The Benefits of a Wardrobe Inventory

Recently I had an ‘Autumnal Clean’ (who needs to wait for Spring to come around?!) - and found myself being quite ruthless. Now, I’m not one to add to the fast fashion issue as you may already know, so by ‘clean’ I simply gutted my wardrobe and put everything on sale via eBay. I will avoid the bin at all costs and even strive to side-step the charity shops if I can help it.

As a professional fashion designer it struck me how little clothing I actually own - I can’t even fill a slim wardrobe! Naturally my love for creating clothes goes against this, but I find myself gifting my latest designs to friends and family (trial and error for upcoming Digital Pattern Library ideas!). So recently, as I threw the doors to my wardrobe open, two things struck me:

Firstly, how bland, neutral and dark in colour everything was. Secondly, I only reach for a certain corner of hangers and wear these clothes on reliable cycle. It was time to take stock and evaluate my textile footprint.

What is a wardrobe inventory?

A wardrobe inventory goes beyond a Spring Clean and although I encourage everyone to conduct one from time to time, you may find it especially useful and insightful should you be of the sewist mindset. It only takes a couple of hours (or an afternoon for some) and can provide you with an eye-opening analysis of your fashion consumption, steering you into educated decisions for your next make or purchase. This isn’t a ‘bin or keep’ process, it’s an analysis of the content you hold in your closet and an exercise to restore any balance.

How to carry out a wardrobe inventory:

All you need is our free download (or a simply a pen and paper) and a wardrobe full of promise.

  • Step one: pull out your clothes and start to categorise them.
    This could be in the form of: outerwear, jumpers, jeans, trousers, t-shirts, blouses, dresses, shorts, lounge-wear, underwear, heels, sneakers (or shoes as a whole), skirts, jumpsuits and any other division that resonates with you or applies to your collection.

  • Step two: Work through each category and tally up your items. On the wardrobe inventory download, we have sub-categorised these into purchases and handmade’s. (P.S. I hate the term handmade for home-sewn because ALL clothing is handmade! It’s a sneaky pet peeve of mine but I digress…)

  • Step three: Analyse.


Personally, I didn’t include swimwear or underwear as currently these projects aren’t on my radar and I haven’t bought any ready to wear for over 4 years (reasons why coming soon). Alternatively, you don’t even need to approach this with a sewist’s perspective, you could change “SHOP BOUGHT” and “ME-MADE” to “FREQUENTLY WORN” and “RARELY WORN” to evaluate the practicality of the items you own and decide on up-cycling or refashioning them, selling them on or as a last resort, donation.


The benefits of a wardrobe inventory

From my stats I could see my love for comfort shone bright through my sweaters, lounge-wear and active-wear, though perhaps my lack of skirts and shirts could be reviewed given I often attend meetings and must dress accordingly to the client. It would benefit me to consider a few formal additions to my wardrobe for such professional circumstances.

The biggest majority of my sewing ends up being created for or gifted to friends. I know not to prioritise adding to my impressive range of jumpers - and believe me, I’m impressed, and although creating dresses can result in gorgeous results, those in my wardrobe, for the large part, go unworn.

If you’re brave enough, be sure to share your stats in the comments below! Has this influenced your next wardrobe addition?