Most Worn Items in August

I can’t believe another month has flown by!  Time to do my monthly round-up of most worn items, that I track on the Stylebook App (highly recommend, not sponsored in anyway).   For Most Worn in July, see here.

Most Worn Overall – Madewell Medium Transport Tote
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Again, my most worn piece this past month was a bag.  For August, my newer Madewell Transport Tote was the winner.  I’ve never had a cognac/brown bag before, believe it or not, since most my wardrobe is black, blue or white.  But the cognac color was a great pop of neutral color that went with almost everything.  The size of this bag is perfect – large enough to hold a work file or notebook, but small enough that I can carry it around without feeling like my bag is too big.  It’s a casual bag, but I felt comfortable carrying it to work as well.  And it is remarkably sturdy – I spilled a whole protein shake in the bag (not my best morning), and it not only held in all the liquid, but I was able to rinse the inside out and it looks great.  See it on me here , here and here.

Times Worn in August: 20

Times Worn in 2017:  31

Cost per Wear: $5.64

Most Worn Shoe: Birkenstock Gizeh Sandal
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This sandal was the winner again, two months in a row.  What can I say, they are comfy as sneakers and stylish enough to go with most outfits.  I didn’t wear these to work (my casual style can only go so far!), but pretty much lived in these outside of work.  See them on me here.

Times Worn in August: 11

Times Worn in 2017: 47

Cost per Wear: $1.38

Most Worn Clothing (Tie): Splendid Striped T-Shirt and Articles of Society Jean Shorts 

With the heat wave this summer in Los Angeles, I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough shorts or T-shirts.   I didn’t want to spend a lot on either, since they tend to get washed and worn a lot, so picked these items up on sale.  They both have been staples for the summer, and since the price was low originally, the cost per wear has been great.  See the shirt on me here. The shorts are no longer available, but similar on super sale $15, here.
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Striped T-Shirt:

Times Worn in August: 4

Times Worn in 2017: 9

Cost Per Wear: $3.33

Jean Shorts:

Times Worn in July: 4

Times Worn in 2017: 8

Cost Per Wear: $3.75

Key Lesson: Lower Initial Prices result in Lower CPW (Cost Per Wear)

This seems like a no-brainer, but in the past, I’ve justified higher priced items by thinking I’d wear them so much that the CPW would be low.  In tracking my wardrobe, it’s just not true.  If something started with a low price, the CPW’s are much lower….the higher priced items never get low, no matter how much I wear them.  Both the T-shirt and the shorts above are on my lowest CPW list, and I haven’t worn them that much.

This doesn’t mean I should rush out and buy things on sale, but it also means that I really should pause when I think “investment” clothing.  I see a lot of articles on “Clothing items that you should invest in in” and to be honest, I don’t think they make a lot of sense.  Stocks are an investment, not clothing!

 

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Most Worn Pieces in July

One of the things I have been doing this year is tracking my outfit everyday via the Stylebook App.  It’s really easy, actually kind of fun, and has been an eye opener in terms of what I wear the most often and don’t wear at all.   I thought it would be helpful to review my most worn pieces every month, and see if there are any patterns.

Most Worn Overall:  Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini Biker Backpack
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My most worn item every single month since January has been a bag.  It makes sense because I usually carry the same handbag for the whole season, until the weather changes.  I can’t do that with clothing.   For July, my trusty Marc by Marc Jacobs backpack was the most worn item.  Because it’s black nylon, I don’t have to worry about it at the playground or gym, but because of the gold metal and black color, I can take it out at night for drinks or dinner.

Times Worn in July: 16

Times Worn in 2017:  28

Cost per Wear: $2.18 (estimated based on total wears)

More Worn Shoe:  Birkenstock Gizeh Sandal
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Ahhh…my Birkenstocks.  I got these last year when I cut my foot badly with a wine bottle (don’t ask), and couldn’t wear normal shoes for a few months.  It turns out these are amazingly comfortable.  I even wore them all day to Disneyland, and was so surprised that they felt better than my usual sneakers.  The nice thing is that the white color actually elevates these a little, so I don’t feel too casual when I wear these.

Times Worn in July: 16

Times Worn in 2017: 42

Cost Per Wear: $1.54 (estimated based on total wears)

Most Worn Clothing: (tie)  J Crew Khaki Shorts and Splendid T-Shirt (on sale for $29)

Clothing always gets the least wears, since I usually wear an outfit once every three or four weeks.  I’m trying to change that and pick pieces that can be worn more often, because it seems ridiculous that I have 31 outfits per month.  My husband generally wears the same 5 shirts, 2 jeans and 2 shoes every week – I want to be able to get to that place.

It was a tie in July between my old khaki shorts from JCrew, and my newer grey T-shirt from Splendid.  Both of these are basics that I can throw on.  The khaki shorts are nice because they are fairly casual, but not sloppy.  The T-shirt is amazingly soft, which is why I keep reaching for it whenever it’s clean.

T-Shirt: 

Times Worn in July: 6

Times Worn in 2017: 13

Cost Per Wear: $3.07

Khaki Shorts:

Times Worn in July: 6

Times Worn in 2017: 11

Cost Per Wear: $2.72 (estimated based on total wears)

Key Learnings: 

Overall I’m pretty happy with the most worn items this month.  One of the great things is that most of these items are old (the JCrew shorts are 4 years old!) and relatively inexpensive.

  1. Comfort & practicality is key – I’m busy and need clothing that will fit my on-the-go lifestyle.  The items that I’m going to reach for most have to be versatile and comfortable.  The ones above all can be dressed up or down, and are very low maintenance.  I need to keep this in mind next time I fall in love with a dry-clean only shirt, or a pair of going out heels.
  2. Everyday basics get the most wear and have the lowest cost per wear – The cost per wear on the above items are fantastic (and will still likely go down further).   I guess it’s because they are everyday items, and I wear them frequently.    I bought the Birkenstocks at full price, which made me cringe a little, but on a cost per wear basis, these are some of my cheapest shoes.  Where I need to cut back are on special occasion items, which just sit in my closet.
  3. Summer 10×10 helped increase wears – The T-shirt, shorts and sandals were all part of my Summer 10×10.  I was amazed at the creativity that came out of that challenge — there were at least four outfits I had never worn before, even though most of the items were older.  In finding new ways to wear older items, I increased my number of wears.
  4. Need to up the Polish – As part of my newly defined style, Effortless California Polish, one of my realizations is that I could increase my polish.  It would be great to have a slightly more elevated item make it into the Most Worn list next month.

White Jeans Are Magical

FSS Denim Jacket 2FSS Denim Jacket

Kut from the Kloth Jacket
icon | Vince T-Shirt (old), similar
icon| Joes Jeans Olivia (old)|Birkenstock Gizeh Sandal
icon| Madewell Medium Transport Tote
icon | Ann Taylor Butterfly Sunglasses

In thinking about my last weekend outfit, it felt a little off from my stated style of Effortless California Polish.  It was a little too casual and not polished enough.  I think the issue comes when all my individual pieces are casual, and there isn’t one slightly more polished item.  Enter white jeans.  Something about white bottoms (jeans, shorts, skirt) instantly makes any look more polished.  This is still my weekend uniform of T-shirt, jeans, and comfy sandals, and yet this outfit feels way more put together than the last one.

Number of Wears (since Jan 2017)

Kut from the Kloth Jacket – 15; Vince T-shirt – 6; Joes Jeans Olivia – 2; Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals – 41; Madewell Medium Transport Tote – 8

Casual Stripes for the Weekend

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T-shirt, Splendid (old), similar here
Jeans, Treasure & Bond
Sunglasses, Ann Taylor Butterflyicon (a steal at $25)

Sandals, Birkenstock Gizeh (so comfy!)

Backpack, Anya Hindmarch (old), but love this similar one here

We went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) this past weekend, and I got to take a shot at the iconic street lamps exhibit.  This looks is a classic weekend formula for me – comfy T-shirt, relaxed jeans, walking sandals and backpack.  However, I wore this before I finished my mood board and defined my style as Effortless California Polish (see background post here).  As I compare this outfit to my style, I see the “Effortless”, I see the “California”, but I’m missing a little of the “Polish”.  I think the backpack helps, with the creamy white leather and fun details, but the outfit itself could use a little more.  Hmm…good food for thought in my style journey.

Number of Wears Per Item

Striped Splendid T-Shirt, 7

Treasure and Bond Jeans, 2 (newer)

Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals, 39 (way undercounting – I lived in these last summer!)

Anya Hindmarch Backpack, 26