Closet inventory, 5th edition + wardrobe planning update

2018 closet inventory + wardrobe planning update — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

It's that time of year again! I've been sharing an inventory of my closet since 2014—can you believe it? (Check out past inventories: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.) I love seeing how my closet evolves over time, especially with all of my life changes (grad school to real-world job). Here's how things are looking this time around (this year, I included last year's number in parentheses for easy comparison). At the end of the post, I evaluated the progress with my wardrobe plan for 2018. Let's go!

TOPS: 94 (96)
Sleeveless: 9 (8)
Tees (all sleeve lengths): 18 (19)
Blouses: 9 (11)
Collared button-up shirts: 19 (16)
Cardigans: 10 (10)
Sweaters: 25 (27)
Sweatshirts: 4 (5)

BOTTOMS: 38 (37)
Shorts: 7 (7)
Skirts: 13 (16)
Pants: 6 (4)
Jeans: 12 (10)

DRESSES: 13 (13)

OUTERWEAR: 20 (18)
Vests: 3 (4)
Blazers: 5 (3)
Jackets: 6 (6)
Coats: 6 (5)

SHOES: 47 (47)
Sandals: 12 (9)
Sneakers: 4 (4)
Flats: 12 (13)
Heels: 4 (4)
Boots: 15 (17)

If you counted, that makes a total of 212 items—only one more than last year! I've said in the past that my "sweet spot" seems to be around 200 and that seems to still be the case. I'm happy that I've been able to maintain the size of my wardrobe. I feel as though I've been doing a great job purging items that aren't serving me anymore and not adding too many new pieces. This count doesn't include utilitarian coats/shoes, lounge/sleepwear, workout clothes, and anything I currently have listed on Poshmark, though this count does include a few items I'm planning to list on Poshmark in the next few weeks.

None of the categories saw huge changes from last year. I did add some more collared button-up shirts, pants, jeans, and sandals while decreasing my sweater, skirt, and boot collections. I'm not surprised by the change-up in bottoms; I knew that with my job, I'd be wearing my short skirts a whole lot less and wearing pants/jeans a whole lot more. I'm a little surprised that my sweater and boot collection decreased slightly but I'm sure I'll make up for it now that we're heading into fall. ;) It's interesting that my dresses collection remains the same—I apparently had constant turnover the past year. I haven't been wearing my dresses a whole lot so I expect that to decrease more in the next year unless I find perfect work-appropriate frocks!

2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
2018 closet inventory — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

My closet organization hasn't changed in the past year, so I won't be rehashing that (feel free to read last year's closet inventory if you would like to learn more about that). I will mention two things: 1) I hang my midi skirts and linen pants with my dresses and 2) I still haven't fully organized my jewelry... LOL. Sigh. I should just take a weekend and figure that out because I'm constantly misplacing necklaces and leaving earrings in various places around the house...

Anyway, let's look at how my style stats have changed! That's my favorite part. :)

Most of you know that I'm obsessed with the Stylebook app. I think it's the #1 most used app on my phone. I'm on it all of the time! It does take a lot of initial effort to get everything imported, but now I love tracking what I wear and checking back to see what items are getting the wear I thought they would and what items aren't getting worn as much. (I've been thinking about writing a post detailing how I use the app... Let me know if you'd be interested in that!)

The Stylebook app was updated in the past year and a bunch of new ways to look at the stats were added! Now you can set a range while looking at most/least worn items and best/worst cost per wear. Here's what I've been wearing the most over all time (above left) and over the past year (above right).

Some of the items included in the all-time list are also included in the list from the past year, not surprisingly. I can't believe I've worn my trench coat almost 200 times! Some of my pairs of jeans and pants have seen a ton of wear, mostly thanks to my job and the fact that I wear them year-round. It's interesting how my jeans, pants, flats, boots, and outer layers make up most of the "most worn" in the past year. A lot of the items are relatively season-less but I suppose I do wear my boots and coats pretty much nonstop in the winter months!

I find the cost per wear stats to be so interesting. Here's my items with the best cost per wear (CPW) over all time (above left) and best CPW over the past year (above right). There's only one item under $1 CPW, which is actually a mistake on my part! Once an item hits $1 CPW over all time, I remove the price so it no longer appears in this list (and make a note on the item with how much it cost). I like watching the CPW drop to $1 since that's always my target when I buy a new item, and removing the items with extremely low CPWs make it easier for me to see at a glance which items are close to hitting that $1 mark. Guess it's time to remove the price from those sandals. ;)

The items with the best CPW over a single year don't mean that much because CPW depends on how much the item cost to begin with. I might wear one of my really nice sweaters just as often as a pair of gloves, but the gloves are going to show a lower CPW than the sweater just because they were less expensive. I prefer the worn history metric more when looking at a reduced range of time. Still, it's fun to look at stats! I love seeing the CPW drop, especially on the more expensive items.



Back in February, I wrote out my wardrobe plan for the year, and I think it really has helped me stay on track when shopping. Let's go through each point I made...

  • Get rid of itchy/ill-fitting garments / I have listed a ton on my Poshmark so far this year and still have lots more to go now that we're heading into fall and winter. I've been more ruthless than usual about paring down the items that I don't wear as much, especially those that I don't wear because of material or fit.
  • Repair/replace closet staples / I haven't had to do this as much as I was anticipating. I had one pair of jeans fixed due to holes but that's all I can recall. Nothing has needed to be replaced yet. I did downgrade my white Everlane tee to sleepwear because it had become slightly misshapen and discolored and I hadn't worn it in so long because of that.
  • Focus on machine-washable materials / For the most part, I've been doing a good job at only buying items that can be machine-washed, but I've purchased a few items that need ironing or steaming after each wash. It'd be nice to not have to worry about that as much with new fall purchases, since, like I've said before, I'm lazy!
  • Refresh my denim collection / I've added more pairs of jeans this year than I thought I would, but they've all added something new to my outfits. It's fun to mix it up when you wear denim as often as I do!
  • Figure out my dress style / Eh. Not going so well. I purchased a couple of new dresses, but only one was in a new-to-me silhouette: a shift dress. And neither dress is appropriate for work, unfortunately. I think I need to get out of the mindset that I can't spend over $100 on a dress because when it's my entire outfit, and when it fits me and my personality perfectly, then it is most likely worth it.
  • Add work-appropriate garments / Sleeveless/layering tops, blazers, longer skirts, and pants all fell under this umbrella. I did add another blazer, another cardigan, a couple of midi skirts, and a new style of pant (wide leg!) to my wardrobe so far. I'm definitely struggling with sleeveless tops and other good tops for layering. Dressing for summer has been somewhat difficult to keep interesting because of that, so thank goodness we are heading back into sweater weather soon!

For it being my first time setting a wardrobe plan, I'm proud of how well I've been sticking to it, and I don't think anything really needs to be modified, removed, or added. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I kept most of these same goals in next year's wardrobe plan! :)

And before I go, here are some items on my mind for fall ...

5 smaller brands to shop

5 smaller brands to shop (instead of Nordstrom) — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

When it comes to adding a new item to my wardrobe, typically I turn to my go-to "big" retailers like Madewell and Nordstrom first. As much as I love the items I purchase from those retailers, it's always fun to browse and buy from smaller retailers—especially if I'm looking for something different or more unique! I rounded up five of my favorite smaller retailers (I wouldn't consider all of them to be small small) that I highly recommend checking out next time you're in the market for something new. Bonus: I included some brands that are women-owned and support worthy causes AND some brands that feature ethically- and sustainably-made products!


& Other Stories

I fell in love with & Other Stories over three years ago! The brand is part of the H&M family, but it has more of a flirty, feminine, contemporary vibe. I wish I could wear (read: pull off) their garments every day of my life. I only have two things by the brand—my white perforated bucket bag made in collaboration with Clare Vivier and my bright red-orange sweater—but I'm always on the lookout for more pieces to add to my wardrobe. I especially love browsing their knitwear and shoe collections! 

 via ABLE

via ABLE



I've yet to buy anything from ABLE, but I love everything the brand stands for. Their goal is to end the cycle of generational poverty in women in countries around the world by providing job opportunities. Not to mention, their products are absolutely beautiful! I've found myself browsing their denim, bags, and shoes on multiple occasions, and I'm especially loving their new shoes for fall 2018! New to the brand? Use my referral link for $20 off your first purchase!


Amour Vert

If you've been following me for a while, you already know that I love Amour Vert! It's my favorite woman-owned small business that is also focused 100% on ethically- and responsibly-made garments, most of which are produced in the U.S. The best part is how affordable the garments are considering their production! I own a small collection of pieces and am always browsing the new arrivals for more to add. Their garments made with sustainable modal are my favorite; the fabric is incredibly dreamy and feels like butter!



Like & Other Stories, COS is also part of the H&M family. It's different from & Other Stories and H&M in that their items have more of a high-fashion-meets-streetwear vibe. They play around with trends in unique ways. I wish I had the right lifestyle for their garments! It feels very off-duty-model to me. Even though I don't shop there much (I only own a basic red striped tee), I love browsing and dreaming about their unique pieces. I recommend COS if you're looking for well-made, thoughtful trendy items or affordable show-stopping garments.


Moorea Seal

Badass babe Moorea Seal is basically a small business queen. Her namesake online shop and retail store in Seattle are filled with products made by other small brands and women-owned businesses. She curates a killer selection of goodies ranging from jewelry and shoes to home decor and—most recently—clothing! I bought my very favorite pair of sunglasses from Moorea Seal on a total whim a few years ago, and it remains one of the best purchases of my life (not to be dramatic lol).

Midwest road trip: itinerary + packing list


Even though we had been planning on going on our summer road trip to South Dakota since the winter, the plan wasn't actually set in stone until our time off was approved just a couple of weeks before we were set to leave. That left very little time to figure out when we should leave and return, where we should stop along the way, and what we could squeeze into each day. I knew I wanted to take Korri through all the sites possible between here and South Dakota, and that left no time to sit and truly enjoy any one place for too long. Even though his knee injury has been a battle, the fact that he had limited mobility made it easier to plan a drive-heavy trip with minimal walking. And we got to see a LOT during our trip!

If you are in the midst of planning a road trip (or enjoying reading about how others do road trips), this post features quick looks at our day-to-day itineraries followed by my packing list (clothing and other necessities for road trips). I don't think I'll ever stop tweaking my approach when it comes to planning big trips like this, so it's nice to be able to lay out everything we did and figure out what we could do better next time. I will say that we modified our trip home last minute and it worked out better than I expected! I also wanted to note what I brought with me and what else I would bring (or leave home) on future trips. I will definitely be referring to this post in the future.

Jackson Lake, Wyoming — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


We planned to work half days and then head out, taking the highway and passing through Craters of the Moon on our way to Driggs, ID. Korri ended up working longer than me, and it took longer for us to get packed and the car loaded than I thought it would, so we scratched Craters of the Moon and took the interstate to Driggs, arriving to our hotel after dark.

Firehole Lake Drive, Yellowstone — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Surprise Pool, Yellowstone — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Artists Point, Yellowstone — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


The alarm went off at 6:30 am for our first full day of driving. We drove into Wyoming and started by grabbing sandwiches at Dornan's to keep in the cooler for later. We took the slower scenic route through Grand Teton. We came into Yellowstone through the south entrance, did the lower loop, and left out the east entrance to Cody, WY. We had to skip most of the geyser basins due to traffic, and had to wait a while in other areas (Old Faithful, Artists Point) but we didn't get stuck in any wildlife jams. You can read more about our full day in this post!

Bighorn Mountains along Highway 14 — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


It was another early start for another full day of driving—not as heavy on the sightseeing. We decided to take highway 14 through the Bighorn Mountains, which was absolutely amazing and I would highly recommend that highway if you're not in an RV or towing a trailer (the grade and switchbacks are a little crazy at times). We stopped at Shell Falls on the way up. The road was torn up near the junction with 14a—not ideal, but we survived, haha (it will be complete by the end of October). After lunch in Sheridan, the next stop was Devils Tower. We ended up having time after DT to drive through Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills, where we found recent tornado damage, and then took the scenic route (read: a dirt road...) down to Needles Highway. It was less busy near sunset. We stayed the night in Custer, SD.

Devils Tower, Wyoming — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Tornado damage in Spearfish Canyon — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Mount Rushmore National Memorial — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


We left our hotel in Custer a bit later than I would have preferred (about 9 am) because we were going to be driving into the central time zone later in the day and losing an hour. The day started with a drive through Custer State Park to see the buffalo...only we hardly saw any wildlife! We spotted one buffalo, a couple of burros under a tree, and a turtle in the middle of the road (I didn't even though there were turtles in South Dakota to be honest). It was the strangest thing! We took Iron Mountain Road up to Mt. Rushmore and waited in line for what felt like forever to get into Mt. Rushmore. I'd definitely avoid going the week of July 4th if you can, haha. Next stop was the cute little town of Wall to visit Wall Drug (you'll see the signs all along the interstate) before heading south through the Badlands. It was about mid to late afternoon when we finished driving through the Badlands and got back on the interstate, heading east.

Badlands in South Dakota — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


We slept in and stayed put most of the time! All of our time was spent with family. We did visit the Corn Palace in Mitchell one day. It's kind of like Wall Drug: a South Dakota staple that you can't miss. ;) The walls of the building are decked out in murals of corn! The theme was "South Dakota Weather"—perfect for us weather nerds! We didn't get any good storms during our trip, but it was rather hot and humid (and many mosquitoes!). We watched my cousin play baseball, shot off fireworks, and ate tons of yummy food.

World's Only Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Wall Drug billboard, South Dakota — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Bighorn Mountains from Highway 16 — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


I wanted to leave by 9 am at the latest, but we didn't head out until about 10 am...and then we stopped at the grocery store, so we weren't on the road until about 11 am. At least we were going to gain an hour driving back into mountain time! We had a very long day in the car. We stopped once for lunch in Rapid City (ate really good Mongolian BBQ, surprisingly). We took highway 16 back through the Bighorn Mountains, drove through another beautiful canyon, and then hit 100°F on the west side. Whew! We stayed the night in Greybull, WY, since it was cheaper to stay there than Cody (and not as far of a drive). Our little motel was so cute and actually pretty nice; we would definitely stay there again! And even though it was hot, at least we were back in a dry heat. ;)

View along Beartooth Highway — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


The focus of this day was really the drive to Yellowstone. We started a bit later in Greybull than we should have (got out about 9:30 am). We drove Chief Joseph Scenic Highway to the junction with Beartooth Highway, and then we took Beartooth Highway all the way into Montana before turning around and heading back to Cooke City—Silver Gate. We made it to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone at 3:45 pm. I was getting nervous since we had about a four hour drive in Yellowstone ahead of us. We did get stopped on the road many more times due to wildlife (once for bears, though, at least). We drove out the south entrance at about 7:15 pm; 3.5 hours in the park wasn't bad considering all the stops! We caught the sunset at Grand Teton, and it was a perfect evening with no clouds obscuring the mountains. You can read more about our day in this post!

Snow along Beartooth Highway in July — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Grand Tetons at sunset — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Mesa Falls, eastern Idaho — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


Our last day started leisurely—we ate breakfast in the hotel and didn't leave Driggs until about 10:30 am. It was supposed to be a short day; Driggs is about a five hour drive from Boise, but we added some stops on the way, starting with Mesa Falls and the old Teton Dam Site in eastern Idaho. I also saw so many potato cellars! You may think of potato farms when you think of Idaho, which is true, but only in eastern Idaho, haha. We took the highway back to Boise, making a stop in Arco for food (which took forever, unfortunately) and then at Craters of the Moon (I got my stamp!). We didn't get home until after 9 pm. Then, of course, we had to get some groceries and unload the car. I was very excited to see my kitties after 10 days, though! :) And I dreaded the fact that I had to go to work the next morning...

Eastern Idaho potato cellar — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
Craters of the Moon, Idaho — via Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair


Packing ended up being slightly difficult for me because we experienced a range of temperatures during our trip that required a variety of different articles of clothing, but I didn't want to pack too much and then not wear everything. I also didn't want to pack too many bags because I was the one that had to carry them all. ;) I actually feel like I was pretty successful this time, especially when I compare it to the last time I went to South Dakota! Why did I think wearing a chambray shirt in July would be a good idea? Haha!

I packed all of my clothes in my roller bag with room to spare, and I packed all of my shoes and our toiletries in my Everlane weekender bag. I filled two canvas bags with our toiletries to keep them separate from the shoes and for easy carrying to the bathroom. Korri packed his own roller bag with clothes, and we each had backpacks with our laptops and other small items like chargers.

Here's what I brought with me:

  • One tank top
  • Five t-shirts (three linen)
  • One sweater
  • One sweatshirt
  • Two pairs of jeans
  • Two pairs of shorts
  • Two pairs of sandals
  • Two pairs of sneakers (one not pictured; I also brought my old Toms for driving)
  • One crossbody bag + wristlet
  • Two baseball caps (one not pictured)
  • One necklace + two pairs of earrings
  • One lightweight coat
  • One pair of leggings
  • Workout clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Undergarments (including socks)
10-day summer road trip packing list — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair
10-day road trip outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Above are eight outfits I put together over the 10-day trip. They're not very exciting, but they got the job done. On the first day, I changed tops after work and didn't make a completely new outfit in Stylebook. I also wore one of the outfits two days in a row. I wore either my second pair of sneakers or my old Toms with the outfits that don't have any shoes. The start of the trip was much cooler than the end; I wore jeans or leggings on days 1-3 and was glad to have my light packable puffer coat in the higher elevations. I switched to shorts partway through day 4 (Monday) and wore them through day 8 (Friday). (I put on jeans in the evenings to keep the bugs at bay.) I did wear jeans the Saturday we went back through Yellowstone (day 9) because it was cool along Beartooth Highway, but Sunday (day 10) was another hot day and shorts were necessary!

In the end, I think packing two pairs of shorts and two pairs of jeans worked really well. I brought along leggings, too, but I didn't really need them (however, they are more comfortable than jeans to sit in for long periods of time). I wore my navy sandals more than the flip flops because they are more secure for driving. I'm also glad I brought a sweater and sweatshirt, though I wore the sweatshirt just about every day so I almost wish I had brought a second sweatshirt instead of a sweater. The sweater I brought doesn't layer over tees as well as the sweatshirt does, so that's why I only wore it with the tank. It was definitely smart to bring all the linen tees for the purpose of breathability in the heat and humidity. I only wore jewelry once during the trip (my tiny studs), and I could have left the other items behind.

We also packed plenty of miscellaneous road trip necessities! I highly recommend bringing along all of these items, especially if you're planning a national parks tour like we did.

  • Cooler for food, drinks, and Korri's ice pack
  • Umbrella
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Sun shade
  • National parks annual pass (we saved $120 on entry fees)
  • National parks passport book (I'm a nerd!)
  • Camera + extra battery + charger + extra lenses
  • Car phone charger
  • Snacks (lots of chips, haha)
  • Compostable plates + napkins + silverware
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Paper copy of each day's driving directions
  • CDs in case of no phone service or radio signals
  • Bug spray + sunscreen + hand sanitizer