The 40 item wardrobe – part 1

I’ve struggled for a while to come up with something to blog about that I couldn’t just as easily Instagram. I don’t know where it came from, but today I had a surge of motivation, remembering in the back of my mind mention of a 40-item wardrobe. This isn’t a new idea. See:

These are just the ones at the top of my search. This challenge is right up my street. I’m going to whittle my wardrobe down to 40 pieces (not including underwear, nightwear, gymwear, coats or accessories – come on! Got to give myself a bit of breathing space. Including shoes in this is hard enough).

So I’m going to do this in real time, as it happens, my whole cathartic experience and thought processes – probably TMI, but its therapeutic for me. Wearing my wardrobe on my sleeve.

Firstly, items that can go straight away.


Patterned jumper dress – a hand me down


New Look blocky sandals – worn to death

OK, this dress never really entered my wardrobe. It was given to me recently and its too big. And I’ve just replaced the sandals with this lovely pair of Clarks sandals (below) from Demelza Children’s Hospice shop in West Wickham.

Clarks sandals from Demelza Children's Hospice shop West Wickham

Clarks sandals from Demelza Children’s Hospice shop West Wickham

So I’m not even off the mark yet. Lets try again.

Maybe it would be easier to start with:

Items to keep

a) Trousers

Trousers to keep

Trousers to keep

Here we have tapered, flared, pleather and any-occasion-black. All from charity shops except the generic black ones (American Apparel).

b) Jeans

Denim items

My existing collection of denim

Cut-offs, flared, ripped 501s, dark jeggings, black jeggings, and the ones I’m wearing today. I have a love/hate relationship with the jeggings. Both can go. They are the only ones above that were not bought in charity shops (American Apparel again).

So on trousers alone I’m on 8 items.

c) Skirts


Current selection of skirts

Leather, pleated, A-line, pencil, mini (3 charity shop, 2 American Apparel) – and a random black one (Pull & Bear), which can go. Not convinced about the A-line – its on the maybe pile.

That’s 12/13 items.

d) Dresses


My dresses (non-black)

Maxi,tunic, skater, denim, suit – I think I’ll save skater for the younger generation. Isabella won’t let me chuck it out though. I’ll save it for when she’s older. Does that count? It has moved to a different room! Here are the black dresses:

My black dresses

My black dresses

The one on the left is going. Only worn it once – on a thin day.

That’s 19 items. Almost half my allocation. Eek.

e) Jumpers


More jumpers than I thought I had.

Useful hoodie – stays; I only have one cardigan – its staying; black, brown, stripy rollnecks – winter’s a-coming; big comfy black jumper dress – staying; yellow jumper – stays.

Peruvian baby llama wool hoodie my husband bought me from Peru – the arms are too short but I can’t chuck it! So it’s now Bella’s. The teal jumper dress can go. The cropped green (yet again American Apparel) jumper is a maybe. Didn’t do too well there did I!

But I have identified the following that can definitely go:

Items to go

Items to be donated to charity shops

Items to be donated to charity shops

Green lacy peplum top (not really me); Palm tree skirt/shorts (too big); Black floral blouse (saggy, faded, nothingy); Tesco beach shorts – emergency buy – completely impractical; Finally, a tough one – was once my only suit (H&M – about 12 years old), seen many conferences and interviews, but I’m not a fan of three quarter length sleeves, the colour is dull and I have other options now.


More items to go

Funny tassly pyjama jacket thing; skull motif scarf; surplus pair of leggings; M&S slip; cropped pyjama top; surplus black t-shirt. OK, I’ve included nightwear and an accessory here – but it all helps.

So I end Part 1 with 27 items – but I haven’t even gone near my shirts, t-shirts or other tops yet or my shoes (I may impose a shoe exclusion clause). But I do have two bags worth of items to donate already.

Little one’s getting restless and my room looks like a bomb has hit it. That’s all for today.

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