I once read that Princess Diana had a person in charge of her wardrobe. That person kept a record of where and when she wore each outfit, so as to avoid wearing the same thing twice in similar situations.
I couldn’t have been more than twelve when that idea entered my brain and firmly lodged itself there, taking up permanent residence. The implications of this idea were many: 1. Princesses don’t wear the same thing twice if they can avoid it 2. It is princess-like to be obsessive about one’s wardrobe.
I imagined a carousel like at the dry cleaners, with gorgeous gowns: each with a special princess-worthy card around the hook of the hanger and a royal wardrobe card catalogue like at the library.
Cataloguing the Pantheon of Legends
I spent a long time (sixteen long, blissful years) being a childless married person. I had no television. I therefore had lots of time to dream up ways of doing my own princess-y system of cataloguing my wardrobe.
When I would get busy with work or other activities, the system would become less important and consequently fade away…but there were periods in my life, especially when I was teaching English at the Community College level, during which I would obsessively plan outfits a month in advance, drawing neat little images of each one, so as to not repeat the same item of clothing with the same class.
I never said I didn’t have mild compulsive tendencies.
I recently switched from a system of paper journals and diaries to a digital one (DAYONE is my journal of choice). This switchover allowed me to start a virtual inventory, replete with a flattering photo of me wearing each item in rotation in my closet.
Each day I would take a photo of the outfit and then make entries for each item. I noted, if I could remember, when I bought the item (I have one skirt I know I bought in high school), where I bought it, how much it cost and what I loved about the item. I also noted repairs, alterations or anything I didn’t love about it.
This genuinely took about five minutes a day. Yes, five minutes a day I could have been doing something else, however, I started it during the COVID lockdowns, so I had the time. And why not feed my compulsive nature if it kept me sane during a period of too much togetherness, right?
For the rest of the 2020, each time I added an element, I did the same.
Key Performance Indicator
Here is the rub: I still haven’t logged everything I own because I don’t love everything I own enough to actually wear it. There are items I wore fifty times. There are others I wore zero.
My goal, therefore, with this second rule of the challenge is to finish my inventory. To finish the inventory presumes that I will have worn everything I own at least once. So that is my KPI.
An impetus to complete this part of the challenge is that anything left uninventoried at the end of the year gets donated or rehomed without a second glance.