Math & Your Wardrobe

The Math Behind Why You Can't Find Anything To Wear You are getting ready to go out - to work, on a date, or to an event - and you stand in front of your closet flabbergasted that you can have so many clothes but nothing to wear. Do not fret - this scenario happens to even the most fabulous fashionistas! The great news is that there is a mathematical solution to solve this wardrobe conundrum.

I found it in the book "I Don't Have a Thing To Wear: The Psychology of Your Closet," by Judie Taggart and Jackie Walker and now use it as a practical exercise with clients. (The book is fantastic, by the way - I highly recommend it!)

The basic idea is that your wardrobe needs to match the everyday activities of your life. The best way to figure this out is to break down how you utilize your time. Here's how it works:

1. Write down all of the activities that you do during your waking hours. This includes evenings and weekends and can be grouped into categories like work, exercise, evenings out, hanging out at home, running errands on the weekends, etc.

2. Now we are going to figure out how many hours you are awake in 1 month. This may sound overwhelming, but stick with me! We are going to guesstimate that you are awake from about 7:00am to 11:00pm each day.

7:00am - 11:00pm = 16 hours a day

16 hours a day x 7 days - 112 hours in a week

112 hours in a week x 4 weeks = 448 hours per month

So, you are awake and doing something about 448 hours a month.

3. Now take that list of activities from #1 and guesstimate how much time you spend on that activity per month. For instance, if you work 40 hours a week that's 160 hours a month. If you are going on dates 2 times a week for about 3 hours per date that's 24 hours a month.

4. Do some division. Take the total hours of an activity, like work, and divide it by the total number of hours you have in a month.

So it would be

160 / 448 = .357 or about 36%

Which means 36% of your waking hours are at work.

Which means about 36% of your wardrobe should be work clothes.

5. Now go to your closet. Is roughly 35-40% of your wardrobe work clothes? If the answer is no that's why you can't find anything to wear to work.

This exercise can be a complete shift in how you view your life. The reality of how you use your waking hours can be surprising.

Please know that people typically have a gap between what they own and how they spend their time! It is perfectly normal. The goal is to get those percentages as close to the reality of your life as possible. If you need more work clothes start shopping with the goal of building that area of your closet. It makes life so much easier!