrifted and had some wear already built in that I couldn’t account for. The graph below also shows the average age of my current shoes to be 4 years.

4. Shoes! 20-25 seems to be the magic number of shoes for me as that is where I ended up last time I konmari’d my shoes as well. I only have two pairs on probation at the moment, so for now I’ll accept this number, but I wish it were less.

Shoes Breakdown(1).png

Number of Shoes vs. Shoe Age.png

Have you ever compiled data on your wardrobe? If not, do you think you’d be as surprised as I was at the outcome?

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