A year ago I took an inventory at the end of 5 years of wardrobe building. I thought it might be useful to do the same at the end of this year to see what has developed over the past 12 months.
At the beginning of 2013 I assumed that my wardrobe would grow very little because I had accomplished so much over the previous 5 years. As it has turned out, that was not an accurate assumption…. 🙂 In fact, the wardrobe has grown rather a lot more in 2013 than I anticipated at the beginning of this year.
In part this is because there remain a number of gaps I wanted to fill. In part this was because I was not as disciplined, as I ought to have been this year. However, there has also been some culling over the year. So where is the Wardrobe up to at the end of 2013?
Formal Shirts: 41 (down one), 3 of which are yet to be opened so 38 are currently in active circulation. In addition there are 5 clerical shirts bringing the total to 46.
Casual shirts 23 (no change): Comprising button-down collar shirts 13; Polo shirts: 10. The fact that there is no change form 2012 masks the fact that there has been some culling and replacement.
‘In Between’ Trousers: 23 (up from 18). This includes 8 cords, 8 Chinos, 4 linens and 3 ‘odd trousers’. In addition there are 4 pairs of jeans. Trousers grand total 27. (These do not include suit trousers).
Tailoring 16 (up from 13) including 9 Suits, 6 blazers and 1 Tuxedo jacket. However, I have already identified 2 or 3 blazers I wish to add to the collection early next year so this will grow in 2014. To these need to be added 4 waistcoats, and 4 outer coats: 2 formal and 2 casual, and 2 raincoats.
Knitwear: 23 (up from 20). Comprising 10 jumpers, 8 button up cardigans, 4 knitted waistcoats, and 1 sleeveless pullover
Shoes: formal 16 (down from 18); Including 1 pair in Olive, 2 pairs in navy, 4 pairs in a range of tans and 2 pairs in grey. 5 are suede leather in whole or part and 5 pairs are boots. In addition, there are 19 pairs (up from 12) of casual shoes which include trainers and sandals. Footwear grand total 35. This is an increase from 30 despite some culling over the year. More culling remains to be done in 2014. (My shoe closet holds a maximum of 40 so I am perilously close to capacity, given that I am already planning for some additions to the shoe collection early in 2014.)
Accessories: Ties: 45 (down from 47) including 5 bowties. Cufflinks: 22 pairs (up 1). Watches: 5 (up 1). Belts:18 (up from 16). A belt cull is long overdue. I rarely wear belts now because of the new addition to the inventory below.
Braces: 12 (up from 1 which I overlooked to add to my inventory for 2012).
In some cases there has been very little change, as one might expect. I have not added any formal shirts to the collection this year but have culled one. There was hardly any need for more formal shirts, to be fair, not least since I began the year with 7 unopened shirts. Ties, suits, and formal shoes show similar stability as do accessories with the exception of braces.
Casual shirt numbers which appear to be stable mask some significant change. In fact, no fewer than 6 casual shirts were added to the collection this year. However, the number culled and the number added happened to be the same.
One of the big changes has been in casual shoes. Given our summer hols in Antigua and my need to explore new areas such as What Shoes with Smart Shorts that is perhaps unsurprising. That 3 of the 6 additional pairs cost under a tenner each made it one of the more affordable growth areas over the year. Some casual shoes need to be culled in 2014.
There has been only a single addition to the formal shoe collection but a culling of three pairs. There remain three or four to be culled in coming years once I have a chance to replace them with something more appropriate.
Another significant area of development has been in In Between Trousers. Over the year I have added around 6 pairs of chinos and cords to my IBT collection. I am looking to add at least half that number next year, though there will be some culling too.
Whilst suits have remained stable Blazers have been one of my magnificent obsessions of 2013 with three added to the collection this year and another 3 already identified for 2014. The combination of IBTs with Blazers has meant a very different look to the wardrobe in 2013 which I anticipate carrying into 2014.
However the biggest change in the entire wardrobe has been the braces collection. My first pair of braces since the 1980s were a welcome Christmas gift last year, though I managed to miss them off the 2012 inventory. In the intervening 12 months I have built this up to a cool dozen, in a range of colours which coordinate with my shirts or IBTs. I think the braces collection is more or less complete. Having said that, I am hankering for a green/blue pair a little like these at H&C. However H&C’s braces are a bit too expensive for my tastes.
So what might 2014 hold? Some decisions have already been made, given that the January sales are one of my primary acquisition points each year.
Blazer additions have already been mentioned which I hope to get as part of the January sales. Monk Straps are still frustratingly absent from the collection which I hope to address at some point in 2014. And a better pair of formal black shoes needs sorting, hopefully in the next few weeks. Further filling out my cords collection as well as the bow tie is also on the cards for 2014.
And having had a formal shirt ‘fast’ in 2013 I might be open to adding one or two in 2014. If after all of this there is any budget left I still have not got round to a decent hat from Bates. Might 2014 be the year?
So overall no big revolution planned for 2014. I still am looking to Improve The Quality. However after this year’s experience I am under no illusions. Managing the Budget will need to be a priority for 2014.
All God’s blessings for 2014.