Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Dress Down Days

I have worked out that I have 124 dresses. I counted. I know I never throw anything away but this seems a little excessive. On first appearances they seem to be mostly of the floaty and floral summery kind that I barely get to wear during the year living in England because of the short and fairly cool summers. In fact there are many I generally recall wearing only on holidays abroad.  There are even some sitting in a wardrobe in my parents house in Australia for when I visit.

Since we are having somewhat warmer weather than usual (albeit cloudy) I have hung all the most flowery and colourful out to tempt me to wear them. To accommodate them this has meant removing almost everything else from my rail including suits and smart office wear. Until today this hasn't mattered as I have been in permanent dress down mode for the last two weeks without an office job to go to. Now however all that is about to change as I have been offered a job!  Goodbye dress down days of summer.

In preparation for my new job I have been getting reacquainted with the joys of Microsoft applications and presentations, in particular one spreadsheet package in which I am supposedly an expert.  What better way to oil the rusty gears of my brain than to use said application to analyse the breakdown of my dress collection.   So here we are: a pie chart showing the breakdown into rough categories equalling, LBDs (little black dresses), Day, Evening Gowns, Day to Evening, Cocktail/Party and Maxi-Dresses.  Each dress is included in only one category - though obviously this is only partially satisfactory as a maxi dress could count as either a Day or even Cocktail/Party dress, and when does a Day dress become a Day to Evening option etc...

But I digress - to take my nerdiness to new heights I broke down each category according to other data associated with my frocks: length, material, season, year, designer or high street.  But the most telling was the split between worn and unworn shown on the bar chart beneath (worn once counts by the way).  I hang my head in shame to report that almost 30% of my dresses have never been worn.  I thought this wasn't bad at first - I mean the statistic generally thrown around is that we wear 30% of our wardrobe 70% of the time.  However my boyfriend was horrified and said that this is really a rather terrible usage rate.  Having thought about it I think I have to agree and have delved into the statistics to try to reform my ways.

The culprits are, unsurprisingly, the little black dresses and cocktail numbers - those super elegant or glitzy little numbers that tempt you while shopping and which you imagine will change your life when you put them on for all those fancy nights out.  In these categories the number of unworn dresses was highest as a percentage of total dresses in the category, indicating a lower usage rate.  (The maxi dresses are not great on usage rate either but I own far fewer of those).  I shop, I am sure like many others, for a lifestyle I just do not have.  As if I had a cocktail evening or party every weekend.  I clearly don't!

The challenge now is to wear the unworn dresses without purchasing any new ones.  Sequins to the office!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a clever idea! I want to do this with my dresses now.


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