24 pairs of trousers
15 tee shirts
… and so on
At a very quick count, that’s the number of outerwear items that I haven’t worn in 2020. It doesn’t even count things like basics (simple white and coloured tees, hoodies, jackets, blazers, and so on) that I haven’t touched. With regards to footwear, I’ve barely touched my beloved collection of Converse and Dr Martens and I’ve probably just reached for the same three pairs (2 * trainers, 1 * boots) for the whole year.
I know it’s been a non-standard year and most of us are just concentrating on looking semi-professional from the waist up, but the percentage of clothing items I’ve worn doesn’t even come close to double figures. I read in Aloïs Guinut’s book “Why French Women Wear Vintage (And Other Secrets of Sustainable Style)” that most people only wear about 30% of their whole wardrobe, but I reckon I’m only just scraping 5% of mine.
I’ve been making the same two new year’s resolutions since about 1983. Firstly to not start smoking and secondly to keep supporting Man Utd. The first has never been a problem, and the second one was a little touch and go under Moyes and LVG, but otherwise they’ve never been in doubt and generally I haven’t seen fit to augment them with other resolutions.
For this coming year I thought I would do a little more regarding resolutions. In 2020 we did a lot of work around sustainability and trying to understand the company’s impact on the environment. 2020 was my first full year as a vegan (four paragraphs in, first time I’ve mentioned it) and that little environmental effort was no work at all because going vegan really helped me rediscover my love of cooking. So for 2021 I thought I would make a personal effort around clothing and sustainability, which was what led me to find @aloisparisian’s book in the first place (which isn’t really about dressing like a Frenchwomen, it’s about making the most of your current wardrobe, developing better shopping habits, and using thrifting and the principles of slow fashion to make a difference).
The first NY resolution I planned to make was this:
- I will not buy any new clothes this year – if I want anything, I will only buy second hand.
But I used the advice in Alois’s book to cast a critical eye on my wardrobe first. And while I’m going to keep the first one, I’ve also added a second resolution:
- I’m not going to wear anything in my wardrobe a second time until I’ve worn everything once (excluding basics, like underwear, socks, white tees, leggings and hoodies…)
I think making that resolution will help me not buy anything at all this year, because I have so much that I’m not wearing right now. And frankly, the number of things in my wardrobe that I’ve only taken the price tags off today is a bit embarrassing…