Winter ’18 closet inventory

Winter ’18 closet inventory

I had this notion that I could get away with not doing a closet inventory for this winter (for myself or to share) — just to say “hey, I have a few new things; recently did a whole sweater inventory; will work off last year’s mostly unworn Deep Winter Outfits (not enough deep winter last year); and here are a few new outfit ideas.” But when I got up to my elbows in trying to do that (by which I mean, up to about 2000 words), I realized too much has changed. Between my Slotober-inspired closet cleanout, some new things I’ve made this year, some of last year’s key pieces being dyed or deaccessioned, my recent Everlane staples order (itemized below), and my not being the exact same person I was a year ago (or last week), it’s really a different ballgame. I needed to do the inventory to get my head around what I’m working with. So here it is! And I’m feeling pretty good about the resonance between this and my mood board. (All-new outfits tomorrow.)


Toffee cable dickey
Plum Anna vest
Black Sloper sleeveless turtleneck
Navy mod-Clyde vest (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Jacket 2017, refashioned)
Army shirtjacket (J.Crew 2014, refashioned)
– Denim shirtjacket (J.Crew c.2003)


– White graphic sleeveless tee (Everlane 2018, printed by me)
Grey wool muscle tee
Black silk gauze shell
– Grey and black long-sleeve tees (Everlane, new)
– Black silk tie-neck blouse (Everlane, new)
Plaid top
– Black silk smock (Elizabeth Suzann 2017, made in Nashville, no longer available)
– Chambray work shirt (secondhand)
Chambray button-up

The new little black Everlane top doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but it is so pretty and versatile. I’m as excited to wear it with a cardigan and jeans as to a fancy holiday dinner out.


Grey wool knit pullover
Grey sweatshirt
– Black sweatshirt (Everlane, new)
– Blue cashmere pullover (Everlane, new)
Ivory aran-gansey
Striped raglan
Fisherman sweater
Grey cline sweater
Charcoal sorta swoncho
Black yoke sweater

I could have sewn the two long-sleeve tees above and the black sweatshirt here (I already have the Lark Tee and Linden Sweatshirt patterns in my possession) but am happy not to have had to. The blue sweater I could also theoretically have made, but it’s about a billion stitches and I would never knit such a thing. This may be the first sweater I’ve bought since learning to knit — certainly the only one in five years or more — and it does feel soulless, but it also feels easy and warm and comfortable and greatly needed, and I expect it to be with me for a good long time. Also worth noting: The sweatshirt and sweater are both thin enough to wear like t-shirts — under cardigans and jackets — during the coldest part of the year.


Vanilla cardigan
Camel cardigan
Purple cardigan
Black cardigan
Mushroom shawl-collar


Natural canvas wide-legs
– Clay wide-legs (Elizabeth Suzann Clyde Culotte, made in Nashville, sample sale 2017)
– Recycled denim wide-legs
– Denim wide-legs
– Natural denim jeans (Imogene+Willie, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)
– Threadbare jeans (Old Navy c. 2013)
– Cropped jeans (J.Crew Point Sur, 2016, made in LA, no longer available)
– Other dark denim jeans


Not pictured, but basically all I’ll be wearing the next couple of months are my boots. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed — of if I’ve ever noted — but I rely heavily on tan footwear. I typically don’t wear any colors from the warm side of the color wheel; I only wear neutrals, blues, greens and bluer purples. (The red-purple Anna Vest is the warmest thing in my closet.) So my mostly unconscious way of balancing all the cool tones is to incorporate shades of tan and camel and caramel and such, often in the way of shoes. I have sandals and flats in lovely shades of tan (and last summer went so far as to buy those amazing orange sandals!) but somehow since moving to Nashville I have only bought black boots. As much as I miss the tan effect in winter, I haven’t found the dream pair, but I finally broke down and bought the Everlane Modern Chelsea Boots in cognac, just based on how much I love my black pair. They’re not actually in my hands yet, but I can’t imagine there being anything wrong with them when they arrive.

. . .

So this is 39 garments (26 of them handmade or modified!), but in reality there are maybe 20 that will be crucial and worn on repeat, and a few that will be worn only a couple of times, whether due to weather or favoritism. For instance, there are 8 pairs of pants here, but on any given day the real question is: Am I wearing my natural wide-legs or my Point Sur jeans. Maybe I’ll do a wear count this season.

(ICYMI: How to make a closet inventory)


PREVIOUSLY in Winter 2018 Wardrobe: Queue Check November 2018

8 thoughts on “Winter ’18 closet inventory

  1. I love that plum colored vest!
    And it’s quite hard to knit really fine gauge sweaters — or at least really time consuming.

    • Yeah, this one is that superfine gauge you can’t really even attempt to replicate with handknitting. But even a fingering weight sweater is more than I would ever finish.

  2. And the thing I always love is those orange sandals going Shazam! Look at me see!
    No, its fine, I can wait till next summer…

  3. Not to make you regret your Everlane boots, but have you seen the Nisolo heeled Chelsea boot? I think they’re even more transparent about their production than Everlane. (“Made in Italy,” as we know from that New Yorker article, does not always mean made by fairly paid workers not imported to Italy from China.)

    • Yeah, Nisolo is a beloved Nashville company, and in fact we (Fringe HQ) occupy their former space. I’m a member of their 5 for 5 Club, but unfortunately none of their boots work for me. I’m all about a good flat boot and am incredibly picky about shaft height and toe shape and so on.

      I hadn’t seen that NYer piece, but had heard during Slotober in a past year that Italy has relaxed their requirements for what Made in Italy means, which is especially tragic in Italy’s case. But I’m hoping Everlane’s commitment to only working with “the good factories” means they’re ensuring that they do know where and how the boots are made. I’m never entirely comfortable taking anyone’s word for any of this stuff, but given what it would do to Everlane if they were ever found out not to be adhering to their so-loudly-stated mission, it does give me a slightly higher level of trust.

  4. I also noticed that you have a bit more colour this season. I took your advice and read “The Curated Closet” last year and made the effort to create a definite palette for building my wardrobe. It’s turned out to be a great way to simplify purchases as well as a way to add colour that feels “safe”. For me, colour can be scary, and yet I really crave it during our long, cold winter months.

    • Yeah, exactly. It’s not that there’s any more color in my closet right now, it’s always just a matter of what I’m pulling forward at any given moment. It was really helpful when I had that lightbulb moment a couple of years ago, going through this practice, that my color preferences don’t change, it’s just a matter of slightly ever-shifting emphasis. Like I like a spot of pink here and there, but there’s not always a pink in play, and in one year it might be a pale pink top and in another year a pair of raspberry chinos. But it’s enough to know that I do like pink so it feels like less of a risk or outlier at times when I’m feeling it. Whereas right now I’m loving bright yellow on other people and on the brink of making or buying myself a yellow something, but knowing that is genuinely an outlier for me is enough to make me stop and think. And, for instance, choose wisely. Like to buy a have an easy and inexpensive yellow sweatshirt would be fun and defensible and scratch the itch, but investing months and yarn money in knitting a yellow sweater, less so.

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