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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So how do I compare to others? Well I found an interesting article about it! According to this article:
- “Average number of items in a wardrobe (excluding footwear and accessories) is 127 items.” I have 134 items.
- “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.
- “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.
Have you ever compiled data on your wardrobe? If not, do you think you’d be as surprised as I was at the outcome?