My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

This is part two in my series about the oldest items in my wardrobe. In my last post, I wrote about all the pieces that I’ve owned since 2013 or earlier. There were just twelve items that held that distinction: nine garments and three purses, but many of them are still being worn/used regularly ten-plus years later.

Today, I’ll review all the items purchased between 2014 and 2016 that are still in my closet today. I’m only going to cover clothing, shoes, and purses, as I didn’t do a great job of tracking my jewelry and accessory (e.g., scarves and hats) purchases. I plan to do a separate post or series about my jewelry, in which I’ll write about my favorite pieces, as well as which ones have been with me for many years. Leaving the jewelry and other accessories out of this and the next post will also help to keep these essays from becoming overly lengthy.

wardrobe longevity: 7 to 9 years

How many items have been in your closet for 7 years or longer? 

This will be a very picture-heavy post, and since I’m writing about a larger group of pieces, I won’t go into as much detail about each one. I also won’t delve much into cost-per-wear information, as that data takes a lot of time and effort to compile, plus I stopped tracking wears at the end of 2018 and can only guess at wears since that time. I will, however, share my most-worn items from this second group, the ones that continue to be favorites today, and some additional data points and thoughts about these “oldies but goodies.”

Items I Still Own from 2014 through 2016

Here’s a “bird’s eye view” of the 25 wardrobe items that have been in my closet for the past seven to nine years:

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A commenter on one of my recent essays inquired about how old the items in my closet are, which got me thinking about that topic. Way back in 2015, I wrote a post showing the items I owned that had been around the longest and what some of the common features were among those pieces. I think it’s high time for me to revisit this subject, but rather than publishing another marathon-length post, I’m going to split it out into three parts (with the potential addition of a “wrap-up” essay as well).

wardrobe longevity - 10 or more years

How many items in your closet are ten or more years old? 

I’m starting today with the very oldest clothes and accessories in my wardrobe, items that have been with me for ten years or longer. I show pictures of all of them and discuss why they’ve stood the test of time, how often they get worn, their common features, and what I see as their future in my closet. In parts two and three, we’ll look at other “oldies but goodies” that haven’t been around quite as long but have still been with me since 2018 or earlier.

The Oldest “Oldies but Goodies”

Based on the wardrobe tracking that I’ve done, the twelve items shown below have been in my closet for over ten years.

items that are 10 or more years old

It’s possible that some of my jewelry pieces are even older than the items above, but I didn’t start tracking jewelry purchases until the beginning of Recovering Shopaholic in 2013. I didn’t do much wardrobe tracking at all until the inception of that blog, but I’ve been able to compile data on the origin of most of my clothing via my accounting software program.

I’ll delve into the individual pieces later in this post, but here’s how the items break down by category:

  • 2 cardigans
  • 1 dress
  • 2 sleeveless tops
  • 4 long-sleeved tops
  • 3 purses

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In my last post, I shared the first ten items on my wardrobe and style “bucket list” for 2023. I got the idea for this concept from a recent episode of “The Everyday Style School” podcast, which is hosted by stylist Jennifer Mackey-Mary. Rather than setting concrete goals or resolutions regarding her wardrobe this year, Jennifer has instead opted to take on a set of tasks to help move her style forward without becoming a “year-long grind.” You can learn about Jennifer’s “bucket list” on her episode 154.

wardrobe and style bucket list items

Although my bucket list tasks are much different from Jennifer’s, I was inspired by many of the activities that she selected. I’ve already made some progress with one of my bucket list items since I last posted here:  #3 – Wear Scarves More Often. Here’s what I did:

I moved my scarves from my bottom dresser drawer to one of the top ones, adjacent to the drawers in which the bulk of my jewelry collection is housed. Additionally, I selected six scarves to wear soon and placed those on a visible shelf inside my closet. Without doing a major overhaul of my closet, I don’t have room for all my scarves in there now, but it was helpful for me to isolate a few scarves to start wearing. And I’m happy to report that I’ve already worn two of them since doing my reorganization earlier this week. Onward and upward!

Bucket List Items 11 Through 20

I’ll have more updates on my wardrobe and style bucket list soon, but now it’s time for me to share the remaining ten items on my list. As with part one, these items are in no particular order, and I give a brief overview of each one below.

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I typically set wardrobe-related goals each year, but I came upon an alternate idea last month that I’ve decided to try instead. One of my favorite style-related podcasts is “The Everyday Style School,” hosted by wardrobe stylist Jennifer Mackey-Mary.  In one of her recent episodes, Jennifer shared that rather than setting goals or resolutions for her wardrobe this year, she has opted to create a “style bucket list.

Jennifer presented this concept as “coming up with simple tasks and activities that will move your style forward in 2023, but won’t become a year-long grind.” Her personal style bucket list consists of 12 tasks of varying difficulty (ideally, one task for each month of the year), including getting a bra fitting, solving her shoe storage issue, repainting her closet, and consigning unwanted clothing. To find out the rest of Jennifer’s bucket list tasks, check out Episode 154 of her podcast (and while you’re at it, you might want to listen to more of her excellent advice, including episodes 156 and 147).

wardrobe and style bucket list

Have you ever considered writing a wardrobe and style “bucket list”?

It wasn’t difficult for me to come up with my own “style bucket list,” and it wasn’t long before I exceeded 12 tasks. In this post and the next one (I’m trying to honor my intention to publish shorter posts more often…), I share the 20 tasks and activities that I added to my list. While this might be too many bucket list items for just over ten months, I’d love to get them all done and I’m going to do my best to make it happen.

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In my last post, I debriefed how I did with my 2022 word of the year, “lightness.” Although I didn’t experience as much growth as I’d hoped in terms of lightening my physical and emotional load last year, I did have important wins to celebrate. It’s all too common for many of us to look at what we didn’t do well, so I’m glad I took some time to break down the progress I made during 2022.

As is the case with all my yearly themes, I’ll continue to hold an awareness of “lightness” as I move through 2023. But now it’s time to share the word that I have selected as my theme for this year. In today’s essay, I share my 2023 word, why I chose it, and a few ways I see it impacting my life in the coming months.

My Word Became Abundantly Clear to Me

On New Year’s Day, my husband and I went to a “burning bowl and white stone ceremony” at the church we’ve been attending for much of the past year. At this service, we were guided through several meditations to help us release negative thoughts and emotional burdens from 2022 in order to create a blank canvas for 2023. We were instructed to write down all the things we wanted to let go of, after which we tossed the piece of paper containing that information into a fire.

The next step was to write down all the good feelings, experiences, and goals we wanted to welcome into our lives in the coming year. The final step was to meditate on what one word or theme most resonated for us, and we were given a white stone on which to write that word and carry it with us into 2023. Although I wrote a lot of empowering words and phrases during the exercise, the word that rose to the top for me was:

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