H is for How Big Should My Wardrobe Be?

“I have nothing to wear!” Many of us feel that way and many of us decide to go shopping. So we have overstuffed closets and bureaus. But most of us only wear 10 to 20% of the clothes we own. Our closets may be neat or cluttered but most of us own more clothing than we actually wear. Even so, “I have nothing to wear” is a common complaint.

0 h is for how big

Our unworn clothing often doesn’t fit. It’s either too small, too big, or just off. Or we wear something once and decide, it’s not as great as it was in the shop. It’s too fancy, too casual, too nous ne savons quoi.* We save garments for occasions that never come or bodies that have long changed. I knew a woman who had lost 60 lbs. She saved all her old clothes because she feared she might regain the weight. (I’ll bet you thought saving clothes that no longer fit was only an issue for women who’ve gained weight. Nope.) And for some, the downfall is pulling out the dreaded iron and ironing board. (Guilty!)

“How big should my wardrobe be?” is usually the wrong question. Questions we need to ask include:

Do I have appropriate clothing for the life God has given me?
Can I find an appropriate outfit when I oversleep?
When I get a last minute invitation, have I clothing I want to wear?
Do I often feel I need to go shopping for more clothes?
Must I do laundry more often than my life allows?
Do I often complain, I have nothing to wear?

Our wardrobes ought to have enough clothing so that we can confidently say, Yes, to the first three questions and, No, to the last three. Some of us will need or want more clothes. Others will find a smaller wardrobe (perhaps even a capsule wardrobe) perfect. And sometimes, part of a wardrobe can be small and part expansive.

In my mid-twenties, I worked late, played as much as I could, and studied voice and dance. My days were so long, sometimes, I didn’t get home at all. (There were couches in the partners’ offices for naps.) At one point, I found myself buying new underclothing because I had no time to do laundry. Finally, I decided to buy enough to last for six weeks. My wardrobe, at the time, was quite small but my lingerie drawer was stuffed.

Stay tuned. Over the next few months, GlamOfGod will offer lots of suggestions to help each woman answer, How big should my wardrobe be?

* Literally: “we don’t know what.” But whatever it is, we don’t like it.
* Image source

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