Gap striped peplum top; Marc Jacobs Mag bag
Jeans, Rachel Roy; top, Gap Factory; cardigan, J. Crew; shoes, Tory Burch (via consignment); necklace, J. Crew Factory; bag, MbMJ (via eBay)

So, this may be an embarrassing admission to make, but I’m still stumped when it comes to predicting what pieces will become my wardrobe workhorses. Things I think will be shoo-ins for the title end up being also-rans, often losing out to pieces I buy on impulse, with low non-existent expectations.

Take this Gap Factory striped top. It cost me a whopping $6, and I rarely over-think $6 purchases. (And by “rarely”, I mean never. Consider it my version of the stupid “latte factor”.) I have worn it … hang on, let me check* … 15 times this summer, and it shows no signs of being retirement-bound. It’s simple, hence versatile, but the ruffle/peplum thing adds a little bit of flair to otherwise uber basic-bitch outfits (my specialty). It doesn’t get more workhorsey than this.

Gap striped peplum top; Marc Jacobs Mag bag
Le Mag bag

Who woulda thunk it?

(Answer: not me.)


* Yes, I track my clothing use. I do it on my iPad, which makes it quick and easy, and I find it very useful for wardrobe-culling purposes. I also like that it gives me actual cost-per-wear numbers, as opposed to guesstimates, which can then help inform my buying choices. Nerd alert?

10 Comments on Wardrobe Workhorse

  1. I’m interested in the tracking – what do you use on the iPad? I’ve got a spreadsheet that I use to track my outfits, but it doesn’t track quantity of wear unless I search for an item specifically. And it’s not very iPad friendly.

    • I am sure there are actual apps out there, but I do it the low tech way. That’s my disclaimer, lol!

      I just createed a “note” in the basic notepad function, and made a list of all my clothes, sorted by category. Next to each item, I have the year of purchase and the cost. Then, every time I wear a piece, I add a mark (like #) next to that item on the list. When I get to 6 wears, I write 5#, and so on every 5 wears. (so, for example, 13 wears would be 10###, 26 would be 25#, etc.) Every time I buy something new, I immediately add it to the list.

      It’s not as fancy as an Excel spreadsheet, but once you have the list written down, it’s super super easy to update. That’s what I like about it – plus, I always have my iPad at hand. If you want to do any calculations, though, you have to do them yourself. Basically, this is a slightly elevated version of the old pen-and-paper routine. I’m terribly old skool πŸ˜‰

      I’m sure there are probably wardrobe tracking apps out there, though … so if any other readers have suggestions, please join in!

  2. I like the idea of just a basic list. I have a Google Spreadsheet that’s half filled in, but this seems a lot easier. Also, there’s an iPad app called Stylebook. I think it was $0.99 when I downloaded it. You can take pictures of all of your clothing items and then keep track of how often you wear them. I haven’t played with it much. I also haven’t played with Go Chic or Go Home, but I like the idea of getting gift cards for interacting with the site!

  3. I like that the peplum isn’t stiff, I think that adds to the versatility. And I really like the idea of tracking use. I go to three offices, so I can never remember which outfit I’ve worn to which office before.

    • Oh, then some sort of tracking would be really useful! And that’s pretty cool – you can wear all your favourite outfits 3 times as often πŸ˜‰

  4. Totally love that you track clothing usage. I tried to use cost-per-wear as justification to buy a splurge item…seldom successfully given my intrinsic cheapness, but every now and again it works!

    • Hah! I tend to be overly optimistic sometimes about my actual CPW, which then justifies all sorts of impulses. I’m trying to be more mindful about it … optimism at work, again πŸ˜‰